Tánaiste welcomes suspension of Iran sanctions20/1/14
EU Foreign Ministers agreed to suspend sanctions against Iran at today's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels as part of efforts to arrive at a resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
The decision follows a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which confirms that Iran is complying with its commitments as agreed under the Joint Plan of Action with the UK, US, China, France, Germany and Russia last November.
Speaking after today's Council, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., said:
"I welcome the positive action now being taken by Iran. This is an important first step in a process that will hopefully lead to greater global security.
“I now want to see the Iranian government continue to engage constructively with a view to arriving at a more permanent deal by the time this interim agreement expires in 6 months.”
The Council also addressed concerns regarding the situation in Ukraine, including the passing of legislation which would significantly restrict freedom of the media and civil society organisations.
Foreign Ministers also discussed the crisis in Syria. The Tánaiste expressed deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation, noting that nine million people are now in urgent need of assistance. Last week Ireland pledged an additional €12 million in funding for emergency assistance, including food and basic healthcare needs.
The Council also increased its support to the Central African Republic, where increasing violence has left 2.2 million people in need of emergency assistance. In December, Ireland announced additional funding of €2 million to the UN to provide humanitarian aid to those most in need.
The Council today also held a strategic debate on Russia ahead of this month's EU-Russia Summit.
20 January 2014