Friday, September 14, 2018

REPORT: Mnuchin Attempting to "Resist" Trump on Forcing Iranian Banks Off SWIFT

By Robert Wenzel

Forcing Iranian banks off SWIFT, once again, would be a horrific measure that would make it difficult for Iran to conduct international trade. In a world where global exchange is necessary to sustain a modern day economy, such a move would be nothing short of barbaric. Yet, this measure is
exactly what President Trump is apparently considering putting in place again against Iran.

It would do nothing but hurt the Iranian people.

According to the Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has heroically been slow in putting before the president the technical details of how such a ban could be implemented.

Here's Rogin:
Stealing documents off President Trump’s desk isn’t the only way his top aides are trying to prevent him from taking action on foreign policy. Several administration officials claim that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has found another way to “resist” the president’s maximum-pressure strategy on Iran: simply neglect to give the president a document he requested several weeks ago.

The Trump administration is drastically increasing pressure on Iran, including by tightening the financial noose on the regime and banks it uses to fund malign activities across the Middle East. One key tool Trump is considering is to force Iranian banks off SWIFT, the international system that clears trans-border financial transactions. Banning Iran from SWIFT was a crucial plank of the pressure campaign that brought Tehran to the negotiating table earlier this decade.

Iran rejoined SWIFT in 2016 as part of the nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from this year. Now, other top Trump administration officials and lawmakers want SWIFT to banish Iran again, but Mnuchin and his department are internally opposed to using pressure to force SWIFT to take action, three senior administration officials said.
What a knife in the back of Mnuchin by Rogin when Mnuchin is attempting to work in the direction of keeping Iran part of the trading world.

That said, implementation of a ban on Iran as part of SWIFT could backfire against the United States long-term. Even Rogin recognizes this:
SWIFT banned Iranian banks in 2012 under pressure from Congress and some European governments, but many in Europe were upset by what they saw as U.S. strong-arm tactics. This time, some European governments want to preserve the nuclear deal and protect Iran from new U.S. sanctions. If the United States successfully pressures SWIFT to break ties with Iran again, that will be a huge blow to European efforts.

Knowing this, Germany’s foreign minister is calling for the European Union to create an alternative to SWIFT. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Though the board of SWIFT is based in Belgium and operates under Belgian law, the United States still has huge leverage.
The more that the United States uses financial instruments to punish countries with its dictates, the more foreign governments will be cautious about maintaining and adopting financial instruments and methods controlled by the U.S.

One wonders if this caution will cross over to a desire by foreign governments to move away from using the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. A move away from the dollar by overseas entral banks would send a tidal wave of dollars hitting the U.S., sending price inflation into double-digit range.

Nobody likes to be under the thumb of an empire, not even other central bankers. The more the U.S. reminds the world, through exercising brutal financial penalties against outlier states, the more it causes other states to focus on how to get out from under the thumb of the U.S.

That's what Russia and China are doing thanks to U.S. sanctions on Russia and tariffs placed on Chinese goods. Using SWIFT to bog down Iran will not go unnoticed by the global community,
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of



  1. Russia and China are already working on an alternative to SWIFT. The US government is hastening its own demise by using sanctions as the tool. They need literally everyone to be a part of the dollar system to keep the game going. Russia has recently sold most of its US treasuries[1]. By kicking people off of SWIFT, sanctioning, and freezing other countries US dollar assets around the world, the US dollar's reserve status is steadily eroding. According to the IMF COFER chart[2], as of Q1 2018 the US dollar made up 62.48% of world allocated reserves.

    And all that doesn't take into account all the gold reserves Russia, China, and even Turkey have been adding:
    "We have increased the share of gold in recent years, almost tenfold in ten years, so we are diversifying the entire structure of currencies," Elvira Nabiullina, the head of Russia's central bank, told state media earlier this month[1].


    1. The delusion is strong with this one! Keep believing you are the only game in town One day soon you will find you are the only one paying attention to your own rhetoric and the world will have moved on.