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Switzerland defies US, EU ban on Iran oil

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Switzerland will continue to purchase Iranian oil in defiance of the European Union sanctions on the Islamic Republic that came into effect on July 1.

The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs stated that Switzerland will not join the oil embargo against Iran, despite pressure from the United States and the EU, IRNA reported on Friday.

Switzerland says that any decision on the import, sale, and transport of Iranian crude oil and petrochemical products and their insurance coverage should be made by the parties to the trade themselves.

In response to a question by the Swiss news agency SDA/ATS, a Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Switzerland wants to maintain good relations with Iran.

In April, the Swiss government also exempted the Central Bank of Iran from the asset freeze that is part of the EU sanctions.

Last month, US Ambassador to Switzerland Donald S. Beyer expressed “disappointment” over Swiss officials’ refusal to comply with the US-engineered EU sanctions on Iran.

On July 1, under US pressure, the EU imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors, which had been approved by the bloc’s foreign ministers on January 23.

In March, the US administration approved new embargoes on Iranian crude that penalize other countries for buying or selling Iran’s oil. The sanctions took effect on June 28.

The United States has no embassy in Iran and the Swiss Embassy in Tehran has hosted the US Interests Section in the country since late 1979.


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