The Iran Project

Kremlin aide says Iran, Russia looking for alternative to SWIFT

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IRNA – The aide for Russian president for international affairs said Iran and Russia are looking for an alternative network to replace the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) whose key is unlawfully held by the secretary of US Department of Treasury.

Iran and Russia will take measures for expansion of direct financial transactions and use of national currencies, Uri Ushakov told reporters on Friday.

Ushakov said that Tehran and Moscow are trying to make Iranian SEPAM and Russian System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) cooperate to put SWIFT aside.

He added that the prominent joint project of Russia and Iran is building a nuclear power plant in Iran, the second phase of which is in progress and the concreting process will soon start.

The Kremlin aide also said that in the upcoming meeting of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the issue of Syria will be discussed, alongside the mutual issues and the topic of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He said that in the aftermath of the US withdrawal from the deal, the goal is now to preserve the JCPOA. Russia is in touch with all the remaining signatories of the deal, including Iran, adding that Russia has had active talks with France and is loyal to the international deal.

Saying that Rouhani and Putin are to meet for the third time this year, Ushakov added that strengthening the economic and trade relations between Iran and Russia is among the most important issues.

He said that in 2018, the trade grew by 2% reaching $1.7b and in the first half of 2019 it has grown by 17% to reach $1.1b and that the big oil companies of Russia, such as Gazprom, Rosneft‎, Lukoil, Zarubezhneft, and Tatneft are discussing exploitation of Iran’s big fields.

The 5th round of Iran-Russia-Turkey trilateral meetings is to be held in the Çankaya Mansion in Ankara on Monday.

Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey have for four times had joint meetings on fighting regional terrorism and bringing back peace, refugees and establishing political stability in Syria.

In the last round of talks that took place in Sochi, a Black Sea port, the three presidents stressed Syria’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The first, second and third meetings had already been held in, respectively, Sochi, Ankara, and Tehran.

Astana Talks are held to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Syria and that so far has made many positive actions including destruction of terror groups, like Daesh (the ISIS), return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, and initiating reconstruction drive in Syria.

After the US withdrawal from Syria, formation of constitution committee, discussion about recent developments in northern Syria, and the way to take the humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people have been on the agenda of the Astana Troika talks.

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