U.S. says first shipments of medicine to Iran delivered via Swiss humanitarian channel

ZURICH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A humanitarian channel to bring food and medicine to Iran has started trial operations, the Swiss and U.S. governments said on Thursday, helping supply Swiss goods to the struggling population without tripping over U.S. sanctions. The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed, a government statement said. Three shipments of cancer and transplant drugs have been sent to Iran through this channel and the transaction has been processed, U.S. Special Representative Brian Hook told a press briefing.