Rouhani urges Switzerland to be more effective in countering U.S. illegal acts

May 26, 2020 - 18:34

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has urged Switzerland to play a more effective role in countering the United States’ illegal actions and economic pressure against Iran.

“In a sensitive situation in which we witness the United States’ illegal and inhuman sanctions against Iran, we expect Switzerland to play a more effective role,” he told Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga in a phone conversation on Tuesday.

Rouhani also praised Switzerland for launching a financial mechanism for humanitarian trade with Iran, saying it is essential to make the mechanism more active. 

The Bern government has established Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) to facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran. According to swiss.info, under the SHTA, the Swiss government has created a payment channel with a Swiss bank, through which payments for exports to Iran by Swiss domiciled companies are facilitated. The agreement is open to companies domiciled in Switzerland, including those owned or controlled by third-party persons, in food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Rouhani suggested that it is necessary that Iran’s money in other countries is transferred through the SHTA.

“Launching this mechanism can be very effective in this difficult situation. We expect this financial mechanism to become more active and Iran’s financial resources in some countries be processed through this route,” he said.

Elsewhere, Rouhani attached great importance to preserving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, as an international agreement.

“It is essential for the European Union, especially the three European countries, to take the necessary steps to create a balance in implementing commitments under the JCPOA, and Switzerland can help strengthen foundation of the JCPOA,” he said.

For her part, Sommaruga said that Switzerland will make any effort to encourage the remaining signatories to the JCPOA to be committed to their obligations and preserve the agreement.

She also said that the Swiss government will make efforts to make the financial mechanism more active.

She noted that “Iran’s requested loan from the International Monetary Fund for fighting COVID-19 can be done through this financial mechanism.” 

Iran’s central bank wrote in March to the IMF requesting $5bn from its Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency program that gives loans to countries facing with sudden shocks such as natural disasters.

It was Tehran’s first request for IMF loan since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In early April, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources from the White House, that the United States was seeking to prevent the IMF from providing loan to Iran.

NA/PA

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