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Iran to lift ban on Irish beef

Irish beef will be back on the menu in Iran shortly, an Oireachtas committee heard today.

THE IRANIAN MARKET will soon reopen for Irish beef, it was revealed today.

Ambassador of Iran Hossein Panahaziar confirmed the move to an Oireachtas committee on foreign affairs and trade at Leinster House this afternoon.

A ban on Irish beef products has been in place since March 1996. Before Ireland was hit by the BSE crisis, the Iranian export market was worth about €40 million to the economy.

Talks have been ongoing with authorities in Tehran since the late 1990s but the market has remained closed to beef.

Committee chairman Pat Breen welcomed today’s indication that the longstanding ban will be lifted.

“While a number of technical details required clarification, the Ambassador indicated that these issues have been resolved and the market will be re-opened shortly,” he said. “The food and drink sector is an important part of Ireland’s economy employing around 50,000 people. The value of food and drink exports in 2011 reached €8.85 billion and the opening up of international markets is key to the continuing growth of the sector and a boost to the national economy.”

Last March, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said his department engaged with official veterinarians from Iran to demonstrate the quality and safety of Ireland’s meat control systems.

Read: Irish lamb now on the menu in Singapore

More: Libya to lift ban on Irish beef ‘shortly’

Related: US decision to review beef bans welcomed

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