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Pompeo Says Iran Must Accede To International Financial Regulations

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends an event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative at the Department of State in Washington, February 12, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has once again urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to ratify the conditions set by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and respect international laws and regulations against financing terrorism and money laundering.

FATF, the Paris-based global financial watchdog issued a four-month deadline in mid-October, giving Tehran a last and final chance to comply with international anti-money laundering rules by February 21, 2020.

In a tweet on Wednesday, February 12, Mike Pompeo affirmed, "It is past time for Iran to live up to its commitment to play by the global rules to combat money laundering and terror financing. Iran must ratify the Palermo Convention and Terrorist Financing Convention now."

Almost all countries have adopted the FATF standards, and Iran should not be treated as an exception, Pompeo has maintained.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) a G-7 supported international watchdog based in Paris, in 2017 demanded Iran to reform its legal system and banking practices by following international conventions, in order to become eligible for unrestricted international banking relations. FATF has put Iran on its blacklist, pending legal reforms by Tehran.

To meet FATF's demands, President Hassan Rouhani presented four bills, (collectively known as the "Palermo Bills" in Iran) to the parliament in November 2017.

Commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Friday Prayer Leaders across Iran, and other figures appointed by the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have repeatedly opposed the passage of UN-sponsored conventions.

Ratifying the bills will restrict Tehran's financial assistance to the so-called “resistance entities,” including the Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian HAMAS in Gaza Strip they have argued.

Furthermore, they believe that if approved, the bills would give away the Islamic Republic's "secrets" in circumventing American sanctions.

Supporters of accepting FATF’s conditions, including Rouhani’s government, say joining the FATF and other international agreements on financial transparency and combating money laundering and terrorism-financing would reduce international pressure on Iran's already deteriorating economy.