Monday Mar 19, 201209:32 AM GMT
Israel's Netanyahu pestered SWIFT to stop services to Iran: Israel official
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Barack Obama
Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:15AM
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An Israeli official says the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) discontinued offering services to Iran upon the persisting demands by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On March 15, SWIFT CEO Lazaro Campos said in a statement that the society has decided to discontinue offering services to Iranian banks which are subject to financial sanctions imposed by the European Union.

This is while the Israeli official, whose name was not announced, indicated that, in meetings with US president Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Netanyahu had demanded Iran’s expulsion from the SWIFT, the Ha’aretz reported.

According to the unnamed Israeli official, Netanyahu told Obama that "we need SWIFT swiftly.”

Following the SWIFT's announcement on Thursday, Netanyahu’s office “congratulated SWIFT for its decision” in a statement issued later on the same day.

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also applauded the move, claiming that the decision will harm the Iranian economy.

Established in 1973, the SWIFT is an international clearing system which handles cross-border payments for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries.

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