Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, is travelling to Iran today as part of an Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee delegation.
The delegation will be in Iran for 4 days and they will meet with the various Iranian Government Ministers, including the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, as well as The Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, the Head of the Iranian Human Rights Council, Chairperson of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, and the Chairperson of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament.
Before leaving Deputy Crowe said:
“This visit is coming at a very important time, as Iran has recently dropped its ban on importing Irish beef and the so called P5+1 countries (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US + Germany) have agreed an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear programme.
“Our visit will allow us to meet some important members of Iran’s Government and Business community to discuss these and other issues of mutual interest. Iran is one of the most important economic and political actors in the region and it is important for Ireland to have open and clear lines of communication to Tehran.
“This trip comes on the back of recent visits to Iran by parliament delegations from other EU countries.
“Our trip is also important considering the decision of this Government to close the Irish Embassy in Tehran, which Eamon Gilmore initially justified by referencing low bilateral trade between Iran and Ireland.
“However much of this was due to the crippling sanctions forced on Iran by opponents of its nuclear enrichment programme.Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has a right to develop nuclear energy for civilian and peaceful purposes.
“We now have an interim deal from the P5+1 and Iran, and significant bilateral trade opportunities and political relationships can, and should, be built between Ireland and Iran.
“I hope that this visit will begin the reestablishment of these ties and to improve Ireland’s diplomatic and economic relationship with Iran and the wider region.”