The Iranian Vice President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi confirmed that funds collected from “organized crime” are integrated into the Iranian banking system, as there “is no data about the source and destination of laundered money in the country.”
Iranian news agency Isna quoted Joneydi as saying “The money resulting from organized crime and drug smuggling enter the banking system because of the lack of transparency about Source and destination of funds.”
“We need to have full control to prevent money of organized crime, smuggling and terrorist activities, from entering our banking system,” she said.
Iran’s judiciary chief said Monday that government officials must not make accusations of vast money-laundering operations by powerful institutions, which could be exploited by the enemy.
The criticism followed statements by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the Khabar Online news agency last week in which he said: “Money laundering is a reality in our country, and a lot of people are benefitting from it.”
Zarif said: “Thousands of billions” of rials were being laundered by unnamed organizations in Iran, and that these groups were behind efforts to block new laws against money laundering and terrorist financing.
“If there is huge money laundering in the country, why did you not report this to the judiciary?” said Sadegh Larijani, judiciary chief, in a speech on Monday, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iran is alone with North Korea on the FATF blacklist, but the Paris-based organization has suspended counter-measures since June 2017 while it works on reforms.
One bill on the mechanics of monitoring and preventing terrorist financing was signed into law in August.
The remaining three have been approved by parliament but have been held up by higher authorities that oversee legislation.