SPOTNIK – Switzerland announced in December 2018 that it is launching a financial and trade channel to allow Iran to take advantage of humanitarian trade with that country or even other European countries, far from US sanctions.
Switzerland, which has represented Iran in the interests of Iran since the US embassy in Tehran and has repeatedly played a mediating role in various disputes; however, the volume of Iranian-Swiss trade relations is not significant. The volume of bilateral trade between Iran and Switzerland in the first quarter of 2019 reached 299 million kronor (about 29.9 million euro), of which 263 million kronor (26.3 million euro) were exported to Sweden and 36 million kronor (3.6 million euro). Has been from Iran to this country. The most important items exported from Switzerland to Iran include food, medicine and medical equipment.
About a year after the issue of a joint financial channel between Iran and Switzerland, Swiss ambassador to Tehran Marcus Linter announced at the Iran Green Conference, sponsored by the Tehran Chamber, the launch of the financial channel for humanitarian trade. According to him, the main area of activity of the channel is defined as the exchange of humanitarian goods such as medicine, medical equipment and food products. "The financial channel is not going to be a competitor or replacement for Intex and will operate differently from the Intex financial mechanism if it is set up," Leitner said.
But to what extent can we hope for the efficiency of this financial channel? How will this shared channel be financed? Does the Swiss side fear US sanctions? In this regard Sputnik with Reza Tahmasebi, Head of Communication and Media Department of Tehran Chamber of Commerce It has been concluded that the details of this conversation will be outlined below.
The main source of news about the launch of this joint financial channel is Switzerland, and in fact Mr Marcus Linter, the Swiss ambassador to Iran, who had previously referred to it. At the two-day IranGreen conference, sponsored by the Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber with the support of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, attended by the Chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran and a large number of Iranian private and economic representatives and some foreign countries at the Spinas Hotel. Tehran Palace held; Mr. Marcus Leicester announced this in his speech.
Switzerland is one of the countries involved in Iran's exchange in Europe, especially in the field of food and agricultural products. Since the goods exchanged between Iran and Switzerland are non-sanctioned goods, there is no problem with US sanctions. But the major thing about trading with European countries is that banks or financial institutions that have to do money transfers do so despite the legal or commercial prohibition because of the conservatism or risk that these exchanges have with Iran. Can't. European banks do not enter into trade in humanitarian goods with Iran simply because they have branches in the United States and may have transactions there. Switzerland is currently claiming to have set up the channel and is likely to introduce a number of banks or financial institutions to Iran for transferring money, presumably to be small banks and institutions limited to Switzerland or the Union. It is Europe, and they probably have no exchange with the US that they are worried about, while the goods they support are out of the embargo. So this is not a strange thing for financial transfers.
The issue here is only related to Switzerland's willingness to trade with Iran, and since the exchange of goods outside the embargo is a good one, Switzerland has taken the risk. It is a win-win for Switzerland and a win-win game for Iran; according to the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, a watermelon variety comes from both watermelons planted and consumed in Iran. Also, 90% of the carrots sown in Iranian farms were produced in Switzerland. In addition, one out of every eight Iranian infants is a Swiss consumer of pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs, all of which means that Switzerland has a good market in non-sanctioned goods in Iran and is likely to try not to lose it.
The Swiss ambassador in Tehran has also noted that this financial mechanism and channel is not a new invention and that similar sanctions have existed in the previous period of sanctions against Iran and have been active in facilitating money transfers for humanitarian goods to Iran. The Swiss government has been trying to launch the channel in the interest of its interests in Iran, although this mechanism has not yet been implemented.
Mr. Marcus Linter has argued that this channel is not a rival or substitute for Intex, this is true because the mechanism will only work between Iran and Switzerland, and unlike Intex, which has bureaucracies and heavy burdens and is currently unlikely to Being executable is more practical. In addition, unlike Intex, Switzerland has chosen and focused on a specific target and is not going to export sanctioned or dual-use goods for offef. In Switzerland alone, it is enough to nominate some banks and banks for money exchange with Iran.
The points raised in this article are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Sputnik editorial board.