Switzerland Lifts Sanctions Against Iran

Switzerland will on Thursday officially lift sanctions against Iran that had been suspended since January 2014, the government announced on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

"The Federal Council (government) wishes today's steps to be seen as a sign of its support for the implementation of the nuclear agreement and its interest in deepening bilateral relations with Iran," said a statement quoted by the news agency.

The Swiss sanctions had banned trade in precious metals with Iranian state bodies and set requirements to report trade in Iranian petrochemical products and the transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products.

Switzerland will also introduce a new exemption clause that lets Berne implement UN Security Council resolutions on Iran, according to Reuters.

The government said Switzerland wished to "promote a broad political and economic exchange with Iran" but would monitor implementation of the nuclear deal.

"Should implementation of the agreement fail, the Federal Council reserves the right to reintroduce the lifted measures," it said.

Several European countries have taken steps to renew ties with Iran following the nuclear deal with world powers.

Last week, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni held talks with officials in Tehran, the latest in a series of European officials seeking closer trade ties with the Islamic Republic.

Gentiloni’s visit to Iran followed similar trips from senior government ministers from France, Germany and Serbia which have been among visitors to Iran since the July 14 accord.

After the Iran deal was signed, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini announced that she would visit Iran.

Similarly, French President Francois Hollande spoke with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani after the deal, and the two agreed to “step up bilateral cooperation”.

Austria's president has announced plans to travel to Iran on September 7-9, likely making him the first Western head of state to do so.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/199384

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