2021-October-18 01:20
2020-March-12  15:00

Iran Blasts US for Blocking Swiss-Launched Channel for Medical Transfer

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Wednesday.

"It has been three weeks since we started negotiating with one of the countries in which we have financial resources and they say that Americans are creating obstacle for the transfer of Iran’s financial resources into the channel,” he said.

Therefore we consider their claims as lies until they take a practical measure and remove the obstacles, Mousavi noted.

“We asked them to allow our other financial resources in various countries enter this chancel in order to provide medicines and medical equipment but they [US] did not allow it,” he added.

A channel to bring food and medicine to Iran allegedly started trial operations, the Swiss and US governments said last month.

The channel called Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed, a government statement said.

Three shipments of cancer and transplant drugs have been sent to Iran through this channel and the transaction has been processed, US Special Representative Brian Hook told a press briefing.

US sanctions targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing business with the Islamic Republic - including humanitarian deals.

Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran's UN mission, said the opening of the channel was evidence of US "false claims" that medicine and food were exempt from the sanctions. "If they were...then why require this special channel?" he tweeted. He accused Washington of waging "economic terrorism against the Iranian people".