Iran Needs To Do More To Combat Terrorist Financing

David Uren

Iran’s economy minister, Farhad Dejpasand, has called on the multilateral Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to discipline the US over its use of budget funds to finance the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport.

‘The FATF which claims to confront financing terrorism should notice that now the president of a country [the US] has declared that they will allocate a budget for terrorist acts and they want to use it’, Dejpasand said in Tehran earlier this month.

He said the assassination of Soleimani while the general was on a formal visit to Iraq broke international law and that the FATF ‘should protest and confront it’.

Iran is sensitive about the FATF because it is confronting a February deadline to enact legislation curbing the financing of terrorism or face a financial freeze from the country’s few remaining international friends.

The FATF threat has divided Iran’s secular government, which is desperate to avoid further financial hardship, and its religious leadership, which sees the FATF as an arm of the Western conspiracy against it.

The FATF was established by the G7 nations in 1989 to combat money laundering. Its mission expanded to include action to curb the financing of terrorism following 9/11.

FATF membership has grown to 39 nations, including all members of the G20 (with the exception of Indonesia, which has observer status). More than 200 jurisdictions have signed up to the FATF recommendations. The FATF secretariat is based at the OECD in Paris. Its current president is Xiangmin Liu, who is head of the legal department at the People’s Bank of China.

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