BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON - Belgium-based SWIFT, which provides banks with a
system for moving funds around the world, bowed to international
pressure on Friday and said it was ready to block Iranian banks from
using its network to transfer money.
Expelling Iranian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank
Financial Telecommunication would shut down Tehran's main avenue to
doing business with the rest of the world - an outcome the West believes
is crucial to curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
SWIFT, which has never cut off a country before, has been closely
following efforts in the United States and the European Union to develop
new sanctions targeting Iran that would directly affect EU-based