Search

 

Cablegate: (C) Uk's Potential New Financial Tool Against Iran

VZCZCXRO2892
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHFL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLO #2798/01 3091659
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 041659Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0330
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1304

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002798

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/IR, EEB, ISN, WUR/WE
TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY, A/S O'BRIEN, DIRECTOR SZUBIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2018

TAGS: EFIN KTFN MNUC IR UK

SUBJECT: (C) UK'S POTENTIAL NEW FINANCIAL TOOL AGAINST IRAN Classified By: KATHLEEN DOHERTY, ECON COUNSELOR FOR REASONS 1.4 B & D

1. (C/NF) Summary. The British government amended the Counter-Terrorism Bill (CT Bill) on November 3, which would potentially give HMG stronger financial powers against Iran and other rogue nations. If approved by Parliament, HM Treasury would obtain power to impose measures on private entities doing business with jurisdictions that are: sanctioned by the Financial Action Task Force, money laundering or terrorist finance threats, or Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferators or facilitators. The Parliamentary process should be complete by late November. Due to political sensitivities, HMG will try to refrain from public discussion of these amendments, and would appreciate if the USG also deferred public comment. End Summary

2. (C/NF) Following persistent USG pressure from Washington and Embassy London, HMG decided on November 3 to amend the long-simmering Counter-Terrorism bill, currently under consideration in teh House of Lords, which would give HM Treasury the ability to act against private sector entities involved with specific individuals or organizations in rogue countries. HMT has proposed giving itself power to take measures against private sector actors in the following situations:

- If the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decides to apply counter-measures against a jurisdiction (this could happen if the upcoming February 2009 FATF plenary decided to sanction Iran on a country-wide basis for terrorist finance or money laundering activity, for example); or

-If HMT determines there is a risk of terrorist finance or money laundering from a jurisdiction against UK interests; or

- If a state or jurisdiction develops or facilitates Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that poses a risk to the UK or its national interests.

3. (C/NF) HMG wanted to adopt both multilateral and unilateral measures that it could use against Iran or other states. The British government prefers to operate multilaterally through the FATF or UN, Patrick Guthrie, Head of Asset Freezing at HM Treasury, told us, but believes it necessary to adopt flexible legislation along the lines of what the USG has urged.

4. (C/NF) If any of the conditions are met, HMT can direct the private sector to impose measures against selected partners in the jurisdictions, similar to the targeted measures the USG uses through Executive Orders. The measures are on a sliding scale, intending to be proportional to the offensive behavior, and follow FATF proposals: i.e., enhanced due diligence against an entity; enhanced monitoring, etc., up to, but excluding, asset-freezing. Guthrie explained the UK wanted to be in step with proposed FATF sanctions, which do not include the ability to freeze funds, and said politically it would be difficult to obtain Parliamentary approval for another set of asset-freezing powers at this time. HMT, in cooperation with the Foreign Office and British intelligence agencies, will initiate reviews of jurisdictions and specific private entities.

5. (C/NF) The amendments are being put forth at the last possible stage in the CT bill's process, the Lords' Debate, which will occur on November 11. After that, the entire bill will head back to the House of Commons, where HMG believes it has gathered sufficient support from the opposition. In any event, the legislation is on track for final adoption before the current Parliamentary session finishes in late November. Guthrie warned that the language in the amendments could change in the parliamentary process.

6. (C/NF) Guthrie said the British government will be very quiet on this process until it goes through the legislative process over the course of this month. He asked that the USG not discuss these proposals in public either, as passage is hoped-for, but not guaranteed in a sensitive political climate. The current official HMG position will be to not immediately apply the new test to Iran, he said, however, that Tehran, and the language HMT used in its draft amendments, is the target. LONDON 00002798 002 OF 002 Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
TUTTLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>



Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

AFTINET: New COVID Strain Postpones WTO Meeting

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting scheduled for November 30-December 3 has been postponed indefinitely because the new Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus in African countries with low vaccination rates prevents many African and other delegations from attending the meeting...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>


Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>