International

Iran Hopes New Regulations Will Attract Foreign Investors

As Iran tries to pass anti-money laundering regulations to attract foreign investment, a top constitutional body is requesting changes to the measures.

The Guardian Council, which inspects legislation passed by the parliament to ensure that it complies with the constitution, objected to four items in the anti-money laundering amendments and returned it to parliament, spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei reported, according to Reuters.

There were no additional details given on the four items.

The news comes as Tehran attempts to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization that sets global standards for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. Iran hopes that if it can comply with the new regulations, it will be removed from a blacklist that makes some foreign investors reluctant to do business in the country.

The FATF has give Iran until October to complete the reforms or face consequences that could make investors even more reluctant to do business in the country.

And in May, President Donald Trump reactivated the U.S. sanctions against Iran, which could impact the country’s financial institutions. SWIFT, an organization that bills itself as a neutral player in the global economic system, will be required to cut off targeted Iranian banks from its network by early November if the sanctions are not lifted before then or the U.S. decides not to grant Iran an exception.

While the Guardian Council approved legal amendments to combat the funding of terrorism, some in parliament have opposed regulations that will move the country toward compliance with FATF standards. The main argument is that it could interfere with Iran’s financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which the United States has deemed a terrorist organization.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier this summer that parliament should pass legislation to combat money laundering according to its own criteria.

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