John Baron MP calls for confidence-building measures following Iranian elections

June 17, 2013
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MP says the West should welcome President-Elect Rouhani

Today in the House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, responded to an Urgent Question about the Government’s policy towards Iran following the election success last Friday of Dr Hassan Rouhani. President-Elect Rouhani won the Iranian Presidential election with over 50% of the vote, is considered a moderate and favours improved relations with the West.

In the House of Commons, John said,

“It is generally accepted that both sides have been to blame for the poor relationship. No-one’s hands are clean. Given that the election of President Rouhani is a chink of light, what confidence-building measures is the Foreign Secretary considering? For example, is the Government seeking the necessary assurances so that we can re-open our Embassy in Tehran?”

The Foreign Secretary replied that he and his officials continue to have conversations with the Iranians, and that Britain does not have any objections in principle to re-opening our Embassy in Tehran provided sufficient guarantees as to its safety are given.

Afterwards, John said,

“We should welcome the election of Dr Rouhani. He is said to favour better relations with the West, and we should therefore do all we can to respond positively to his gestures. There have been too many opportunities missed by both sides in the past.”

“Of the three stated enemies of Iran – the UK, US and Israel – only the UK still retains diplomatic relations. We do have a unique position. With talk of military intervention still fresh, it is essential that Iran and the West improve their ties.”

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