The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed the Iranian regime on its blacklist on Friday, after the regime “failed to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms.”
This development is simultaneous with the Iranian regime’s sham parliamentary elections and its absolute failure in having a minimum turnout following a general boycott of the polls. In addition, it comes a day after the United States slapped new sanctions of five members of the regime’s Guardian Council and its elections supervision committee.
“The decision comes after more than three years of warnings from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) urging Tehran to enact terrorist financing conventions,” Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, this decision means “more scrutiny of transactions with Iran, tougher external auditing of financing firms operating in the country and add pressure on the few banks and businesses still operating with Iran.”
The FATF, which oversees the security of the global financial system and sets banking transaction standards, had given the Iranian regime until February to finalize the laws that will allow the country to join the Palermo and Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) conventions against funding terrorism and money laundering.
The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement in this regard.
On the one hand, the regime is in dire need of foreign trade and financial channels as the noose of international sanctions tightens around its neck. Many of its trade partners, including European states, have predicated the establishment of new financial and trade channels on the passing of the FATF laws. But on the other hand, becoming compliant with FATF rules would expose many of Tehran’s illicit activities, including the funding of terrorist and fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and across the world.
The regime’s most significant problem with adopting the CFT is the obstacles that CFT imposes on the clerical regime in its support of terrorist groups. The regime describes its proxy terrorist groups as “Islamic Resistance,” and it needs their presence to preserve its so-called “national authority,” or rather the regime’s security.
On January 11, Siroos Borna, a member of the regime’s parliament, in an interview with the state-run Iranian Diplomacy news agency stated that the reason for the regime adopting FATF is to avoid stopping its funding of “the groups that they [western governments] consider to be terrorists.”
Referring to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, as the regime’s military lever abroad to continue its policies via export of terrorism, Borna said: “One of our major obstacles in adopting the CFT is that if we do so, we should immediately stop funding the Quds Force…… this is tantamount to self-sanctioning.”