Iran to strengthen its capacities to fight Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism
Due to its geographical position, the Islamic Republic (I.R) of Iran is heavily affected by trafficking in narcotics, especially opiates, originating from Afghanistan and destined for markets in Europe and the rest of the world. Drug trafficking is one of the main activities of organized crime groups and generates enormous profits. To prevent the proceeds originated by organized crimes from entering and disturbing the legal financial market, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is assisting Iran in strengthening its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) capabilities.
Money-laundering is the method by which criminals disguise the illegal origins of their wealth and protect their asset bases, so as to avoid the suspicion of law enforcement agencies and prevent leaving a trail of incriminating evidence. Terrorists and terrorist organizations also rely on money laundering techniques to sustain themselves and to carry out terrorist acts.
Overall, money-laundering fuels corruption and organized crime, which distort markets and negatively impact the well-being of society in general.
The I.R. of Iran has adopted its AML legislation in 2008. In 2009, it ratified the bylaws, which resulted in the implementation of the AML legislation as well as the set up of the High Council on Anti-Money Laundering, the Executive Secretariat and the Iranian Financial Intelligence Unit.
Since 2007, UNODC has been providing technical assistance to the Iranian authorities through the organizations of seminars, workshops, and trainings on AML/CFT. These activities aim at exposing Iranian officials and national experts to best practices in order to bring the Iranian AML/CFT legislative and institutional framework in line with UN and international standards.
In this regard, UNODC organized a two-day seminar on 28-29 November 2011 in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance of the I.R. of Iran on "Preventive and Administrative Measures on Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism for Financial Institutions, Professions, Reporting Entities and Subjects to the Law." In the opening session, Dr. Asghar Abolhasani Hastiani, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance of the I.R. of Iran, expressed his gratefulness for the assistance provided by UNODC over the past few years. "Due to this assistance, the Islamic Republic of Iran was able to take effective steps in the developments of its anti-money laundering framework." The UNODC representative highlighted "the need to ratify the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols as well as the International Convention against the Financing of Terrorism."
Throughout the two-day seminar, over 138 professionals from different organizations benefited from the knowledge and expertise of UNODC and international experts. The event will be followed by other interlinked workshops and seminars to be held in 2012. UNODC will also be assisting the I.R. of Iran in undertaking an AML/CFT self-assessment from 16 to 18 January 2012.