Visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney to Iran
Press release14 February 2022
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, today met in Tehran with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, and the Foreign Minister of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, as part of Ireland’s role on the UN Security Council.
Their talks focused on the restoration of the Iranian nuclear agreement, the JCPOA. Negotiations on a return to the deal have been underway in Vienna since last April and have reached a crucial stage.
As an elected member of the Security Council, for 2021 and 2022, one of Ireland’s key roles is as facilitator of the nuclear deal on the Council.
Minister Coveney said:
“One of the most significant roles allocated to Ireland on the Security Council was Facilitator of Resolution 2231, which underpins the Iranian nuclear deal, the JCPOA. Returning to full implementation of the agreement was the focus of my discussions in Tehran. I strongly encouraged my Iranian interlocutors to seize the historic opportunity of a return by all parties to full implementation of the JCPOA. The coming days and weeks are key if a deal is to be done.”
Restoration of the Iranian nuclear deal will have profound implications for the region, and nuclear non-proliferation globally.
Minister Coveney added:
"I discussed with Iranian counterparts the steps now needed to finalise a return to an agreement that will provide significant benefits to the Iranian economy, through the lifting of sanctions and the commencement of trade and investment relationships. We also discussed the benefit that a fully functioning JCPOA would have for wider stability and prosperity across the Middle East. Our talks also focused on Yemen and Afghanistan, which are important files on the agenda of the Security Council, as well as on human rights issues.”
Notes to Editor
- The JCPOA was agreed in 2015 between Iran and the E3+3 (France, Germany, UK, US, China, Russia). The US, under President Trump, withdrew from the agreement in 2018. The Biden Administration have indicated a willingness to re-engage with the JCPOA, should Iran come back into compliance.
- Talks have been taking place in Vienna since April 2021 (with a five month break between June and November due to Iranian Presidential elections). Negotiations are focusing on sanctions which would be lifted on Iran, in return for strict limits on Iran’s nuclear programme.
- A commitment to non-proliferation is one of the core principles of Irish foreign policy, and one which Ireland has continually emphasises on the Security Council. Ireland has long been associated with some of the key international efforts to prevent proliferation, dating back the creation of the Non Proliferation Treaty in 1968.
- Upon accession to the Security Council in 2021, Ireland as Facilitator of Resolution 2231, which was agreed in 2015 to endorse the Iranian nuclear deal. In this role, Ireland updates the Council on progress towards implementing Iran’s nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Ireland has also used the role of Facilitator to encourage parties to the JCPOA to return to full compliance with the agreement.
- In August 2021, Ireland re-established a Diplomatic Mission in Tehran. The Mission is co-located with the German Embassy under a co-location agreement. The government also committed to re-establishing an Irish Embassy in Tehran in 2023.