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Iran: Politics and Government

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the political situation in Iran. (282297)

The political situation in Iran was discussed by EU Foreign Ministers, including my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, at the most recent European Union General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15-16 June 2009. The Council conclusions expressed strong concern about the violence and use of force against the protesters.

The June European Council released a declaration on 19 June 2009 which also expressed concern about the Iranian authorities' reaction to post-election demonstrations and called on the Iranian authorities to investigate allegations of irregularities in the elections.

We continue to keep in close touch with our European partners on the issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the political situation in Iran. (282306)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang by telephone since the Iranian elections. They agreed that the international community should follow the situation in Iran closely.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the safety of British nationals resident in Iran. (282696)

On 22 June 2009 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Travel Advice was revised to recommend against all but essential travel to Iran. Consequently we withdrew the dependents of our staff.

We do not believe that it is necessary to advise British citizens to leave Iran. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

We are investigating reports of the arrest of British nationals in Iran and have called on the Iranian authorities to allow consular access.