Statement from the Tánaiste, Micheál Martin TD, on Bernard Phelan
Statement12 May 2023
Statement from the Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD on Bernard Phelan
Mr Bernard Phelan, a dual Irish-French national, has been released from prison in Iran and is now on his way home to his family.
The last seven months have been a very difficult ordeal for Bernard and for his family and I am pleased and relieved that this is now at an end. I also welcome the release of Benjamin Briére, a French national who was imprisoned with Bernard in Mashhad prison.
Many people have worked tirelessly for this outcome over many months.
I am deeply appreciative of the efforts of the French Government and my counterpart, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, for their work to resolve this case.
I spoke to the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein AmirAbdollahian, yesterday and I acknowledge the assistance of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to Mr Phelan’s release.
I am also very grateful to our Consular team in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, our diplomats on the ground in our Mission in Tehran, and our Ambassador in Turkey accredited to Iran.
I have continually stressed the urgency of Mr. Phelan’s release on humanitarian grounds. This case has been a key priority for me throughout my time as Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
I look forward to Bernard’s imminent arrival back home.
12 May 2023