Government officials said on Sunday that they are satisfied with SWIFT's decision to halt Iran's ability to use its electronic fund transfer system to make international transfers. Officials estimated that within a few weeks, the impact on the Iranian economy would become apparent, Army Radio reported.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, in an interview with Army Radio, said that the decision is likely to prove decisive in the struggle against Iran's [nuclear] arms race. “Iran is progressing with its nuclear weapons program in order to safeguard the regime's rule. But the moment that the sanctions become this severe, first with oil and now with [money] transfers, perhaps we will get to a point where they will understand that only abandoning the [nuclear weapons] program will allow the regime to survive,” said Shalom.
He added that in today's world, “We already don't do transfers using documents. Everything is done by international [electronic] transfers. What will they do now? Carry around suitcases with gold?”