Official: Iran's hands tied if expelled from SWIFT
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 21/ Trend M. Moezzi /
The U.S.'s and Europe's request for Iran to be expelled from a global banking network would close off one of the most important routes that Iran uses to conduct its financial affairs, Fars reported a trade official as saying.
Although the U.S. and EU can't force it to cut Iran off from the rest of the banking world, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications has agreed to do so, Mohammad Reza Sabzalipour, the head of the Iranian World Trade Center, said.
SWIFT connects 9,700 banking and financial institutions in 209 countries, its own website reported.
The European Union is writing the legislation to block Iranian banks and institutions from using SWIFT to transfer money. It has already agreed to do so once the law is passed.
In 2010, 44 Iranian banks and entities did $35 billion in trade with Europe through SWIFT, using the system more than two million times, the Banking Business Review website said.
The U.S and EU are working to impose tougher sanctions against Iran. They have embargoed Iran's oil and sanctioned Iran's central bank.
The West's measures are part of an effort to make Iran answer the questions about its nuclear program. It says that it is peaceful.