UANI Statement on SWIFT’s Decision to Discontinue Services to Iranian Institutions

February 17, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI Statement on SWIFT's Decision to Discontinue Services to Iranian Institutions

New York, NY -United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement Friday following SWIFT's announcement that it plans to "discontinue its services to sanctioned Iranian financial institutions:"

SWIFT appears to have made the right decision to end its relationships with sanctioned Iranian institutions. We continue to call on SWIFT to cut off all Iranian banks and entities from the SWIFT network, and quickly follow through on today's announcement.

This action has the potential to significantly isolate the Iranian regime from the world's markets, and lessen the capital it has to pursue nuclear weapons and fund terrorism. Now is the time for the most robust sanctions in history, and more pressure on the regime than ever before.

UANI launched its SWIFT campaign last month. 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--as well as its own bylaws--by affording Iranian banks BICs and access to the SWIFT system.

UANI also sent its analysis to individual members of SWIFT's Board of Directors, stating that "SWIFT jeopardizes its good reputation if it continues its work with Iran's financial institutions."

That week, members of the U.S. Senate drafted and introduced an amendment that would sanction SWIFT. SWIFT, after initially defending its work with Iran, subsequently pledged to "find the right multilateral legal framework which will enable SWIFT to address the issues."

UANI has been in consultations this month with international banking regulatory officials, after calling on regulators to "take immediate action to ensure SWIFT's compliance with applicable U.S. and EU sanctions law and to ensure that SWIFT complies with its own rules related to corporate governance and membership eligibility."

Click here to read UANI's original letter to SWIFT.