Direct link established between Iranian, Russian banks: official

TEHRAN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian top banker said on Sunday that a direct connection has been established between the banks of Iran and Russia, reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Mohammadreza Farzin, governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said that within the framework of the joint action plan of banking cooperation signed last year by the two countries' central banks, the first step toward the implementation was taken on Sunday.

Farzin added that the Iranian banking network will also have a direct connection with other 106 foreign banks, stressing the banking channel between Iran and the world is being reinstated.

The CBI announced on Sunday that Iran's electronic financial messaging system, known as SEPAM domestically, and the Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia, known as SPFS, were connected following the signing of a deal between the two central banks on the same day.

At the signing ceremony, Mohsen Karimi, the CBI's deputy governor for international affairs, said the step will help prepare the ground for traders and banks from the two countries to increase cooperation and transactions without facing the restrictions imposed by the sanctions, according to Iran's official news agency IRNA.

He added that based on the agreement, all Iranian banks abroad and foreign banks that are connected to Russia's SPFS, including over 100 banks in 13 countries, will be able to exchange messages and communicate with the banks inside Iran.

Iran and Russia, both of which are under sanctions imposed by the United States, have recently expanded their bilateral political and economic relations to counter the U.S. moves.

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