SWIFT Ban Is Key to Curbing Iranian Regime
By Staff Writer
At the beginning of the nineties, Iran joined the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT as it is better known. SWIFT allowed Iran to link its major banks to the international financial network.
However, a decade after joining SWIFT, the United States put pressure on the company to sever links with Iran because of its nuclear program. This effectively cut off Iran’s access to world banking. Restrictions were lifted when the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was implemented, giving a major boost to the Iranian regime.
SWIFT is a major player in the international banking community and it could be said that the Brussels-based company smooths the process of financial transactions across the world. Before SWIFT services came into use, transactions would take a number of days. With SWIFT, they are almost instantaneous.
Once again, the United States is trying to curb Iran’s belligerence and President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is exiting the deal and reintroducing sanctions. It has also been announced that fresh sanctions will be drawn up.
Targeting Iran through a ban of access to SWIFT would be a highly effective measure. This would put even more pressure on the Iranian regime. Economic and financial pressure like this would bring great damage to the regime that is striving to spread chaos across the region.
Specifically, the Iranian regime’s trade relations and its import and export process will be affected. The country’s banks would no longer be able to benefit from the essential services provided by SWIFT. And so it shouldn’t.
The European leaders, worried about their investments and business deals with Iran, have called on the US to leave the SWIFT apparatus out of the sanctions. The US has not responded and it seems more and more likely that the ban could go ahead.
When the nuclear deal was implemented, as well as lifting sanctions, the Iranian regime had $150 billion of assets unfrozen and it got almost $2 billion in cash. This would have been more than enough to bring some considerable changes to the Iranian economy and the lives of the millions of people in the country who are living under the poverty line.
The Iranian regime had promised that the funds would go towards what the Iranian people need most. However, the Iranian people do not want the regime to interfere abroad and prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. The people do not want their country associated with the spread of terror or the financing of proxy groups and militias.
Furthermore, the people are calling for regime change. A demand that is fully supported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime.
On 30th June, the NCRI will hold its annual gathering in Paris where ways to progress will be discussed by human rights activists, politicians and dignitaries from across the world. Tens of thousands of Iranians from around the world will be present and there are high hopes that this meeting will bring great progress like the ones in past years.