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Irans achievements in fighting against Money Laundering

On 20 July 2011, a conference was held in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance where Iran's actions against Money Laundering were explained.

At this conference, the Ministers of Economy and Justice, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and the Chairman of Principle 90 commission of Parliament were present and each agency explained their achievements in Anti-Money Laundering area.

Minister of Justice

We want the determination of corruption indicators in various administrative agencies.

The Minister of Justice, at the conference, described blocking the sources of corruption besides overseeing possible gateways of corruption as appropriate ways in fighting against Money Laundering.

Mr. Bakhtiyari believed that the eight-article command issued by the I.R of Iran Supreme Leader, 10 years ago, makes the duties of the High Council on Anti-Money Laundering heavy.

He regarded laws, such as Article 44 of the Constitution, violations investigation law of the government employees, and aggravated punishment for embezzlement and bribery perpetrators, useful for building a healthy economy. He also said that the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism laws are good to help the transparency of funds flow in the country.

Minister of Economy

The UN considers charges of Money Laundering against Iran futile.

Dr. Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini expressed the ideas and the time used for the legislation of the directives of Anti-Money Laundering law. He stated that enforcement of these laws can make stronger arguments for the Islamic Republic of Iran to fight against Money Laundering because some western entities, by ignoring Iran's measures in Anti-Money Laundering, provide the materials of the statements and resolutions against Iran.

Hosseini pointed out the false charges of Money Laundering on Iran and stated that, by accusing Iran of Money Laundering, they apply sanctions on Iran and block the legal and official channels that had been used by us before for years.

The Minister of Economy indicated that proper legal entities have been established for AML, specifically since the last three years of legislation of AML law. He added that the liable agencies should help the Secretariat of High Council on Anti-Money Laundering in providing appropriate and accurate reports so that a more reliable collection may be provided for us in comparison with the past.

The chairman of High Council on Anti-Money Laundering referred to the appropriate measures in the field of Information Technology for the observation of possible violations in Money Laundering and mentioned that many of the countries in the region do not have the IT and data integration skills in our country that this can be a suitable means to combat Money Laundering.

He declared that today, some countries that are the source of Money Laundering offences have become the pioneers of fighting against it and he added that Iran is determined to develop relationship with international entities and follows up required measures to develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

He noted that the roadmap and plan of Money Laundering for the next two or three years have been developed in High Council on Anti-Money and the results of the measures are monitored and controlled in each stage. Duties of agencies and required directives have been determined in this roadmap.

Minister of Economic affairs and Finance announced that Iran is ready to cooperate with all active international entities and institutions in AML area and mentioned the United Nations Office on drugs and Crimes (UNODC) as the only official international organization in this field.

Hosseni, about some allegations to Iran about Money Laundering, asserted that although the only official authority in this area is UNODC and this office has also considered Iran's measures positive, Iran is ready to cooperate with all the related international entities and institutions in the area of AML such as FATF that accused Iran of Money Laundering.

 Asghar Abolhasani Hastiani- Secretariat of High Council on Anti-Money Laundering

Money Laundering charges on Iran is political.

He mentioned that identifying suspicious transaction reports, reporting them online to the High Council on Anti-Money Laundering, analyzing them with computer programs and software, and finally forwarding suspicious cases of Money Laundering to judicial authorities are the four basic practical stages of Anti-Money Laundering.

He also added that Egmont group is a technical group in Anti-Money Laundering and the bilateral cooperation in this field is necessary.

Meanwhile, Abolhasani regarded the statements of FATF political _ FATF has been established since 1989 with the membership of 38 countries. He also stated that the High Council on Anti-Money Laundering has replied to all the questions and measures of this group. He said: "we have invited them to come to Iran to review our explanations but not only they came but also they did not let us go there. Anyway in 2009, I went to Paris for some explanations and they promised the amendments of the statement, but they did not do that. It shows that their action is political."

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank

Seyed Hamid Pourmohammadi, at the conference, mentioned that Central bank, to combat Money Laundering, has carried out measures in three areas of policymaking and legislation, IT and transparency of operations, and finally executive implementations. Accordingly, ten directives in the area of AML, in addition to twenty two directives in legal matters, based on the Acts of the board of ministers and the Council on Money and Credit, have been notified to Central Bank.

Pourmohammadin considered organizing credit cooperatives, leasing and money exchange offices for the purpose of monitoring all the financial transactions. According to Pourmohammadi, all the financial activities of the country are under the monitor and control of Central bank.

The chairman of principle 90 commission of the Parliament

The turnover of drug trafficking is $15 billion annually.

The chairman of principle 90 commission of the parliament, by stressing that the fight against economic corruption has a long way ahead, stated that the turnover of drug trafficking is $15 billion annually.

Mohammad Ebrahim Nekunam, at the conference, mentioned that ownership is respectable in Islam but it is not acceptable when its source is illegal. Thus, according to the law, it is the government duty to recover all properties that belong to people from usurer and aggressors.

He mentioned that most of the illicit money comes from drug trafficking that spreads terrorism and causes destruction of human being.

According to him, the interest rate for Afghanistan from the production of drugs has been increased since the attacks on September 11, and this money is used for investment in Europe.

He emphasized that our country is a pioneer in fighting against Money Laundering and its proceedings, but there is a long way ahead to eliminate economic corruption.