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Iran: Nuclear Power

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the progress Iran has made toward the acquisition of a nuclear weapon; and if he will make a statement. (296613)

We remain extremely concerned about Iran’s nuclear programme.

In August 2009 the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) Director General reported that Iran had not suspended its enrichment activities contrary to the requirements of five UN Security Council Resolutions and still refuses to answer questions about studies with a possible military dimension. Meanwhile Iran continues to produce low enriched uranium (it now has over 1,500 kg stockpiled according to the IAEA) which could be used to produce high enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.

The fact that Iran has been covertly developing an enrichment facility near Qom, in breach of UN and IAEA obligations, casts further doubt on its peaceful intentions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to raise the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme in the UN Security Council; and if he will make a statement. (296621)

When Ministers from the E3+3 met in New York on 23 September 2009, they made clear that we were all still committed to the dual-track policy, which includes further action at the UN Security Council if necessary. They also agreed that decisions on our next steps would be taken in the light of meetings with Iran. On 1 October 2009 in Geneva, Iran agreed to a further meeting before the end of the month to focus on its nuclear programme. Iran has not yet agreed to a date for this.