Skip to main content


Volume 712: debated on Thursday 9 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States about its proscription of the National Council of Resistance of Iran; and what was the response. [HL4667]

We have made no representation to the US Government about their proscription of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The status of any organisation in another country is a matter for the authorities of that country.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they and other European Union member states have agreed sanctions against the Government of Iran in response to its recent action against protesters. [HL4668]

The EU has made clear its serious concerns about the Iranian authorities' response to the legitimate demonstrations that followed the Iranian elections. In a declaration on 19 June 2009, the EU condemned the use of violence against protesters. On 28 June 2009 the EU condemned the continued arrest and detention of peaceful demonstrators.

No sanctions have been agreed by the EU in response to the recent actions. We continue to monitor the situation in Iran closely.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of demonstrators shot by state forces in Iran and of the circumstances surrounding the death of female student Neda Soltan during a protest. [HL4669]

On 20 June 2009, Iranian state media confirmed that at least 21 people had been killed and many more injured during post-election clashes. It has not been possible for us to conduct an independent assessment of the total number of protesters who have been killed.

The death of Ms Neda Soltani was captured on video and widely circulated on the internet. Accusations by the Iranian regime that foreign governments or media organisations were responsible are without foundation.

We have made it clear that we deplore the post-electoral violence which has led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians. We urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations directly or through the United Nations concerning the Ayatollah Khatami's public demand that leaders of the current protests in Iran must be executed. [HL4670]

We are extremely concerned by reports that the Iranian Government have set up special courts to deal with those arrested and have threatened harsh sentences. Ayatollah Khatami's comments are absolutely unacceptable and we urge the Iranian authorities to guarantee the lives and rights of those arrested in the post-election violence. These individuals must be protected from torture or ill-treatment, allowed access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical treatment.

Along with our EU partners, we have strongly supported UN statements voicing grave concern about the use of excessive police force, arbitrary arrests and killings in the Islamic Republic of Iran and urging the Government fully to guarantee freedom of expression and assembly throughout the country.