The collapse of the Trans-Atlantic order that emerged out of the US’s occupation of Western Europe following WWII, is yet again yielding very predictable, and rapidly occurring, results.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the European Union needs to create an independent analogue of the American system for transferring information on SWIFT payments in order to protect its companies from US sanctions against Iran.
What is SWIFT?
SWIFT payments are a type of international transfer sent via the SWIFT international payment network. The SWIFT international payment network is one of the largest financial messaging systems in the world.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment.
SWIFT handles both credit card transactions between countries, and bank-wire transfers of the same sort.
What is being proposed?
“In this situation it is of strategic importance that we clearly tell Washington: we want to cooperate. But we will not allow them to act over our heads, to our detriment. Therefore, it would be right to protect European companies from sanctions from a legal point of view, “said Maas in an article for Handelsblatt.
The Minister believes that by creating independent payment channels from the US – the European Monetary Fund and the equivalent of the SWIFT system – it will be possible to strengthen European autonomy.
According to him, the current treaty is better than an explosive crisis that threatens the Middle East.
Maas said that Europe will try to mitigate the consequences of thinking, which measures the success of the amount of money saved.
Claims against Iran
In May, Donald Trump announced that the US is withdrawing from the agreement with Iran on the nuclear program, which reached six international mediators (Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany) in 2015.
In addition, he reported on the restoration of all sanctions against Iran, including secondary ones. Thus, the countries that conduct business with Tehran are also under pressure.
According to US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, the strengthening of sanctions against Iran is aimed at preventing the financing of terrorism.
“We got a deal with Iran as a legacy from the previous administration. It did not suit us, because it limited our diplomatic capabilities to prevent threats from this country. Therefore, the president decided to withdraw from this deal. <…> Strengthening the sanctions pressure on Iran is due to the fact that we are trying to prevent the receipt of his budget money for further financing of terrorism, ” he said.
In reality, Iran is on the forefront of fighting radical Islamic terrorism, both Al Qaeda and ISIS, in at least four separate theatres: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and in the Af-Pak region.
The EU needs to create a replacement system, an ‘analogue’, to SWIFT so that US sanctions which affect SWIFT, do not affect inter-bank and credit-card payments between EU countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.