The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs and Energy (EAER), which is responsible for sanctions, announced on Wednesday its decision, together with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), to adopt the EU sanctions concerning the delivery of Iranian drones to Russia.
The decision was made in response to the Iranian government’s treatment of protests. According to the EAER, the decision was made taking into account all of Switzerland’s domestic and foreign policy interests, including its good offices in Iran. The Federal Council was informed of this decision at its meeting on 2 November.
Switzerland once again condemned the use of force by the Iranian security forces in connection with the current protests and called on Iran to comply with its human rights obligations at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU but agreed to adopt the EU’s sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Amir Saeed Iravani strongly rejected the idea that his country is delivering drones to Russia, calling it totally baseless, and insisting Tehran has maintained “a position of active neutrality” on the war in Ukraine.
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also strongly dismissed the idea that Iran delivers drones to Russia for use against Ukraine, and said Tehran is ready to discuss the issue in a meeting with Ukraine.
Provided the Iranians are willing to brave their drone attacks on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office in Kiev.
Interfax-Ukraine reported the downing Wednesday morning of six Iranian-made Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones near Kiev, and 12 out of 13 drones elsewhere.
On October 20, the EU imposed sanctions on three Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity alleged to have been involved in the development and delivery to Russia of drones used in the war in Ukraine.
Earlier, on October 17, 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. Switzerland was one of the first countries to raise Amini’s death with Iran at the highest level and demand a swift, independent and impartial investigation. Switzerland also clearly condemned the use of force by the Iranian security forces in connection with the current protests.
Switzerland said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and maintain a critical dialogue with the Iranian government.