Cancer, transplant drugs open Swiss humanitarian channel to Iran

Michael Shields

Source: Reuters

ZURICH (Reuters) – A humanitarian channel to bring food and medicine to Iran has started trial operations, the Swiss government said on Thursday, helping supply Swiss goods to the struggling population without tripping over U.S. sanctions.

The 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.

Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from the sanctions that Washington reimposed on Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.


First shipments of medicine to Iran sent via Swiss channel, more to follow: U.S. diplomat

Brain Hook
FILE PHOTO: Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, speaks at a news conference in London, Britain June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – First shipments of drugs for cancer and transplant patients in Iran have already been sent through a Swiss humanitarian channel, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday, adding that he expected more transactions to follow.

“We have now already one company that has met that (criteria) and the cancer drugs have already been delivered,” Hook told a press conference, adding that he was in touch with more companies. “You can expect to see more transactions moving through this channel,” he said.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk