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What's Rankling the Swiss Foreign Ministry?

Exposing how the Swiss are enabling Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.

3:37 PM, Oct 5, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
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But while EGL’s representatives claim Iranian gas will not flow through the TAP pipeline project, EGL has not terminated its 2008 gas deal with Iran and is currently in negotiations with Botas, a Turkish state-owned gas and pipeline company, which has its own connections to transporting Iranian gas through a Botas pipeline in the future.

The EGL-Iran deal and other European energy trade with Tehran prompted Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) last week to introduce a new round of Iran sanctions legislation to close loopholes for companies like EGL. Sherman’s proposal would sanction entities that pay in advance for oil deliveries or sign long-term contracts to purchase oil and gas from Iran.

“In 2003, Japan reportedly paid several billion dollars in cash for future oil deliveries over the next several years,” Sherman noted. EGL reportedly also signed a contract worth nearly $20 billion for future purchases of Iranian gas.

“When the world buys Iranian oil and gas,” said Sherman, “they should do so on a cash basis without long term commitment, lest they provide the Iranian government with, in effect, a bailout.”

All of this means that Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry and Swiss businesses from Ceresola to EGL should conform to Western security standards and adopt robust sanctions to stop Iran’s drive toward a nuclear weapon. Swiss neutrality is not an option against the Iranian threat.

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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