Iran: Overseas Trade

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24th September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the reopening of the British Embassy in Iran, what plans they have to develop trading opportunities in Iran; and whether those plans take account of decisions by other countries to develop trading opportunities there.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Trade sanctions on Iran will not be lifted immediately. Sanction relief will only happen once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has taken agreed nuclear measures. While sanctions remain in place, they will continue to be enforced.

Recent trade visits to Iran highlight the wide interest in new trade opportunities, but even as phased sanctions relief begins Iran will remain a challenging place to do business. If Iran completes its commitments and sanctions are rolled back, the British Government will help the business and financial sector take advantage of the opportunities that arise, and promote trade and investment between our two countries. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), took a trade delegation with him to Iran when he reopened our Embassy on 23 August, and further trade delegations are being planned. Over time, our reopened Embassy in Tehran will be a key part of the Government’s role in supporting British business, including through a full time UK Trade and Investment presence. However the decisions of British businesses on whether or not to trade with Iran are independent of Government.

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