[Mr. Greg Pope in the Chair] — Global Security (Middle East)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:58 pm on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of John Stanley John Stanley Conservative, Tonbridge and Malling 2:58 pm, 24th January 2008

There is no specific report of that in the article, but if my hon. Friend says it, I am sure it is something that he has seen.

Lastly, almost by way of a postscript, as the Chairman of the Select Committee has said, we are producing a report on Iran. I would not want to anticipate that, but I want to make one point. We have entered into one war on the basis of a claimed intelligence assessment that proved entirely incorrect. We now have the official United States national intelligence estimate, entitled "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities", which was published in November. Under the heading "Key Judgments", the report opens:

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons."

There is a world of difference between keeping open the option of developing nuclear weapons and having operational nuclear weapons in place. Having gone into one war on the basis of a misreading of an intelligence assessment, it would be unforgivable to go into or be complicit in another when the intelligence picture was still extremely uncertain, as appears to be the case at the moment with Iran.