The Chairman of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce, Sharif Nezam-Mafi said “The activation of Switzerland’s financial channel depends on the actions of the Central Bank of Iran.”
Speaking to ILNA news agency, he confirmed that the payments channel has been developed but it requires investment so that companies can access the items which they need to buy.
According to reports, the aim of the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank, through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed.
“The Swiss payment mechanism is now fully operational and is waiting for cash injection on the part of the Central Bank of Iran,” he added.
Referring to the EU-Iran trading mechanism INSTEX, the Chairman of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce said “It's impossible for Switzerland to join INSTEX because this country has its own financial mechanism.”
Sharif Nezam-Mafi pointed to the impact of sanctions on exports and imports of the two countries and added that Iran's exports have fallen sharply, and Swiss companies export no goods to Iran other than medicine and grains.
Last year, the Swiss economic affairs department announced that it was “striving” to set up the humanitarian payments channel “as soon as possible” but could not give a start date.
EU countries led by France, Germany, and Britain, have said they want to enable non-US trade with Iran to continue in defiance of Washington. The EU has devised the special purpose vehicle (SPV), a financial mechanism, to continue trade with Iran and neutralize the US sanctions against Tehran.
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).