1st Deal with Iran under SHTA Has Gone Through, Swiss Government Says

1st Deal with Iran under SHTA Has Gone Through, Swiss Government Says

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Swiss pharmaceutical company has completed the first transaction under the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), the government in Bern said.

The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) channel to facilitate imports of food and medicine to Iran started trial operations in January, helping supply Swiss goods to Iran amid US sanctions. 

“We would like to emphasize that the operationalization of the SHTA is progressing and that a number of companies have already been approved, more companies will follow. Further transactions should be carried out shortly,” Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said by email, Reuters reported.

Washington claims that food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from its sanctions against Tehran after US President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

But the US measures 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.

SECO did not identify the Swiss drugmaker or give a value for the shipment, which it said involved a cancer drug used to treat iron overload caused by repeated blood transfusions.

The pilot deal in January shipped to Iran cancer drugs and drugs required for organ transplants worth 2.3 million euros ($2.7 million). Geneva-based bank BCP and drugmaker Novartis took part in the pilot deal.

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