The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s compliance with the agreement on its nuclear programme and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has come into effect.

In the wake of this confirmation, sanctions imposed on Iran’s banks have been substantially eased.

SWIFT reconnection

Amongst early impacts on the banking sector, Iranian banks can now reconnect to the SWIFT international payment system while the United Nations Security Council has said that it has removed Bank Sepah and its international subsidiary from a sanctions list.

“Those banks that are delisted…will now automatically be able to reconnect to SWIFT, following the completion of our normal connection process (i.e. administrative and systems checks, connectivity and technical arrangements),” SWIFT said in a statement.

Some sanctions remain

It went on to say that because not all restrictions imposed on the Iranian banks were lifted, SWIFT would still not be able to provide certain financial messaging services to Iranian banks under EU sanctions.

These remain in place under regulations imposed by the EU, which will have to be eased through European policymaking mechanisms.

Bank Sepah

The United Nations Security Council announced in the wake of implementation of the JCPOA that it has removed Iran’s Bank Sepah and its international subsidiary from a sanctions list. Bank Sepah had been sanctioned and its assets frozen since 2007.

In July 2015, Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US to the JCPOA through resolution 2231 (2015), to entrust the IAEA with verifying and monitoring Iran’s commitments.