THREE Cork TDs have raised the plight of Iranian women before the Dáil during Parliamentary Question time.
Fianna Fáil TD Aindrias Moynihan, Socialist TD Mick Barry, and Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns were joined by two other TDs in asking the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Michéal Martin if he condemned the actions of the Iranian Government for its execution of activists, journalists and protesters, and if he is engaging with officials there to communicate the views of the Government.
Mr Martin said he commended the bravery of Iranian women and men who continue to exercise their fundamental rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
“While their protests were prompted by the tragic death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, many more children, women and men have died since. I extend my condolences to the loved ones of all those who have died. The protestors’ slogan of ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ is clear, and has resonated with many in Ireland as well,” said Mr Martin.
“Iran must adhere to its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Ireland opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and has consistently raised our concerns around the number of executions in Iran.
“Ireland joined EU partners in condemning the execution of Iranian British National Alireza Akbari. I am horrified Iran has started to execute people for their alleged involvement in the protests. I again urge Iran to declare a moratorium on executions, to revoke death sentences issued for involvement in protests and to consider alternative sentencing.”
Mr Martin said that Ireland raises human rights concerns with Iran at “every suitable opportunity”.
He added: “At this challenging time, it is critical that diplomatic channels remain open in order to directly communicate with the Iranian government. In 2021 the Government decided to re-establish an Irish diplomatic presence in Iran.
“An Irish Embassy in Tehran will also allow Ireland to deliver more effectively clear and firm messages on a wide range of issues including, the broad human rights situation in Iran.
“Ireland’s diplomatic presence in Tehran since August 2021 was critical for engagement with Iran on a number of key regional issues that we worked on at the UN Security Council, including Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and the Iran nuclear deal. Those issues continue to be priorities for Ireland after our term on the Council. On these and other regional and global political, security, and economic issues, Iran is a country with significant influence.
“Ireland works with our EU partners to ensure that all sanctions are targeted and contain clear exemptions for humanitarian actors.
“On 20 October 2022, additional sanctions against Iranian individuals and an entity involved in the development of drones and their delivery to Russia were adopted. Further restrictive measures will be considered in the coming weeks as the situation continues to develop.
“We will continue to coordinate closely with our partners in the EU to ensure there is a joint, coordinated, and clear response to the actions of the Iranian authorities,” concluded Mr Martin.