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Iran: Overseas Trade

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 1WS, on delegated legislation (counter terrorism), if he will make it his policy to seek European Union sanctions requiring the financial sectors in EU member states to cease all business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines; and if he will make a statement. (293788)

The measures taken by the Treasury under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 against Bank Mellat and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines was used specifically to mitigate the risks posed to the UK national interest by activity in Iran that facilitates the development or production of nuclear weapons. Where the Government identify such activities, they are committed to acting to curtail them.

We are clear that if Iran does not engage seriously in negotiations to restore the international community’s confidence in its nuclear programme, multilateral sanctions will be required. We are working closely with other EU member states to ensure that the EU is in a position to enact measures if this should prove necessary. At the present, the content of this work must remain confidential, but I will inform the House when it is possible to discuss these measures in more detail.