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Iran says SWIFT now open to 12 more banks

21 January 2016 6:47



Iran has named 12 domestic banks that it says have now been reconnected to SWIFT, the global provider of secure financial messaging services, after the recent removal of economic sanctions against the country. 

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says it has conducted the required negotiations with the SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – for Iranian banks to use its services to do overseas financial transactions.

They are Tejarat Bank, Refah Kargaran Bank, Export Development Bank of Iran, Bank Sepah, Post Bank of Iran, Bank of Industry and Mine, Iran-Europe Bank, Cooperative Development Bank, Bank Sina, Bank Mellat and Bank Melli Iran.

Several Iranian private banks including Dey, Saman, Pasargad, and Parsian in addition to two state-run banks – Maskan and Keshavarzi – have already become reconnected to SWIFT.

SWIFT is used by nearly every bank around the world to send payment messages that lead to the transfer of money across international borders. It provides a wide range of service including transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

However, it became off limits to Iranian banks in 2012 after the implementation of the US-led sanctions against the country. Accordingly, around 30 Iranian banks were blocked from using SWIFT services, literally cutting off Iran from the global banking system.

This past Saturday, the economic sanctions against Iran were lifted after a nuclear deal that the country had sealed last year with the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – was implemented.

A central theme of the sanctions was putting restrictions on Iran’s banking transactions with the international financial institutions through various mechanisms including closing SWIFT services to the country.

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