Switzerland tightens sanctions on Iran
Switzerland moved Wednesday to toughen its sanctions on Iran, with new bans to affect exports of technology and so-called dual-use instruments, including items that can be used for suppression of the opposition, DPA reported
Financial exchanges would also see greater scrutiny and limitations, as would insurance agreements, the government said, noting the bans would come into effect on Thursday.
Last August, the Swiss adopted the last set of United Nations Security Council sanctions on the Islamic republic, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo.
Dozens of Iranian companies were slapped with asset bans and top leaders were given travel sanctions.
Further embargoes were imposed in October by key Western nations, such as members of the European Union and the United States, the main commercial partners for Switzerland.
The international sanctions are in response to Iran's attempts at building up a nuclear programme, which Western powers say could be used for nuclear weapons. Iran rejects those charges.
The Swiss government, or Federal Council, said it was adopting some of the stricter measures called for by its Western partners, in a bid to prevent itself from being used as a bypass route for Iranian sanction evaders.
A major small arms exporter, Switzerland said it was blocking all military goods to Iran, including any items that could be used for internal repression. Software or hardware that can be be misused, including for proliferation purposes, would also be added to a growing list of banned items.
Furthermore, the number of specific Iran officials targeted by sanctions has been expanded, the Federal Council announced.
Switzerland last year exported over 700 million dollars of goods to Iran, importing in return just 41 million dollars worth of Iranian products.