Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP questions Government on Trident D-5 missile

Anne-Marie Trevelyan asked the Secretary of State for Defence, “how long it would take, and at what cost, for her Department to procure a Trident D-5 missile.”

Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded “The UK’s Trident II D5 missiles form part of a pool of available missiles shared with the US. The UK pays an annual contribution to the continued maintenance of the missile stock based on our share of the overall missile inventory.”

Governments of France, Germany and the UK release a statement on the Iran nuclear deal

In a joint statement, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom said: 


“We, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, sharing common security interests, in particular upholding the non-proliferation regime, recall our continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) that was agreed upon 4 years ago with Iran, on 14 July 2015.

Since 2003, our 3 countries, later joined by the United States, Russia and China, have been engaged in a long-standing and determined policy vis à vis Iran with the clear objective that this country, a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, respects its obligations in good faith and never develops or acquires a nuclear weapon.

Together, we have stated unambiguously on 8 May 2018 our regret and concern after the decision of the United States to withdraw from the JCPoA and to re-impose sanctions on Iran, while this country had implemented its commitments under the agreement – as consistently confirmed by the IAEA until last month. Since May 2018, our 3 countries have made their best efforts to work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure that the Iranian people could continue to benefit from the legitimate economic advantages provided by the JCPoA.

Today, we are concerned by the risk that the JCPoA further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement. We are extremely concerned by Iran’s decision to stockpile and enrich uranium in excess of authorised limits. Moreover, our three countries are deeply troubled by the attacks we have witnessed in the Persian Gulf and beyond, and by the deterioration of the security in the region.

We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue. The risks are such that it is necessary for all stakeholders to pause and consider the possible consequences of their actions.

Our countries have recently taken several diplomatic initiatives to contribute to de-escalation and dialogue, for which signs of goodwill are urgently needed, from all sides. While we continue to support the JCPoA, its continuation is contingent on Iran’s full compliance, and we strongly urge Iran to reverse its recent decisions in this regard. We will continue to explore the avenues of dialogue foreseen under the agreement to address Iran’s compliance, including through the Joint Commission of the JCPoA.

In search of a resolution we will continue our active engagement with all interested parties, in the interest of the preservation of international peace and security.”

Westminster tweets of the week


Deidre Brock MP questions Government on foreign vessels carrying nuclear weapons

Deidre Brock asked the Secretary of State for Defence, “how many visits there have been to UK naval bases by foreign vessels carrying nuclear weapons in each of the last ten years; which bases those vessels visited; and what nations those vessels originated from.”

Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for Defence, responded “It is UK and NATO policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons onboard specific ships or submarines at any particular place or time, for the purposes of safeguarding national security and international relations.”

Steve Double MP questions government on Iran’s production of low-enriched uranium

Steve Double asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, “what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

Andrew Murrison, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded “We are seriously concerned about Iranian statements about its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), including Iran crossing its low enriched uranium stockpile limit on 1 July, and are working with our JCPoA partners to keep the nuclear deal in place. We have been consistently clear that our commitment to the JCPoA depends on Iran complying in full with the terms of the deal. We believe maintaining the nuclear deal is in the best interests of Iran, the region and the UK.”

Marquess of Lothian questions government on US and Iran relations

The Marquess of Lothian asked her Majesty’s Government, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the tweet of the President of the United States on Friday 21 June that the United States had been “cocked & loaded to retaliate” following the shooting down of an unmanned United States drone in Iran, whether they were (1) given advance notice, and (2) consulted, by the United States authorities ahead of the planned United States military strike on 20 June against three Iranian sites; and what explanation they have (a) sought from, and (b) been given by, the government of the United States about that strike, particularly given British assets in that region.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded “​We share the President’s concern about aggressive Iranian behaviour, particularly in the region. On 20 June, a US drone was shot down in international air space. Iran has claimed responsibility but argued the drone was in Iranian airspace. As we have consistently said, our priority remains finding diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions. The specifics of this operation are a matter for US authorities. We continue to monitor the situation. The UK remains in close coordination with international partners, including the US, to find diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions.”

Stephen Gethins MP questions Government on Iran Nuclear Deal

Stephen Gethins MP asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs “what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

Andrew Murrison, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, responded that “We are concerned by the risk of unintended escalation between the United States and Iran. We are also concerned by the potential of further tension as a result of the International Atomic Energy Agency”s confirmation on 1 July that Iran has broken the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) stockpile limit for Low Enriched Uranium. We are considering with our partners the options available to us under the terms of the JCPoA to keep the nuclear deal in place. We continue to call on the US to preserve the gains that the Iran nuclear deal has brought, avoiding actions that would prevent the remaining parties from meeting their commitments to uphold the deal. We believe maintaining the nuclear deal is in the best interests of Iran, the region and the UK.”

Angela Crawley MP questions Government on Iran nuclear deal

Angela Crawley, SNP MP, asked the Secretary of State for Defence “what recent assessment she has made of the security situation in Iran.”

Mark Lancaster, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence responded that “We are extremely concerned by Iran’s breach of the nuclear deal and we are working intensively to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in place. We remain clear that the nuclear deal is still the best option in the interests of global security. It is critical that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and this deal makes the world a safer place by taking the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran off the table. Iranian attacks on tankers in the Gulf and a US drone violate international norms and increase the risk of escalation by miscalculation. We are continuing to use all diplomatic channels to work with the international community to restore maritime security in the Gulf and de-escalate regional tensions.”

FCO releases statement on Iran nuclear deal

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said:

Iran has broken the terms of the JCPoA, following its announcement that it will start uranium enrichment above the 3.67% limit agreed in the nuclear deal.

While the UK remains fully committed to the deal, Iran must immediately stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its obligations.

We are coordinating with other JCPoA participants regarding the next steps under the terms of the deal, including a Joint Commission.

Baroness Tonge questions Government on Israel’s nuclear weapons

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty’s Government, “what assessment they have made of the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) SIPRI Yearbook 2019, Armaments, Disarmaments and International Security, published on 17 June, which claims that Israel has between 80 and 90 nuclear warheads.”

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon responded “Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. The British Government has consistently called on Israel to join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state and to upgrade its arrangement to a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”