UANI Launches Switzerland Campaign, Calls on Swiss Companies to End Irresponsible Business with Iran

Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:47pm EDT

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UANI Launches Switzerland Campaign, Calls on Swiss Companies to End Irresponsible Business with Iran

Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its Switzerland Campaign, highlighting the extensive Iran business activities of Swiss firms, and the failure of the Swiss government to join the international community in implementing robust sanctions against the Iranian regime.

The Switzerland Campaign webpage, now featured on, identifies Swiss entities doing irresponsible business with Iran such as Glencore, Vitol, Trafigura, the Swatch Group, Credit Suisse, and Hinduja Bank.

Supporters can contact Swiss officials, as well as the executives of Swiss commodity traders Glencore, Vitol, and Trafigura, which have sold gasoline to Iran, bought crude oil and other petroleum products from Iran, as well as bartered materials reportedly used in Iran’s nuclear program.

In a recent Op-Ed, “Time for Switzerland to End Its Irresponsible Business With Iran,” which was reported by leading Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

… It is time for Switzerland to start behaving like a responsible member of the international community and enact the same measures that have been adopted by its European neighbors and international allies.

Unlike its EU neighbors, Switzerland (which is not a member) has refused to sanction Iran’s central bank, despite knowing its fundamental role in funneling money directly into the hands of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It’s as if the Swiss are unaware that the IRGC is a terrorist organization, responsible for commanding Iran’s nuclear and terrorist activities, and guilty of egregious human rights abuses inside Iran.

Switzerland has also refused to join its EU neighbors in adopting a ban on imports of Iranian oil, despite the demonstrable evidence that the oil embargo by the West has significantly curtailed Iran’s ability to access hard currency to fund its nefarious activities. This allowed Geneva-based oil trader Vitol to buy 2 million barrels of fuel oil from Iran in August 2012 and profit from its sale to Chinese traders.

The end result of all this is that the Iranian regime maintains access to an important trade and financial center, and capital to fund its nuclear and terrorist activities. This is unacceptable, and what is particularly galling is that Switzerland is quick to take the moral high ground in situations when its economic interests are not at stake. … Switzerland’s so-called ‘neutrality’ in this context is little more than thinly-veiled cover to allow its companies to act with impunity when it comes to business with Iran. …

In March 2013, it was revealed that Swiss commodity traders Glencore and Trafigura had engaged in barter arrangements over the past year with Iranian Aluminum Company (Iralco) that provided Iralco thousands of tons of alumina in exchange for a lesser amount of aluminum metal. At the same time, Iralco has provided aluminum for Iran’s nuclear program through a contract with UN-sanctioned Iran Centrifuge Technology Co. (TESA), which is a subsidiary of the blacklisted Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). So much for Swiss neutrality.

Despite their track record of helping Iran skirt sanctions, some of these Swiss companies continue to increase their presence in the U.S. For example, Vitol signed an agreement with Texas-based DKRW Advanced Fuels LLC to develop a coal conversion plant in Wyoming, a project that may receive significant public subsidies. …

It is time to accurately characterize Switzerland’s behavior for what it is – economically opportunistic hypocrisy. While it takes the moral high ground in places where it has little to no commercial interests, it just offers excuses when it comes to Iran. …

Click here to learn more about UANI’s Switzerland campaign.
Click here to send a message to the Swiss government calling for tougher sanctions against Iran.
Click here to send a message to Glencore.
Click here to send a message to Trafigura.
Click here to send a message to Vitol.
Click here to read Ambassador Wallace’s Op-Ed, “Time for Switzerland to End Its Irresponsible Business with Iran.”
Click here to read the Tages-Anzeiger article about the Op-Ed.

United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296