Written answers

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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108. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the situation in Iran; his views on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51215/19]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I am deeply concerned by recent events in Iran. The growing body of evidence which indicates that a large number of demonstrators have been killed in Iran at the hands of the security forces during demonstrations in recent weeks, is extremely disturbing. The protests which were sparked by a sharp rise in fuel prices and took place in several Iranian cities and towns, have also, according to reports, left many people injured. Any use of violence is unacceptable.

On 8 December, EU High Representative Borrell issued a statement urging the Iranian authorities to ensure transparent and credible investigations to clarify the number of deaths and arrested, and to provide due process to all detainees. I also note President Rouhani’s call, made on 4 December, for the release of unarmed and innocent people detained during the protests. Ireland calls on Iran to comply with its international human rights obligations, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression, as well as the right to peaceful assembly.

The five-day internet shutdown in Iran during the protests is also a matter for concern. The internet is an important outlet for freedom of expression and access to information, as well as being an integral part of ordinary contacts with friends and family.

I am deeply concerned by Iran’s latest announcements and actions in contradiction with its commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA). Ireland joins our EU partners in calling on Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with its commitments under the JCPOA and to refrain from any further steps. Ireland remains fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the agreement, which is in everyone's interest.

Ireland supports efforts to pursue a policy of positive engagement with Iran, including the efforts of the remaining JCPOA participants to facilitate continuing trade with Iran. Recent actions by Iran, however, are making this very difficult. Ireland will continue to support diplomatic efforts towards de-escalation and a return to constructive dialogue.


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