Situation in the Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons) 5:06 pm, 22nd July 2019

I, too, warmly commend the work of Sir Alan Duncan, although I think it is a bit over the top to resign from office just to avoid appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee tomorrow afternoon.

On a serious point, the UK’s position on Iran has always been subtly different from that of the United States of America, even though it is our closest ally. It is partly because of our historical relations with ancient Persia, but, more importantly, even on the night that George Bush declared Iran a member of the axis of evil, we were actually trying to send an ambassador to Tehran for the first time for many years, and the American position ended up scuppering that. Just how can we make sure, in the coming months, that while we maintain our strong alliance with the United States of America, we still maintain our independence of thought in relation to Iran?