US Pushing SWIFT to Disconnect Iran
EghtesadOnline: US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin has announced that his agency is currently negotiating with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a global financial messaging service that connects more than 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries, on disconnecting Iran from the network.
"I can assure you our objective is to make sure that sanctioned transactions do not occur whether it's through SWIFT or any other mechanism. Our focus is to make sure that the sanctions are enforced," Mnuchin said, Sputnik reported.
While Mnuchin insisted that the US wants to ensure that sanctioned transactions with Tehran "do not occur" through SWIFT or any other mechanisms, he claimed that the treasury department would also identify banks that would be allowed to process transactions for humanitarian funding to Iran.
While he refused to provide any details about the talks, Mnuchin said that his department would identify "as quickly as possible" banks that would be allowed to process transactions for humanitarian funding to Iran, Financial Tribune reported.
"We want to get to the right outcome, which is cutting off transactions," Mnuchin added, though he did not specify which banks would be selected.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the forthcoming US sanctions against Tehran would fundamentally change other countries’ economic cooperation with Iran, though he did not clarify whether Washington would punish the management of the SWIFT payment system if it keeps working with Iranian banks.
"I don’t know the decision with respect to SWIFT in particular. There are still a number of decisions pending before the November 4 deadline," Pompeo said.
Reuters reported on Monday that Taiwan’s Mega International Commercial Bank will immediately terminate its payment clearing mechanism between Taiwan and Iran in a response to the US sanctions.
In August, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters Mega International Commercial Bank planned to terminate its payment clearing mechanism between Taiwan and Iran after November.
Meanwhile a French lawmaker said during a visit to Iran that Europe wants to ensure that at least one Iranian bank will stay connected to the world after the upcoming round of US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.
The continent wanted "to have at least one Iranian bank remain connected to the international banking system through SWIFT to keep up commercial relations on goods or services that are not subject to sanctions," French Senator Philippe Bonnecarrere said Sunday.
The lawmaker, who heads the France-Iran friendship group in the Upper House of France’s Parliament, made the remarks during a news conference with French and Iranian counterparts.
He was in Iran with six other French legislators.