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Senior Swiss diplomat in Iran falls to her death from high-rise home in Tehran

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Tehran — Iran's state-run news outlets reported on Tuesday that the First Secretary of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, a high-ranking diplomat, had been found dead near the base of the high-rise building where she lived in the Iranian capital. The woman was not identified by Iranian or Swiss officials, but Iranian media said she was either 51or 52 years old and lived in a high-end northern Tehran neighborhood.

A view of an entrance to the tower where the body of the Swiss embassy's first secretary was found after falling from a building, in Tehran
The entrance to the high-rise building in Tehran, Iran, outside of which the body of the Swiss embassy's first secretary was found on May 4, 2021. Erfan Assar/WANA/REUTERS

The Swiss Foreign Ministry confirmed that a member of the embassy's staff had died in an accident, but it provided no further information.

Iran's media said she had fallen from her home on the 18th floor of the building.

Spokesman for Tehran's emergency services Mojtaba Khaledi said the senior diplomat's body was found by a domestic worker who first noticed the woman's absence on Tuesday morning. Several other emergency service officials were quoted as saying that by the time her body was found, she had already been dead for several hours.  

Iranian police gave no information about the woman's death but said the incident was under investigation.

The Swiss Embassy in Iran has played an important role as a mediator between the Islamic Republic and the West, especially the U.S., which has had no official diplomatic presence in the country for four decades.

Switzerland has officially represented U.S. interests in Iran since 1980, when diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington were severed after a group of Iranian university students invaded the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats hostage.

There has been no suggestion of foul play in the Swiss diplomat's death, but it comes at a time of extremely tense negotiations between Iran and the U.S. — officially through intermediaries — over a potential return by both countries to the Iranian nuclear deal. 

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