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Irish PM calls for reopening mission in Iran to export meat

Tehran, Ireland should open an embassy in Tehran in order to help open up new markets for meat, Independent Deputy Michael Collins told the Irsih Republic's lower house house of parliament, also known as the Dail.

Over the past number of weeks, he said cattle-breeders have been holding public meetings which have been attended by hundreds of people who are trying to see if they can save their livelihoods, the Southern Star reports.

Prices for cattle have collapsed and many are working at a loss and they cannot allow this to continue.

'We have to urgently look at other markets,' he said. 'If we do not, the cattle-breeders will face the worst crisis they have ever seen. The Iranian market is a significant option, with encouraging signs that it wants Irish beef, lamb, chicken and turkey. We face one stumbling block to a strong export market to Iran. Other strong exporting European countries have embassies in Tehran, Ireland has not. The Iranian ambassador [Masoud Eslami] has said that is a major stumbling block for Iran,' according to the paper.

In reply, Irish Primer Minister Leo Varadkar said markets had been opened in China and Japan. 'The European Union has just signed a trade deal with Japan so new opportunities and markets are being opened to Irish meat all the time,' he said.

'At the moment, we do not have plans to reopen the embassy in Tehran. This year, we will open embassies and consulates in Mumbai, Los Angeles, Oman, Santiago, Bogota, Vancouver and quite a few more.'

The Republic of Ireland closed its embassies in Iran and a few other countries in 2011 for 'economic reasons'.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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