Friday, 17 January, 2020

EU intends to persuade US not to cut off Iran’s access to SWIFT

European finance ministers will try to persuade the Trump administration not to cut off Iran’s access to Swift, according to a publication in the Financial Times.

Report informs citing RIA Novosti that according to the publication, EU Ministers are planning to express such a request during the meetings with the US Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin at the session of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be held on the island of Bali this week.

“Our ask is: why bother ripping out all of the electrical cables from a building if you can switch off a light,” said a European diplomat who confirmed the planned meetings. “If you can designate a bank [for sanctions] then there’s no need to force Swift to disconnect from Iran.

The newspaper notes that “Some officials and people briefed on the matter believe that Mr Mnuchin will want to act in support of Swift to safeguard America’s role in the secure global messaging system, which connects more than 11,000 banks in more than 200 territories, and avoid sending Iranian transactions underground”

Notably, this year United States withdrew from the 2015 agreement on the Iranian nuclear program and announced the introduction of previously frozen sanctions against Tehran. Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas said that the EU should establish an independent analogue of SWIFT to protect their companies from U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Official Tehran announced that they did not exclude the possibility of creating a parallel SWIFT system.

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