All Commons debates, Topical Questions – Isil

[…]

Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon, Conservative)
Will the UK Government be represented at the forthcoming Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons?

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
We have decided to accept Austria’s invitation to attend the Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons on 8 and 9 December. We will be represented by Mrs Susan le Jeune, the UK ambassador to Austria and permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Andy Slaughter (Shadow Minister (Justice); Hammersmith, Labour)
May I raise again the case of my constituent Ghoncheh Ghavami, who is still facing prison in Iran and is forbidden from leaving that country? I am grateful to the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Ellwood for meeting Ghoncheh’s family with me, but I found the Foreign Secretary’s view, that there is little he can do because Iran does not recognise dual citizenship, somewhat unhelpful. Ghoncheh is a British citizen and is entitled to the support of the Foreign Office. May I ask the Foreign Secretary again what he is doing to ensure that she can come back to her home in Shepherds Bush?

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
I was not intending to be unhelpful; I was simply pointing out one of the realities we have to deal with. She is a British citizen and we make representations on her behalf. One of the by-products of the nuclear talks with Iran is that we have far more contact with Iranian counterparts than we might otherwise have done. I take every opportunity to raise this with Minister Zarif, my opposite number, and will do so again when I see him at the Afghanistan conference in London this week. Iran’s position is that it does not recognise her British citizenship and will therefore not engage with us on this issue.

[…]