The Financial Action Task Force on money laundering(FATF) is an intergovernmental committee established in 1998. Money laundering applies generally for the methods that display legal origins for money which has illegal sources like revenue of smuggling and financing terrorist.
Iran’s government according to its strategy about confronting terrorism and economic sanctions had decided to join FATF. The government proposed joining FATF as a bill to parliament in March 2016 and parliament approved it straightaway.
After joining Iran to FATF, experts had shown different reaction to this important subject. Financial oversight, dealing with United Nation’s statements and methods of banks collaboration with domestic organizations are some of the important subjects which caused economic experts criticize the government for joining FATF. The lack of codified law about criminalization terrorism was the most important problem which intensified Iran joining FATF. The mentioned problem had been solved after the government increased its interaction with FATF.
Although Iran as a member of United Nations has different point of view about specifying cases for terrorism, collaboration with this committee doesn’t mean that they have defined a unified coding for recognition of terrorism. Actually every country has its own right to specify methods for recognition of terrorism.
The most important advantage of joining FATF is increasing safety in financial and economic collaboration. However, as it is shown in FATF website, Iran is still known as a high risk and non-cooperative jurisdiction. There are only two high risk countries in the world according to FATF website, Iran and north Korea. This important issue made a conflict between the project’s supporters and oppositions.
Money Laundry High Council is the highest decision making body in Iran. The members of this committee have been chosen by subset of ministry of economic and financial affairs. The mentioned committee specifies general policies about money laundering cases. According to one of the latest interviews of minister of economic affairs, criterion of decision making about money laundering characterized in Money Laundering High Council. This means that Iran’s criterion might be different from United Nations and United States. This might become a problem for Iran’s government because the mentioned difference could address United States and United Nations for enacting new sanctions for financing terrorism issues.
To conclude, joining FATF could be like a double edge sword for Iran’s government. It has great advantage for the economy of Iran however in the same time, this action could result facing new challenges by Iran about money laundering from both inside and outside of the country.