John Baron MP congratulates Foreign Secretary on Iranian nuclear deal

July 15, 2015

MP reflects on lost vote in 2012 (285-6)

Yesterday it was announced that the negotiators of the ‘P5+1’ [USA, France, China, UK, Russia and Germany] and Iran have succeeded in striking a deal over the Iranian nuclear programme. This deal aims to resolve over a decade of international concern over the Iranian nuclear weapons programme, which many have suspected harbours military dimensions. The new deal accepts Iran’s right to nuclear technology and reduces economic sanctions, in return for a robust inspection régime to ensure there is no military dimension to the Iranian civilian nuclear programme.

John Baron MP has long advocated a diplomatic approach to the Iranian crisis and sponsored a Back Bench debate in February 2012, when Western and Israeli air strikes seemed a real possibility, calling for military action to be ruled out and for a new relationship with Iran (John lost the vote 285-6).

The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, today gave MPs a statement on the nuclear deal via a statement in the House of Commons.

In the Chamber, John asked,

“For those of us who have long advocated a greater focus on diplomacy in our dealings with Iran, this agreement is very welcome news. I congratulate the Foreign Secretary and his team in achieving this success. It should become even more self-fulfilling, in that it should strengthen the hands of the many moderates inside Iran.”

“In order to promote dialogue, what measures is the Government now taking to help British businesses realise the full potential of the Iranian market, given there have been planeloads of our competitors already landing in Tehran?”

The Foreign Secretary thanked John, agreed with his comments, and said that the British Government would do what it could to help British business; and that the re-opening the British Embassy would assist British-Iranian trade.

Afterwards, John said,

“For too long the nuclear issue has overshadowed our relationship with Iran, a country with which we ought to have friendly relations – even if we have profound disagreements about their foreign and domestic policy. I am pleased diplomacy has prevailed – we have come a long way since our vote in 2012.”

“As ever, we will have to see how the deal is implemented. However, it is a significant first step in the right direction, and I look forward to Britain improving relations with one of the most important countries in the Middle East. Progress on the nuclear deal should herald valuable progress in many other areas.”

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