TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson elaborated on the itinerary of Ignazio Cassis, the head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), during his upcoming trip to Iran.
Saeed Khatibzadeh’s Friday explanation came in response to questions raised by reporters on the programs of the top Swiss diplomat during his visit to Iran.
“As already planned, the Swiss foreign minister will arrive in Iran tomorrow morning, Saturday. First, he will make a short visit to Isfahan,” the spokesman said.
“After his short stop in Isfahan, the official programs of the Swiss foreign minister will begin in Tehran as of Sunday.”
Khatibzadeh said the most significant event during the Swiss official’s Iran visit will be a meeting marking the 100th anniversary of the start of relations between the two countries.
He noted that the top Swiss diplomat is to sit down with the Iranian president, foreign minister and some other ranking officials on Sunday and Monday.
The spokesman also touched upon the key topic on the agenda of the talks during the Swiss foreign minister’s trip, saying Ignazio will exchange views with Iranian officials on issues of mutual interest at bilateral, regional and international levels as well as issues related to the Swiss financial channel.
“As announced before, two transactions have taken place so far via the Swiss financial channel. The first one was conducted in February 2020 on a trial basis. And back in June, the first official transaction was conducted through this channel,” he said.
“Both transactions included the transfer of medications using Iranian financial resources in Switzerland.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman appreciated and welcomed efforts by Switzerland in following up on this financial channel, adding, “Due to some destructive moves made by the US with regards to this financial channel, we have serious doubts about the United States’ intentions.
“Of course, it is clear that everything conducted so far through this financial channel has been done with Iranian assets in Switzerland.”
“We welcome any move that would see this channel get rid of the US pressure and ease the shipment of commodities and medicines by using Iran’s assets in other countries,” he added.
“This trip will be an opportunity to exchange views between the two countries to further activate the Swiss financial channel and examine possible ways of settling problems,” the Foreign Ministry’s official website quoted him as saying.
The spokesman also elaborated on the makeup of the Swiss foreign minister’s entourage.
“Some Swiss parliamentary officials will be accompanying him during this visit. A meeting has been scheduled for him at the Iranian parliament.”
He also elaborated on Tehran-Bern relations, saying, “Iran and Switzerland have always had forward-moving and progressive ties.”
“During the nuclear talks several rounds of which were held in Geneva, the Swiss government hosted the negotiations well in good faith,” he said.
“The two countries have always maintained their relations even in tough times,” Khatibzadeh added.
“The Swiss government not only represents US interests in Iran, but also runs an interests section for Iran in Canada, and also mutually represents the interests of Iran and Saudi Arabia in the two countries.
“So, in addition to bilateral dimensions, relations between Iran and Switzerland cover a wide-ranging domain in this regard as well.
“These ties are pursued at different levels within the framework of a road map approved during a trip to Iran by the Swiss president in 2016 and later on during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Switzerland in 2018.”
Khatibzadeh further touched upon reports on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s contacts with the Swiss top diplomat, stressing, “This trip has nothing to do with Iran-US issues. This trip has already been planned within the framework of reciprocal ties and regular trips by both countries’ foreign ministers. Of course the trip takes place with delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The US secretary of state’s hasty contacts with dignitaries who are going to visit Iran are nothing new,” he said, adding, “Out of desperation, Pompeo seeks to pursue Washington’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy one way or another. So, he tries to dissuade third countries from having normal relations with Iran.
“Of course, he has failed in his attempts so far. The Americans failed in their efforts, too, during a trip to Iran by director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi. This time, too, their pressure will fail to be effective,” he stressed.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has, time and again, announced its official stance on the Trump regime’s recalcitrance, and Iran’s position has not changed,” the spokesman said.