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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the use by hostile forces of surface to air missiles in Iraq. (126480)

All threats to UK forces in Iraq are kept under constant review. This includes the threat posed by surface to air missiles. I am withholding further details as it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the Iranian (a) personnel, (b) explosives and (c) expertise being used in Iraq. (126603)

I hold regular discussions with the US Defense Secretary on issues of mutual interest, including the situation in Iraq.

Iran is an influential neighbour in the region and its behaviour continues to be a cause for concern. We and the US continually assess the nature of insurgency in Iraq including the influence of outside groups.

Support from within Iran, including the Quds Force, goes to groups who are attacking our forces and fuels the sectarian violence in Iraq. In our assessment some of the improvised explosive devices that are being used against our forces use technology that originates from Iran.

Iranian links to illegal armed groups either through supply of weapons, training or funding, are completely unacceptable. We have said so and so have the Iraqi Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of the (a) defence teams, (b) prosecution teams and (c) other costs related to the court martial in (i) the prosecution of the seven paratroopers for alleged crimes in Iraq in November 2005 and (ii) the prosecution of the four guardsmen for alleged crimes in Iraq in June 2006. (128083)

The costs requested were:

3 Para Trial

IG Trial

Defence costs

£3.04m

£1.283m

Prosecution costs

£0.254m

£0.193m

Other costs

£0.511m

£0.210m

Total

£3.813m

£1.686m