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Iran: Arms Trade

Volume 489: debated on Friday 13 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of breaches of the prohibition in UN Security Council Resolution 1747 against the sale, transfer or supply of arms or related material from Iran; and if he will make a statement. (261001)

I am aware of reports that Iran has breached UN Security Council Resolution 1747 by attempting to transfer arms-related material via the MV Monchegorsk, a Cypriot-flagged vessel.

We understand that the MV Monchegorsk was ordered into Limassol harbour by the Government of Cyprus in late January, where it now remains. Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou has said that the Monchegorsk was in “clear” breach of UN sanctions banning Iran from exporting arms and related material. Cyprus has dealt with the situation effectively and entirely in line with UN and EU requirements.

We continue to urge Iran to comply with international law. It is unacceptable that Iran acts in breach of UN Resolutions and such action only serves to further undermine international confidence in Iran.