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Visit to Tehran Swiss to continue human rights talks with Iran

Pictured here last year, Yves Rossier, state secretary for the foreign ministry, spent four days in Iran this week


A top Swiss diplomat was visiting Iran this week for political talks in the wake of a nuclear deal between the Islamic republic and six world powers.

Yves Rossier, state secretary of the foreign ministry, held four days of talks until Thursday that his office said covered a number of political issues and had resulted in “the next steps in their established dialogues on human rights and justice”. No further details were available.

Switzerland and Iran hold regular talks, and the latest discussions were a continuation of those held last year in the Swiss town of Murten.

After meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and several other deputy foreign ministers and other advisers and diplomats, Rossier’s office endorsed the accord reached earlier this month between Iran, the United States and five other partners in the talks: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

Swiss backing for accord

The historic agreement requires Tehran to dismantle much of its nuclear program so that it can’t make a bomb, in exchange for access to billions in oil revenue and frozen assets. In the long run, proponents say, it could prevent a war and reshape the Middle East.

“This agreement sends a strong message, showing that major international political differences can be settled peacefully through diplomacy,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The time frame for the lifting of sanctions and bilateral economic relations were also discussed”, according to the statement, “as were regional political issues, in particular the situations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran's relations with its neighbours.”

Rossier also visited two provinces, Khuzestan and Khorasan, to round out talks about how the accord might affect Iran’s economy and its influence