History of the Delegation for relations with IRAN (D-IR)

For many years, the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Iran provided one of the very few institutional forums of dialogue between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran's parliament, the Majlis.

Established in 2004, the delegation represented a European Parliament initiative, but the response from the Iranian Majlis was positive.

After a first few planned joint meetings failed to materialise, the two sides succeeded in coming together to discuss issues of importance to the bilateral relationship. Elected representatives from both parliaments met even when international sanctions were in place and the international political climate was far from favourable.

A regular yearly exchange began in April 2005 with the visit of the delegation's chair and vice-chairs - the delegation's "bureau" - to Teheran. The first full inter-parliamentary meeting took place in Brussels in October 2006. A second meeting was held in December 2007 in Teheran, and a third in Brussels in November 2008.

Seventh legislature: 2009-2014

During the European Parliament's seventh legislature (2009-2014), the delegation attempted to restart the parliamentary dialogue, which had been suspended after the third inter-parliamentary meeting, in 2008.

Although the delegation tried to organise visits to Iran on several occasions, only one inter-parliamentary meeting was held during the term: the fourth EU-Iran inter-parliamentary meeting, held in December 2013 in Teheran.

Eighth legislature: 20014-2019

The Parliament's eighth term (2014-2019) has marked a resurgence of activity for the delegation. Following the conclusion of the "nuclear agreement" in 2015, relations are being fully normalised.

In May 2015 the fifth inter-parliamentary meeting took place in Brussels. Discussions touched on human rights and the situation of minorities, as well as other issues.

A sixth meeting has been planned, but postponed twice. Members of the delegation hope to travel to Iran later in 2017.

Delegation activities

The Delegation for relations with Iran maintains a busy schedule, in addition to its activities planning and participating in inter-parliamentary meetings.

Since 2015, the delegation has held regular meetings with senior staff from the European Commission and European External Action Service (EEAS), with the Iranian Ambassador to the EU, and with several experts from Iran's civil society - mainly human rights defenders and representatives of religious and ethnic minorities.

The delegation normally meets every month, during the days when the Parliament works in Strasbourg.
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