Swiss Embassy senior employee falls from her death in high-rise buildings in Iran ‘in tragic accident’
- The embassy’s first secretary, 51, died after falling from a building in northern Tehran
- She lived on the 18th floor of the residential building where she died
- The State Department confirmed the news Tuesday, saying it had contacted her family
- The Swiss Embassy has represented the US in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution
A senior employee of the Swiss embassy in Tehran was killed in a ‘tragic accident’ on Tuesday after falling from a tall building in the north of the city where she lived.
The 51-year-old diplomat was the embassy’s first secretary, the second-highest employee, a spokesman for the emergency services was quoted by the semi-official news agency Mehr.
She lived on the 18th floor of the building in the affluent Kamranieh neighborhood where she died, the semi-official ILNA news agency said.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern confirmed the news on Tuesday.
“The FDFA (ministry) confirms that a Swiss employee of the Swiss embassy in Tehran died in a fatal accident on Tuesday,” said a statement.
“The FDFA and its head Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis are shocked by the tragic death and express their deepest condolences to the family.”
The statement added that the ministry was in contact with the woman’s family and local authorities in Iran, but did not identify the victim.
A senior employee of the Swiss embassy in Iran (photo) has died after falling from a high-rise in northern Tehran.
Iranian emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi said the diplomat’s body was found by a gardener after an employee who arrived at her apartment early Tuesday noticed she was missing, Fars news agency reported.
The body was found in Tehran’s Kamranieh district, known for its luxurious high-rise buildings and home to many of Tehran’s diplomats and foreign officials.
Switzerland has represented US diplomatic interests in Iran since Washington and Tehran cut ties shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Swiss embassy’s role as ‘diplomatic intermediary’ spans four decades and seven presidencies, including Jimmy Carter’s hostage crisis and Barack Obama’s nuclear deal.
The Swiss diplomats call the courier role ‘letter trager’ or ‘the postman’.
Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner (pictured) acts as envoy to Iran and also represents US interests in the country, as the White House no longer has a representative in Tehran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979
Switzerland’s ‘postmen’ helped deliver messages after the US invaded Iraq in 2003 to avoid direct clashes. When Obama became president, the country organized talks that resulted in the nuclear deal.
After Trump imposed sanctions on Iran again, he reportedly gave the Swiss a phone number and said, “I’d love to see them call me.”
Former ambassadors told the Wall Street Journal that their diplomatic back-channel is successful because Iran and the US can trust that the message will be delivered quickly and in confidence.
The Swiss back-channel of communications between the US and Iran was key to preventing and escalating tensions after the assassination of top commander Qassem Soleimani (pictured) in January 2020.
A senior US official said at the time, “We don’t communicate with the Iranians that often, but when we do, the Swiss have played a vital role in communicating messages and avoiding miscalculation.”
This morning Jason Brodsky, Middle East analyst for Iran International TV, told MailOnline that the Islamic Republic has a “ troubling track record with foreign diplomatic messages. ” The diplomat’s death, he added, “will fuel speculation.”
While we still don’t know the exact cause of death of the First Secretary of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, the incident will arouse heightened suspicion over Switzerland’s role in representing US interests in Iran and the ongoing talks over the nuclear deal in Iran. Vienna. .
The Swiss Embassy has been central to previous agreements between Washington and Tehran on US hostages in Tehran, not to mention the exchange of messages during periods of heightened tension in the region.
The Islamic Republic has a troubling track record with foreign diplomatic missions. In 1987, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) kidnapped and assaulted a British diplomat, Edward Chaplin.
There have been cases where ambassadors themselves have been briefly detained by Iranian security forces – the British and Japanese ambassadors in Tehran are two examples of this over the years. Not to mention the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran in 2011.
“So while we still don’t know all the details of how the diplomat fell from her high-rise apartment building, it’s this history that looms grand in the background and will spark speculation.”