The Iranian publishing industry is visibly excited about being able to sell books outside of their own country. The is due to the announcement from the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce Mohsen Jalalpour who told reporters in Tehran on Sunday that today Iran will re-apply to join the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT.
In early 2012, SWIFT announced that under pressure from the European Union, it had decided to discontinue communications services to Iranian banks and financial institutions that are subject to European sanctions. Accordingly, it blocked 30 Iranian banks from using its services, literally cutting off Iran from the global banking system.
It is expected that the application for SWIFT access will be granted within two weeks and this will allow publishers to be able to process payments in cash or credit from other countries and have the funds transferred to local banks.
Not only are Iranian publishers excited about these prospective banking changes, but international retailers are paying close attention. It might not be too long before companies like Amazon and Kobo start conducting preliminary market research to start selling e-books in Iran.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.