Human Rights (Iran)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 12:45 pm on 6th June 2006.

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock 12:45 pm, 6th June 2006

The Minister has referred to the serious deficiencies—to say the least—in the legitimacy of the parliamentary process in Iran. This Parliament should beat its breast and apologise. As you know, Mr. Pope, I personally opposed elsewhere the receiving here of a delegation from the Majlis. I thought that it was a mistake, although I understand the compelling case for Committees such as the Foreign Affairs Committee to become engaged. My judgment might be wrong on that issue, but where this Parliament has got it wrong is in respect of the Inter-Parliamentary Union having Majlis delegations.

I put it to the Minister that the British Government and this Parliament would not countenance comparable relationships with the Parliament of Belarus. For all their warts and deficiencies, the Lukashenko Government and that Parliament are innocent compared with the abuse of human rights and the denial of true franchise seen in Tehran. We have double standards. I wonder whether the Minister will comment on that.