Code: 867188 A

Swiss ambassador to Tehran Markus Leitner said that we had extensive contacts with Iranian, American authorities and also Swiss banks to launch and secure the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA).

According to ILNA news agency, Markus Leitner said at a press conference held at the place of the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Sunday, that our goal is to ensure that exporters and pharmaceutical companies based in Switzerland can have a financial channel with Iran.

"The channel is not only humanitarian tools but also a political symbol."

He confirmed that Therefore, the US Treasury guarantees those companies will not be subject to US sanctions.

"Medicines or medical devices have always been exempt from sanctions, but as US sanctions against Iran resume, companies willing to cooperate with Iran have lessened," Swiss ambassador added.

“I’m sure that the mechanism will have positive effects on other payment channels,” said Markus Leitner.

On Thursday, a Swiss humanitarian channel to bring food and medicine to Iran kicked off trial operations, the US Department of the Treasury and the Swiss government said.

The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical, and medical sectors can sell their products to Iran without landing in the crosshairs of the US Treasury.

Reports have suggested that the transaction was processed via Swiss lender Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP) using credits belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

Iranian authorities have welcomed the first transaction through the SHTA which came after more than a year of direct consultations between SECO and US Department of Treasury.

However, CBI chief Abdolnasser Hemmati said that it was obvious that Washington was still opposed to more inclusive trade of such items with Iran despite repeated claims that its sanctions do not affect the supply of food and medicine to the country.

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Central Bank of Iran SHTA Swiss humanitarian channel Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement Markus Leitner Swiss banks
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