Friday, December 8, 2023

Iranian, Swiss Top Diplomats Hold ‘Fruitful’ Talks in Tehran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ignazio Cassis, the head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), had a meeting in Tehran.

In the Monday talks, the two sides held “excellent talks on bilateral, regional and global issues,” according to a tweet by Zarif.

They conferred on the latest developments in bilateral relations, regional and international issues including those related to Syria, Yemen, trade ties between Tehran and Bern, the Swiss financial channel, and the JCPOA, a statement by the Iranian side said.

They also exchanged views on the US’ hostile policies and its sabotage of Iran’s normal political and economic relations with the world.

Foreign Minister Zarif expressed pleasure with hosting the Swiss top diplomat on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Iran and Switzerland, and appreciated the European country’s efforts to promote mutual ties with Iran.

Zarif, at the same time, said a return to normal foreign trade is an important priority for Iran and the world.

The Swiss official, in turn, highlighted historical relations between the two countries, and underlined his country’s commitment to the JCPOA and expansion of ties with Iran in all aspects.

In his Monday tweet, Zarif said he was “pleased to host Swiss FM Ignazio Cassis on centennial of diplomatic relations — ties that endure based on mutual respect.”

“While appreciating Swiss efforts to mitigate US sabotage, a return to normal trade is global priority,” the Iranian top diplomat added.

The Swiss top diplomat also said in a tweet that he had held “fruitful” talks with Zarif on “peace, economic development and human rights.”

“I’m glad we could establish together the Swiss Humanitarian Channel for the transfer of food and medical supplies to the people of Iran,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Cassis is in Iran on “a routine trip” that had been scheduled to take place earlier, but was delayed due to the new coronavirus’ outbreak.

“We enjoy good and extensive relations with Switzerland,” he said of the European country that represents US interests in Iran.

Khatibzadeh, however, asserted that despite the “media speculations” trying to link Cassis’ trip to the US, “our policies concerning Washington remain the same.”

As a case in point, he cited the US pressure that delayed Switzerland’s setting up of a financial channel that would circumvent the American sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic, for 20 months.

Swiss authorities managed to accommodate a first official transaction under the SHTA in late July. That proved critical for both Switzerland and Iran as it was a first time since the re-imposition of US sanctions in 2018 that funds belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) had got round the US sanctions and were processed by a European bank.

Switzerland has secured a special waiver from Washington to allow the SHTA to work. That comes despite repeated claims by the US government that Iran’s humanitarian needs, including medicine, are exempt from the unilateral bans imposed on the country.


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