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Cablegate: Netherlands/Iran: Fatf Statement Preaches to The

VZCZCXRO5933
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHTC #0938 3121601
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 071601Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2205
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC

S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000938

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/2033
TAGS: EFIN PREL PARM KNNP NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/IRAN: FATF STATEMENT PREACHES TO THE
CONVERTED

REF: STATE 115523

Classified By: Head of Economic Unit Shawn Gray, reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (S) SUMMARY: The Dutch government agrees fully with U.S.
concerns about Iran's lack of anti-money laundering and
counterterrorist financing regime. They are already taking
action and want the U.S. to have confidence in the
Netherlands' commitment and ability to address the terrorism
finance threat from Iran. Senior Finance Ministry officials
complained that repetitive high-level demarches offering no
new substantive information are not constructive. END
SUMMARY.

2. (S) Econoff delivered reftel points November 4 to Eric
Ligthart, Deputy Director Financial Integrity Division,
Ministry of Finance, and two of his colleagues. Ligthart
said the Dutch government considers itself a close ally of
the U.S. on terrorism finance and worked to obtain a strong
FATF statement on Iran at the Rio plenary. He said reftel
points contained no information that the Dutch were not
already aware of and taking steps to address. Moreover,
Ligthart was dismayed that the U.S. government was again
raising the issue of Credit Europe Bank's correspondent
relationship with Iranian banks. He said the Dutch
government was fully aware of the issue, having heard the
message loud and clear in September when Treasury
Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
Stuart Levey brought it to the attention of the Finance
Ministry's number three official as well as senior Foreign
Ministry counterterrorism officials. Ligthart said the Dutch
government had taken action to resolve the issue and
discussed these actions in detail when Dutch Embassy
representatives met October 23 with Undersecretary Levey in
Washington. Ligthart asked that the U.S. have confidence
in the Netherlands' commitment and ability to implement
FATF's guidance and UN Security Council Resolutions as they
relate to the terrorism finance threat from Iran.

3. (S) Ligthart expressed concern that the concerted efforts
by the U.S., Netherlands and many others to prevent funding
of Iran's illicit activities were undermined by lax
enforcement in certain Middle East financial centers. He
said one need only look at those banks active in Dubai to
gain an idea of which countries are involved in diverting
funds to Iran.
CULBERTSON

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