International Banking Hub to Cut Off Iranian Banks

Features Reuters

Belgium-based SWIFT, which operates the bulk of global cross-border payments, will cut off sanctioned Iranian banks on Saturday under tighter EU financial sanctions on Tehran.

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SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) said in a statement on Thursday it would disconnect the sanctioned Iranian financial institutions from its messaging system on Saturday at 1600 GMT.

SWIFT has faced international pressure, particularly from the United States, to prevent Tehran from sending or receiving payments electronically, so as to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The United States and Europe accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.