Iran is moving closer to accepting international rules on combating financial crime as the authorities struggle to keep banking channels open for oil exports in the face of crippling US sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani is pushing for Tehran to reform its systems for tackling money laundering and financing of terrorism to comply with recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based body that sets global standards.
Complying with global rules would be a notable decision for Iran, whose supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has promoted the idea of a “resistance economy” that reduces Tehran’s reliance on foreign trade to promote domestic production. Iran is under pressure to find new ways to maintain connections to the global financial system as US santions bite and the Trump administration prepares to impose measures intended to stop Iranian oil exports in November.
“If Iran wants to be linked to the world economy, it needs to abide by international regulations,” said a senior western diplomat in Tehran. “Iran cannot achieve this through its ‘economy of resistance’.”