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Urgent Question on security situation in Iran

13 January 2020

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Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, responded to Tobias Ellwood's urgent question on the security situation in Iran, following General Soleimani's death and events after.

Dominic Raab MP: "importance of de-escalating tensions"

Responding on behalf of the Government, Dominic Raab, Secretary of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) said that despite the initial denials, the Government of Iran acknowledged on 11 January that they were responsible for the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752, and that now is the time for a full transparent and independent investigation.

Answering a question from Fabien Hamilton, Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) on what action he's taken to ensure a permanent de-escalation of the tension rather than an inexorable drift towards war, the Secretary of State said:

"He's right to say that we need to diffuse the situation, so we've been working with our international partners in Europe, in the US, but also crucially in the region to emphasise the absolute importance of de-escalating tensions, particularly to avoid a military conflagration that would only benefit Daesh and the other terrorist groups in the region."

Tobias Ellwood: "tensions have clearly ratcheted"

Tobias Ellwood responded to Dominic Raab's response to his urgent question, stating that “tensions have clearly ratcheted since the drone strike killing General Soleimani".

Mr Ellwood said “wider issues” in Iran's “destabilising foreign policy ambitions” remain, such as advancing its secretarial region influence by funding, training and arming paramilitaries and militias across the Middle East.

He told the House that Iran restarted its nuclear programme.

Mr Ellwood called on Dominic Raab to update the House on the crash investigation and if transparency will be met.

Commenting further, he said:

“I believe these irresponsible actions are out-of-sync with the views of the people of Iran, who once again have bravely taken to the streets to vent their fury against this regime, against the failing economy and against the regimes international adventurism”. 

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