LONDON: International banks are preparing to re-establish links with their Iranian counterparts using the SWIFT transactions system, the head of Iran’s Middle East Bank told Reuters on Friday.

But it is likely to take at least two weeks before the connections will be set up, which will allow Iranian lenders to engage with the global banking world for the first time since restrictions were imposed in 2012.

A nuclear deal between world powers and Iran led to the removal of the curbs on Tehran’s banking, insurance and shipping sectors, as well as restrictions on oil exports.

The SWIFT (Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Tele­comm­uni­ca­tions) system is used to transmit letters of credit and payments.

“We have sent almost 40 SWIFTS to different banks around the world and we have requested that now that the sanctions are lifted, we would like to exchange documents and whether they will consider a correspondent banking relationship,” said Parviz Aghili, CEO of Tehran-based Middle East Bank.

“Some of them have come back and have asked for various questions, for documents they need. My feeling is it is going to take a couple of weeks or so before we start to see proper re-engagement. It will be slowly, slowly,” he said.

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