Bahram Qassemi

Iran: Swiss financial channel not related to SPV, aimed at expansion of bilateral ties

FNA – The Iranian foreign ministry announced on Monday that the financial channel launched by Switzerland to further develop relations with Tehran is not related to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which was due to facilitate trade between Iran and the EU.

“Europe’s SPV and what Switzerland has put forward are two separate issues. I think that Switzerland is interested in having another specific and separate channel in the framework of mutual cooperation, specially in commercial and economic fields, while there might be similar channels in other countries as well,” Qassemi told reporters in a press conference in Tehran today.

Elsewhere, he referred to the US-sponsored conference due to be held in Warsaw next month, and said, “The Warsaw meeting is an American move with specific goals, not necessarily about Iran, but it pursues specific goals and I think that one of its major goals is sowing discord and differences among the European states.”

Qassemi said Iran would monitors the conference precisely, adding that certainly his country will keep in mind the performance of participants in the meeting for future action.

The foreign ministry spokesman also deplored Germany’s decision to ban Iranian airline Mahan air from its airports, describing the move as inappropriate and against the spirit ruling bilateral relations.

“I hope that Germany will make up for this mistake immediately and revive the situation prevailing in the past,” he added.

The Swiss government has received permission from US Treasury Department to open a financial channel for transferring Iran’s oil revenues to Tehran.

Head of Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce Sharif Nezam-Mafi said last Tuesday that Switzerland had prepared all requirements for an independent payment channel aimed at keeping trade ties with Iran.

Nezam-Mafi said the clearing house would be used to facilitate Iran’s oil transactions with its major Asian crude customers namely India, China and South Korea.

“Currently there is no money belonging to Iran in Europe. Most of Iran’s money is in India, China and South Korea which import Iranian crude,” he said.

According to Nezam-Mafi, once the Iranian oil money flown from Asia to Europe, the Swiss financial channel would start to work immediately.

The official said no time had been set for the Swiss payment mechanism to go operational. “There is still no clear date, but everything is waiting for Iran’s money to enter the financial mechanism.”

He noted the transfer of money required an approval from the US Treasury Department and the matter that had been the focus of negotiations between the Swiss government and the US government in recent months.

Nezam-Mafi said the Swiss government had designated an operating bank, but had not yet formally announced its name.