Ireland needs to be careful not to fall out of step with its EU partners in terms of its relationship with Iran, according to Patrick Kent of the ICSA, who believes the Irish embassy in Tehran needs to be re-opened.

“Iran is a hugely influential country in the Middle East, with a population of over 80m," said Kent

"Ireland needs to keep a line of dialogue open with Iran, not least because it could be a potentially important market for meat exports,” Kent has said.

Non-dollar trade

He added that our partners in the EU are currently working on continuing non-dollar trade with Iran.

The EU's position is that member states should be able to trade with Iran, particularly in relation to food, despite the US pulling out of an international trade deal last year.

“It was a particularly unfortunate knee-jerk decision during the worst period of the economic collapse to close our embassies in the Vatican and Tehran," he said.

"We are currently looking all over the world for export destinations, some of which are very far behind Iran in terms of GDP per capita and overall ability to pay a viable price for Irish products,” Kent said.

Read more

Punch and Judy show at the ICSA agm