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Volume 742: debated on Tuesday 12 December 2023

Iran bears responsibility for groups it has long supported. We have stepped up our response to recent attacks. HMS Diamond will bolster our maritime presence in the region and a new Iran sanctions regime will soon be in place, giving us greater powers to designate Iranian activity.

The regime in Tehran has been blatant, public and even unapologetic about its backing, funding and arming of Hamas—terrorists who we now know are not just murders but rapists. In the light of that, is it not time to snap back the full range of sanctions on Iran, to sanction a wider number of officials in Iran and to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps?

Our new Iran sanctions regime will be laid imminently, giving us new and enhanced powers to counter Iran’s hostile activities in the UK and around the world, and its oppressive practices at home. We have already sanctioned more than 350 Iranian individuals and entities, including the IRGC in its entirety.

I agree with the comments made by the right hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Theresa Villiers), but should we not also be wondering about what Iran is doing within its own borders? Four hundred and nineteen people were executed in Iran between January and July, and 127 have been executed since 7 October. Iran has been using what is happening in Israel as a cover for much faster executions, including those of 17-year-old Hamidreza Azari—a child—and Milad Zohrevand, who is the eighth “Woman, Life, Freedom” protester to have been executed by this horrible regime. Is it not time that we really took the case to Iran about its own human rights record?

The hon. Member makes a very important point. We call out the brutal repression of the protests that have taken place, and we continue to hold Iran to account for its human rights record, including the repression of women, girls and children, as he highlights. We will, as I said, bring to bear a new sanctions regime to assist in those efforts.