Top Swiss Diplomat in Iran dies under mysterious circumstances


A high-ranking diplomatic official with the Swiss embassy has died under mysterious circumstances in Tehran on Tuesday. The 51-year old woman reportedly fell from a high-rise building in the north of the city and was found deceased on the street level below.

Reuters cites Iranian state media to report “The first secretary at the Swiss embassy in Tehran was found dead on Tuesday after falling from a high-rise building where she lived in the north of the city, a spokesman for emergency services was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.”

Switzerland’s foreign ministry expressed that it was “shocked” by the death, and further described it as an “accident” – though without revealing further details. 

Reuters continues of the few known details: “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 on Tuesday noticed she was missing,” citing Fars news agency. Conflicting reports described the woman as having lived on the 17th or 18th floor of the building from which she fell.

The Iranian officials said, “This person was the first secretary of the Swiss embassy,” and that “The cause of her fall has yet to be determined.”

It doesn’t appear at this point that the Swiss embassy suspects any foul play, and hasn’t commented on if this was a possible suicide. 

Interestingly the Swiss embassy and its diplomatic officials have often represented Washington’s interests in backchannel negotiations with Tehran, following the US and Islamic Republic cutting ties after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and embassy hostage crisis. Switzerland represents one of the oldest continuing foreign diplomatic representations in Iran, having had an official presence in Persia for 100 years.