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Iran: Weapons

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Conservative, Northampton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on shipments of arms and missiles by Iran to militant groups in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support for militant groups in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, including Hezbollah and Hamas. We have consistently stressed the negative impact this has on stability in the middle east and condemn it in all its forms.

We assess that since the 2006 conflict with Israel, Hezbollah has been rearmed to the extent that its capabilities exceed those in 2006. We assess that Iran is the most significant provider of weapons, training and funding to Hezbollah.

We judge that Hamas has rebuilt at least some of the capabilities it lost in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict. Since then, Hamas may have acquired from Iran both a number of longer range rockets with the potential to reach Tel Aviv and some advanced anti-tank guided weapons. We assess that Iran is a significant provider of weapons and funds to the group.

Iran also provides arms and funding to other rejectionist groups in the region, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

We continue to monitor Iranian support to these groups closely. We will continue to push for full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions, which call for the disarmament of these armed groups and prohibit weapons transfers, and support the UN sanctions committees pursuing and investigating sanctions violations.

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