I propose to take Questions Nos. 47, 54, 73 and 76 together.
I issued the following public statement on 8 May in response to the decision of the United States Government:
“I am greatly disappointed by the US announcement that it is withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA). Ireland and our EU partners, and a very broad spectrum of international opinion have made clear that we believe the JCPOA was a significant diplomatic achievement, and that all parties to it should implement it in full.
"We share many of the concerns which the US has expressed about other aspects of Iranian policy, but the way to address these is not to move away from the one area where significant positive progress has been made. That remains our view, and I hope that the United States will reconsider this decision.
"I hope that all other parties to the agreement, including Iran but also the EU and others, will continue to implement the agreement. The Middle East, and the world, are safer and more stable with this agreement in operation."
Similar statements were issued by the European Union, and by other partners.
I have stated clearly in public that the Iran nuclear agreement was a significant diplomatic achievement in the area of non-proliferation, that it was delivering as intended, and that, as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran had implemented its commitments under the agreement. These views were clearly conveyed to the US Government on a number of occasions, including in recent weeks by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel. It is a matter of great regret that the US has taken a different approach.
Speaking for the EU, High Representative Mogherini has emphasised that the agreement was a multilateral one, and that all other signatories to it have expressed a hope that it can continue to be implemented. The EU signatories to the agreement, and other parties, have already held initial meetings with Iran to discuss this possibility. Ireland will fully support that objective, although the difficulties should not be underestimated.
In relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict, it has been a positive factor that the US Administration is making a serious effort to develop a plan to restart political negotiations between the parties to reach an agreement. I have engaged with that issue at EU level and directly with the US, to support that process. Other aspects of US policy, notably the decision in December on Jerusalem, have been less helpful.
I will cover the matter of a possible visit by President Trump to Ireland in a separate question.