Feb 4, 2020, 12:55 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83660241
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Switzerland takes humanitarian strategy toward Iran: Embassy

Tehran, Feb 4, IRNA – The Swiss Embassy in Tehran in a message said Switzerland foreign poicy toward Iran is developing peace, security and humanitarian commitments.

"#Switzerland’s foreign policy strategy 2020-23 defines the thematic focus areas and specific Swiss expertise to promote peace + security (good offices, humanitarian commitment, bridge-building, mediation, science diplomacy)," Swiss embassy wrote in its official Twitter account.

The Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Markus Leitner earlier announced the launching of the Swiss Financial Mechanism within the next two to three weeks, saying that some 180,000 packages of medicines needed for transplant patients arrived in Tehran on Sunday.

The aim of the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) is to ensure that exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors based in Switzerland have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed. In this way, Switzerland is helping to supply the Iranian population with agricultural commodities, food, medicines, and medical equipment. This is in keeping with Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition.

The SHTA was developed by Switzerland in close cooperation with the relevant authorities in the USA and Iran, as well as with selected Swiss banks and companies. Under the SHTA, the US Department of the Treasury will provide the banks involved with the necessary assurances that the financial transactions can be processed in accordance with the US legislation.

In return, exporters and banks participating in the SHTA will provide SECO with detailed information about their business activities and business partners in Iran, and the transactions they carry out. SECO will verify this information and, in cooperation with the US Treasury Department, ensure that increased due diligence has been exercised in respect of the transactions carried out. To this end, SECO will also make the information received from the banks and exporters available to the US Treasury Department.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister also described the new Swiss payment mechanism or channel as less than an executive order by the International Court of Justice, saying the court ordered the United States not to block food and medicine from entering Iran.

The US continues to exert pressure on the Iranian people and deprive Iran of ways of paying the cost of this medicine and limit the use of available financial resources, he added.

"This is a small step, of course, the Swiss government has taken; we appreciate it but it does not reflect the goodwill of the United States," Zarif said adding that this is not a sign that the United States has taken even the slightest step though the International Court of Justice has ordered it to do so.

A new Swiss payment mechanism has been launched which allows humanitarian aid to be sent to Iran without falling foul of US sanctions.

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