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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) today urged the Trump administration to press a key international panel to keep Iran on its blacklist and reinstate “counter-measures” to protect the global financial system from the Iranian regime’s money laundering and terrorist financing.

In the letter, Chairman Royce writes: “Ensuring the Financial Action Task Force maintains its designation of Iran as a ‘high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdiction’ and re-imposes counter-measures will help protect the national security of the United States and the integrity of the international financial system. It will also send a powerful message to the brave Iranians who took to the streets earlier this month. Money laundering is a key element of the endemic corruption that the regime uses to enrich itself and support terrorism abroad. These abuses were at the heart of the protests. This is an opportunity to stand with the Iranian people against a regime that steals the wealth of a great nation to oppress its people and sow instability across the Middle East and beyond.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

January 25, 2018

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

When the Financial Action Task Force meets in early February, I urge you to use the influence of the United States to ensure not only that Iran remains designated as a “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdiction” but also that the Task Force reimposes “counter-measures” designed to protect the international financial system from the regime’s money laundering and terrorist financing.

As you know, last June the Task Force suspended counter-measures after the regime pledged to improve its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist finance efforts. However, as I have previously written to you and your predecessor, money laundering and terror finance in Iran are not the result of inadequate laws or lax enforcement. Support for terrorism—and the money-laundering that it requires—is central to the Iranian regime’s destabilizing foreign policy. The State Department has designated Iran as a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984. The Treasury Department has also labeled Iran as “primary money laundering concern” since 2011—a recognition that any financial transaction with an Iranian bank or entity risks supporting the regime’s illicit activity.

Ensuring the Financial Action Task Force maintains its designation of Iran as a “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdiction” and re-imposes counter-measures will help protect the national security of the United States and the integrity of the international financial system. It will also send a powerful message to the brave Iranians who took to the streets earlier this month. Money laundering is a key element of the endemic corruption that the regime uses to enrich itself and support terrorism abroad. These abuses were at the heart of the protests. This is an opportunity to stand with the Iranian people against a regime that steals the wealth of a great nation to oppress its people and sow instability across the Middle East and beyond.

Mr. Secretary, I appreciate the concerted effort by your Department to use sanctions and other tools of financial pressure to respond to the full range of the Iranian regime’s ongoing destabilizing activity—including its support for terrorism, ballistic missile development, and human rights abuses. The tools available through the Financial Action Task Force must remain a key part of this effort.

I look forward to your response and to continuing to work with you on this matter.

Sincerely,

EDWARD R. ROYCE
Chairman

Cc:          The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson, The Secretary of State