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Exports to Iran

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 9 November 2010

Iran’s nuclear activities continue to cause significant concern to the international community, and we are determined to stop it obtaining the material that it needs to pursue a range of proliferation-sensitive activities prohibited by UN Security Council Resolutions. The UK refuses all export licence applications where we believe there is an unacceptable risk that the goods would contribute to Iran’s nuclear programme.

The UK respects Iran’s right to a peaceful civilian nuclear programme as long as it meets its international obligations. But it has consistently failed to do so. Iran has continued to develop its nuclear programme in defiance of six United Nations Security Council resolutions, which call on Iran to fully comply with its international obligations, increase transparency with the IAEA and answer a range of outstanding questions about its overall intentions. The UK therefore welcomes the success of the EU in securing a strong EU Council decision in respect of new sanctions against Iran in July.

Until now, the UK has exercised discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to permit the export of goods listed in annex IV to Council Regulation (EU) 961/2010 of 25 October 2010 (previously annex II to Council Regulation (EC) 423/2007 of 19 April 2007).

However, these are dual-use goods which, by definition, may have utility to Iran’s nuclear programme. The UK therefore strongly believes that it should go further than the new measures agreed by the EU. With immediate effect therefore, we will no longer issue any licences for the export of goods or technology listed in annex IV of Council Regulation (EU) 961/2010 or for the provision of brokering services or technical or financial assistance related to those goods and technology, apart from the most exceptional cases—such as supplies for humanitarian purposes—where there is manifestly no risk that the goods will be used in connection with Iran’s nuclear programme. Furthermore we will not issue licences for investment in an Iranian person, entity or body engaged in the manufacture of goods listed in annex IV. Annex IV can be viewed at: :2010:281:0001:0077:EN:PDF