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Top Swiss Diplomat to Visit

Top Swiss Diplomat to Visit Top Swiss Diplomat to Visit

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis is set to visit Iran as part of celebrations marking 100 years of the European country’s diplomatic presence in Tehran.
He will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani during his stay on September 5-7, Swissinfo.ch reported. 
His discussions will focus on a range of issues, including bilateral ties, regional developments and international issues.
Switzerland has represented US interests in Iran since 1980 and in 2017, it assumed protecting power mandates for Iran in Saudi Arabia and for Saudi Arabia in Iran. Since 2019, it has also represented Iranian interests in Canada.
The European country also hosts a so-called humanitarian channel, known as the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), which aims to help Tehran avoid American sanctions.
Reports say the Swiss foreign minister’s upcoming visit is expected to help expand the channel.
The United States has reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran since its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal two years ago.  
The humanitarian channel allows Swiss-based companies to send medicines and other essential goods to Iran. The first shipments of medical supplies to help Iran combat the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Tehran through the channel in July.
Sharif Nezam Mafi, who chairs the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce, said on Wednesday that Cassis is expected to discuss ways of securing funds for the further activation of SHTA.
“It seems that some solutions have been found to secure these financial resources,” he said in an interview with ILNA. 
Discussions about latest developments related to the nuclear deal as well as human rights and political developments in the Middle East are also on the agenda of Cassis’s visit. 

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