Iran, Ireland Set to Broaden Bilateral Ties

Iran, Ireland Set to Broaden  Bilateral TiesIran, Ireland Set to Broaden  Bilateral Ties

A top Irish senator said an economic delegation from the European country will take a trip to Iran shortly, in what he described as the first concrete step toward developing bilateral trade ties.

"We are already engaged in cooperation with Iran on the export of agricultural equipment and medicine and technology sharing, which we intend to increase," Denis O'Donovan, chairman of the upper house of Irish Parliament, was quoted as saying by IRNA.   

Donovan, who is in Tehran at the head of a group of Irish lawmakers, was speaking at a joint presser after meeting Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Tuesday.

"We discussed trade relations, in which regard an economic delegation will travel to Iran next month. We consider this the first positive step between Ireland and Iran in the economic sphere," he said.

The Irish senator called for deeper engagement with Tehran in the campaign against terrorism. He reaffirmed Dublin's stance alongside other European nations in shielding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal from the harsh attacks of US President Donald Trump.

"As a member of the European Union, we believe that JCPOA should be sustained. Our government and the EU are pleased with the action plan and the positive measures related to it and believe its full implementation is in the interest of all sides," he said.

Donovan was using the official title of the landmark accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which took effect on January 16, 2016, to ease sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

"So we will make every diplomatic effort to ensure it remains mutually beneficial for Iran and Europe," he added.

The European Union played a coordinating role during the negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) that resulted in the deal.

The prospect of lucrative transactions with Iranian counterparts in the wake of sanctions relief has brought a wave of European trade delegations toward the untapped Iranian market, despite the risk of falling foul of the residual non-nuclear US sanctions.

But Trump, an avowed enemy of the broadly supported deal, is weighing whether to pull out of the international agreement as he faces a mid-October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact.

The Republican hawk's anti-JCPOA stance has drawn sharp objection from Washington's European allies and other parties to the UN-endorsed agreement, who have invoked the regular inspections and reports of the UN nuclear watchdog that have all verified Iran's compliance with the deal's provisions.

Larijani welcomed Donovan's call for closer bilateral relations and highlighted the need for measures to quickly revive banking relations.

"We hope that trade, political and security ties will increase and our Irish friends will help facilitate banking relations," he said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints