Switzerland says SHTA's 1st transaction completed

TEHRAN, Jul. 27 (MNA) – Switzerland announced on Monday that its first deal with Iran trough Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) has been completed.

As the New York Times reported, a Swiss pharmaceutical company has completed the first transaction under a new humanitarian trade channel with Iran.

"We would like to emphasize that the operationalization of the SHTA is progressing and that a number of companies have already been approved, more companies will follow. Further transactions should be carried out shortly," the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said.

SECO did not identify the Swiss drugmaker or give a value for the shipment, which it said involved a cancer drug used to treat iron overload caused by repeated blood transfusions.

SHTA is a payment mechanism that 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.

On February 28, the United States and Switzerland finalized the terms of a humanitarian trade agreement. The US Department of the Treasury said that the SHTA is fully operational so that companies can now send food, medicine, and other critical supplies to Iran.

The SHTA began trial operations in February 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 first deal through the SHTA has been done while Iran believes the mechanism will not suffice in meeting Iran's needs at the time of sanctions.

Iranian officials say companies seeking to participate in SHTA find it very difficult to comply with the criteria set by the US government to avoid violating the general rules governing the sanctions.

The United States has imposed severe sanctions on Iran's economy, which Iranian officials refer to as 'economic terrorism', since its unilateral and illegal withdrawal for the UN-endorsed JCPOA back in May 2018. 

HJ/PR

News Code 161510

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