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.
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Deputy secretary of the US Treasury, Sigal Mandelker, announced that SWIFT had cut-off Iranian financial institutions targeted by the US sanctions, Sputnik reported.
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