Iran not relying on Swiss mechanism for supplying medicine, basic goods

February 4, 2020 - 19:1

TEHRAN – Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati has said Iran is not relying on the recently launched Swiss-based mechanism for supplying agricultural commodities and medicine.

“Our imports of medicine and pharmaceuticals over the past 10 months have been over 2,000 times the volume of imports from the Swiss financial channel,” Hemmati said.

He noted that so far about $2.5 million worth of medicine has been imported to Iran through the Swiss mechanism, while over $4 billion worth of such commodities has been imported into the country without the aid of such trade channels.

Referring to the ongoing U.S. obstruction against the transfer of resources for commodity and medicine exchanges, Hemmati emphasized that if Americans really claim to be cooperative regarding the supply of medicines and agricultural goods, they must provide a banking mechanism for direct transfer of funds for such commodities.

The central bank and other government bodies have been countering the sanctions so far, and the country’s medical needs have been provided so far and will continue to be provided in the future.

According to Hemmati, launching a technical mechanism without the possibility of transferring resources is not sufficient.

According to the Swiss Embassy in Iran, on January 27, an initial payment for a shipment of medicines to Iran was approved after which the Switzerland payment mechanism for humanitarian supplies to Iran named SHTA officially took effect.

"Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), a payment mechanism to enable humanitarian goods to be delivered to Iran, is about to be implemented," Swiss embassy in Tehran announced in late January and later the embassy unveiled some medicine imported through the mechanism.

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