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FATF Sounds Off On Iran But Does It Mean Anything?

Iran already tops many people’s lists as a problem country when it comes to National Security. Now the financial global “standard-setting body,” the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has marked Iran as the top problem country in terrorist financing. Even though Tehran has finally “opened dialogue” with the FATF, the global organization has still urged that its member apply “effective countermeasures to protect their financial sectors” from Iran, in regards to money laundering and other methods of terrorist financing.

They announce this step mainly because of Iran’s continuing failure to address any of the risks or possibilities of terrorist financing within their borders. Many countries have already taken steps to limit their national companies’ interaction with Iran. This seems to be a more political and symbolic move as it coincides with the US’s call for tougher sanctions on Iran for its nuclear ambitions and policies.

The FATF consists of 33 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organizationsArgentina

* the Kingdom of the Netherlands: the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

(All links above are from the official FATF site member page.)

India has also recently signed on as an “observing member,” meaning they are working on becoming a full member and implementing the needed procedures to do so. Some associate members are the: Carribean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD), and finally the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)

All these countries and organizations beg an interesting question. If Iran isn’t a signatory, how can they legally justify putting sanctions on a country that isn’t party to this agreement? While financing terrorism is generally deemed as a “negative thing,” it isn’t a world wide accepted human law, such as human rights (i.e. slave trafficking, etc.). How can the FATF call for international sanctions on Iran be justified then?

Read more at the NYTimes.

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