Moscow, Tehran developing SWIFT alternative – Iranian ambassador

Separate financial messaging system will allow countries to trade and bypass Western sanctions

Russia and Iran have been cooperating to connect their interbank messaging systems in order to bypass the SWIFT financial transactions network, Kazem Jalali, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Russia, said on Thursday.

Both countries are facing severe Western sanctions, making settlements in trade through SWIFT difficult or impossible.

“We are making efforts in this direction…” Jalali told reporters, as quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

Last month, seven Russian banks were severed from SWIFT, effectively denying them access to international markets. The ban was part of the latest Western sanctions targeting Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.


READ MORE: Ukraine wants SWIFT to cut off Russia’s central bank

Russia has its own payment mechanism called the Financial Message Transfer System (SPFS) that has similar functionality and allows the transmission of messages in the SWIFT format. It was created as an analogue to SWIFT that has been developed by the Bank of Russia since 2014.

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