Economy, Business And Markets

SWIFT Awaits OK to Relink Iran

SWIFT Awaits OK to Relink IranSWIFT Awaits OK to Relink Iran

Most Iranian banks will be able to reconnect to the SWIFT financial-transactions system, a key to rekindling foreign trade, once Iran’s nuclear-related measures have been verified, SWIFT said on Monday, Reuters reported.

SWIFT, or Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, operates service transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

Banks that were subject to sanctions specified in the nuclear deal will automatically be able to reconnect “following the completion of our normal connection process, that is administrative and systems checks, connectivity and technical arrangements”, SWIFT said.

Iran and the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China reached an agreement in July on curbing Teheran’s nuclear work in exchange for removing sanctions that have isolated the country and harmed its economy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to announce sometime in the coming months whether it has verified Iran’s implementation of the nuclear-related measures.

The European Union approved legislation on Oct. 18 allowing for the lifting of EU sanctions as set out in the Iran nuclear agreement. That includes restrictions on financial systems like SWIFT.

Reestablishing links to the world’s financial networks will make it easier for foreign companies to take part in privatizations in Iran, a senior Iran official said in July.

SWIFT, however, said some Iranian banks will still be excluded under other sanctions.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Iran Governor Valiollah Seif said reconnecting to SWIFT is expected to help commercial activities back on track after several years of disconnect and huge problems associated with the transfer of money to and from Iran.

A special committee comprising representatives from the supervision, payment systems and foreign exchange affairs has been set up within the CBI to make preparations for reconnecting to and resuming normal relations with the global financial telecom network as the sanctions start fading.