Iran approves anti-money laundering bill

Iran is alone with North Korea on the Financial Action Task Force’s blacklist. (AFP)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Iran approves anti-money laundering bill

  • ‘The bill on amending the law to counter money laundering was approved with certain changes and will be sent to the parliament speaker to be communicated to the government’

TEHRAN: An Iranian arbitration body gave its approval on Saturday to an anti-money laundering bill seen as crucial to maintaining international trade and banking ties, the official IRNA news agency reported.
“The bill on amending the law to counter money laundering was approved with certain changes and will be sent to the parliament speaker to be communicated to the government,” Expediency Council member Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghadam told IRNA.
The Expediency Council settles disputes between parliament, which approved the bill last year, and the conservative-dominated Guardian Council, which vets all legislation and had rejected it.
Conservatives have argued that new legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing will provide Western powers with leverage over Iran’s economy and how it funds regional allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
But the government of President Hassan Rouhani says the laws are needed to meet demands set by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which monitors countries’ efforts to tackle financial crime.
Iran is alone with North Korea on the FATF’s blacklist — although the Paris-based organization has suspended counter-measures since June 2017 while Iran works on reforms.
The FATF will meet again in February to discuss Iran’s progress.
The government is hoping to salvage banking and trade ties after the United States walked out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and 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 FATF requirements.
The anti-money laundering bill is one of four pieces of legislation put forward by the government to that end.
A previous bill on the mechanics of monitoring and preventing terrorist financing was signed into law in August.
Two others — allowing Iran to join UN conventions against terrorist-financing and organized crime — have been approved by parliament but are still being delayed by higher authorities, including the Guardian Council.
The Expediency Council currently has 38 members, all appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


Bahrain LNG terminal to start commercial operations in May

Updated 12 min 49 sec ago
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Bahrain LNG terminal to start commercial operations in May

  • Bahrain LNG is the developer of the receiving and regasification terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd

DUBAI: Bahrain’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will start commercial operations in May, with the first LNG shipment to be imported mostly from the UAE’s ADNOC, state media quoted the CEO of Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) as saying.
Bahrain LNG is the developer of the receiving and regasification terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd, Bahrain, Bahrain LNG’s website says.
The terminal also houses an offshore LNG receiving jetty and breakwater, a regasification platform, subsea gas pipelines from the platform to shore, an onshore gas receiving facility, and an onshore nitrogen production facility, according to the website.
Bahrain’s first LNG floating storage unit is anchored in the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah port, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.
The storage unit is expected to arrive at the Hidd terminal in May, Bahrain News Agency quoted NOGA chief executive Jassem al Shirawi as saying on Monday.
The report did not specify the overall shipment amount, a small part of which Chevron will deliver later.
The terminal is more than 98 percent ready and the trial period will last only a few weeks, he told the news agency.
“Bahrain has signed agreements with more than 25 companies and gas-producing countries from around the world to import LNG,” al Shirawi was quoted as saying.
The LNG import terminal, with a capacity of 800 million cubic feet per day, will allow Bahrain to import the super-chilled fuel as demand grows for natural gas to feed large industrial projects, generate power and produce oil.