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Bern, 02.11.2022 - The Federal Department of Economic Affairs and Energy (EAER), which is responsible for sanctions, has decided together with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to adopt the EU sanctions concerning the delivery of Iranian drones to Russia. However, the two departments have decided not to adopt the EU sanctions imposed on Iran in connection with the current protests. The decision was made taking into account all of Switzerland's domestic and foreign policy interests, including Switzerland's good offices in Iran. The Federal Council was informed of this decision at its meeting on 2 November. At the same time, Switzerland once again condemns the use of force by the Iranian security forces in connection with the current protests and calls on Iran to comply with its human rights obligations at bilateral and multilateral level.
On 20 October, the EU imposed sanctions on three Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity. They are alleged to have been involved in the development and delivery to Russia of drones used in the war in Ukraine. Earlier, on 17 October, the EU sanctioned 11 individuals and four entities in connection with the death of Mahsa Amini and the Iranian authorities' violent response to the subsequent demonstrations. Following the death of Mahsa Amini, Switzerland was one of the first countries to raise the matter with Iran at the highest level and to demand a swift, independent and impartial investigation. Switzerland has also clearly condemned the use of force by the Iranian security forces in connection with the current protests and has repeatedly called on Iran to comply with its human rights obligations at bilateral and multilateral level. It will continue to monitor the situation closely and maintain a critical dialogue with the Iranian government.
After weighing up all domestic and foreign policy interests, Switzerland has decided to only adopt the sanctions in connection with the drone deliveries. The five protecting power mandates (USA in Iran, Iran in Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia in Iran, Iran in Canada, Iran in Egypt) that Switzerland maintains in connection with Iran were also taken into consideration.
Existing sanctions and critical dialogue with Iran to continue
Switzerland is maintaining the far-reaching sanctions already imposed on Iran. These include financial, travel and goods sanctions.
Switzerland is one of the few countries to conduct a regular bilateral dialogue with Iran on human rights and justice issues. The dialogue offers Switzerland the opportunity to express its expectations and specific demands on freedom of expression, the abolition of the death penalty, the fight against torture, the protection of minorities and women's rights in direct talks with the Iranian authorities. In addition, Switzerland frequently raises the human rights situation in Iran at high-level meetings and interventions at multilateral level, such as at the UN General Assembly or the Human Rights Council.