Code: 963103 A

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to host his Swiss counterpart next Monday, during a two-day visit by the latter to mark the 100th anniversary of Switzerland’s diplomatic presence in Iran that is also meant to address bilateral, regional, and international issues.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced the pending meeting in a tweet on Thursday, saying the Swiss top diplomat Ignazio Cassis would be joined by his accompanying delegation during the meeting.

The two sides are to discuss mutual relations as well as regional and bilateral issues during the visit, which is expected to last from September 5 to 7.

Switzerland, which also represents the United States’ interests in Iran, hosts a so-called humanitarian channel, known as the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), that is meant to help Tehran avoid American sanctions.

Reports say the pending visit is expected to help expand the channel.

Sharif Nezam Mafi, who chairs the Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Wednesday that Cassis would try to secure funds from the Iranian side for further activation of the SHTA.

Swiss authorities managed to accommodate a first official transaction under the SHTA in late July. That was the first time when funds belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) got round the US sanctions and were being processed by a European bank since May 2018, when Washington illegally and unilaterally left a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and returned the bans.

Reports about attempts at continued operation of the Swiss channel come while American officials keep claiming that Washington has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the sanctions. Tehran strictly rejects such claims.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif Iranian foreign minister SHTA Ignazio Cassis
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