Switzerland had announced that it will not join with the EU in imposing sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
Reuters reports that Switzerland has decided to demonstrate its traditional neutrality by announcing on July 5 that it will not fall in step with the EU oil embargo against Iranian oil.
The announcement signifies that Swiss-based oil traders such as Glencore and Trafigura may continue to deal in Iranian crude, although they still might find themselves in violations of U.S. sanctions, which took effect in June against companies and countries that continue buying Iranian crude.
Switzerland, however, has opted to impose sanctions on supplies for the petrochemical industry, telecommunications equipment and the sale of precious metals and diamonds.
A Geneva-based law firm says that in view of U.S. and EU sanctions, the public relations penalties are too severe for large traders to be caught dealing with Iran. The Swiss decision to stay clear of the oil embargo is reportedly only for smaller traders inside Switzerland or countries outside the scope of international sanctions.
Glencore and Trafigura have already announced that they have stopped all oil deals with Iran.
In April, Switzerland also chose to steer clear of EU sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, exempting it from an asset freeze.