Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20th May 2013.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 3:43 pm, 20th May 2013

Iran did not attend the previous conference in Geneva and our baseline or starting assumption—although this is a matter for all the nations involved—is that the next Geneva conference should involve the same group of nations. Of course, that does not exclude creating mechanisms to consult other nations that are not at the conference. Iran has many motives, which are perhaps more complex and substantial than those my hon. Friend mentions, and it certainly plays a major role in bolstering the Assad regime. It was not our view at the time of the previous Geneva conference that Iran’s presence would be conducive to reaching any agreement on anything or any solution at all, and therefore we were not in favour of including Iran at the first Geneva conference. These matters are for discussion with all the nations involved.