But, as the regular protests in Iran have demonstrated, the major beneficiaries of these funds were not the ordinary Iranian people, but rather Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its elite branch the Quds Force, and Tehran’s militias and terror groups across the Middle East.
However, the Iranian leaders’ good fortune appears to have run its course. Several major global financial institutions are tightening their grip on the ruling clerics in order to pressure Tehran into complying with international standards. International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman Gerry Rice gave an ultimatum to the Islamic Republic and urged it to strengthen its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing rules by February 2019.
In addition, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which monitors money laundering across the world, has also given Tehran a deadline to make several reforms. Marshall Billingslea, the US Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, who currently presides over the FATF, warned that: “We expect Iran to move swiftly to implement the commitments that it undertook at a high level so long ago. In line with that, we expect that it will have adopted all of these measures by February. If by February 2019 Iran has not yet done so, then we will take further steps.”
Read more: Arab News
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