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The ordinance amendment adopted by the Federal Council means that financial sanctions will be imposed on a further eight Iranian companies and three individuals. The funds and other assets owned by these companies and individuals must be frozen. Furthermore, it is not permitted to supply these companies and individuals with funds or other assets either directly or indirectly. An exception to the EU Regulation was made for the Iranian Central Bank, upon which sanctions have not be imposed, due to its importance for the Iranian economy.
Having already adopted the internationally binding sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council, in its Ordinance of 19 January 2011 on Measures against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Switzerland decided to adopt additional restrictive measures against this country imposed by the EU.
In view of Iran's controversial nuclear programme, on 23 January 2012 the EU decided to intensify sanctions against Iran in a range of areas. Financial sanctions were extended immediately, whereas other restrictive measures, for example a ban on the import, purchase or shipping of Iranian crude oil, petroleum products and petrochemical products, were not imposed until 24 March 2012, when the corresponding EU Regulation was published. The Federal Council will decide at a later date whether or not to adopt these further restrictive measures.