John Baron MP asks Foreign Secretary whether UK is missing a trick on Iran

February 24, 2014
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MP contrasts slow diplomatic progress with French and German trade delegations

Today in the House of Commons the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, made a statement on the Ukraine, Syria and Iran. Earlier in the day John Baron MP (as a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee) met the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires, who was visiting London for the day, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A wide range of subjects was discussed, including progress towards restoring normal diplomatic relations.

John asked,

“At our meeting the Chargé d’Affaires expressed regret at the sacking of our Embassy, but could not understand the slow progress in re-establishing both Embassies, given that Tehran is apparently willing to meet all assurances sought from London. Meanwhile, quite literally planeloads of French and German businessmen are visiting Iran trying to secure trade deals. Is there a chance the UK is missing a trick here?”

The Foreign Secretary replied that good progress was being made at restoring full diplomatic relations, including the re-establishment of Embassies. He also expressed the wish not to break any economic sanctions.

John said afterwards,

“Given Iranian assurances that the personal security of Embassy staff will be guaranteed, we need to make faster progress in re-establishing both Embassies. Furthermore, we need to learn from our past mistakes in other countries when seeking to secure trade deals in situations of this sort. We risk missing opportunities.”

Ends

Word Count: 248

Date: 24th February 2014

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