France calls for improvement of banking ties with Iran

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Visiting President of French National Assembly Claude Bartolone called for improvement of banking cooperation with Iran in a meeting with Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Chief Valiollah Seif on Wednesday.

Bartolone said France supports Iran to execute the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001 the purpose expanded to act on terrorism financing. It monitors countries’ progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations by ‘peer reviews’ (‘mutual evaluations’) of member countries. The FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Paris is to help Tehran technically for implementation of the FATF by providing Iran with France experiences to this end, Bartolone stressed.

He also called for the boost of economic ties between the two countries, adding that Paris is committed to help complete implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed between Iran and the world six major powers (US, Russia, France, Britain and China plus Germany) in 2015 to end a more than a decade-long nuclear dispute.

Meanwhile, the head of the Central Bank of Iran called for removal of obstacles on the way of improvement of cooperation between Iranian banks with their French counterparts as well as other major banks.

The Italian, Austrian and German banks have developed cooperation with Iran in the post-sanctions era but France banking system is very cautious about improving bilateral relations with its Iranian counterparts, Seif added.

France can help resolve the problem of obstacles on the way of Iran’s banking relations with other countries regarding Paris significant place among the European states, Seif stressed.

The FATF issued a statement on June 24, 2016, suspending Iran in the list of its uncooperative countries. This came as the result of numerous actions taken by the Iranian government, parliament and judiciary in the past few years like adopting laws against financing terrorism and other actions which legally bounded Iran to take action to eliminate shortcomings of the body’s existing anti-money laundering policies and its decision to seek assistance with implementation.

In its plenary meeting in South Korea, the body took into account Iran’s implementation of an anti-money laundering law and its membership at the Eurasian Group, a FATF-style regional body.

According to the FATF, Iran will remain on the body’s blacklist until the full implementation is complete. Moreover, if it fails to demonstrate “sufficient progress” at the end of the yearlong suspension, the restrictions will be re-imposed.

FATF is under the influence of the US.

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