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First Transaction To Send Medicine To Iran Via Swiss Channel Takes Place

People wearing protective masks shop at a pharmacy in the capital Tehran, February 24, 2020

The Swiss government announced July 27 that a pharmaceutical company has completed the first transaction under a new humanitarian trade channel with Iran.

The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) channel to bring food and medicine to Iran was arranged between the United States and Switzerland late last year. It started trial operations in January, helping supply Swiss goods to sanctions-hit Iran without tripping over U.S. 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," the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said by email.

However, the Swiss official did not disclose the name of the company or the quantity of medications shipped.

On the same day, the head of Iran and Swiss chamber of commerce Sharif Nezam Mafi confirmed the news to official government news agency IRNA. He explained that “The shipment includes medications against cancer and so far fifty companies have registered through this financial channel and are planning to conduct transaction”.

Based on the Swiss humanitarian channel, the U.S. Treasury Department provides assurances to banks involved in approved transaction to be immune form litigation under sanctions rules.

With reporting by Reuters