The Swiss government’s refusal to adopt comprehensive EU sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and finance systems – and the disclosure in late September that the Swiss-based company Vitol bought and sold millions of barrels of Iranian oil — has prompted concern from the US Embassy in Bern and sharp criticism from Israeli, US and Swiss experts.

“It is truly shameful that the Swiss government continues to help Iran evade EU sanctions as the regime in Tehran continues its march toward nuclear weapons, denies the Holocaust, threatens its neighbors and oppresses its people,” Josh Block, a former Clinton administration official who was recently named CEO of The Israel Project, an American pro-Israel organization based in Washington, wrote The Jerusalem Post by email on Thursday.

The Geneva-based Vitol — the world’s largest oil trader — skirted sanctions and “bought 2 million barrels of fuel oil, used for power generation, from Iran and offered it to Chinese traders,” Reuters reported late last month.

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