1257 GMT January 18, 2021
According to Swiss Foreign Ministry’s official website, Cassis will make an official visit to Iran from September 5 to 7 as part of the celebrations marking 100 years of Switzerland's diplomatic presence in Tehran.
Cassis will meet, among other Iranian officials, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, it said.
On September 6, Cassis will open an exhibition at the historic Negarestan Garden in Tehran on the history of Swiss-Iranian bilateral relations.
He will also visit the Swiss Embassy foreign interests section, which represents the interests of the United States in Iran under a protecting power mandate. Finally, Cassis will meet with representatives of Swiss companies, the scientific community and the health sector.
On September 7, he will meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, according to the website.
In addition to bilateral issues, Cassis and his Iranian hosts will also discuss current developments concerning the nuclear deal and the situation in the West Asia.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced the upcoming meeting between Zarif and Cassis in a tweet on Thursday, saying the Swiss top diplomat would be accompanied by a delegation during the visit, Press TV wrote.
Switzerland, which also represents the United States’ interests in Iran, hosts a so-called humanitarian channel, known as the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), that is meant to help Tehran avoid American sanctions.
Reports say the visit is expected to help expand the channel.
Sharif Nezam Mafi, who chairs the Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Wednesday that Cassis would try to secure funds from the Iranian side for further activation of the SHTA.
“It seems that some solutions have been found to secure these financial resources,” he said.
Swiss authorities managed to accommodate a first official transaction under the SHTA in late July. That was the first time when funds belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) got round the US sanctions and were being processed by a European bank since May 2018, when Washington illegally and unilaterally left a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and returned the bans.
Reports about attempts at continued operation of the Swiss channel come while American officials keep claiming that Washington has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the sanctions. Tehran strictly rejects such claims.