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Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her US counterparts about measures designed to limit the access of the Iranian Government to international financial markets; and if she will make a statement. (75074)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and I are in regular contact with our counterparts in the US and other countries about policy towards Iran. We have discussed possible benefits available to Iran in a long-term agreement on the nuclear issue if Iran complies with its obligations, and the likely costs to Iran of greater isolation if it chooses to pursue a course of confrontation.

Ministers and officials have discussed with their counterparts in general terms the measures that the international community might have available, including in the economic and financial sphere, in the event that Iranian behaviour makes sanctions necessary. But the international community is united in wanting Iran to take the steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board and return to a diplomatic process on the basis of the ideas presently being proposed by the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US. All our efforts are being directed to that end.