The Society For Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has begun blocking access to international transfers for Iranian member banks as new US sanctions take effect.
As Reuters originally reported, November 10 marks the first day of action which will see financial institutions cut off from SWIFT, which facilitates cross-border payment instructions to more than 200 countries. In a statement at a Paris event November 7, the organization’s chief executive Gottfried Liebbrandt called the action “regrettable” but explained it was being “taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.”
Iran is expecting significant turmoil over the reinstallation of the sanctions which had previously gone under the Obama administration. In a timely reminder of the centralized power of the global banking system, SWIFT appeared to act as an extension of US federal law, despite being based itself in Belgium.