Russia and Iran are organising cooperation between the Russian financial messaging system and Iran's SEPAM as an alternative to making payments through SWIFT for protection against third countries' sanctions, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters Friday.
"To protect bilateral trade and economic ties from the sanctions of third states: we are taking measures to expand direct settlements, use national currencies, and to establish interaction between the Russian financial messaging system and Iran's SEPAM, as an alternative to making payments through SWIFT", Ushakov said.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, announced in November that it would sever ties with individual Iran-based banks for the sake of the "global stability of the system," without elaborating.
The announcement came on the same day as the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against the Iranian economy's energy, banking and shipping sectors. Several days prior, the US had warned that SWIFT, like any other entity, must abide with the US sanctions regime against Iran, or risk falling under secondary US sanctions.