Iran’s Access To SWIFT Being Debated In Washington

The Washington Free Beacon reports that some in the U.S. Treasury Department are trying to save Iran’s access to SWIFT, which can help Tehran to maintain access to the world banking and financial network.

SWIFT is a system that enables its nearly 10,000 institutional members around the world to securely transfer money around the globe.

During the Obama-era sanctions on Iran, SWIFT stopped doing business with Iran out of concern that it would violate U.S. laws and regulations. Now, with President Donald Trump’s reimposed sanctions the question is whether to give a pass to SWIFT or adopt a prohibitive stance.

Free Beacon quotes unnamed officials as saying that while some in Congress and in the White House oppose a softer approach, the Treasury is arguing to let SWIFT keep an open door for Iran.

Senators Ted Cruz (R. Texas) and Tom Cotton (R. Ark.) are said to be two lawmakers who have made it clear they oppose any soft approach.

It seems that the final decision will rest with president Trump.

As Iran’s economy is going into a deeper recession, loss of access to SWIFT would be a hard blow to the country’ virtually stopping all banking transactions and completely crippling trade.

Commentary by The Iranian

Yes, this would be a definite blow to Iran’s economy but will further galvanize the international community to establish an alternate system to SWIFT.  Seeking ‘financial independence’ from the US, Germany and other nations are already working on such an alternative.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said recently at a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

If successful, such a financing solution would allow Germany and others to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran and avoid American bullying/blackmail.

Mood: ??

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