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Nuclear deal on agenda as Coveney travels to Iran to meet with President Rouhani

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will also meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney
Image: Niall Carson via PA Images

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney will visit Iran tomorrow to meet with President Hassan Rouhani. 

Coveney will also meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who last night stated that he will soon present Iran’s “constructive, concrete” plan of action regarding its nuclear programme. 

The visit comes as the United States said on Thursday that it hoped Iran would “engage” in diplomacy after European allies – including France, Germany and Britain – dropped a plan to censure Tehran at the UN nuclear watchdog.

France, Britain and Germany had planned to submit a resolution that would criticise Tehran’s level of compliance with inspections but dropped the move amid efforts by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to reach a compromise with Iran.

The step came after Iran had said the time was not right for an offered meeting with the United States under EU auspices on salvaging the 2015 denuclearisation accord, know as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has insisted that it will not return to full compliance until the United States lifts sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the United States would ease sanctions as part of Iran returning to the deal.

As part of the UN Security Council membership this year, Ireland has been appointed as Facilitator for Resolution 2231, which provides for the Council’s engagement with the Iranian nuclear deal. 

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“Ireland is a strong supporter of the JCPOA. In our role as Facilitator, Ireland is keen to maintain a close dialogue with all actors, and encourage all parties to return to full compliance with the agreement,” Coveney said ahead of the visit. 

“The visit will also be a valuable opportunity to discuss the JCPOA, along with other key issues in the Middle East, many of which feature on the agenda of the Security Council.”

The Minister added: “This visit also comes at an important moment in our bilateral relationship, following the decision of the government this week to designate a Chargé d’Affaires to Tehran, and to work towards the re-establishment of an Irish Embassy in Tehran by 2023.”

With reporting by © AFP 2021

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