Iran can seize opportunities in trade by being member of FATF - expert

Nuclear Program Materials 18 August 2020 22:41 (UTC +04:00)
Iran can seize opportunities in trade by being member of FATF - expert

BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 18

By Elnur Baghishov – Trend:

If Iran becomes a member of FATF, it can carry out large-scale trade operations with other countries, Iranian expert on energy issues Mehrdad Emadi told Trend.

However, at present, Iran is one of three countries on the FATF's blacklist, Emadi reminded.

The expert noted that in the current situation, Iran can trade with countries such as China and Russia via banks adding that in this case, most of the trade will be in favor of these countries.

According to Emadi, if sanctions against Iran are lifted, Iran's withdrawal from the FATF's blacklist is necessary.

"Given all this, it can be said that it is impossible for Iran to benefit economically from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," he added.

The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

During the recent FATF meeting, Iran has been warned that it may be added to the list of non-cooperative countries within three months if it does not completely fulfill the FATF requirements. Iran fulfilled 37 of 41 FATF requirements. The remaining four requirements refer to the legislative field.

The amendments to Counter-Terrorist Financing Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo) and International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) were prepared by the Iranian government and sent to the parliament.

Although the four conventions have been approved and sent to the Expediency Council of Iran, the CFT and Palermo conventions have not yet been ratified by the Council.

FATF was established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 Group to combat money laundering. FATF has 37 members and its secretariat is in Paris.

Iran was included in the FATF blacklist in 2007. The anti-Tehran steps have been taken since 2009. Thus, the countries were cautious in their financial and banking transactions with Iran.

Taking of reciprocal steps against Iran through diplomatic steps has been postponed since 2016. FATF included Iran into the black list again on Feb. 21, 2020.

In January 2016, JCPOA was launched between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions against Iran in November of the same year.

To preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal stated in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.

On May 8, 2019, Iran announced that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories having not fulfilled their obligations. On July 7, Iran announced that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.

Iran announced that it will enrich uranium using next-generation centrifuges and will not mix it with the enriched uranium residues as part of the third step of reducing commitments in JCPOA on Sept.5.

On Nov. 5, 2019, Iran announced that it took the fourth step in connection with reducing its commitments to the nuclear agreement. So, uranium gas is being pumped to the centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.

Iran took the last fifth step in reducing the number of its commitments within JCPOA. Iran no longer faces any restrictions on its nuclear program.

The US imposed new sanctions on Iran in November 2018. Over the past period, the sanctions affected Iranian oil exports, more than 700 banks, companies and individuals.