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Foreign Affairs | Iranian human rights violations

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which human rights abuses continue to take place in Iran; the degree to which the authorities are being made aware of atrocities against women and others; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody in Iran on 16 September, was a tragedy. The fact that she was arrested simply due to the way she was dressed understandably provoked a strong response from the Iranian people and the international community. The subsequent response by the Iranian authorities to peaceful protestors in Iran has been extremely concerning.

I raised my concerns on the matter directly with the Iranian Foreign Minister when I met him at the UN General Assembly in New York on 21 September, and when I spoke with him on the matter again by phone on 6 October. I have called on Iran to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances of Ms Amini’s detention and death.

I also issued a statement on 3 October, where I made it clear that Iran is party to a number of important international frameworks that guarantee fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as well as the importance of upholding the rights of women and girls. Iran must adhere to its obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Given that the issue of women’s rights is at the heart of the protests in Iran, I also made it clear that Ireland puts gender issues and the empowerment of women and girls at the forefront of our foreign policy. This position was highlighted in Ireland’s statement at the Arria-formula meeting on the protests in Iran which was held at the United Nations in New York on 2 November. Ireland also supports the holding of a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 24 November to discuss the human rights situation in Iran.  

On 20 October I summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Ireland and again reiterated Ireland’s very serious concerns about the circumstances surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini and the unjustified response of the Iranian security forces to the women and men who are protesting. I also urged Iran to stop supplying weaponry to Russia. Russia’s deliberate and repeated targeting of Ukrainian civilians and critical infrastructure is a gross violation of international law. Iran’s supply of weaponry to Russia is directly contributing to these violations.

There has been a united response from the European Union on this matter. On 17 October under the Iran (Human Rights) Sanctions Regime, eleven people and four entities were sanctioned by the EU for their role in the death of Mahsa Amini and the violent response to the recent demonstrations in Iran. On 20 October, the EU adopted additional targeted sanctions against Iranian individuals and an entity involved in the development of drones and their delivery to Russia. On 14 November, a further 29 individuals and three entities were sanctioned in relation to the protests. Further sanctions may be considered in the coming weeks as the situation continues to develop.

Ireland will continue to raise these issues in our dialogue with international partners, including Iran. Senior officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs are in ongoing contact with the Iranian Ambassador and the Iranian authorities are fully aware of our concerns.

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