Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of al-Qaeda operatives in custody within Iran; what recent discussions her representatives have had with the Iranian authorities regarding such people; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

An official Iranian statement in July 2005 recorded that Iran had 200 al-Qaeda members in custody. We remain concerned about al-Qaeda and its activities in Iran. In official contact with the Iranian authorities, we continue to urge Iran to take effective action against members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups using Iran as a base, transit route or refuge. We encourage Iran to do more to share information about the detainees with the international community.

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