Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Switzerland to enhance the effectiveness of a financial mechanism it has set up for trade with Iran, so that Tehran could release part of its assets abroad.
In a telephone conversation with Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga on Tuesday, Rouhani welcomed Switzerland’s initiative to set up the financial mechanism for humanitarian transactions with Iran, and stressed the need for the channel to become more operational.
“The formation of the mechanism could be effective under such difficult conditions, and we expect that further activation of this financial mechanism would let part of Iran’s financial resources in certain counties become operational via this channel,” he added.
The president also highlighted Switzerland’s major and critical role in international relations, adding, “We expect Switzerland to play a more influential role in such delicate conditions as we are witnessing an escalation of the unlawful and inhumane American sanctions against Iran.”
“Under the current tough and critical conditions when all countries are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the illegal US sanctions and the mounting economic pressures have aggravated the situation for people of Iran,” the president said.
He also stressed the need to save the JCPOA as an international agreement. “It is necessary for the European Union, particularly for the three European parties (to the JCPOA), to take the necessary measures to create a balance in the fulfillment of the JCPOA commitments for saving the accord.
“Switzerland can also help strengthen the pillars of the JCPOA.”
The Iranian president further called for the expansion of relations between Tehran and Bern in the economic, scientific and health sectors, saying the two nations can also share experiences in the fight against COVID-19.
“We are fully prepared to broaden and deepen the economic, scientific and health relations with Switzerland, and I hope that the efforts from the two countries on the path to peace, stability and humanitarianism would continue,” the Iranian president underlined.
For her part, the Swiss president congratulated the Iranian government and nation on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, and called for the expansion of relations with the Islamic Republic.
Sommaruga also welcomed the idea of sharing experiences in the battle with the novel coronavirus, stressing the need for the health ministries of the two countries to promote cooperation.
She also pledged that Switzerland will keep up efforts to operate the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) for trade with Iran, saying an emergency International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan that Iran has applied for to fight the coronavirus epidemic could be disbursed through this Swiss financial mechanism.
Sommaruga also deplored the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, stressing the need to salvage the international agreement.
“We will do our utmost to maintain the JCPOA and will also encourage the other European parties to do so and to honor the commitments,” she concluded.