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Iran, Russia: Countries Agree on Non-SWIFT Alternatives for Bilateral Payment Transactions

1 MIN READSep 19, 2019 | 16:13 GMT

What Happened: Iran and Russia will drop the financial messaging service SWIFT for bilateral payment transfers and use their domestic systems to protect themselves from third-party sanctions, the Financial Tribune reported Sept. 17.

Why It Matters: Moscow's and Tehran's decision to replace the SWIFT system is a notable sign of growing Iranian-Russian economic ties amid increased U.S. sanctions pressure against both countries. The Russian government has already stepped up its efforts to insulate its economy from U.S. exposure, including developing an alternative to SWIFT.

Background: The Belgium-based SWIFT announced in November 2018 that it would be cutting ties with Iranian banks following the U.S. decision to resume sanctions against Tehran.

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