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Volume 984: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has yet taken a decision on the economic areas in which the United Kingdom will support United States sanctions on Iran.

The Iran (Temporary Powers) Bill enabling the Government to bring into force certain sanctions on Iran is now before Parliament. The Bill provides for entry into force on 17 May. However, no decisions on specific measures to be introduced against Iran under this and other legislation will be made until after the European Community Foreign Ministers meeting on 17 May which is to agree a common approach amongst European Community member States.


asked the Lord Privy Seal what assessment he has made on the extent to which the imposition of sanctions on Iran would accelerate the release of the United States hostages.

If it is decided to impose economic sanctions in the absence of decisive progress towards the release of the hostages, they will be designed to indicate to all concerned in Iran that they cannot expect to enjoy prosperity in cooperation with the West if they persist in this breach of international law.


asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent consultations have taken place with the United States authorities over Iran.

My right hon. and noble Friend visited the United States on 3–6 May. Iran was one of the main issues which he discussed with the American authorities.My hon. and noble Friend assured the President of the Government's full support for further peaceful steps which seem likely to assist in securing the release of the hostages. He made it clear that we would not be prepared to support military action in Iran. The President expressed appreciation for our support on the issue of sanctions.


asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the latest situation in Iran.


asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the latest situation in Iran.

I refer my hon. Friends to the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Temple-Morris).


asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the latest position with regard to the United Kingdom's diplomatic relations with Iran.

The Nine decided in Luxembourg on 22 April to reduce the size of their embassies in Tehran and to call for a reduction in the size of the Iranian embassies in their countries. In the light of this, and other circumstances, our Embassy was reduced on 23 April. Its size is being kept constantly under review.