A few days separate the world from the receipt of President-elect Joe Biden to the US administration, and while Iranian circles are looking positively towards the return of the nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions on the country, it does not seem that Tehran, as well as economic experts, are looking optimistic about the economic breakthrough, because Iran has not joined the Financial Action Group to fight money laundering. Terrorism Funding and Funding (FATF).
Last February, after about 3.5 years of Iran’s conditional and temporary withdrawal from the FATF’s blacklist, Tehran was again blacklisted, which hindered its financial operations with international banks, as well as INSTEX, meaning “a mechanism to support and facilitate trade exchange between Iran and European Countries “(Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges).
And in the wake of Biden’s victory in the elections and talk about the possibility of returning to the nuclear deal and lifting the sanctions, Ayia Junaidi, Vice President for Legal Affairs, announced on December 14 that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had approved the government’s request to extend the period for considering the draft laws of the Financial Action Group in the compound. Diagnose the system’s interest.
Opponents of the project argue that the approval of the group’s laws will prevent the circumvention of sanctions, and will also face difficulties in providing financial aid to foreign groups supported by Iran.
Abul-Fadl Amoui, a spokesman for the National Security Committee in Parliament, believes that “the principles of the FATF are based on the transparency of financial transactions, but the demand for transparency from a state subject to unilateral sanctions is unfounded.”
“We have strict domestic laws to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. But due to US sanctions, we do not currently have the possibility of international transparency in financial transactions,” he continued to Al Jazeera Net.
“There is great concern that US sanctions will increase pressure on Iranian companies and accounts that operate in commodity trade, under the pretext of implementing these laws, so we have to be careful in our foreign trade” in order to circumvent these sanctions, Amoui added.
On the other hand, supporters of these laws believe that there is no option available at the present time, especially in light of the disruption of the Iranian banking system with almost the world, even with Chinese banks, and with this trend, Tehran will lose the region’s markets and move towards exchanging goods as an outdated method.
Dr. Sabah Zangana, an expert in international affairs, in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, suggests that Iran update its rules on money laundering and present it to the world “just as many countries have shown their domestic laws, so that they meet the objectives set for the FATF.”
For his part, Dr. Bahman Arman, a university professor and economist, believes that adhering to these laws is the only way to save the economy from the difficult sanctions conditions, especially since Iran faces many difficulties in supplying spare parts for strategic industries such as oil, gas and steel.
Arman added, “The cost of indirect financial transactions for the supply of goods has increased by about 35%, and Iran is unable to release its seized funds abroad, even from Iraq, the country that is considered friendly and has influence in it. The same is true in China, as its seized funds amount to about 40 billion dollars, 10 billion dollars.” In South Korea, the number is the same in Turkey, and the same is true in many countries. “
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, he indicated that the more foreign currencies entered the country, through financing or direct investment, the lower the possibility of the return of sanctions. Many countries, after the nuclear deal, wanted to invest in important areas, but because of this problem they backed away from their decisions.
He added: One of the most important of these projects is the construction of the highway from the port of Bushehr in southern Iran to the Bazargan border area with Turkey, with a length of 1200 km instead of the current 2,500 km, for import and export from the Gulf countries to Europe instead of crossing the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal.
Medication and Corona
Another consequence of the failure to accept financial work agreements is the impossibility of banking transactions for the import of foodstuffs and medicines.
Although there are no sanctions on this sector, many foreign banks are unwilling to conduct financial transactions due to Iran’s inclusion on the FATF blacklist.
Ali Motahari, a former deputy speaker of parliament, tweeted, “Because we are on the FATF blacklist, we were unable to transfer $ 50 million (the quota of the Corona vaccine in the World Health Organization to 8 million citizens) and Iran’s share was canceled.” the responsibility”.
Government spokesman Ali Rabiei indicated on Tuesday that the failure to join the FATF, and the blacklisting of Iran, was directly reflected in financial transactions with other countries.
Although the Penal Code does not prohibit the conduct of such financial operations (the purchase of medicines, for example), unfortunately, not joining the FATF prevents them from taking place.
Khamenei also indicated, in his last speech, to concern for the economy and livelihood of the people, and that not one hour should be wasted in the lifting of sanctions, which is understood from him that there are hopes that Iran will comply with these laws, otherwise its economy will be in great trouble.