Switzerland first to lift Iran sanctions

Monday, 17 August 2015

Switzerland has signalled its interest in 'a broad political and economic exchange with Iran' by becoming the first Western country to lift some of its sanctions against the country.

Last month Iran negotiated a nuclear accord with six major countries, in return for which they promised to lift their economic and financial sanctions as soon as the 'implementation day' arrived – this date was left open.

The Swiss government, however, has moved more swiftly. It has already suspended some of the sanctions it had previously agreed to impose. Last week it announced that these sanctions – a ban on precious metals transactions and a requirement to report trade in Iranian petrochemical products – were officially lifted.

Moreover, the special threshold values for reporting and licensing obligations in relation to money transfers from, and to, Iranian nationals have now been increased tenfold, freeing up the Iranian banking system.

'The Federal Council wishes [these] 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'. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance has stated that for the time being, most of the international sanctions against Iran will remain in force and that if the implementation of the agreement should fail, the Federal Council reserves the right to reintroduce the lifted measures.


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