EU says SWIFT decision on Iran banks regrettable

Tehran, Nov7, IRNA -- The European Commission said on Wednesday it found regrettable the decision by the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service to suspend some unspecified Iranian banks’ access to it.

“We find this decision rather ... regrettable,” Commission Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told a briefing, Reuters reported.

In a statement on Monday, SWIFT said suspending the Iranian banks' access to the messaging system was “taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.”

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment.

The majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network. As of 2015, SWIFT linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 15 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995). SWIFT transports financial messages in a highly secure way but does not hold accounts for its members and does not perform any form of clearing or settlement.
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