TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif deplored a recent decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money-laundering watchdog, to increase pressures on the Islamic Republic, describing it as a “politically-motivated” move.

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 “The Islamic Republic, with its domestic laws, pursues the fight against money laundering as a necessary reality and a domestic goal,” Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on unilateralism and international law in Tehran on Monday.

“The FATF’s decision is completely politically-motivated and we strongly disagree with it but for the sake of our own national interest, we have taken all the necessary steps to fight against the financing of terrorism and money laundering,” he added.

On Friday, the Paris-based FATF put more pressure on Iran by asking countries to introduce enhanced processes for reporting financial transactions concerning the country.

It also called for other countries to step up audit requirements for financial institutions that have branches or subsidiaries in Iran.

The FATF also extended until February a deadline for Iran to implement certain measures or face further restrictions. The earlier deadline was June 2019.

The international body warned that if Iran doesn’t meet its standards by February, it will put back in place further restrictions on the country that are currently suspended. Further restrictions could make it more costly and difficult for Iran to do business with the banking systems of other FATF member states, according to media reports.