Given "Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures," the body said, referring to the UN's 2001 convention against organised crime.

The logo of the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) is seen after a plenary session in Paris, France, October 18, 2019.
The logo of the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) is seen after a plenary session in Paris, France, October 18, 2019. (Reuters)

A multinational financial watchdog reinstated sanctions against Iran on Friday, saying the Islamic republic has not taken sufficient measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.

Given "Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures," the body said, referring to the United Nation's 2001 convention against organised crime.

It also called on FATF members and "all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures."

Iran is alone with North Korea on the agency's blacklist.

Last month, an Iranian arbitration body gave its approval to an anti-money laundering bill seen as crucial to maintaining international trade and banking ties.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani said the laws were needed to meet demands set by the FATF.

The government is hoping to salvage banking and trade ties after the United States walked out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions.

The other parties to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have sought to salvage the agreement and maintain trade with Iran, but have called on Tehran to meet the FATF requirements.

The FATF said on Friday that it would keep Iran on a "high risk jurisdictions list," and will decide on next steps "if Iran ratifies the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, in line with the FATF standards."

"Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism financing ... the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system," it said.

The watchdog keeps Pakistan on 'grey list'

Pakistan won an extra four months to meet international anti-terrorism financing norms on Friday when a global dirty money watchdog decided to keep the country off its blacklist for now.

After Pakistan missed multiple previous deadlines, the Financial Action Task Force said it was concerned that Islamabad had again failed to complete an internationally agreed action plan.

"The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020," the FATF said in a statement issued after a meeting in Paris. "Otherwise, should significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalising TF (terrorism financing) not be made by the next Plenary, the FATF will take action."

It said such action could include calling on its member states to order their financial institutions to give particularly rigorous attention to business relations and transactions with Pakistani clients.

Inclusion on the FATF blacklist would put Pakistan in company with Iran and North Korea and mean it would be shunned by international financial institutions. 

Source: AFP