Swiss humanitarian channel with Iran open for business

TEHRAN, Feb. 28 (MNA) – The United States and Switzerland have finalized the terms of a humanitarian trade agreement, which would allow companies to send food, medicine and other critical supplies to Iran.

The US Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Agreementexternal link (SHTA) is fully operational so that companies can now send food, medicine and other critical supplies to Iran.

“The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement will help ensure that humanitarian goods continue to reach the Iranian people,” said Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “We thank our Swiss counterparts for their dedicated efforts in establishing the SHTA and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”

This comes after US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said last week that food and drug companies were very much interested in using the SHTA.

The SHTA began trial operations last month during which Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland, supplied Iran with €2.3 million worth of cancer medicines and medicines needed for organ transplants.

The SHTA aims to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading firms in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have access to a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank, by means of which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed.

Although food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from the sanctions imposed by Washington, the US measures, targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities, have deterred several foreign banks from doing business with Iran, including humanitarian deals.

MNA/PR

News Code 156108

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