FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Responds to SWIFT's Statement Regarding its Relationships with Iranian Banks and Institutions
New York, NY - United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement today regarding the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)'s response to UANI's campaign, posted today on SWIFT's website:
SWIFT has responded to UANI's detailed legal explanation of how it violates international Iran sanctions laws with a cryptic and unsupported defense. SWIFT's statement speaks for itself: "SWIFT provides the network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment." What SWIFT doesn't say is that these financial institutions include U.S. and EU sanctioned Iranian banks, including Iran's Central Bank: Bank Markazi.
Iran's banks are widely known to be controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and are frequently used as the financial means to fund Iran's nuclear program, terrorist activities, and brutal human rights violations. This puts them in direct violation SWIFT's own corporate rules stipulating that "its services should not be used to facilitate illegal activities." Providing Iranian banks and financial institutions with BIC numbers and the essential means to access the global banking system is a clear violation of US and EU sanctions, and as such SWIFT needs to immediately end its relationships with all of them.
On Monday January 30, UANI submitted a detailed legal explanation to SWIFT, international banking and regulatory officials, and U.S. lawmakers, showing how SWIFT is in violation of U.S. and EU sanctions by affording Iranian banks BICs and access to the SWIFT system.
UANI's campaign was highlighted yesterday in The New York Times.