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Iran's Access to SWIFT Being Debated In Washington

Belgium -- The SWIFT logo at their headquarters in Brussels, June 26, 2006

The Washington Free Beacon reports that some in the U.S. Treasury Department are trying to save Iran’s access to SWIFT, which can help Tehran to maintain access to the world banking and financial network.

SWIFT is a system that enables its nearly 10,000 institutional members around the world to securely transfer money around the globe.

During the Obama-era sanctions on Iran, SWIFT stopped doing business with Iran out of concern that it would violate U.S. laws and regulations. Now, with President Donald Trump’s reimposed sanctions the question is whether to give a pass to SWIFT or adopt a prohibitive stance.

Free Beacon quotes unnamed officials as saying that while some in Congress and in the White House oppose a softer approach, the Treasury is arguing to let SWIFT keep an open door for Iran.

Senators Ted Cruz (R. Texas) and Tom Cotton (R. Ark.) are said to be two lawmakers who have made it clear they oppose any soft approach.

It seems that the final decision will rest with president Trump.

As Iran’s economy is going into a deeper recession, loss of access to SWIFT would be a hard blow to the country’ virtually stopping all banking transactions and completely crippling trade.