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Iran: Nuclear Weapons

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2185W, on Iran: nuclear weapons, if his Department will assess the effect of (a) EU and (b) UN sanctions on the Iranian (i) economy and (ii) nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. (271014)

There are no plans at present to issue a formal study on the effect of EU and UN sanctions on the Iranian economy and nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. However, we regularly monitor the impact of sanctions on Iran.

Our assessment is that UN sanctions have made it more difficult for Iran to procure items for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. Sanctions continue to affect parts of the Iranian economy, particularly through the disruption of the international operations of a number of Iranian companies and those Iranian banks listed in the sanctions. Anecdotal evidence from sources inside Iran indicates that sanctions have increased the inconvenience and general cost of doing business.

EU sanctions, which implement and go beyond UN measures, have had a similar effect on a larger number of individuals and entities.