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Europeans press terror-finance watchdog to extend Iran sanctions reprieve

European countries are pushing a key financial watchdog to suspend sanctions against Iran for a second year to shore up the Iranian economy and the nuclear deal.

A powerful financial watchdog group meeting in Valencia, Spain, this week will take actions that could bolster the Iran nuclear deal — or put it in further jeopardy.

In the aftermath of the 2015 agreement, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — a Paris-based intergovernmental organization that sets standards for banks worldwide — agreed last year to suspend so-called countermeasures against Iran. These sanctions, warning financial institutions against dealing with countries that have poor records on terrorism financing and money laundering, had kept Iran on a blacklist along with North Korea and were an additional disincentive to Western and Asian banks contemplating resuming or initiating business with Iranian counterparts. 

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