Skip to main content

Iran: Foreign Relations

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives he has set for UK foreign policy in respect of Iran. (309197)

Our objective is to encourage Iran away from confrontation and suspicion of the west. We and our international partners have serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, its regional role in supporting terrorism and promoting instability, and its denial of the rights to which its own people aspire.

Iran’s human rights record has deteriorated rapidly in 2009, and is arguably the worst it has been in 20 years. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement on 28 December 2009 calling on the Iranian Government to respect the human rights of its people after several protesters were killed in clashes in Iran. We will continue to urge Iran to respect these rights, which are enshrined in international agreements to which Iran is party, and in the Iranian constitution.

On the nuclear dossier we continue to follow a two track approach which offers Iran the opportunity for cooperation with the international community but increased pressure if Iran is unwilling. Given Iran’s lack of positive engagement so far, further consideration will need to be given to sanctions targeted against the Iranian regime.