Switzerland's ambassador to Iran Giulio Haas, addresses an event hosted by Swiss government-funded organization Swiss Global Enterprise, in Zurich, Switzerland August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
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Switzerland's ambassador Thursday called Iran a "pole of stability" in the Middle East and urged companies to make the most of a lucrative market about to re-open after years of crippling sanctions.Ambassador Giulio Haas was addressing some 500 Swiss business people as Europeans race back to Iran, whose markets and oil will be much easier to tap once sanctions are lifted, under a global deal struck last month.Iran's financial system should escape crippling restrictions next year, leaving foreign companies contemplating 80 million consumers, $35 trillion worth of petroleum reserves and deep infrastructure needs.Swiss exports to Iran have fallen more than half to less than 400 million Swiss francs ($415 million)since 2008 as tightened U.N. and EU sanctions forced many companies to cut ties with the country.
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