Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 2nd March 2010.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2:30 pm, 2nd March 2010

I have a massive amount of respect for my hon. Friend, but he does himself a disservice by sending that kind of message from the House to the Iranian Government. Let me make the position clear. Of course, Iran's development of nuclear weapons is a threat to stability in the middle east, but it would also trigger an arms race the likes of which we have never seen before among Iran's neighbours. In a year in which the world is seeking to make progress on non-proliferation in the review of the non-proliferation treaty, this is about the threat that Iran would pose to our national security and that of countries in the region, but it is also about the arms race that it would inevitably trigger.