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Iran (Temporary Powers) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:17 pm on 12th May 1980.

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Photo of Gwyneth Dunwoody Gwyneth Dunwoody , Crewe 11:17 pm, 12th May 1980

I know of my hon. Friend's real concern for his constituency. I hope that he will accept that my concern is equally strong. I have made it clear that that was not what I was saying. I have said that I believe that any sanctions orders which is brought forward that will affect individual industries must be brought under a positive resolution of the House of Commons to allow us to debate it and its effect.

I return to the point that if the Americans find themselves, as they believe, at the end of the road of diplomatic persuasion they must not imagine that they can expect the same sort of support from the British if they move towards any kind of military action.

My hon. Friend the Member for Waltham Forest (Mr. Deakins) said that if we applied sanctions we would have to follow them up with a blockade. I do not believe that that is so. I believe that we must make it clear that international condemnation, diplomatic pressure and continuing talks will produce the results.

I should like to see the newly elected Iranian Parliament given the chance to consider how it would like to handle the question. I also believe that if the President of Iran was given the backing of the Ayatollah we could expect to see a far more sensible and practical approach to this delicate and thorny question.

However, we come back to the point that at present the Americans, it seems to me, are not prepared to go back to the United Nations. I would ask them seriously to consider returning to the Security Council. It may be that the Russians at this moment are prepared to think again, because I believe that they understand that their own citizens would not escape the same kind of attack if it were spread throughout the diplomatic community. It may be that the Russians would be prepared to support a new initiative.