Iraq Off European List For Countries Topping Terror Financing

Mustafa Al Kadhimi

Iraq IraqIraq that had been added six years ago to the list of countries risky due to money laundering has cleared its marred image and is now off the list. The European list has now got Iraq off its list of countries known to do terror financing as well. This will encourage the country to now build its economy and attract more foreign investment as well.

For Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi this was a welcoming decision for the sake of the country’s changing image. He felt this was “an important step in dedicating effective Iraqi diplomacy to serving the interests of the country”. In 2019, the EU also felt that Baghdad’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws could be described as having “strategic deficiencies”.

Since the tryst for fresh elections and independent governance, Iraq has been trying to break out of the power shackles of Iran that has used the country as a storage facility for its arms and ammunitions. Its political parties and government were earlier being run by Iranian control and funding too.

EU criteria for being a high-risk jurisdiction had been specifically stated to include a failure to impose criminal penalties on money laundering, a failure by banks to report suspicious transactions, which could involve financing terrorism or hiding corrupt payments, and a failure to implement targeted sanctions. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said the move would pave the way for “economic partnerships that push the wheel of reconstruction and investment.”

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With its formation of a new government on the anvil, this is good news for the country. “In recent years, the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and the federal government in Baghdad have worked together with our partners in the international community to target the financing of terrorism and criminal networks, including illegal currency auctions and informal money service businesses,” Mr Barzani said.

“The success we have achieved together with the contribution of Europe should encourage cooperation in order to provide a bright economic future for our generations.”

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