Iran devises new technique for avoiding sanctions
Published Sunday, May 27, 2012
The governor of Iran's central bank has designed a system to avoid US and European Union sanctions on conducting international transactions with the country, he announced on Saturday.
Mahmoud Bahmani told state media the new system, which has already been activated, would replace the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) - the common way for transferring money.
SWIFT announced in March that they would stop offering services to Iranian banks as they are due to be hit by the fresh sanctions.
Under the EU new rules, due to come into force next month, member countries are forbidden from importing Iranian oil or dealing with the central bank.
SWIFT’s actions were aimed at enforcing the sanctions, as global financial transactions are difficult without the system.
However a number of Asian countries that are heavily dependent on Iranian oil have indicated they are seeking to avoid the ban.
Rising powers India and China have both said they may seek to carry out transaction in currencies other than dollars or the euro, thus avoiding the sanctions.
Bahmani also rejected reports about a Japanese bank had frozen transactions with Iranian banks.
Reuters reported earlier this month that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has frozen USD 2.6 billion of assets of Iranian banks under an order by the New York District Court.