Iran (Support for Shia Islamists Abroad)

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering 12:00 am, 26th June 2018

What steps he, Ministers of his Department and the British Embassy in Tehran have taken to tackle the threat posed by Iran’s support for Shia Islamists abroad; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We remain concerned about Iran’s regional activities and support for proxy groups, we regularly raise these concerns with Iran at the highest level, and I spoke to my Iranian counterpart about this last week. We also co-ordinate closely with partners to deliver strong messages to Iran on this and other regional issues.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

Since sanctions relief started in 2015 and we re-established diplomatic relations, Iran has become the world’s third-largest natural gas producer and fourth-largest oil producer, and is using these funds to finance terrorist proxies—Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the Houthis in Yemen. What, realistically, are we doing to stop that?

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Iran’s activities in the region, and its interference and its sponsoring of terrorist groups, are a matter of concern for the UK, as well as for other states. Individual sanctions remain in place in relation to Iranian entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—a demonstration of the world’s commitment on this. However, more must be done. Iran must recognise that not only must it keep to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but other activities need to be dealt with if it is to return to a proper place in the company of nations.