Switzerland keen to invest in Iran
By Sara Rajabova
Switzerland is keen to make investments in Iran if the U.S.-led sanctions are removed.
This was said by the co-chairman of Iran-Switzerland Parliamentary Friendship Group, Jean-François Rime, who visited Iran at the head of a six-member delegation. He also stressed Iran's kudos in the Middle East.
Rime noted that Switzerland is making efforts to invest in Iran, Press TV reported.
However, pointing to the sanctions as a big obstacle in the path of investment in Iran, Rime expressed hope that Tehran's nuclear talks with six world powers will lay the groundwork for the removal of sanctions and the resumption of Switzerland's investments in the country.
Iran and the six world powers - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany - sealed an interim deal in Geneva on November 24, 2013 to pave the way for the full resolution of the decade-old dispute with Iran over the country's nuclear energy program. The deal came into force on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.
Rime further described the anti-Iran embargoes as "cruel" and said the sanctions against Iran's banking sector in particular are the most challenging hurdle in the way of economic activities.
Since the signing of the Geneva deal, business delegations from several countries have travelled to Iran in pursuit of trade deals.
Besides, after reaching an interim deal, foreign companies voiced their intention to resume their activity in Iran, especially in the energy sector.
In late 2013, Iran named seven Western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields if international sanctions are lifted and said it would outline investment terms in April next year.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh named the seven in order: Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP and U.S. companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips.
Zanganeh also said that Iran has begun talks with leading Western energy companies to attract them back to the country.
Iran and the six powers are scheduled to resume expert-level talks on Tehran's nuclear energy program in New York on May 5.
The negotiations will be held ahead of a fresh round of high-level nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, scheduled to begin in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on May 13.
Tehran and the six countries wrapped up their latest round of high-level nuclear talks in Vienna on April 9.