Thursday, 26 November 2020
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
260. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will request the Iranian authorities to show good will by letting young Baha’is have full access to higher level education and training (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39426/20]
The human rights situation in Iran is very worrying, and has long formed an important part of Ireland's engagement and dialogue with Iran.
The inability of members of the Bahá’í faith to access higher education is deeply concerning. It is unacceptable to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their religion.
Ireland has consistently raised the discriminatory treatment of the Bahá’ís in multilateral fora. At the current session of the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, Ireland co-sponsored a Resolution on the situation of human rights Iran. The Resolution calls upon Iran "to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination on the basis of thought, conscience, religion or belief, including the denial of and restrictions on access to education, including for members of the Baha’í faith."
During the Universal Periodic Review of Iran's human rights record in November 2019, Ireland called on Iran to take all necessary steps to protect the rights of the Bahá’í.
Ireland has also raised concerns about discrimination against religious minorities on a bilateral basis with Iran, as well as a Member of the EU.
Ireland, along with the EU, will continue to encourage progress in relation to religious minorities in Iran, and to make clear our concerns to the Iranian authorities.