Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) during the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2014
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) during the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2014 © Eric Piermont - AFP/File
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) during the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2014
AFP
Last updated: February 10, 2014

Iran summons Swiss envoy over US sanctions

Tehran summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents Washington's interests in Iran, on Monday to protest the latest US measures against individuals and companies for violating sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The US Treasury said last week it had blacklisted targets for "supporting Iran's nuclear programme and active support for terrorism," even as it had eased sanctions as part of an interim deal over Tehran's nuclear activities.

An official from the Iranian foreign ministry, which summoned the Swiss envoy on Monday evening, sharply criticised the United States over the measures.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's stance on terrorism is well known and the United States, which openly supports terrorist groups in the region, is not in a position to accuse Iran.

"We strongly condemn these allegations," the official added.

The individuals and companies targeted by the US Treasury are operating in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Liechtenstein.

David Cohen, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the US is implementing a temporary easing of some sanctions on Iran in accordance with the nuclear deal, but "the overwhelming majority of sanctions remain in effect."

The sanctions freeze any US assets of the targeted person or entity and prohibit transactions with any American.

Among the companies targeted was Spanish firm Advance Electrical and Industrial Technologies and Germany's DF Deutsche Forfait Aktiengesellschaft, for allegedly aiding Iran's nuclear and weapons proliferation activities.

The list also includes some individuals accused of plotting attacks in Afghanistan.

Under the interim deal reached in November in Geneva, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its suspect nuclear programme in return for modest sanctions relief as it negotiates a comprehensive accord.

The United States also agreed to refrain from slapping new sanctions on Iran.

Western nations have long suspected Iran of covertly seeking a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian programme, allegations denied by Tehran.

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