The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy took evidence from Alistair Burt MP the Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for the Middle East, on 15 March 2012. The one-off session focused on Iran and the current state of its nuclear programme.
- Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Sub-Committee asked Mr Burt about the stability of the Iranian regime and the impact of sanctions on both the Iranian government and people. They also asked what evidence there is for a military dimension to the Iranian nuclear programme and what capabilities Iran has for delivering nuclear weapons if they were to develop them.
The Sub-Committee asked the Minister about the EU’s dual-track approach to Iran, using both pressure and engagement, and whether all Member States are equally committed to this approach, as well as the likelihood of the resumption of talks with Iran involving the EU’s negotiators.
The evidence session also covered the possible reaction of other states to Iran’s nuclear programme, including the likelihood of cyber attacks and extra judicial killings and whether the UK Government is concerned about Iran responding with similar tactics. The Sub-Committee also asked about the Government’s assessment of the possibilities of proactive Israeli air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.