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Iran: Political Prisoners

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Independent Ulster Unionist

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the P5+1 agreement with Iran, what evidence they have that political prisoners such as Kamal Foroughi and Jason Rezaian have been released, or are being considered for early release, from detention; and what specific evidence they have of any overall progress in respect of such prisoners with UK or US passports.

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

We have no evidence that dual national political prisoners such as Kamal Foroughi and Jason Rezaian have been, or are being considered, for early release from detention. Nor have we received specific evidence of any overall progress in respect of these dual national cases. Iran does not recognise dual nationality and as such we are not granted consular access in these cases. We continue to lobby the Iranian Government at the highest level. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised these issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani during his trip to Iran in August. The Foreign Secretary also raised it with Foreign Minister Zarif at the UN General Assembly in September. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) raised the case with President Rouhani during a telephone call in July, and wrote a further letter on this matter in October.

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