October 26, 2015 / 5:00 PM / 4 years ago

SWIFT awaits green light to reconnect with Iranian banks

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Most Iranian banks will be able to reconnect to the SWIFT financial-transactions system, a key to rekindling foreign trade, once Iran’s nuclear-related measures have been verified, SWIFT said on Monday.

SWIFT, or Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, operates service transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

Iran and the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China reached an agreement in July on curbing Teheran’s nuclear work in exchange for removing sanctions that have isolated the country and harmed its economy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to announce sometime in coming months whether it has verified Iran’s implementation of the nuclear-related measures.

The European Union approved legislation on Oct. 18 allowing for the lifting of EU sanctions as set out in the Iran nuclear agreement. That includies restrictions on financial systems like SWIFT.

Banks that were subject to sanctions specified in the nuclear deal will automatically be able to reconnect “following the completion of our normal connection process, that is administrative and systems checks, connectivity and technical arrangements”, SWIFT said.

Re-establishing links to the world’s financial networks will make it easier for foreign companies to take part in privatisations in Iran, a senior Iran official said in July.

SWIFT said some Iranian banks will still be excluded under other sanctions. (Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Larry King)

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