Foreign Affairs Committee highlights Ireland’s green agrifood credentials on Iran visit

January 13th, 2014 - Pat Breen

A delegation from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade continues its series of meetings in Tehran with senior officials today, following a fruitful meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on Saturday.

During a meeting in Tehran on Saturday, Committee Members told Minister Zarif that they were in Iran to start a process of improving relations between Ireland and Iran.

During the meeting, the members stressed that Irish firms had extensive experience in the region, and were also keen to contribute to the development of Iran’s infrastructure. They welcomed the lifting of the ban on Irish beef, pointing to the rapid development of Ireland’s green and efficient agri-food sector.

The members also urged Iran to use its influence to promote peace in the region, and particularly to do what it could to bring an end to the conflict in Syria. They also discussed human rights issues with the Minister.

The cross-party delegation includes Committee Chairman Pat Breen TD, Eric Byrne TD, Sean Crowe TD, Maureen O’Sullivan TD and Senator Deirdre Clune.

Deputy Breen TD says: “I told the Foreign Minister that the interim agreement reached with the E3 + 3 [the UK, US, China, France, Germany and Russia] had removed an important obstacle to the development of relations, and had led to an Irish Parliamentary visit after 17 years, and that we looked forward to an early conclusion of the process.

“I urged that the Minister work towards a resumption of the EU-Iran Dialogue on Human Rights, which has been in abeyance since 2004. I am satisfied from his response that the Minister intends to work in good faith towards a resumption of the dialogue.”

The delegation continues its programme of meetings in Iran today Monday 13 January and returns to Dublin tomorrow.