Islamic Republic of Iran

  UNODC Organizes a Visit for ASEAN, Mexico Ambassadors to the Iranian Financial Intelligence Unit


3 July 2014 - As a major transit country for drugs, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a great incentive to identify and stop financial flows derived from drug trafficking and other sorts of crime. Therefore, the country has been largely involved in regional and international cooperation in the area of Anti-Money Laundering (AML). A significant part of this cooperation has been in the framework of joint activities with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country and Regional Programmes. The major pillar in regional and international cooperation has been the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRFIU), established in 2010 with technical support and assistance by UNODC Iran.

On 11 June 2014, UNODC Iranand IRFIU jointly organized a visit to the Unit for the Ambassadors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and the Ambassador of Mexico in Iran. The visit aimed to introduce the Ambassadors to the work of FIU and provide them with an opportunity to obtain a closer understanding of the vast range of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) activities of Iran. It also provided a forum for exchanging ideas and exploring possible avenues for mutual cooperation on AML/CFT.

The UNODC Representative, Mr. Leik Boonwaat, informed the Ambassadors that the UNODC Iran has been actively involved in facilitating IRFIU's cooperation with its counterparts in other countries at the regional and at the international level, e.g. through organizing Triangular Initiative Meetings among the FIUs of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and also through facilitating the participation of the IRFIU experts in regional and international AML/ CFT events. Moreover, he stated that one of the UNODC future plans for cooperation with the IRFIU is to assist with the self-assessment of the Unit.

The Director General of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Mr. Ahmadabadi, briefed the Ambassadors on the history and activities of the IRFIU. He emphasized the IRFIU's presence at the regional and international levels and pointed out that Iran has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in the area of AML with several countries. Moreover, he expressed the IRFIU's willingness to enhance cooperation in the area of Anti-Money Laundering with the ASEAN countries.

In response, the Ambassadors expressed strong willingness for cooperation with Iran on Anti-Money Laundering. IRFIU's role in gathering information on Iranian convicts in other countries, the legal structure of the IRFIU, and its method of cooperation with international organizations such as the UNODC, were some of the issues raised in the question-and-answer session.

The visit concluded with an introduction to the IRFIU Computer-based Training Centre that was established in close cooperation with UNODC Iran. Through its specialized training courses, the Centre has been contributing to updating and enhancing the national capacities and knowledge on AML and CFT. So far, more than 500 local and 50 foreign experts have passed the courses with UNODC-FIU certificates.

Their Excellencies the Ambassadors of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and the Chargé d'Affaires of Vietnam took part in the visit, which was also joined by representatives of the Central Bank of Iran and of the Organization for Investment, Economic & Technical Assistance of Iran.

The Ambassadors at the Computer-based Training Centre