Iran’s state-owned oil company, Naftiran Intertrade Company (Nico), may be able to get around EU sanctions by continuing to trade from an office in the canton of Vaud, according to a Swiss media report. 

"/> Iran’s state-owned oil company, Naftiran Intertrade Company (Nico), may be able to get around EU sanctions by continuing to trade from an office in the canton of Vaud, according to a Swiss media report. 

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Iran dodges oil embargo using Swiss office: report

Iran’s state-owned oil company, Naftiran Intertrade Company (Nico), may be able to get around EU sanctions by continuing to trade from an office in the canton of Vaud, according to a Swiss media report. 

Iran dodges oil embargo using Swiss office: report
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (www.sajed.ir)

The company is able to trade from its office in Pouilly because Switzerland does not fall under the EU oil embargo that was adopted in January, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The local Jersey government recently pressured Nico to give up its Channel Island office because of its relationship to the Iranian state. It is unclear whether Switzerland will follow suit.

The Federal Council has decided not to take immediate action and is waiting for EU guidance.

National Council member Liliane Maury Pasquier, from the Social Democratic Party, thinks it unnecessary for Switzerland to follow the EU ruling when it is not required to do so.

“If it came from the UN, that would be something different,” she said.

But others disagree.

“We should follow the EU embargo against Iran in order to give a clear sign that we are against the development of nuclear weapons,” Luc Recordon, member of the Green Party, told Tages Anzeiger.

Iran’s talks with the UN failed on Tuesday night, following Iran’s refusal to allow inspectors access to the Parchin military base.

“No obstacle can stop Iran’s nuclear work,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced on Tuesday on Iranian state television.

The EU slapped an embargo on Iran‘s oil exports in Januery as part of a package of new sanctions aimed at blocking funds for Tehran’s suspect nuclear drive and pressing it to return to talks.

The oil ban, along with sanctions against Iran‘s central bank and other measures, came amid mounting concerns of confrontation after the UN atomic agency reported Tehran was inching ever closer to building a nuclear bomb.

Iran expressed defiance in the face of the sanctions by declaring no more crude was being exported to France, Britain and several other EU countries, in retaliation for the EU-wide ban on its oil that will come into full effect from July 1st.

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DIPLOMACY

Iran summons Swiss envoy over US arrest of journalist

Iran's foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran to demand the unconditional and immediate release of a state television journalist detained in the United States.

Iran summons Swiss envoy over US arrest of journalist

Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said a note of complaint was issued to¬†the ambassador for Switzerland over the “inhuman and discriminatory” detention¬†of Iranian citizen and Press TV reporter Marzieh Hashemi.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran handles US interests in the Islamic republic after the two countries broke off relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“Her immediate and unconditional release was demanded” at the meeting with the ambassador, Ghasemi added.

US-born Hashemi, who works for Iran's English-language Press TV, was arrested on arrival at St Louis Lambert International Airport on January 13th, according to family and friends cited by Press TV.

Hashemi, a Muslim convert who changed her name from Melanie Franklin, had reportedly been visiting her ill brother and other family members.

A US court on Friday confirmed the arrest, saying her testimony was required over an unspecified case but that she was not accused of a crime.

At a hearing in Washington, a judge ordered the partial unsealing of an order on Hashemi.

The court said Hashemi was arrested on “a material arrest warrant” and would be let go after she gave testimony to a grand jury investigating unspecified “violations of US criminal law”.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Thursday described the detention as a “political action” by the United States that “tramples on freedom of speech” and demanded she be set free.

Zarif said that since Hashemi was married to an Iranian she is considered as an Iranian national and “it is our duty to defend our citizens”.