SWIFT Cuts Off Iran Central Bank As Tehran Sells 700,000 Barrels To Anonymous Direct Buyers

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

As reported last week, shortly after SWIFT caved to US pressure and defied the EU announcing it would cut off a selection of Iranian banks, on Monday, the US Treasury said the Iranian Central Bank has been officially cut off the SWIFT financial messaging system. The disconnection, which comes at a time when Iran’s economy is reeling and its currency is tumbling as a result of restricted oil exports (albeit offset by numerous temporary waivers for top Iranian oil clients), will made it far more difficult for the Islamic Republic to settle import and export bills.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the move is “the right decision to protect the integrity of the international financial system”, and comes after several days planning by SWIFT.

As previously discussed, SWIFT said it would begin cutting off access to several unspecified Iranian banks. More than 70 Iranian and Iranian-linked financial institutions were sanctioned, including a host of banks that allegedly provided services to Hamas and Hezbollah, and others that provided services to the Iranian armed forces.

While the US could not directly force SWIFT to cut off Iranian banks, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned that penalties would be applied to SWIFT and any other firms that refused to comply with the latest sanctions, effectively forcing SWIFT to pick between compliance with US demands or angering top EU officials. It picked the former.

SWIFT Cuts Off Iran Central Bank As Tehran Sells 700,000 Barrels To Anonymous Direct Buyers

An allegedly “neutral” entity, SWIFT had found itself torn between a US-EU diplomatic row as of late. Scrambling to save the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran deal, EU leaders enacted a ‘blocking’ law in August, prohibiting firms operating in the bloc from complying with the US sanctions. Ironically, in siding with Washington, SWIFT, which is based outside Brussels, may face penalties in Europe.

To overcome what is de facto US veto power on global money transfers, European leaders are planning on introducing an alternative system to ensure that payments to and from Iran can be processed. However, as Reuters reported last week, such a system will not be ready until some time in 2019, prompting Iran’s deputy foreign minister Kazem Sajjadpou to express frustration last week with the delay, saying “what is lacking is both speed and efficiency.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday PressTV reported that over the weekend, Iran went ahead with a second public sale of its light crude oil to international clients through its Energy Bourse in a policy meant to dodge US sanctions and sell the strategic fuel to direct buyers.  

SWIFT Cuts Off Iran Central Bank As Tehran Sells 700,000 Barrels To Anonymous Direct Buyers

Iran’s Kharg oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) had put 700,000 barrels of light oil up for grabs at a proposed price of $65.22 per barrel – $5 below the first sale that was held last week. The auction started at 14:30 Tehran’s local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday, but finished in less than an hour according to a report by the Energy Bourse published at 15:17 local time. The oil that had been put on sale was sold out in three cargos: two at 245,000 barrels and one at 210,000 barrels.

No names and details of buyers were provided as officials had earlier said the identities of bidders were kept confidential.

The price at which the oil was sold was specified at $64.97 per barrel. During the first round which was held on October 28, a total of three buyers purchased a collective of eight cargoes totaling 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil.

According to NIOC’s arrangements, buyers would have to pay 20% of the total value of their purchases in Iran’s national currency – the Rial. The remaining payments would need to be made in foreign currencies after loading; it wasn’t clear if dollars would be accepted.

Additionally, buyers would have to pay 10% of the value of their purchases in Rials two hours before the start of trading. They can either buy 35,000 barrels of oil or a multiple of this up to a ceiling of one million barrels. The mechanism is seen as Iran’s answer to the US sanctions that ban the country’s oil exports, among other restrictions.

It remains to be seen what if any recourse the US will implement to offset this direct, and anonymous, sale of Iran oil to international clients. US officials have said the sanctions are meant to bring down Iran’s oil exports to zero. However, Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected the feasibility of this, stressing that international consumers cannot afford to lose Iranian supplies. Separately, in order to avoid a surge in oil prices, Trump agreed last week to grant 8 states waivers so they could continue purchasing Iranian oil, in the process accelerating the recent plunge of crude oil into bear markets.

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  • occupybacon

    Macron and Putin should focus on SWIFT alternatives for a multi-polar world.

    • ruca

      Russia already has one ready.

      • occupybacon

        Is not enough to be a real alternative. SWIFT transactions are probably 50X Russia total economy.

        • S Melanson

          This is early still as transition to multipolar- the institutional framework is being built to support multipolar as Trump accellerates the process ON PURPOSE, by overuse of globalist weapons to abuse nations forcing them to break with the system. Oil to zero, really! Globalists institutions like SWIFT is a threat and if used, only enough to get them back in line. Trump is smashing the whole system.

          • occupybacon

            So you’re basically saying that Trump is doing his job pretty well?

          • S Melanson

            Trump is the destroyer. Breaking all the globalist toys. That is what I see happening. If Trump is not doing this intentionally and instead ineptly – that is supporting globalism but incompetently weakening it – ok then, what ever way gets it done is fine by me.

          • occupybacon

            So if he does it unknowingly, it’s a natural process, he’s just a virus of mother nature but if he’s doing it knowingly, he’s a genius. I like your optimism btw, it’s contagious, think how Trump hates central media ;) Maybe he’s a moron but he has that feeling that the population had enough of the crony elitists.

        • ruca

          What does that have to do with it being effective?

          • occupybacon

            How come people are not rushing to use it if that’s effective?

  • bonami

    I would assume Iran has been in discussions with Russia and China since this latest game began. Russia’s alternative to SWIFT has been operating for a while, I would think that is their best option. And they might want to consider the bitcoin route taken by Venezuela.

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    What SWIFT should have done when threatened by the US is disconnect all US banks.

    • Sinbad2

      Well that’s what a normal person would do, but bankers aren’t normal people.
      Bankers are the tape worms that inhabit the gut of the world, sucking the life out of it.

      • Potato Potato

        Without bankers, you wouldn’t be able to buy a new car.

        • Manuel Flores Escobar

          I bought my car without bank account

          • Potato Potato

            A $1000 beater? I said a NEW car.

          • Sinbad2

            A fool and his money are soon parted.

          • Vitex

            You mean someone like Potato Potato. Mind you, he’s probably a hasbara troll so you couldn’t get a scalpel between him and his money.

          • FlorianGeyer

            New car for cash or assets is no problem.

          • Zionism = EVIL

            New car is an illusion as it depreciates rapidly. It is like pissing in your pants on a cold winter day, gives one a warm and fuzzy feeling for a few minutes and then reality sets in. Cash is king, especially as a financial meltdown is coming and US is heading towards a recession in about 18 months.

          • FlorianGeyer

            That’s true , but I prefer to buy new and then run them until they have no useful life left. Then buy another new one or two :)

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Actually that is smart, as a old car like a old woman and is high maintenance. I do the same. Bought a Lexus in 2002 and kept it till 2018 and replaced it with a Subaru Crosstrek which I intend to keep till it it drops too.

          • Sinbad2

            Keeping cars until they just can’t be repaired is the best thing for the environment, but without consumption the bankers world of capitalism collapses.

          • beypuutyina

            the patyomkin stickerer tudor miron solves your problem :D

          • Sinbad2

            I just bought a 1985 Mercedes 280SE, it used to belong to Citibank?, then an old guy like me bought it, he died. It sat in his garage for 10 years until I bought it, for $1000.
            Spent another 2 grand, mostly replacing all the consumables, and it purrs like a kitten, the paint and upholstery are perfect, with only 160,000 on the clock.
            And it’s mechanical, no computers, so I can fix it if it ever needs it.

            Now all I need is a chauffeur :)

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Old cars were built better and easy to fix and less high tech gimmickry.

          • beypuutyina

            and money for fuel!

          • Sinbad2

            8 litres per 100 kliks or 29.4mpg.
            Without all the extra fuel used by catalytic convertors it’s quite cheap to run.

          • Sinbad2

            If all you can come up with in cash is a thousand bucks, maybe you should reduce some of your debt. Have you ever sat down and calculated how much that car actually costs after you add the interest to the price?

        • Sinbad2

          I bought a car on credit once, and learned my lesson.
          As for new, wouldn’t touch a new car, too much devaluation in the first year.

          Now I only buy what I can afford, with cash.

          • Potato Potato

            Have fun with your new money pit used car.

          • Sinbad2

            I have a small advantage, I’m a mechanic, so apart from tyres and exhausts, I do everything myself. Also it means I don’t get suckered into buying lemons.
            I bought my Delica with a blown engine(cheap), rebuilt the motor. Since then, nearly 6 years I have replaced tyres oil, both upper ball joints and a universal joint, all up less than 2 grand.
            I could sell it tomorrow for more than it has cost me.

          • Potato Potato

            Well you see not everybody is a mechanic.

          • beypuutyina

            somebody is The Mechanic

          • Floyd Hazzard

            Bought a 2007 truck in 2011 as it came off lease for half the original price. All I’ve changed to date are filters, fluids, brakes and a fuse. And last year a man asked if it was to years old…lol.

          • BMWA1

            Same here

          • Sinbad2

            BMW makes the best 6 cylinder engines in the world.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Rubbish.

        • Zionism = EVIL

          Save money and pay cash. Jew Banks hate people who save, since the parasites can not charge usury and enslave the sheeple who are duped into materialism. The whole Jew banking system is geared towards useless and needless spending and debt, which most people can not afford.

          • Jens Holm

            Our banksystems in the whole west and its economics are exact the same as in Israel.

            And we are what ? Compared to what, which is better.

            You know nothing about our ecomies. You not even have a language is and also know nothing about most of out tax.

            Again and again its like describing a car for knowing a lot about horses and camels.

            And it also is exact the same for Governes. You have no idea about complicated systems even You see them work well.

            How low can it be in the world, where men and women dont have same rights and most muslim women er kept lower then Islam recommend as well as keeping ancient culturel things, which harm You all every day.

          • Robert Duran

            Is rubbish your middle name

          • Jens Holm

            Facts are Muhammed knew some greedy Jews and they didnt like his religion as well.

            Thats what You have hancuffed Your economy since 640 pr something. The main Muhammed economics was to conquer the world by taking from the productive ones. That expansive stopped, because there was no more productive to get robbed.

            And the ideas in Western Economics works fine even parts are very dark too. Else it would be almost all over.

            You have very poor in Your countries and many more in %, the we have.

          • Sinbad2

            Your bank, Danske Bank launders money for drug dealers.

        • grumpy_carpenter

          Ever heard of a credit union?

        • Enkidu

          I bought a 20+ years old BMW with figurative pocket change and it’s all good. NEVER buy stuff through your bank if possible. Don’t even open an account if you don’t really have to.

        • Davki

          Are you intentionally being silly? I never took a credit for anything and I only buy what I can afford. I’m not a rich person but I have an income. If you didn’t feel you need to buy sth. you can’t afford… there wouldn’t be banks. Besides, there are other ways to finance. So, no.

        • digikv

          I bought all my cars by cash :)

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Russia, China, Iran and the non Zionist civilized world should develop their own SWIFT system as US is finished anyway and heading towards and internal implosion and civil war. Even the little Goldman Sachs midget macron now talks of a multipolar world. US is now $24 TRILLION in debt and simply not in a sustainable position.

      • Sinbad2

        The Europeans are the problem, they make a lot of money out of SWIFT, and irrespective of their claims, they want to keep it.

        • Zionism = EVIL

          True, Jew Bilderberg banks want a usury based system to enslave the dumb sheeple. Look at Greece, Italy, Spain etc all hawked to their dumbarse. The world MORTGAGE means in debt until DEAD, so no one owns anything but the Jew banks. Goldman Sachs bankrupted Europe by ponzi scams, especially Greece. The Jews started the parasitic custom of interest as even Shakespeare mentioned in his Merchant of Venice and Shylock the Jew took a pound of flesh from a little girl just for debt repayment. They are doing the same to the most impoverished third world nations today.

          • Hisham Saber

            Goldman Sachs is illegally withholding about 80 billion dollars of Libya’s Foreign Sovern Fund, deposited during Gaddafi’s rule.

            They wont give it back and told the new Libyan authorities they have to take them to international arbitration courts. The interest collected by the 80 billion is being stolen by Goldman Sachs, as they are also using the 80 billion of Libya’s money for their own use. They clearly don’t ever intend on relinquishing it back to the Libyan people who are in critical, desperate need of the funds, as Libya has zero liquidity in its Banks.

            All and all, about 350 billion dollars and Euros of Libya’s sovern wealth fund, Libya’s investments abroad are being held up by U.S. and European banks.

            Libya will most likely never regain this money, as the foreign banks simply used it up and cant afford to give back that large of an amount.

            Add to that the 140 tones of 24 carat gold reserves that Libya had just up until the Feb 17, 2011 Revolution that screwed everything up. Mysteriously, this gold vanished, and rumors have it that U.S./British intelligence and Special Forces were the ones behind the disappearance of the gold, which Gaddafi was going to use to start the Pn-African Dinar. That too, Libya will never get back.

          • Jens Holm

            There are 3 Goverments in Libya and they seemes not to share with any. Goldman Sacs is the only bank in the world for You. I thought it was Rotchilds inclusive wine and cigars…

            Libya should be 3-4 countries.

          • Jens Holm

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shylock show You dont know the background for Shylock.

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Read Shakespeare instead you clod.Wiki is 100% BS and I have edited half the entries myself :)

  • alejoeisabel

    The Venezuelans have brilliantly based their currency, the Bolivar, on the price of oil, a tangible commodity unlike the discredited Dollar based on increasingly toxic air.

  • Sinbad2

    Back to the gold dudes.
    Oil for gold was working before the US conned Iran with the fake deal, it will work again.

    • Tommy Jensen

      The transport and pirats have always been the biggest problem with gold.

      • Sinbad2

        12 Revolutionary Guards and 2 heavy machine guns.

      • Ronald

        We do have airplanes now.

        • Sinbad2

          Yes but the US would stop them landing, or maybe even shoot them down, like they did with the Malaysian planes, and IranAir 655.

  • John Whitehot

    This will speed up the process of creation of alternative paying system bypassing the US and the Dollar.

    • S Melanson

      It is that and part of a plan to overuse the globalist weapons abusively to destroy the institutions of globalists as an institutional framework to support a multipolar world comes into being. This is absolutely poetic, or as the Brits say, smashing, literally. The EU is globalist, they will delay alternative forever, Iran, do not wait for them, they decieve

    • Jens Holm

      Yerrh, but maybee like the patient is kept alive having only lost legs and arms :)

  • iosongasingsing

    Europe is too slow, it will be destroyed by the Americans and by NATO, we will end up like South America: oppressed and starved.

    • Tommy Jensen

      Actually South America is not too bad. If you can keep out the criminality its actually better than Europe.

  • Tommy Jensen

    So much for SWIFT´s stated “neutrality”.
    EU´s lead butt to provide alternative system in 2019………………LMAOL. Maybe in 2029. Get lost.

  • Potato Potato

    Swift Transportation? Lol we could use them as weapons against Iran.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    I suppose many buyers have paid in Crypto currency…

  • S Melanson

    Trump is accelerating the transition to a multi-polar world. His actions appear to be brinkmanship but they seem more to force the hands to find alternatives, hence build institutions oriented to a multi-polar world. SWIFT is of course used as a weapon as a globalist tool. Globalist institutions are intended to be weapons to keep everyone in line. But it is there potential use as a weapon, ironically, liberally using them as a weapon undermines them as alternatives sought. Trump saying zero oil exports will force Iran to alternative systems.

    The EU is globalists so predict they will not come up with an alternative ever, until the globalists concede. Iran should not count on this. Trump is elite’s sledgehammer against globalist world order by using the very globalists weapons to maintain power to bring them down

    A Doctor Who episode with Tennent as the Doctor was about an alien craft attack earth by taking mind control of all people with AB+ blood type and having them all walk up to roofs of buildings and stand on the ledge, as if they are about to jump. The aliens made their demands with an image of a red button to be pushed to unleash the ‘final curse’. Doctor Who knew thought control would be broken if the aliens ordered the controlled people to jump – control is broken if goes to far such as committing suicide. The Doctor pushed the red button and control was broken.

    The US is going to far by actually using the weapons meant as a threat and using them to their extreme that gives no choice but to break from the system of control.

    The EU is actually not being Iran’s freind, and Trump is beating up everyone but it is for a purpose to shorten the dangerous transition period from hegemonic to multipolar and doing a smashing job of it,I say… literally.

  • Barba_Papa

    If the EU is serious about the Iran deal they should penalize SWIFT twice as hard as the US threatened them to do, and put its directors in the worst ‘pound me in the ass’ jail they can find in the EU. Surely there’s an EU country that has jails as bad if not worse as the US has.

    • Sinbad2

      The EU is a bankers conglomerate, they will always follow the money.

      • Barba_Papa

        Sadly you’re right.

    • Jens Holm

      We decide ourselves -Thank You. So far we partly follow USA.

      • Barba_Papa

        As loyal vassals do, afraid of the wrath of their master.

  • Floyd Hazzard

    Lol…..the men in black suits that run Washington sure made the Iranian moderates look like fools that chased fools gold though.

  • Vitex

    Oil is worth money. Bankster’s money, on the other hand, is worth nothing. I see Iran being in a stronger position than the banksters here – they have goods to trade. What do the banksters have? Iran will sell the oil to those who have tradeable commodities to buy it with.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Actually, Iranian economy is quite diversified and the even selling 2.5 mbpd Iran can cope quite well and save its resources till eternity. Most of Iranian oil and gas reverses have not been even tapped yet as Iran is a huge country with a 1.64 million sq kms landmass and extremely rich in resources.

      • Jens Holm

        I dont see much of that.

        • Sinbad2

          There are non so blind as those who will not see.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_of_Iran

          • Jens Holm

            A dane makes 10 times more GDP then an Iranian. How ineffective are they. How many hours do they sleep ?

          • Zionism = EVIL

            A Dane is also inbred and looks like a pig with or without sleep. The Swedes are the best looking and smartest in your inbred Neanderthal region :)

          • Jens Holm

            Fine with me. Even cars use infrared, so we dont see it.

          • Sinbad2

            Yes all 5 million of you, Denmark is a village, not a country.

          • Jens Holm

            Fine with me.

          • Sinbad2

            Overpopulation in Australia, ROFL.
            It’s half a klik to my letter box, and the road.

        • Zionism = EVIL

          If a fruitcake like you ever left home they would :)

      • BMWA1

        Russia has same ‘problem’, I am thinking of what Mad Albright said about the Russian resources, maybe there are similar plans for Iran at the US State D. and analogs in Israel itself.

      • Jens Holm

        Our Greenland is 2,166 sq km. And within a few years we dont need oil and gas at all.

        • Sinbad2

          It’s not your Greenland you petty little colonialist.
          Just a little while ago you were claiming there was no oil or gas in Greenland?

    • Sinbad2

      Americans worship capitalism, it is their god. The idea that a Government decree will stop the banksters buying Iranian oil cheap, and selling it for a profit is ludicrous.
      Trump would probably trade Iranian oil if he could.

  • PK

    China and Russia already have an alternative to SWIFT.

  • R Trojson

    Iran is being destroyed financially, economically and militarily. Before Trump Iran was expanding in the Middle East now it is just trying to hold on. It will only get worse from here.

    • Sinbad2

      America is being destroyed financially, economically and militarily.
      Before Trump Iran was expanding in the Middle East now it is entrenching its position. It will only get worse from here, America is doomed.

  • beypuutyina

    gaaaaaaaaaaaaaarga is without cash!