Newsletter 167 from January 21, 2011
Friday, 21. January 2011
New Sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran
In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1929 of 9 June 2010 and based on the Embargo Act, the Federal Council on 19 January 2011 decided to increase the scope of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran to the level of the EU. The revision of the Ordinance came into force on 20 January 2011. Financial intermediaries must therefore apply the new sanction provisions against the Islamic Republic of Iran without delay. The Ordinance is published on the website of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The specific amendments, which require implementation by financial intermediaries, are as follows:
- The list of goods which are affected by the prohibition of the provision of financial services was extended (Articles 2 - 6 and Appendices 1 - 4);
- It is forbidden to grant loans or credits to Iranian persons or companies which are involved in the exploration or production of oil and natural gas, the refining of fuels or the liquefaction of natural gas (Article 8);
- The list of persons, companies, banks and entities which are affected by the blocking of funds and economic resources in conjunction with the duty to report to SECO was extended (Articles 10 and 11 and new Appendix 6);
- All transactions in excess of CHF 10,000 to or from an Iranian person or organisation must be reported to SECO, and all transactions in excess of CHF 50,000, with the exception of transactions for humanitarian purposes (food, medicines etc.), must be approved by SECO (Article 12);
- Iranian banks are prohibited from acquiring a stake in or other proprietary right to a Swiss bank (Article 13);
- Swiss banks are prohibited from opening an agency, branch or subsidiary in Iran and from setting up a joint venture with an Iranian bank (Article 13);
- Swiss banks are prohibited from opening an account with an Iranian bank, or from entering into a new correspondent bank relationship with an Iranian bank (Article 13);
- Swiss banks must apply enhanced due diligence in dealings with Iranian banks (Article 14);
- It is forbidden to purchase or sell state or state-guaranteed bonds from Iranian state entities or Iranian banks that were issued after this Ordinance came into force, or to provide intermediary services in relation to such bonds (Article 15);
- It is forbidden to conclude, extend or renew insurance and reinsurance agreements with Iranian state entities or companies (Article 16).
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Please note that only the German version is legally binding.