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People Should Know Impact Of Being Blacklisted By FATF, Chief Of Staff Says


President Hassan Rouhani and Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi. FILE PHOTO

Nearing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) deadline of February, Iranian president's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi warned about the consequences of being blacklisted by the international watchdog.

Being blacklisted by the FATF will "deal a heavy blow" to Iran's economy, Vaezi who was speaking at an official meeting in Ardabil Province on Tuesday said and underlined that the Iranian people must be informed of the consequences of not joining the FATF conventions.

"Talk to the people about the dimensions of this and make those who oppose it to be accountable to the people," Vaezi advised the attending officials.

The FATF has given Iran until February to finalize the laws that will allow the country to join the Palermo and CTF conventions against funding terrorism and money laundering.

International banking, trade and attracting foreign investments, all of which require compliance with the FATF rules, can come to a standstill if Iran is put on the FATF's list of "Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories".

The U.S. and other western countries insist that Iran joins the conventions. "If Iran were serious about combating terror financing and adhering to global anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards, it would ratify the Palermo Convention and the Terrorist Financing Convention immediately", the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in October.

Even Russia has officially warned Iran that it will have to cut its economic ties if the country is blacklisted by the FATF.

Hardliners are worried that such transparency will allow foreign powers to monitor the activities of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Many believe that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself is responsible for the delay in the ratification of the said bills. Expediency Council members, most of which are against joining the FATF conventions are appointed by Khamenei and would not oppose and delay the ratification of the bills without his approval.

According to a member of parliament, reformist lawmakers are going to explain the consequences of being blacklisted by the FATF in a letter to Khamenei.

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