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Donald Trump may not want to launch wars in the Middle East, but that doesn't mean he's getting the United States out of the regime-change business.To that end, the U.S. wants to bar Iranian banks from the Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunications and the global payments system that it oversees.America's exploration of increasingly sophisticated "smart" sanctions is not new. While traveling in Bahrain, he read a local newspaper report about a Swiss bank shutting down its business with Iran. It occurred to him that the U.S. could use its own influence over the private sector to block malign actors from the global economy. Soon thereafter, the U.S. started pressuring banks around the world to drop their business with Iran. Eventually, the authorities declared that any bank doing business with Iran would be shut out of the U.S. market. European leaders' request to the European Investment Bank for its help in supporting the Iran nuclear deal doesn't seem to have borne fruit, most likely owing to U.S. threats against the EIB's corporate interests and directors.
Will Iran conflict break the West?
How Europe can become a global player
The end of
Players and pawns
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