FATF’s Iran plan coming to end, what is to follow?
Tehran, Iran, November 10
By Mehdi Sepahvand –- Trend:
In June 2016, the FATF welcomed Iran’s high-level political commitment to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, and its decision to seek technical assistance in the implementation of the Action Plan. In light of Iran’s demonstration of its political commitment and the relevant steps it took, the FATF decided in June 2017 to continue the suspension of counter-measures.
The action plan expires on 31 January 2018 and the FATF urges Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path to ensure full and accurate implementation of the Action Plan, addressing all remaining AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular those related to terrorist financing, the body said in a recent statement, adding at its February 2018 meeting, the FATF will assess progress made by Iran and take all appropriate action.
The international organization further said Iran will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed. Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified in the Action Plan, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system.
When the plan expires, one of three possibilities can become the case. The first is that Iran’s actions to cooperate with the FATF are completely rejected and Iran will accordingly be put on the counter-measures list. This is the lesser possibility keeping in mind the FATF’s recent remarks.
The second possibility is that Iran’s actions are fully approved of and therefore the country is transferred from the general list to the under-supervision list. This view is a bit too optimistic.
The third possibility, which seems more plausible, is for the FATF to extend the Action Plan and keep the status quo on Iran. This will be more pragmatic for the FATF since it is already facing a welcoming approach from Tehran and therefore by extending the plan, it would enable Iran to march further on the path to bringing its financial activities to compliance with the FATF’s criteria.