Yet another blow to the Iranian regime as it is about to experience European financial sanctions intensifying and creating further havoc on the Iranian economy.
On Saturday, March 17, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) will cease providing services to Iranian financial institutions subject to European sanctions.
"Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for SWIFT. It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran" said Lázaro Campos, CEO of SWIFT.
SWIFT has more than 9,000 banking organizations, securities institutions and corporate clients in 209 countries and facilitates a significant chunk of international bank transfers.
This action will further squeeze the Iranian regime and will results in more rhetoric that will continue to put upward pressure on the price of crude. Increased pressure on crude prices will eventually slow economic activity and derail the stock market rally we have been enjoying since October of last year.
Investors can hedge themselves with relative ease by taking positions in solid crude producers like Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU).
This strategy can be thought of as buying a put with the benefits of a dividend and no expiration date risk.
Disclosure: I am long SU.
Additional disclosure: I own SU on the TSX