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Monday, March 31, 2008

US to declare Switzerland 'non-neutral'?

The United States has asked to review a Swiss contract for the supply of natural gas from Iran to determine whether it violates American sanctions against the Islamist regime. If it does, Switzerland's neutral status as the representative of United States interests in Tehran and Havana may be in jeopardy.
A posting on the US Embassy Web site raises the question of whether neutral Switzerland's position as representative of American interests in Iran and Cuba could be affected.

"At this time, the Swiss have a mandate as our protecting power in Cuba and Iran," the Web site said in response to a "frequently asked question" on whether the Swiss role was "in jeopardy."

The Swiss have represented US interests in Havana since diplomatic relations with Cuba were broken nearly 50 years ago, and in Teheran since Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in 1979.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the embassy posting.

Washington, which has already objected to the deal as violating the spirit of UN sanctions against Iran, made a formal request to see the contract March 17, the US Embassy said on its Web site.
That doesn't sound like much of a punishment, but hopefully it's only the first step.


At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a pretty good place to link to Sarah Honig's recent JPost column piece Another Tack: No Swiss surprise.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

So, should we punish ourselves too?
"U.S. Money for Russia is Linked to Iran Nuclear Plant",

"State Departement Accused of Shilling for Iran"

(Excellent, though infuriating, link, shy guy.)


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