The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization, founded to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing has stated that the Iranian regime remains on the international organization’s blacklist, as the Iranian government refuses to pass money laundering bills and reforms to its financial system.
The illegal activities of Iran’s terrorist designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are the main reason behind the regime’s fears of adhering to international policies and standards when it comes to combatting money laundering.
Most financial activities of the IRGC violate international laws — from financially supporting terrorist groups to participating in organized criminal activities such as drugs smuggling.
The IRGC functions under the supervision and command of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. For this reason, Khamenei has openly and blatantly opposed joining the FATF during the past few years.
Although the IRGC’s money laundering information is difficult to leak due to its secretive nature, the discovery of the IRGC money laundering network in Bahrain in 2011, the exposure of IRGC’s $5 billion money laundering case in India, and IRGC’s $5 billion money laundering case through Bahrain Future Bank in 2009 are some of the most recent examples that have led the Basel Institute to rank Iran as the riskiest country in the world in terms of money laundering for three consecutive years.
Meanwhile, Iran’s current Minister of Interior, who is also an IRGC commander, while strongly opposing the FATF bills says: “In the case of the FATF, we see that they have created a security current under the guise of an anti-money laundering organization. In fact, the FATF is not an economic organization but a security organization.”
Even if the IRGC’s financial support for terrorist groups is set aside, their other financial activities outside Iran also fall under the category of money laundering. The IRGC is an active player in the Iranian economy, and a large segment of Iranian banks and individuals engaged in foreign trade are, officially or unofficially, associated with the Revolutionary Guards or the previously mentioned powerful entities under the control of the Supreme Leader.
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