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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Women's Revolution in Iran

I wish to bring up once again the revolution in Iran and the ongoing well-publicised protests led by the women of Iran. It is now day 55, and reports state that almost 30,000 are imprisoned. Some 550 people have been killed of which 41 were children, the youngest of whom was two years old. Over the last ten says, security forces have been firing live ammunition at peaceful protestors in Khash, Sistan and Baluchestan. According to Amnesty International, 82 Baluch people were killed in one day in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan, the provincial capital of Iran.

I, along with other Members in the Seanad, have been approached by the current Iranian ambassador to meet with him to discuss the situation in Iran. What concerns me more was the attempt by some Iranian hacker to access my personal online data last week. I do not need to remind this House that the regime is working behind closed doors in every democracy here in Europe. We know what can happen to people when they speak up against this regime.

Iran has not been a good ally to Europe in this current war. Its current relationship with Russia has placed it in opposition to Europe. Iran's continued weapons sales to Russia violates a Security Council-imposed arms embargo. The Iran nuclear deal wherein the EU and the US are negotiating with the regime surely has no merit when this regime is being rejected by its own people. At a time when Ireland holds a position on the UN Security Council, we have a voice of power. As an Independent Senator in this House, I hold no power. I must rely on the Government parties to do the right thing.

On Thursday last, Germany's Government urged its citizens to leave Iran or risk arbitrary arrest and long prison terms there, warning that dual nationals were particularly at risk. I have no idea how many Irish citizens are living there. Surely, we, too, should be looking to protect our citizens in Iran. Ireland plans to reopen our embassy in Iran in March 2023. How can we make that show of support in good faith when the people of Iran no longer support the current Iranian regime? It is time for the Government to stand with the millions of Iranian people and not with the mullahs.

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