Expediency Council Reviews Relations Between Europe Financial Mechanism, FATF

February 12, 2019

Expediency Council’s legal and judicial commissions reviewed Tuesday whether there is any relations between Europe’s financial mechanism for trade with Iran and the four Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) bills in the country, a member of the Council announced.

Expediency Council’s Tuesday meeting found no relations between the two issues, Hojjatoleslam Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moqaddam told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

On January 31, Germany, France and the UK set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade with Tehran and circumvent the US sanctions. The Paris-based transactions channel, named INSTEX - Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges, is run by a German national, and the three countries are shareholders in it.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) based in Paris, France, has given Iran a four-month deadline until February to complete reforms.

Meanwhile, Mesbahi-Moqaddam urged the Europeans to be faithful to their commitments based on the July 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), not to set new conditions for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

He went on to say that CFT and Palermo conventions are on the Council’s desk, and the members are to decide about the bills.

On January 20, a member of Iran’s Majlis said that the Expediency Council will issue its final decision on country's joining Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Palermo Convention within maximum 30 days.

To join FATF, Iranian government has sent four related bills including country’s accession to CFT and Palermo conventions to Majlis (Parliament). The lawmakers approved the bills but the approval was not confirmed by the Guardian Council whose key duty is to interpret the Islamic Republic’s Constitution. The Expediency Council is charged with deciding whether or not a law forwarded by Majlis to it after changes demanded by Guardian Council complies with regulations.

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime. It opened for signature by Member States at a High-level Political Conference convened for that purpose in Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000 and entered into force on 29 September 2003.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) introduces itself as an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the 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. The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.