After the recent sanctions from the Financial Action Organization in February 2020 on Tehran, international warnings of companies and banks from investing in Iran increased, due to the mullahs’ failure to adhere to the plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, which tightens the screws on foreign investment and its companies.
Warning to banks
Toby Dershowitz, Vice President of Government and Strategic Relations at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said in a report in February 2020 that these sanctions are a clear message to bank and corporate risk managers and other officials that their institutions are not exposed to illicit Iranian activities.
She pointed to the need to reassess relations with the entire Iranian financial sector, due to Iran’s deliberate failure to adhere to the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standards, and considered dealing with any Iranian bank, insurance company or any other financial institution comes with significant risks and exorbitant costs.
The report of the FDD Foundation (American Research) published in 2017 entitled “Auditing Criteria for Customers Who Do Business with Iran” stated that Iran poses a great danger to companies considering doing business in this market, despite America’s lifting of nuclear sanctions.
However, many of the sanctions remain related to the use of weapons, ballistic missiles and terrorism. There are more than 600 companies associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force classified as a terrorist organization.
The last US sanctions on five prominent figures in Iran in February 2020, due to a leaked document on Iran’s nuclear project with a military dimension.
Iran is also classified as a primary money-laundering country in accordance with the Patriot Act Anti-Terrorism Law, while companies that do business in Iran are subject to fines under the US Foreign Corruption Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, and other anti-bribery laws for their participation in corrupt practices as part of business activities In Iran.
For example, the French oil company Total SA paid $398 million in fines to the American authorities in exchange for paying the costs of access to Iranian oil fields, and a Norwegian company paid a $3.5 million fine to the authorities for violating anti-terrorism laws.
While Iran ranks 146th out of 180 countries in indicators of corruption in 2019 according to Transparency International, it also ranked 178th out of 190 countries in ease of practicing and starting business and 128th place in protecting minority investors according to the World Bank.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index also ranked Iran 134 out of 144 for the development of financial markets for the 2015-2016 period, ranked 121 for bank safety, 122 for securities market regulation, 138 for easy access to loans, and 125 for investment capital availability.
Ingredients are absent
In a statement to the Reference, Hani Suleiman, an expert in Iranian affairs and director of the Arab Center for Research and Studies, stressed that these sanctions affected foreign investment, as capital is based on trust, political stability and international security and all these ingredients are absent in Iran now.
So, here we are talking about a system that suffers from political and economic isolation, and internal protests two and a half years ago that Iran has never seen before.
Therefore, large companies escape from this stifling atmosphere of investment. Some French companies could not complete their investment in Iran despite France’s pressure on them, and even if some companies wanted to invest.
Source » theportal-center