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CBI to protect clients’ banking info in FATF exchange

File photo of CBI chief Valiollah Seif

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has vowed to protect people’s banking information in transactions with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The governor of CBI, Valiollah Seif, said Tuesday that Iranians’ bank accounts information will remain safe and will not be passed on to FATF in exchanges with the policy-making body of the international financial system.

Seif added that the CBI will also have the sole authority to determine instances of money-laundering and terror-related finances, local media outlets quoted the official as saying.

The world’s anti-money laundering body recently suspended some of its restrictions against Iran, citing the country’s commitment to legitimate business.

FATF on June 24 hailed Iran’s adoption of an action plan to address shortcomings in its anti-money laundering policies and its decision to seek assistance with implementation.

In its plenary meeting in South Korea, the international body took into account Iran's implementation of an anti-money laundering law and its membership at the Eurasian Group, an FATF-style regional body.

Iran, however, will remain on the FATF blacklist until the full implementation is complete, the body said. 

The body is under the influence of the United States, which is still maintaining some of its sanctions on Iran despite a nuclear agreement reached last July. US pressure groups, meanwhile, are urging the FATF to keep Iran on the blacklist.

Last week, Rep. Ed Royce, who chairs the foreign relations committee in the House of Representatives, wrote to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, asking him to maintain the designation.

Top Iranian officials have frequently complained that the US is not fulfilling its part of the nuclear agreement and accused Western officials of taking half-hearted measures which make financial institutions maintain their “hands off” approach toward Iran.

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