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Iran

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what military equipment has been provided by the UK to Iran to assist in counter-narcotics operations in the last three years. (58244)

[pursuant to the reply, 21 March 2006, Official Report, c.334-35W]: I regret that an inaccurate answer was given to part of the right hon. Member's question. The answer given states that the then Foreign Secretary, Lord Hurd, and the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Tony Lloyd, gave statements on 1 March 1993 and 28 September 1998 respectively. The statements were in fact written answers to hon. Members and the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central was made on 28 January 1998.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will assess the (a) likelihood and (b) likely effectiveness of placing sanctions on Iran in case of a breakdown of negotiations. (81579)

We remain deeply concerned that, despite repeated requests by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council, Iran is continuing uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activity that will enable it to develop the capability to produce fissile material suitable for use in nuclear weapons, and is not co-operating fully with the IAEA.

On 1 June, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and her French, German, US, Russian and Chinese colleagues and Javier Solana, EU High Representative, agreed a way forward that would give Iran everything it needs to develop a modern civil nuclear power industry, as well as bringing Iran far reaching political and economic benefits, while meeting international concerns. We hope that Iran will respond to these proposals soon and take the positive path offered. Ministers also agreed on 1 June that if Iran decides not to engage in negotiation, further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council.

Our efforts remain focused on securing an early, positive response to the proposals. But we cannot rule out measures against Iran, including sanctions, at some point if they become necessary to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations and takes steps to establish the peaceful intentions of its nuclear programme.

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in the House on 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 1314:

“We all hope that it will not be necessary to move towards sanctions, but if it is necessary to do so, the sanctions will be those that people feel are capable of having an effect.”

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether the UK supplies military equipment to Iran in support of its counter-narcotics operations; and if he will make a statement; (57201)

(2) what assessment he has made of the extent to which European countries provide military equipment to Iran for use in its counter-narcotics operations; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to the replies, 9 March 2006, Official Report, c. 1687-88W]: I regret that inaccurate answers were given to part of the hon. Member’s questions. The answers given state that the then Foreign Secretary, Lord Hurd, and the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Tony Lloyd, gave statements on 1 March 1993 and 28 September 1998 respectively. The statements were in fact written answers to hon. Members and the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central was made on 28 January 1998.