Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Policy

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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186. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the treatment of Christians, Baha’i and other religious minorities in Iran and in particular the recent summons to prison in Tehran of Christians for the crime of belonging to a house church; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17832/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The human rights situation in Iran has long formed an important part of Ireland's engagement and dialogue with Iran.

Reports on the treatment of Christians, Baha’i, and other religious minorities in Iran are deeply concerning. It is unacceptable to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their religion.

Ireland has consistently raised concerns around the treatment of religious minorities in Iran in appropriate international fora. At the most recent session of the UN General Assembly, Ireland supported a Resolution which raised concerns over "increasing restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief" in Iran, including for Christians, Baha'i and other religious minorities. The Resolution called on Iran "to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination on the basis of thought, conscience, religion or belief."

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. During my visit to Iran on 7 March, I raised concerns over the human rights situation in Iran with Foreign Minister Zarif, and agreed on the need for increased dialogue on human rights issues.

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