The Swiss daily NZZ reported on Sunday that Swiss government officials in the Economics Department believe Calmy-Rey is too “careful when dealing with the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” They have also criticized her for snubbing American security interests. Calmy-Rey grounds her opposition to EU sanctions on Switzerland’s “neutrality and impartiality,” which she hopes will “open doors for us in Tehran and Washington” and help Switzerland economically. While Switzerland is not technically a member of the EU, Calmy-Rey is practicing a phony, obsolete notion of neutrality.
|Calmy-Rey at World Economic Forum, Davos 2007.|
Calmy-Rey was widely criticised for putting on a headscarf to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 19 March 2008. Her appearance together with the Iranian leader sparked immediate negative reactions: Socialist MP Maria Roth-Bernasconi said it was “irritating that she had angered feminists in Iran”. Calmy-Rey said in her defence that she was “observing protocol”
Calmy-Rey also prompted controversy by accompanying the signature of a multi-billion dollar natural gas deal of a Swiss energy supply company with Iran. The United States had complained that Switzerland was sending the wrong message when Tehran was subject to UN sanctions. Calmy-Rey pointed out that gas exports were not subject to the UN sanctions. Both the Israeli government and US-based Jewish groups criticised the deal .