Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance discusses Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism with Diplomats in Tehran
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance and Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering High Council, H.E. Dr. Ali Tayebnia together with two deputy Ministers, Mr. Khazaee and Mr Parizi as well as the Director General of the Financial Intelligence Unit in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadabadi, met with Ambassadors and Representatives from 19 Embassies in the morning of the 26 May 2015. The meeting was facilitated by the UNODC country office together with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Leik Boonwaat, UNODC Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran mentioned that the FIU in Iran was officially established in February 2010 with the support of UNODC. The FIU plays an important role in addressing anti money laundering and the counter financing of terrorism. The FIU addresses activities related to the requirements of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Conventions against Corruption and the UNODC Global Program against Money Laundering. UNODC estimated the annual turnover from Transnational Organized Crime to be around USD 870 billion with illicit drug trafficking valued at USD 320 billion.
A major concern is that terrorist armies such as ISIS are using the proceeds from transnational organized crime to destabilize countries and entire regions. Strengthening the network of FIUs is important to address these serious threats. The FIU in Iran is also an important player to ensure international financial standards and norms are met to allow economic development and cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran to flourish and prosper.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance and Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering High Council, H.E. Dr. Ali Tayebnia, briefed the diplomats on new trends in the economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also explained what is being done to address anti money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. He mentioned that a new bill to counter the financing of terrorism has been prepared and should soon be promulgated. The Minister said that cutting off all sources of funds and support was crucial in efforts to eliminate the threat from terrorist extremist armies such as ISIS.
Mr. Meysam Ahmadabadi, the Director General of the FIU gave a detailed presentation to the diplomats on the important role of the FIU. This included measures and policies carried out as well as achievements gained. He said that expanding and strengthening international cooperation, technical assistance and exchange of information were critical.
Besides anti money laundering (AML) and the counter financing of terrorism (CFT) the diplomats were able to discuss many important aspects of economic cooperation and development in Iran during the meeting. The meeting provided a good platform for expanding future economic cooperation as well as support to AML and CFT in the Islamic Republic of Iran.