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Iran: Politics and Government

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the handling of protests following the recent presidential elections in Iran by the Iranian authorities; and what assessment he has made of the implications for UK foreign policy of recent events in Iran. (282808)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has made clear that we deplore the violence against those seeking to protest peacefully in Iran. We have also expressed serious concern following the wholly unjustified expulsion of two members of our embassy, and the recent arrests of a number of our local staff. Some have since been released and we are working hard to secure the release of those who are still being held.

In terms of the foreign policy implications we have stressed the importance of Iran engaging with the international community on all issues of concern, in particular Iran's nuclear programme, in the spirit of mutual respect and full recognition of Iran's international obligations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Iran on the conduct of the Presidential election; and if he will make a statement. (283089)

Since the election my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have both made clear that the election was a matter for the people of Iran, but that there were concerns raised by some of the candidates needed to be addressed by the Iranian authorities.

The Foreign Secretary has also made this point in the course of a telephone discussion with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki.