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Government responds to Lords Committee's concerns about rising Iran tensions


In a response to a letter from Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Chair of the International Relations and Defence Committee, the Government has clarified its position on rising tensions in the Gulf and the future of the Iran nuclear deal.

On 8 October Baroness Anelay wrote to the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa to express the Committee's concern at rising tensions in the Gulf, and to seek clarification on the Government's position on Iran and the wider region.

Key requests to the Government made by the Committee:

  • Outline the evidence on which the assessment that Iran carried out the 14 September attacks against Saudi Arabian oil facilities was based;
  • Explain the actions the Government is taking to de-escalate regional tensions;
  • Give an assessment of the efficacy of the United States' policy towards Iran; and
  • Clarify whether the Prime Minister's interview with NBC News, in which he said he believed the Iran nuclear deal had “many, many defects” and expressed hope that there would be a “Trump deal” to succeed it, represented a shift in policy by the Government.

Read Baroness Anelay's letter in full.

Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, has now responded to these questions. The response can be read in full here.

Chair of the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee, Baroness Anelay of St Johns, said: “We were concerned that the Prime Minister's suggestion that he hoped there would be a ‘Trump deal' on Iran could represent a weakening of the UK's commitment to the existing  Iran nuclear deal. We are reassured by Dr Murrison that this is not the case.

“As the Committee has repeatedly concluded, the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal was contrary to the United Kingdom's interests, and the Government has been right to defend and seek to sustain the deal.” 

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