Iran asks IMF help with law against terror funding
Iran prepare an Anti Money Laundering law
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added Iran to its blacklist of countries that pose risks to the international financial system as suspect of terrorism funding. The FATF said in a statement that “[it] remains particularly concerned about Iran’s failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system”.
Iran, thereafter, approached the International Monetary Fund for assistance. The IMF will assist Iran to draft a comprehensive AML/CFT law.
Iran, long accused by the West of funding terrorism, has asked the International Monetary Fund for technical assistance in drafting a law to combat terrorism financing, the IMF said on Thursday.
In an annual assessment of Iran's economy, the Washington-based global financial institution "noted progress in establishing a more comprehensive" framework in Iran for tackling terrorism financing and money laundering.
In the review the IMF urged Iran to strengthen those efforts.
"The authorities have requested additional technical assistance with the drafting of a law on combating the financing of terrorism and to bring Iran's AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism) more in line with international standards," the IMF said.
The international body fighting money laundering and terrorist financing put Iran on its blacklist of countries that pose risks to the international financial system as suspect of terrorism funding.
The Financial Action Task Force said Iran had been put on the list due to the ongoing and substantial money laundering and terrorist financing risk.
"The FATF remains particularly concerned about Iran's failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system," the FATF said in a statement.
The IMF'S technical assistance is likely to be legal in nature and would probably include training within ministries that have regulatory responsibilities.
IMF member countries, especially the United States, have pressed the institution since 2000 to expand its work on fighting money laundering. But since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the IMF has expanded that work to include combating the financing of terrorism.
Last year, the US Treasury targeted Iran's largest state bank and blacklisted nearly a dozen companies linked to Bank Melli by labeling them proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.
Britain has also halted trade with some Iranian firms over nuclear fears.
The IMF's technical help comes as world powers are mulling additional sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities, which the West says is aimed at building an atomic bomb and Tehran says is for peaceful, power generation.
The IMF forecast that gross domestic product growth in Iran declined to about 2 to 2.5 percent in 2008/09, from almost 7 percent in the previous year, due to a decline in oil production and slower growth in the non-oil sector.
The IMF said Iran's main economic challenges were to increase revenues in the non-oil sector and reduce energy subsidies that are draining state coffers.
It said total official reserves are projected to remain at a "comfortable" level at the end of 2009/10, while inflation is likely to decline further.
"The implementation of the proposed energy price reform is a critical step to improve the medium-term fiscal outlook and increase economic efficiency," the IMF said.
It also said Iran's rial currency was "broadly in line with fundamentals" although urged greater exchange rate flexibility to deal with volatile oil prices.