Iranian merchants still facing barriers to SWIFT

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A member of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce complained about the lack of practical influence of the country’s reconnection to SWIFT, saying his company has still difficulty in using the financial telecommunication service for trade with the foreigners.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Majid Movafeq Qadiri said his company could not still open letters of credit (LC) for the import of raw material from Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

No major breakthrough has occurred despite the announcement that Iranian banks have been reconnected to SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – and there remain difficulties with financial transactions, he added.

SWIFT is used by nearly every bank around the world to send payment messages that lead to the transfer of money across international borders. It provides a wide range of service including transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

Although Iranian officials insist that nearly all banks have been reconnected to SWIFT after the removal of the economic sanctions against Iran in mid-January under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), many companies complain about the hardship they face in trade.

Last week, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) invited a group of reporters to visit its SWIFT department, showing a number of online transactions via the global financial messaging service.

All nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were terminated on January 16, when the JCPOA, a lasting nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) came into force.

By Tasnim News Agency