TEHRAN, IRAN — According to Tasnim News Agency, a semi-official news outlet in Iran, a banking official announced on Thursday that all Russian banks and 106 banks from 13 other countries have been linked to Iran’s financial messaging system, SEPAM.
The move apparently is aimed at facilitating business dealings and providing a more efficient means of transactions between the two countries especially in the wake of Ukraine war that left the Russia isolated in the world.
It is expected that the move may be viewed with annoyance by the US and the West, as it could potentially undermine their efforts to isolate Iran economically. The US has previously imposed sanctions on Iran, and the establishment of this financial messaging system could be seen as a challenge to these sanctions.
The financial messaging system is considered a significant step in improving economic ties between Russia and Iran, as it will allow for secure and reliable exchange of financial information.
According to data from the Russian Central Bank, trade between Russia and Iran has increased by nearly 25% in the past year, reaching a total of $2.8 billion. This growth is expected to continue, with the establishment of the financial messaging system expected to further boost trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
The connection of Russian banks to Iran’s financial messaging system has been welcomed by the business community, but it also comes in the backdrop of increased tensions between the West and Russia, particularly in the wake of the Ukraine war. Despite this, Russia and Iran have continued to work towards improving their economic cooperation, with the establishment of this system being a further demonstration of their commitment to this goal.
“This connection of Russian banks to Iran’s financial messaging system is a significant step towards strengthening economic ties between our two countries,” said Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov. “It will greatly enhance the banking sector in both countries and provide a much-needed boost to trade and investment opportunities.”
“The establishment of this system is in line with our efforts to improve the economic cooperation between Iran and Russia,” said Iran’s Central Bank Governor, Abdolnaser Hemmati. “It will provide a secure and reliable means of transactions and help attract more foreign investment into both our countries.”
Overall, the connection of Russian banks to Iran’s financial messaging system is expected to have a positive impact on the region, despite the challenges posed by the current geopolitical climate.