Swiss FM Cassis Visits Iran

  • A Swiss newspaper reported on "good Swiss services" to the Islamic Republic.
  • These "services" have become more important under US economic sanctions.
  • Switzerland represents the interests of many countries in Iran and vice-versa.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis is scheduled to pay a three-day official visit to Tehran on Saturday at the head of a high-level delegation. According to the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the reason for this trip is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Swiss diplomatic presence in Iran.

Ignazio Cassis is a Swiss physician and politician. He is affiliated to the FDP The Liberals and was elected to the Federal Council of Switzerland on 20 September 2017.

Among the plans for Cassis are meetings with President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “Bilateral relations, regional developments and international issues are important topics in the bilateral talks,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry. Khatibzadeh tweeted:

“On Monday, 6 September, Dr. Zarif will be hosting Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and the accompanying delegation in Tehran. Bilateral relations, regional development, and international issues are among important topics that will be discussed by the two sides.”

In addition, he will open an exhibition on the history of Swiss-Iranian bilateral relations in the garden of the Negarestan Museum on Sunday. Cassis will also meet with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme Security Council of the Islamic Republic, and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Speaker of Parliament.

According to the newsources, the main topics of talks between Iranian and Swiss politicians will be bilateral relations and Swiss “authority” as the guardian of US interests in Iran.

Increasing Importance of Switzerland in the Iran-US Tension

The Swiss news sources went on to describe Switzerland’s role in relations between Washington and Tehran, and said that Switzerland had provided “good services” to the two countries during this period. Switzerland is the only guardian of US interests in Iran, and does not represent the Islamic Republic in the United States.

Mohammad Javad Zarif is an Iranian career diplomat and academic. He has been foreign minister of Iran since 2013.

The report also mentions Switzerland’s role in quelling tensions between Tehran and Washington after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. According to the report, the Swiss delegation “as a postman” exchanged important information in this regard as soon as possible, thus preventing a possible catastrophe.

In addition, the Swiss Confederation has succeeded in obtaining permission from the Trump administration to export drugs, food and agriculture, as well as financial transactions with the Central Bank of Iran to pay for these goods.

The authorization came after John Bolton resigned as the White House’s National Security Advisor, and was replaced by Robert O’Brien. He played an active role in the US hostage-taking talks abroad, given the role of Switzerland.

He has also had close contacts with the Swiss government in mediating the prisoner exchange between Tehran and Washington, and is therefore well-known in Swiss political circles. It has been easier to reach an understanding with him and the US government.

Switzerland has been representing Egypt in Iran since 1979, and has been representing Iran in Saudi Arabia since 2017, and vice versa, as well as representing Iran in Canada since 2019. The last Swiss politician to visit Iran was Johann Schneider Aman, then President of Switzerland on February 16, 2016.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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