Iran News ...


1/26/06

Iranian newspaper blasts Switzerland's confrontational move

Tehran, Jan 26, IRNA-Historically neutral Switzerland has entered the fray in the West's dispute with Iran over its nuclear issue, a morning daily wrote Thursday.

As the European Union and the United States prepare to put maximum squeeze on Tehran toward abandoning its atomic program, in a move that shocked many observers, a country that is traditionally famous for not taking sides in international political disputes has assumed a hostile policy toward the Islamic Republic by refusing to offer banking services to Iranian customers, the English-language daily 'Iran News' said in it editorial.

UBS and Credit Swiss, respectively the largest and second largest banks in Switzerland have announced they will no longer do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran nor will they offer any banking services to customers based in Iran, according to the editorial.

Iran's high risk and concern over the atomic issue has been stated as the reasons for the decision, the article reiterated.

Elsewhere, there are unconfirmed reports and indications that other international banks might take similar steps in the near future, it noted.

Furthermore, even though later denied by the Iranian government, earlier in the week the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) stated its intention to transfer its fund from Europe to Southeast Asia, stated the editorial.

The English-language paper went on to say that Iran is currently experiencing a barrage of negative propaganda and psychological warfare launched by Western powers.

Europe, America and Israel are openly threatening Iran with UN Security Council referral, economic sanctions and isolation, military strikes, etc.

Observers are of the view that the Islamic Republic of Iran has withstood countless threats and crises during the past 27 years of post-revolutionary times and has become tough-skinned on riding out troubled times, said the editorial.

In the early 1990s when EU-Iran ties hit an all-time low because of the "Mykonos Affair" and European ambassadors left Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran made a strategic decision of not putting all of its eggs in one basket, the article reiterated.

It added the so-called "Glance to the East" strategy of courting non-Western countries and emerging powers such as Russia, South Korea, China, India, etc., picked up steam after Mykonos.

Analysts opine that Tehran believes it can ride out Western pressure because of its close ties with these so-called Eastern powers, the paper wrote.

On Switzerland, political watchers opine that the surprising Swiss decision was definitely influenced by U.S. pressure. After all, Bern's embassy in Tehran has represented the interests of the United States in Iran for the last 25 years, 'Iran News' daily reported.

What's more, the Swiss banking move was unquestionably a political statement and not a trade decision based on economic factors, it reasoned, adding that it is notable that UBS had previously been accused by the US of illegal dealings with "rogue" regimes. Hence, their decision on Iran could be interpreted as trying to relieve itself of America's wrath.

The editorial believed that in any event, when a country that has always tried to stay far from taking controversial political positions moves toward confrontation with Iran, it is more than clear that similar actions by other Western countries and firms could be just around the corner.

Therefore, it is imperative upon the government and the officials in charge to devise a judicious strategy and formulate a sound policy to tackle this growing problem toward reducing the harm that may be inflicted on the public and the nation as a whole, it concluded.

... Payvand News - 1/26/06 ... --



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