The SWIFT global financial transaction service today cut its ties with Iranian banks that are subject to EU sanctions. The action makes it impossible for the Iranian banks to engage in international transactions and would isolate Iran financially.
"Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for SWIFT," Lazaro Campos, chief executive of SWIFT, said. "It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran."
Source: AP, 15 March 2012
UPDATE: the Brussels-based SWIFT announced the cut off date would be Saturday 17 March. SWIFT, described as the ‘glue’ of the global banking system, handles payments among banks worldwide at more than $6 trillion each day. Iran’s exclusion from the system will severely limit the country’s ability to conduct international banking transactions.