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Ambassador says Switzerland and Iran share values

Ali Reza Salari, the new Iranian ambassador in Bern, believes Switzerland and Iran share the same values.

“We have more in common with Switzerland than with any other European country, in other words neutrality, independence, non-alignment and democratic governance”, he said, adding that he found Switzerland’s foreign policy “very pragmatic”.

He praised Switzerland’s concern for the environment and use of public transport and said the country’s “Christian ethics” were similar to those of Islam.

Referring to the gas deal signed between the two countries two years ago, Salari said this was being implemented but there were a few concerns, which both countries were currently trying to resolve.

He also added that Iran had a lot to offer to Switzerland, not only in terms of energy, but also in terms of bilateral cooperation and human resources.

When asked about the UN sanctions adopted against Iran this week, the ambassador admitted they were a problem on a short-term basis, but would strengthen the country in the long-term, making it more self-sufficient.

A year on from the contested election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ambassador rejects any accusation of fraud.

According to him, the elections were “most democratic”, but “the losers did not accept their defeat”. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR