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 Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 5:06 pm, 22nd July 2019

May I reassure my hon. Friend that this is absolutely not about appeasing Iran? It is about trying to see whether there is a diplomatic avenue to prevent the seizure of British ships and giving the space for that diplomatic avenue to work, while recognising that if that fails—I am afraid that it has failed, because a British ship has been seized—we will have to take a much more robust military approach. That is the approach that we have taken, but we wanted to ensure that diplomatic window. We have considered the idea that my hon. Friend mentioned to the House, but we have rejected it because we think it would make those ships a target and create the risk of Royal Marines being taken hostage, which would create an even greater crisis.