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.”

Alex Sobel MP questions Government on stand off between USA and Iran

Alex Sobel asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs “what steps he is taking to support a diplomatic resolution to the stand-off between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

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 failure of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 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 remain in close co-ordination with international partners to find diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions, and specifically advising Iran – using our diplomatic relationship – that escalation is not in their interest,as I did during my Tehran visit in June.”

Gill Furniss MP questions Government about Iran nuclear deal

Gill Furniss asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs “what the Government’s policy is on the maintenance of Iran Nuclear Deal.”

Andrew Murrison, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, responded that “We are clear that maintaining this deal is critical to our national security interests; the British Government is working with our European partners to ensure it is upheld as long as Iran continues to meet its nuclear commitments in full. We are urging Iran not to take escalatory steps and to continue to meet its commitments under the deal. While Iran is in compliance, we remain fully committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in our shared security interests.”

Lord Taylor of Warwick questions government on Iran

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to review the UK’s participation in the Iran nuclear agreement following escalating tensions in the region.”

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded “​We regard the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) as a crucial agreement that makes the world a safer place by neutralising the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. We are urging Iran not to take escalatory steps and to continue to meet its commitments under the deal. While Iran is in compliance, we remain fully committed to the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in our shared security interests.

Westminster tweets of the week

 

Luke Pollard MP submits ten minute rule motion on recycling nuclear submarines

Luke Pollard MP submitted a motion to parliament “that leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Government to prepare a strategy for recycling out-of-service Royal Navy nuclear submarines and to report annually on progress, to consult on extending decommissioning powers in Part 1 of the Energy Act 2004 to include the recycling of Royal Navy nuclear submarines, and to publish estimates of the taxpayer liability associated with such submarines; and for connected purposes.”

See full text here.

Public Accounts Committee release report on failure to decommission nuclear submarines

The Ministry of Defence has been criticised in a newly released report from the Public Accounts Committee for their failure to decommission old nuclear submarines , creating an “unacceptable and unnecessary problem.”  The report criticised the “glacial pace” of decommissiong the submarines and highlighted the “extortionate storage and maintenance costs which are now costing the taxpayer £30million per year.”

This follows on from a report released by the National Audit Office in April criticising the Ministry of Defence’s response to the submarine decommissioning and highlighting that £500million had already been spent on maintaining and disposing of the subs, with a predicted £7.5 billion needed to continue to maintain and store them.