The Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service said it is suspending some unspecified Iranian banks’ access to its messaging system following the US resumption of sanctions on Iran.
In a brief statement on Monday, SWIFT made no mention of US sanctions coming back into effect on some Iranian financial institutions. It said suspending the Iranian banks access to the messaging system was a “regrettable” step but was “taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system,” Reuters reported
SWIFT’s decision not to mention the US sanctions likely reflects the fact that it is caught between two contrary regulatory demands.
The US government has told SWIFT that it is expected to comply with US sanctions and it could face US sanctions if it fails to do so. On the other hand, SWIFT is barred from doing so under the European Union’s blocking statute, which could subject it to European penalties for complying with US law.
The third stage of a plan to sell Iranian oil through the stock exchange will kick off this week, the oil minister said.
America’s journey to pre-eminence in the global oil trade is about to hit another milestone. By the shale-oil boom, the US is already producing more crude than either Russia or Saudi Arabia, who until recently vied for the top spot. By mid-year America will go one better, Bloomberg reported.
Oil prices rose on Friday after a report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed its production fell sharply last month, easing fears about prolonged oversupply.
China’s state-run energy giant is making a new approach to strike a $3 billion Iranian oil field, seeking to take advantage of waivers allowed under US sanctions even as two European nations have ended crude purchases, according to people familiar with the matter.
The United States is likely to extend waivers from sanctions on Iranian oil imports in May, but will reduce the number of countries receiving them to placate top buyers China and India and to decrease the chance of higher oil prices, analysts said.
Representatives from Iranian and Austrian energy companies reached news agreements in a 4-day meeting in Vienna where they held the 5th joint workgroup of the two countries, said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Friday.