The Strategist

Iranian Banks Are Linking Up to SWIFT

02/01/2016 - 14:41

Today is the big day for Iranian banks: nine credit institutions have been returned to the world stage. Head of the country’s central bank Waliullah Saif said that on Monday, they will be connected to the system of international payments SWIFT once again.

Nick Taylor via flickr
Nick Taylor via flickr
"Nine Iranian banks will be re-connected to the SWIFT system early in the morning on Monday," - said the regulator’s head. We are talking about banks such as "Bank of Industry and Mines", "Postal Bank of Iran", "Export Development bank", Melli Iran, Tejarat, Mellat and Refah Kargaran.

Earlier, access to the system was given to four private banks and two state institutions: Dey, Saman, Pasargad and Parsian, as well as Maskan and Keshavarzi.

The Central Bank itself is getting access to SWIFT today, too.

Mr. Saif noted that Iranian banks have already had the opportunity to issue letters of credit since the date of starting implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the "Six", announced January 16.

Recall that around 30 Iranian banks lost access to SWIFT in 2012 due to the imposed international sanctions against Tehran.

In general, the Iranian economy can experience a very rapid growth. After the lengthy ban, investors with eagerly invest in the economy, as there is a huge number of growth areas. For example, Italy is ready to invest 8 billion euros in Iran. Before sanctions, the two countries had strong trade links. In 2011, turnover amounted to 7.2 billion euro, but by 2014, it had fallen 4 and a half times to 1.6 billion euro.

By the way, a few days ago it became known that during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Rome, Iran and Italy signed an agreement on joint projects worth 17 billion euros in total. These programs are related to energy and infrastructure construction.

In addition, the Bank of Italy and Iran now are in talks aimed at opening a branch of one of the largest Iranian commercial banks in Rome. This would significantly simplify direct financial transactions in rial and euro.

France have signed contracts, too. For example, Total is ready to buy from Iran 150-200 thousand barrels of oil per day.

Spain and Iran are discussing a project to build an oil refinery in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, said January 19 the channel "Al Jazeera" referring to a statement of the Foreign Minister of Spain, José García-Margallo y Marfil.

The Spanish minister made the statement a day after the removal of the EU economic sanctions against Iran. According to the minister, the joint construction of a refinery near the town of Algeciras in southern Spain will be the first in a list of alleged numerous joint projects.

Iran's energy industry needs a large-scale infrastructure reconstruction after the country's return to the world economy, and Spain is able to "lend a helping hand," stressed Garcia-Margalit.

In turn, Director of International Relations of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Azizollah Ramezani said on Tuesday that Iran is ready to supply gas to Europe.