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Iran

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of the Iranian Government about the construction of nuclear weapons. [126709]

Our concerns about Iran's nuclear programme are raised with them at every opportunity, most recently by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary during his visit to Iran in July 2003.We continue to urge Iran to meet in full its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Iran. [126710]

We continue to have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Iran. There has been recent progress on some issues, such as in the establishment of equal rights for women to divorce and in the announcement by the Supreme Administrative Court of a suspension in stonings. However, systematic violation of human rights continues, including limits to freedom of expression.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of the Iranian opposition about human rights violations in that country. [126711]

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Ministerial colleagues conduct discussions about Iran with a wide range of interlocutors. Information on the human rights situation in Iran is drawn from a range of different independent sources.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what human rights reforms have been introduced in Iran since 5 February. [126712]

Neither my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary nor I are aware of specific human rights reforms introduced in Iran since 5 February. There has been progress in some areas during the last 12 months, such as in the establishment of equal rights for women to divorce and the announcement by the Supreme Administrative Court of a suspension on stoning. But systematic human rights violation continues to be a key issue of concern in our relationship with Iran.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with French Government ministers about their arrest of Iranian resistance members. [126713]

None. Officials have discussed the matter with the French Embassy in London. The French Government have explained publicly that the police were acting on evidence that the group was about to launch a campaign of violence. Several key members were detained, including the co-leader Mary am Rajavi. We understand that most of them, including Ms Rajavi, have since been released on bail.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. [126714]

We have for some time been concerned about Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. We regularly urge Iran to comply fully with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.