12 FEBRUARY 2019
ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that the Government should re-open the Irish embassy in Tehran. “Iran is a hugely influential country in the Middle East with a population of over 80 million people. Ireland needs to keep a line of dialogue open with Iran, not least because it could be a potentially important market for meat exports.”
The ICSA president said that Ireland must be careful not to fall out of step with our EU partners in terms of its relationship with Iran. While Donald Trump has an adversarial relationship with Iran, we need to be guided by our partners in the EU who are currently working on a Special Purpose Vehicle for non-dollar trade with Iran. The EU position is that EU members should be able to trade with Iran, particularly in relation to food.
“It was a particularly unfortunate knee-jerk decision during the worst period of the economic collapse to close our embassies in the Vatican and Tehran. The savings are so small as to be irrelevant, but a committed member state of the European Union which is utterly dependent on exports needs to broaden its world view.”
“We are currently looking all over the world for export destinations some of which are very far behind Iran in terms of GDP per capita and overall ability to pay a viable price for Irish products. While it is clear that trade with Iran is beset by difficulties in terms of banking restrictions and American driven sanctions, it is time to recognise that the EU is moving on towards better relations and we need to get on board with that policy.”