Iran and Syria are planning to create a joint bank in order to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation in trade, make the transfer of money between them more efficient and circumvent international sanctions, a senior Iranian official has revealed.
Speaking to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency on Saturday, senior member of the economic development headquarters of Iran, Iraq and Syria Gol Mohammadi stated: “We are also trying to create an internal SWIFT (mechanism) between the Central Banks of Iran and Syria in order to counter the (western) sanctions.”
The SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication)
mechanism will enable both Tehran and Damascus to quickly, easily and accurately send and receive money between the two countries. The primary benefit of the procedure would be to circumvent the sanctions imposed on both states by Western nations, particularly the United States.
The Central Bank of Iran’s Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati has reportedly been urging Syria to remove obstacles preventing the establishment of the joint bank.
Revelation of the efforts to create the joint bank come after the US imposed sanctions on the Central Bank of Syria last week, and also come amid the worsening economic crisis within Syria where essentials such as wheat and fuel are in short supply while the price for food has skyrocketed.
Iran and Syria have maintained strong economic ties throughout the ongoing Syrian civil war, in which Tehran has militarily assisted the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus and funded it in its fight against the opposition. Earlier this year, an Iranian member of parliament admitted that his country had spent $30 billion defending Al-Assad, adding that Syria must pay back its debt.
Source » middleeastmonitor