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Iran, Russia discuss joint efforts against money laundering, terrorism financing

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran and Russia are in talks to beef up joint efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Iran and Russia have held two days of talks in Moscow to discuss cooperation against money laundering and terrorism financing, according to a report published in the Iranian media.

The Thursday report by the semi-official Tasnim news agency said that head of the Iranian finance ministry’s department on money laundering and terrorism financing Hadi Khani had traveled to Moscow for a two-day visit on an invitation extended by Russian financial intelligence unit authorities.

The report said the two sides had held a series of “intensive discussions” on issues such as joint efforts to monitor and identify financial mechanisms related to drug trafficking and how to cooperate at a regional level to fight money laundering and terror financing.

Khani said the talks were in line with a new approach adopted by Iran and Russia to boost joint efforts to counter foreign sanctions that have targeted their economies.

He insisted that increased financial intelligence cooperation with Russia will serve Iran’s interests and will be in line with the Iranian government’s strategic policies.    

Iranian and Russian authorities agreed to continue the talks in a future meeting in Tehran, said the report by Tasnim.

Iran and Russia have been boosting their economic ties since February when Russia came under a series of Western sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.

The two countries have since then introduced a currency pairing system to facilitate banking transactions and trade payments.

Central banks of Iran and Russia are also in talks to facilitate the access of Iranian banks to Russia’s Mir, a payment system set up in 2017 as an alternative to international financial services like Visa and Mastercard.

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