Cryptogon points to a few interesting datapoints, amongst which is a claim the fabled Iranian oil bourse finally opens next week - IRAN’S BANKS TO BE BLOCKED FROM GLOBAL BANKING SYSTEM ON SATURDAY.
Flashback to a couple of weeks ago on Cryptogon:If SWIFT actually pulls the plug, I’d consider the fuse to be lit. Also, if SWIFT does it before 20 March, this is probably the real reason:
Last week, the Tehran Times noted that the Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in currencies other than the dollar from March 20. This long-planned move is part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vision of economic war with the west.
“The dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme is nothing more than a convenient excuse for the US to use threats to protect the ‘reserve currency’ status of the dollar,” the newspaper, which calls itself the voice of the Islamic Revolution, said.
SWIFT is going to pull the plug on Iran on 17 March, three days before the opening of the oil bourse.
Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.
The move will isolate Iran financially by making it almost impossible for money to flow in and out of the country via official banking channels.
It will hit its oil industry, but may also have a heavy impact on Iranians who live abroad and send money home.
The move follows EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.
The US and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons – a charge it denies.
Iran last week agreed to hold talks with six major world powers over its nuclear programme, although no date or venue has been set.
Almost all banking transactions pass through Belgium-based Swift, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is sometimes called the “glue” that holds the financial system together.
Swift will pull the plug at 1600 GMT on Saturday, in what is all but the final blow to Iranian business dealings.