Feb 5, 2020, 5:52 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83662628
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US blocks banking channels for food, pharmaceutical drugs exchange

Tehran, Feb 5, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi in a message on Wednesday said that despite US' baseless claims that food and drug are not sanctioned, they have blocked all banking channels to prevent any transaction in this end.

In his Twitter message which was released on Wednesday, Mousavi stressed that by launching the so-called humanitarian channel to supply medicines, they officially proved that it is a baseless claim and in contrast with International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling.

Mousavi said they proved that food and medicines are also sanctioned, this is while it should not be sanctioned.

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.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 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.


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