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Iran says SWIFT open to 9 banks Monday

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01 Feb 2016

He said the banks are Bank Melli Iran, Tejarat Bank, Bank Mellat, Bank of Industry and Mine, Post Bank of Iran, Bank Sepah, Export Development Bank, Refah Kargaran Bank and the CBI, itself.

Seif added that the mechanism for the Iranian banks to open letters of credit (L/C) is already working. He said the mechanism started to work immediately after the sanctions on Iran were lifted in mid-January. 

The L/Cs, he said, were opened in the banks of the Persian Gulf countries and were delivered at European banks the next day.   

Iran saw the draconian sanctions that had been imposed against it for several years lifted on 16 January. 

A central theme of the sanctions was putting restrictions on Iran’s banking transactions with the international financial institutions through various mechanisms including closing SWIFT services to the country.

SWIFT is used by nearly every bank around the world to send payment messages that lead to the transfer of money across international borders. It provides a wide range of service including transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

However, it became off limits to Iranian banks in 2012 after the implementation of the US-led sanctions against the country. Accordingly, around 30 Iranian banks were blocked from using SWIFT services, literally cutting off Iran from the global banking system. 

Several Iranian private banks including Dey, Saman, Pasargad, and Parsian in addition to two state-run banks - Maskan and Keshavarzi – have already become reconnected to SWIFT.

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