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Iran: Diplomatic Service

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, column 29W, on Iran, in what ways the Iranian authorities have obstructed the activities of staff at the British Embassy in Tehran; what activities have been obstructed; and if he will make a statement. (267842)

The Iranian authorities have obstructed the activities of our embassy in Tehran in numerous ways, including: by placing restrictions on vehicle access to the embassy compounds for embassy staff and visitors, harassing embassy staff, guests, and contractors carrying out work on our compounds (including security work recommended by the Iranian authorities), and failing to provide airside access for the collection of diplomatic bags.

Additionally the British Council was forced to suspend its operation in Iran earlier this year, because of unacceptable pressure put on its staff by the Iranian Government.

We have raised these issues with the Iranian authorities on numerous occasions and reminded them of their obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.