US is­sues ad­vi­sory on il­licit Tehran ac­tiv­ity

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON, Oct 13, (Agen­cies): The US Fi­nan­cial Crimes En­force­ment Net­work (FinCEN) is­sued an ad­vi­sory on Thurs­day to help fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions de­tect and re­port po­ten­tially il­licit trans­ac­tions re­lated to Iran.

“This ad­vi­sory lays out in great de­tail the ex­tent to which the Ira­nian regime uses de­cep­tive prac­tices, in­clud­ing front com­pa­nies, fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments, ex­change houses, seem­ingly le­git­i­mate busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, to gen­er­ate il­licit rev­enues and fi­nance their ma­lign ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Un­der Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury for Ter­ror­ism and Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence, Si­gal Man­delker in a Trea­sury state­ment.

“Iran’s de­cep­tive prac­tices have been or­ches­trated not only by el­e­ments of their gov­ern­ment such as the IRGC-Qods Force, but also by Cen­tral Bank of Iran of­fi­cials who were at the high­est lev­els,” she said.

“Gov­ern­ments, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions of all types around the world, and other com­pa­nies need to be on high alert to the types of schemes de­scribed in this ad­vi­sory,” said Man­delker.

Iran masked il­licit trans­ac­tion us­ing se­nior of­fi­cials of the CBI who pro­cured hard cur­rency and con­ducted trans­ac­tions for the ben­e­fit of Iran’s Qods force and Hizbal­lah, the state­ment noted.

“Fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are ad­vised to ex­er­cise ap­pro­pri­ate due dili­gence when deal­ing with trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing ex­change houses that may have ex­po­sure to the Ira­nian regime and/or des­ig­nated Ira­nian per­sons, and the ad­vi­sory de­tails ex­am­ples of ex­change house­re­lated schemes,” it said.

CBI of­fi­cials’ rout­ing trans­ac­tions to per­sonal ac­counts in­stead of gov­ern­ment-owned ac­counts with no

cen­tral bank af­fil­i­ated in­di­vid­u­als with­draw­ing funds “may be a red flag for fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to in­ves­ti­gate,” it said.

Other ex­am­ples of “red flags” were in­cluded in the com­plete ad­vi­sory.

One of Iran’s top for­eign pol­icy of­fi­cials has called for ne­go­ti­a­tions with “anti-Trump move­ments” in the US to dampen the im­pact of sanc­tions, lo­cal me­dia re­ported Satur­day.

“Amer­ica is not Trump,” said Hesh­ma­tol­lah Fala­hat-Pisheh, a con­ser­va­tive law­maker who heads par­lia­ment’s in­flu­en­tial na­tional se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy com­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to re­formist news­pa­per Ar­man.

“There is a new diplo­matic at­mothe sphere for deesca­la­tion with Amer­ica and it is fit­ting that Iran fol­lows ne­go­ti­a­tion diplo­macy and lob­by­ing anti-Trump move­ments in Amer­ica,” he added.

He said this would help al­le­vi­ate pres­sure caused by Wash­ing­ton’s “ex­ten­sive sanc­tion-fo­cused force”.

The US pulled out of the 2015 Iran nu­clear deal in May and reim­posed pun­ish­ing sanc­tions on the coun­try, hop­ing to pres­sure Tehran into what Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump calls a “bet­ter deal”.

The US is due to com­plete the reim­po­si­tion of sanc­tions on Nov 5, tar­get­ing Iran’s oil sec­tor and cen­tral bank.

Supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei has dis­missed Trump’s of­fers to talk as “a dan­ger­ous game”.

But Me­hdi Mo­ta­har­nia, a Tehran­based po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, de­scribed Fala­hat-Pisheh’s pro­posal as “very mean­ing­ful” since it sig­ni­fies a po­ten­tial shift in con­ser­va­tives’ stance on talk­ing with the US.

“This comes from a con­ser­va­tive whose party mem­bers called (For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad) Javad Zarif a traitor for ne­go­ti­at­ing with the US,” Mo­ta­har­nia told re­formist daily Hamdeli.

“But now we do not see such re­ac­tions when the head of na­tional se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy com­mis­sion pro­poses talks,” he added.

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