US sanctions: SWIFT network suspends Iran banks

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The SWIFT banking network, the backbone for international monetary transfers, said Monday it has suspended several Iranian banks from its service, after the United States reimposed nuclear sanctions on Tehran.

“In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, SWIFT is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system,” it said. Continue reading

Return to the Pentagon

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In my 2011 book, Currency Wars, I gave a detailed description of the first-ever financial war game sponsored by the Department of Defense.

This financial war game took place in 2009 at the top-secret Applied Physics Laboratory located about twenty miles north of Washington, D.C. in the Maryland countryside.

Unlike typical war games, the “rules of engagement” for this financial exercise did not permit the use of any kinetic weapons such as bombs, missiles or drones.

The only weapons allowed were financial instrument including stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities and derivatives. Continue reading

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

 

After a year of disappointment, European businesses are hoping a victory for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. election next week may help break the logjam that has prevented large-scale Western investments in Iran since the opening of its economy.

  • While no one in Europe is predicting a flurry of new deals should Clinton defeat her Republican rival Donald Trump on Nov. 8
  • A win for the Democrat would remove some of the political clouds hanging over last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
  • Business groups say this could help fuel a more aggressive push into the Iranian market in 2017, especially in the second half of the year, if a Clinton victory is followed by the re-election of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani next May.

Continue reading

SWIFT Attacks in the Global Economic War

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Recent headlines confirm that the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication) has suffered multiple cyber attacks. SWIFT is a privately run Belgium-based provider of financial messaging, considered essential to move money around the world. The system is so important that to be denied access to it is essentially to be cut off financially from the rest of the world. That is what happened to Iran in 2012 in conjunction with sanctions and the pain was severe. Many believe that regaining access to SWIFT was the Iranians top priority in negotiations.

It is important to understand that SWIFT is not, at least not directly, controlled by the United States. Rather, it is governed by a multi-nation board. Still, it is viewed to be part of the United States-led global financial community. American sanctions carry tremendous weight. Continue reading

Obama will be the only person sticking to Iran deal

Sometime this week, President Obama is scheduled to sign an executive order to meet the Oct. 15 “adoption day” he has set for the nuclear deal he says he has made with Iran. According to the president’s timetable the next step would be “the start day of implementation,” fixed for Dec. 15.

But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself.

The Iranians have signed nothing and have no plans for doing so. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has not even been discussed at the Islamic Republic’s Council of Ministers. Nor has the Tehran government bothered to even provide an official Persian translation of the 159-page text. Continue reading

Standard Chartered Takes Sides with $250 billion against America?

An excellent and well-sourced article by Kevin D. Freeman. Click the link for the full story.

There is a story out today about how Standard Chartered allegedly hid $250 billion in 60,000 transactions with Iran that could have been used to fund nuclear development or even terror activities. This story, if true, blows away the arguments that no one would work against U.S. interests in the financial realm. The size and volume of the transactions is extraordinary. And, the investigation uncovered an attitude that is clearly against American interests. If all of this is true, we hope that it will wake up regulators to even more serious vulnerabilities in our system. Remember, we documented how a single one billion transaction roiled our Treasury markets a little over a year ago. These transactions total a quarter-trillion dollars!

We have pointed out the extraordinary arrogance contained in the idea that the world’s financial system is U.S. centric. In fact, in our previous post on this subject, Our Paper or Their Oil, we said the following:

A high-stakes drama is playing out now between the United States and Iran. On this blog, in our book Secret Weapon, in speeches and media interviews, we  have been warning about the reality of global economic warfare. For several years, our government has ignored this reality. The good news is that just recently the government has begun to recognize economic weaponry. The bad news is that the government has approached the subject with typical American arrogance. The worse news is that we may all be hurt as a result.

The news from Standard Chartered, a British-based multinational bank operating in 70 countries, provides a decent proxy of world opinion. The primary reason that the world continues to deal with Iran is that they have Oil. We are fighting with paper. Here is a telling quote from the CNBC story:

Regulators, quoting a New York bank branch officer, said the group director replied: “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

Here are important quotes from the New York Times story:

The bank “left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes,” the agency said in an order sent to the bank Monday …

The department accused the bank of undermining the safety of New York’s financial system through a range of violations including “falsifying business records” and “obstructing governmental administration,” according to the order.

Suspecting that Iranian banks were using their financial institutions to finance its nuclear weapons program, the United States Treasury Department banned certain transactions between Iranian banks and United States financial institutions in 2008.

Make no mistake, this is a global economic war. The international financial system is not serving American interests and as we have proven can be used as a weapon in the global economic war (seewww.SecretWeapon.org). Sadly, this is a shock to most Americans.

Full article: Standard Chartered Takes Sides with $250 billion against America? (Kevin D. Freeman)

Banking’s SWIFT ready to stop Iran transactions

Belgium-based SWIFT, which provides banks with a system for moving funds around the world, bowed to international pressure on Friday and said it was ready to block Iranian banks from using its network to transfer money further isolating Iran’s economy on the global stage.

Expelling Iranian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication would shut down Tehran’s main avenue to doing business with the rest of the world – an outcome the West believes is crucial to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

SWIFT, which has never cut off a country before, has been closely following efforts in the United States and the European Union to develop new sanctions targeting Iran that would directly affect EU-based financial institutions.

The United States and EU have already moved to sanction Iran’s central bank.

Full article: Banking’s SWIFT ready to stop Iran transactions (Jerusalem Post)

“Bold Alligator 2012” drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.

Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

Monday, Feb. 6, the US president ordered the tightening of sanctions by freezing Iranian assets in America and blocking the operations of Iranian banks including its central bank.

Full article: “Bold Alligator 2012” drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action (DEBKAfile)