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SWIFT can “cripple” Iran’s economy

The Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication
The Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

 

June 9, 2018 - The U.S. administration relaunching Iran sanctions will lead to the targeting of Iranian banks by SWIFT, the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, according to various reports on Friday. This development can lead to enormous economic and financial pressure on the Iranian regime and deliver serious damage to all trade and import/export expeditions with Iran’s regime.

If this is realized, the Iranian regime’s banks, including the Central Bank, Bank Melli, Bank Sepah, Bank Saderat (Exports) will have their ties cut off with SWIFT. Tehran experienced this once before back in 2012 and the regime’s economy suffered enormously.

SWIFT is a relatively large company based in Brussels and mostly involved in oiling financial wheels across the globe. By creating ties, SWIFT is known to significantly facilitate financial transactions, especially compared to the previous telex system.

SWIFT currently has around 11,000 banks and financial institutions across 209 countries, being the platform now used to send around 6 billion financial messages a year.

The Iranian regime joined SWIFT in 1992, four years after the Iran-Iraq War. The regime’s Central Bank, and afterward Bank Melli, Bank Sepah and Bank Saderat (Exports) were other Iranian banks linking to the global financial network through SWIFT.

In 2012 SWIFT cut off its relations with Iran in response to pressures and significant sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the Iranian regime due to its nuclear program. This effectively expelled Iranian regime banks from the world financial network.

These ties were reinstated in 2016 after the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, following measures by the international community in line with the pact and lifting any bans on providing services to Iranian regime banks.

Financial and banking cooperation with the Iranian regime will be sanctioned come this November, significantly restricting Europe’s ability to economic collaboration with Tehran. After November 4th, all financial institutions involved in ties with Iran’s banks will come under severe punishment under the U.S. sanctions framework. This includes their assets in the U.S. being frozen, bank officials banned from traveling to the U.S. and their financial opportunities in the U.S. being severely restricted.

As a result, if U.S. President Donald Trump refuses to provide any waivers requested by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the Iranian regime will be facing extreme difficulties regarding its import/export operation.

This has the potential of crippling the regime’s economy.

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