Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 December 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for the Government’s nuclear non-proliferation strategy of the emergence of 3D printing technologies capable of constructing components for possible use in nuclear weapons.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Government keeps appraised of new technologies and their possible non-proliferation implications, both now and in the future. Although this technique could have some nuclear applications, currently there remain fundamental barriers to proliferation, such as the availability of fissile material.

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 December 2015

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to vote in the affirmative at the 7 December plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on (1) Resolution L13 Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, and (2) Resolution L.37 Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State
At the UN First Committee in November, the UK voted against the Resolutions “L13 Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” and “L37 Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons”. As the text of the resolutions has not changed between the First Committee and the General Assembly plenary, we do not anticipate changing our vote.

Written Question – UN Committee on Disarmament and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 4 December 2015

Lord Judd Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how far they expect proposals in the report of the earlier Open Ended Working Group of 2015 in Geneva, and developed in working papers to the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, to provide a basis for identifying which of those proposals could be negotiated in time to be submitted to the 2016 UN General Assembly in order to prepare for substantial negotiations to begin in 2017.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State
Any Open Ended Working Group mandated to address the issue of nuclear disarmament should consider proposals and papers related to this issue from previous UN and Non Proliferation Treaty meetings and should take a consensus-based approach that takes into account the wider global security environment. We remain open to an appropriately-mandated Open Ended Working Group provided that it is conducive to a constructive dialogue and we are considering whether to attend the meeting in Geneva in 2016.

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 1 December 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to paragraph 4.79 of the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, what steps the Government has taken since 2010 to achieve the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons; and what initiatives the Government has taken to date to work with the UK’s international partners to tackle proliferation and to make progress on multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The UK National Report submitted in February in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference set out steps we have taken to support the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. This includes support to the international monitoring system designed to detect nuclear tests, efforts to build trust and confidence with other Nuclear Weapon States through the P5 process, and initiatives with Norway and the US on how to verify disarmament of nuclear weapons. We have also met our commitment to reduce the number of operationally available warheads to no more than 120. We have worked to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime, most notably through our role in securing an agreement involving strict limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Written Question – UN Committee on Disarmament and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 30 November 2015

Lord Judd Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government at what level the UK will be represented in the Open Ended Working Group established on 5 November by the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Disarmament and International Security) and to be convened in Geneva.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State
The UK and the four other Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Weapons States voted against the Resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” in the UN General Assembly First Committee earlier this month which established an Open Ended Working Group. The Government believes that productive results can only be ensured through a consensus-based approach that takes into account the wider global security environment. We remain open to an appropriately-mandated Open Ended Working Group provided that it is conducive to a constructive dialogue and we are considering whether to attend the meeting in Geneva in 2016.

Written Ministerial Statement– Report on UK International Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Security Assistance Programmes, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 October 2015

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and Department of Energy and Climate Change are today publishing a report on the Government’s international chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) security assistance programmes. The report summarises work and achievements under these programmes in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years.

The Government is committed to improving the security of CBRN materials and expertise around the world. The programmes form the UK’s contribution to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which coordinates international efforts to improve CBRN security. Over the past two years, these programmes have delivered important improvements in line with the objectives of the Global Partnership and the National Counter Proliferation Strategy 2012-2015.

Since the period covered by the report, UK-funded CBRN security programmes have continued to deliver results, including the two examples below, which demonstrate the value of the UK’s programmes:

On 24 September 2015, Uzbekistan became a country free of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) after liquid HEU fuel was removed from a research reactor at the Radiation and Technological Complex in Tashkent. The fuel has been flown to Russia for secure disposition. Funding and expert advice to decommission the research reactor, which was a pre-requisite for the removal of the HEU, was provided by the Global Threat Reduction Programme.
On 22 September 2015, Russia announced that the chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye had completed operations, which resulted in the destruction of 5,500 tonnes of highly toxic nerve agent contained in more than 1.9 million artillery munitions. During 2002 to 2010, the UK implemented procurement and infrastructure projects worth over £90 million at the facility: these have made a major contribution to the destruction operations there. Funding for these projects was provided by the UK, Canada, the EU, France and other donors.
The report will be published on the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-on-uk-international-chemical-biological-radiological-and-nuclear-cbrn-security-assistance-programmes

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS268

Written Question – Israel: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 28 October 2015

Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 24 July (HL1516) concerning the decision of the government of Israel not to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, whether any safeguards are in place to discourage the extension or upgrading of Israel’s nuclear deployment capacity.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State
Israel does have a facility-specific safeguards agreement in place with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), namely “The Agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Government of Israel and the Government of the United States of America for the Application of Safeguards” (commonly referred to as an INFCIRC 66-type agreement). The agreement applies to a single facility in Israel, which is the Soreq Nuclear Research Reactor. The facility is inspected by the IAEA to ensure that it is not used for weapons purposes. We continue to call on Israel to upgrade this arrangement to a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Written Ministerial Statement– Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council: 12–13 October, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 22 October 2015

David Lidington The Minister for Europe
My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 12 October. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The General Affairs Council was chaired by the Luxembourg Presidency. The meetings were held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

A provisional report of the meeting and Conclusions adopted can be found at:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/fac/2015/10/12/

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) met to discuss Libya, Syria, Migration and EU/Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) Post-Cotonou. Ms Mogherini also updated on violence in the Middle East and condemned the Ankara terrorist attacks in her opening remarks. Ms Mogherini noted the upcoming ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) conference in November and said that the Foreign Affairs Council would discuss Belarus at the November Council.

Libya

Ms Mogherini welcomed the agreement to establish a Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya, and made clear that the EU should encourage all parties to sign up to the agreement and be ready to support it. The FAC subsequently agreed supportive and positive Council Conclusions. Details of the support package, which would focus on capacity and institution building as well as the restoration of basic services, particularly health, would be finalised in partnership with the GNA to ensure their buy in and ownership. The Foreign Secretary made clear that the important but fragile agreement needed the EU’s full support. The Foreign Secretary also highlighted that the UK and UN would be co-hosting in London a planning meeting on international support to a GNA.

Syria

Ministers discussed many aspects of the situation in Syria, including the political process, the recent Russian intervention and the migration crisis. Ms Mogherini said in her opening remarks that the EU had a role to play in support of the UN political process, and later noted that EU Member States needed to ensure unity by continuing to coordinate closely. The Foreign Secretary argued that the attacks by Russia on the Syrian opposition and civilians was unacceptable and would set back the prospect of a political solution. All Member States agreed that support for the UN-led political process must continue, with the Foreign Secretary making clear that any process must involve a transition away from Assad, who could not be part of Syria’s future.

Migration

Over lunch the Council discussed the external aspects of migration, covering the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans and the Central Mediterranean routes. There was broad support for increasing work on the upstream aspects of migration and for Turkey as a strategic partner.

EU / ACP relations Post-Cotonou

Ms Mogherini and Johannes Hahn (Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations) presented the Joint Consultation Paper on EU/ACP relations post-Cotonou. Detailed discussion would formally begin at the Foreign Affairs Council (Development) on Monday 26 October. Ms Mogherini underlined that the post-Cotonou agenda also covered a range of non-development issues: Foreign Ministers would therefore return to the subject next year.

Ministers agreed without discussion a number of measures:

  • The Council approved the High Representative’s report on the twenty-first and twenty-second Operation ALTHEA six-monthly review.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on Libya.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on Syria.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on migration.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on South Sudan.
  • The Council authorised the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia and adopted a corresponding negotiating mandate.
  • The Council amended the agreement establishing the association between the EU and Chile.
  • The Council decided to extend until the end of April 2016 the validity of an existing Council decision in support of the practical implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  • The Council decided to continue the EU’s support for the activities of the preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
  • The Council amended the restrictive measures in view of the situation in Syria.
  • The Council amended the statements of reasons for persons and groups subject to restrictive measures with a view to combating terrorism.
  • The Council approved a recast version of decision 2011/411/CFSP, which established the European Defence Agency, to improve the clarity of the legal text.

General Affairs Council

A provisional report of the meeting and Conclusions adopted can be found at:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/gac/2015/10/13/

The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 13 October focussed on preparation of the European Council on 15 October 2015, and the 2016 Commission Work Programme. Under Any Other Business, the GAC considered the Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Regulation and meeting in the margins of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council.

Preparation of the October European Council

The GAC prepared the agenda for the 15 October European Council, which the Prime Minister attended. The October European Council discussed migration, reviewed progress on Economic and Monetary Union, and received an update on the UK’s renegotiation, including the state of play of technical talks and intentions for the process ahead. The European Council also considered external relations issues, including Libya, Syria, and Turkey.

On migration, I strongly supported the emphasis in the draft Council Conclusions on a comprehensive approach to the issue. I also suggested we step up our engagement with Turkey.

2016 Commission Work Programme

The GAC took note of the Commission’s letter of intent for their 2016 Work Programme and the Presidency’s draft response on behalf of Member States. I welcomed the overall content of the letter of intent, and emphasised the need for continued ambition on completing the single market.

Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Regulation (IIA)

The Luxembourg Presidency updated the GAC on the IIA negotiations. Tripartite political talks between the Presidency (representing the Council), the European Parliament and the Commission will continue in the coming months. I emphasised the important role of national parliaments in EU decision-making.

Meeting in the margins of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

Denmark expressed concern about a recent meeting of ministers from eurozone countries held in the margins of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) on 5 October. I had signed a joint letter from non-eurozone Member States to the President of the General Affairs Council expressing concern at the planned meeting. During the GAC, I repeated our concern that the meeting had gone ahead and emphasised the need for any further such discussion to include all Member States. This position was supported by all non-eurozone members and some eurozone members.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS260

 

Written Question – Informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (Gymnich): 4–5 September 2015, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 12 October 2015

David Lidington The Minister for Europe
I attended the informal Foreign Ministers meeting on 4–5 September in Luxembourg.

The informal format of the Gymnich allows EU Foreign Ministers to engage in a free-ranging discussion on a number of issues. In contrast to the formal Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), Ministers do not agree written Conclusions. The next FAC is due to be held on 12 October. The Gymnich was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Discussion centred on the Middle East Peace Process, Russia/Eastern Partnership and the migration crisis. As the discussion on migration overran significantly, Ms. Mogherini decided to postpone the final discussion on Iran.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations also attended. Fernando Gentilini, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, took part in the discussion on the Middle East Peace Process. Elmar Brok MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs attended the discussion on Russia/Eastern Partnership. Foreign Ministers from EU Candidate Countries joined EU Ministers for a session on migration.

Gymnich discussion

Middle East Peace Process

Ms. Mogherini used her opening remarks at the Gymnich to announce a meeting of the Quartet with key Arab countries in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Her statement can be found at:

http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150904_01_en.htm

Ms. Mogherini provided a sobering analysis of the situation on the ground including the fact that the humanitarian situation in Gaza remained dire.

I agreed with Ms. Mogherini’s priorities for Gaza (access and port) and added power supply as a third priority. I also echoed other speakers in calling for the implementation of existing EU legislation applicable to settlement products.

Russia / Eastern Partners

There was general agreement that Ukraine needed continued EU support as the winter approached both in terms of security and continued reform. There was universal condemnation of Russia’s role in eastern Ukraine. There was however recognition of the constructive role Russia can play in international security issues, as it did in the Iran nuclear talks.

Ms. Mogherini recalled that the Eastern Partnership was not just about Ukraine and highlighted the differentiated engagement needed with Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Migration

The external aspects of the migration crisis were discussed in detail. The common view among Member States was that this was the single biggest challenge facing the Union. There was recognition of the heavy burden currently being carried by some of the candidate countries, in particular Turkey. It was agreed that more work was needed on readmissions and returns. There was broad support for setting up ‘hotspots’, both inside and outside EU territory, to bring together EU institutions involved to deliver an integrated service in managing migrants.

A number of Ministers pointed to the need to address the factors prompting migrants to leave their homes, and increase the incentives for them to stay close to their source countries. We also needed to address the people-smuggling networks. Otherwise, there was a risk that the flow of migrants and refugees into the EU would increase to unmanageable levels. The Valletta Conference in November would provide an opportunity to develop such a strategy with African partners. There was discussion of a second possible international conference focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean/Western Balkans route.

Ms. Mogherini concluded that all aspects of a comprehensive migration strategy needed to be pursued.

Written Question – Iran: Overseas Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 September 2015

Lord Storey Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the reopening of the British Embassy in Iran, what plans they have to develop trading opportunities in Iran; and whether those plans take account of decisions by other countries to develop trading opportunities there.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative
Trade sanctions on Iran will not be lifted immediately. Sanction relief will only happen once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has taken agreed nuclear measures. While sanctions remain in place, they will continue to be enforced.

Recent trade visits to Iran highlight the wide interest in new trade opportunities, but even as phased sanctions relief begins Iran will remain a challenging place to do business. If Iran completes its commitments and sanctions are rolled back, the British Government will help the business and financial sector take advantage of the opportunities that arise, and promote trade and investment between our two countries. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), took a trade delegation with him to Iran when he reopened our Embassy on 23 August, and further trade delegations are being planned. Over time, our reopened Embassy in Tehran will be a key part of the Government’s role in supporting British business, including through a full time UK Trade and Investment presence. However the decisions of British businesses on whether or not to trade with Iran are independent of Government.

Written Question – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 11 September 2015

Matthew Offord, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what processes will initiate snap break of sanctions on Iran if a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action takes place.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
If a party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) thinks there has been a violation of the JCPoA they should notify the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission will discuss these concerns with a view to resolving them within 15 days. If the Joint Commission cannot resolve the matter, it will be considered by an Advisory Panel made up of the complainant, defendant and an independent party, and may also be considered in parallel by Foreign Ministers. If the concern still cannot be resolved and the complainant believes that the violation constitutes significant non-performance of JCPoA commitments then the matter will be escalated to the UN Security Council, which will vote on a resolution to continue the lifting of sanctions. If the Security Council does not adopt this resolution within 30 days, nuclear-related UN sanctions will automatically ‘snapback’. In addition to UN sanctions, the US and the EU can re-impose sanctions if Iran is in breach of its commitments.

Written Question – Iran: Arms Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 7 September 2015

John Howell, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of lifting the UN arms embargo on Iranian access to conventional arms and how it will impact the security of that region.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2231, a UN arms embargo on Iran will remain in force for five years after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Adoption Day, or until the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Broader Conclusion. Arms transfers will be permitted only if explicitly approved by the Security Council. Other UN measures will continue to restrict arms transfers from Iran to specific parts of the region, including UNSC resolution 1701, which prevents the supply of weapons to non-governmental forces in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. Under the nuclear deal, the EU arms embargo on Iran will continue after the UN arms embargo is lifted. Iran’s role in fostering instability in the Middle East, including its ongoing support for the Assad regime, continues to be a source of serious concern. The nuclear deal has not changed our view on this. But we believe there is a possibility that if Iran takes the right paths, the deal could bring about a step-change in Iran’s relations with its neighbours, and with the international community.

Written Question – UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 July 2015

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proposals were put forward at the UN Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty review conference in 2015 to mitigate the risks of inadvertent use of nuclear weapons; and what assessment they have made of the appropriate forums in which to hold discussions before the next conference in 2020.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative
The UK gives the very highest priority to the security and safety of our nuclear weapons, and robust arrangements are in place for the political control of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent. At the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, over 50 working papers were put forward by States Parties or groups of States and a large number of formal and informal statements were made over the four weeks of the Conference. These covered a broad range of issues related to all aspects of the Treaty, including the security and safety of nuclear weapons. We will continue to engage constructively in discussions on all aspects of the Treaty in the appropriate fora including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October this year and at the forthcoming Preparatory Committees of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty scheduled for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Written Question – UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 July 2015

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions were held at the UN Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty review conference in 2015 about the risk of nuclear inadvertence leading to the accidental, unauthorised or mistaken use of nuclear weapons.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative
The UK gives the very highest priority to the security and safety of our nuclear weapons, and robust arrangements are in place for the political control of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent. At the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, over 50 working papers were put forward by States Parties or groups of States and a large number of formal and informal statements were made over the four weeks of the Conference. These covered a broad range of issues related to all aspects of the Treaty, including the security and safety of nuclear weapons.

Written Question – UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 July 2015

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the outcomes from the UN Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty review conference in 2015; and what assessment they have made of those outcomes.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative
I refer the noble Baroness to the Written Ministerial Statement of 1 June following the conclusion of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, made by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), which I repeated the same day in the House of Lords (HLWS6).

Written Question – Israel: Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 July 2015

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 15 July on Iran’s nuclear programme, whether during the visit to Israel they have plans to initiate discussions with the government of Israel with a view to inviting them to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
The British Government continues to call on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. In that regard we also continue to call on Israel to agree a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Written Question – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 July 2015

Baroness Manzoor, Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the nuclear agreement with Iran, what plans they have for securing European interests in Iran.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
Since President Rouhani’s election in 2013, we have been exploring the scope for improving our bilateral relations with Iran, on a step by step basis. Last week’s nuclear agreement between the E3+3 and Iran offers the potential to take this further. It is a robust and verifiable deal which addresses our, and the EU’s, proliferation concerns. When Iran has implemented its commitments under the deal, the international community will lift some of its sanctions, delivering significant economic and financial benefits, and offering the potential to expand trade and investment between the EU and Iran. The UK and other EU partners continue to have other serious concerns about Iranian policy, for example its approach to terrorism and respect for human rights; these are unchanged with the deal.

Written Question – Iran: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 July 2015

Lord West of Spithead, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of recent talks, what assessment they have made of whether Iran’s aspirations to produce a nuclear weapon have ceased.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
In the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, finalised on 14 July, Iran agreed that it will never seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons, and agreed to a far reaching set of measures to ensure that it will not be able to do so, including verifiable limits to its stockpiles of fissile material, numbers of centrifuges, nuclear research and development, and a re-design of its heavy water reactor at Arak. Having reached this important agreement, our focus and that of our E3+3 partners will now be on swift and full implementation to ensure that Iran abides by this and other commitments, and that a nuclear weapon remains beyond Iran’s reach.

Written Question – Iran: Sanctions, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 July 2015

Gregory Campbell, DUP
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise at the UN the potential effect of the recent agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons on the lifting of economic sanctions on that country on support for Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Iran’s support to militant groups across the Middle East, including Hezbollah and Hamas, is a source of concern. The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action does not address this issue as the E3+3 negotiations with Iran focused on the nuclear issue. But the prohibition on export of arms to and from Iran will continue and we will continue to respond – with our partners – to Iranian interference in the region. We call upon Iran to play a more constructive role in the region.

Written Question – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 July 2015

Matthew Offord, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the statement of the President of the US of 7 April 2015 on negotiations with Iran, what assessment he has made of the implication for his policy of Iran’s breakout period shrinking to almost zero after the first decade of a possible nuclear deal.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Under the terms of the agreement – in addition to the restrictions on Iran’s enrichment capacity – Iran will be limited to a maximum stockpile of 300kg of uranium enriched to up to 3.67% for 15 years. Iran’s breakout period will be over 12 months for 10 years, and is not expected to fall to zero afterwards. The agreement will also lead to significantly increased transparency, in particular through implementation of the Additional Protocol and Modified Code 3.1. This will increase the IAEA’s ability to identify a breakout attempt; and significantly increase the time that the international community has to respond in such a scenario.

Written Question – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 July 2015

Dan Jarvis, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, by what mechanism his Department plans to announce the outcome of nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
I refer the hon. Member to the statement made on 15 July by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond)

Written Statement – Ministerial Correction, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 July 2015

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
In the ‘Iran: Nuclear Deal’ statement of Wednesday 15 July (HL Deb, col 587) I mistakenly told the noble Lady, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, that the ‘Road Map for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program’ was not available publically. This is incorrect. The International Atomic Energy Agency published the document at https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/iaea-director-generals-statement-and-road-map-clarification-past-present-outstanding-issues-regarding-irans-nuclear-program.

I am placing a copy in the Library of the House.

Written Questions – Middle East: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 July 2015

Dan Jarvis, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of links between the Iran nuclear negotiations and wider nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The nuclear agreement reached by the E3+3 and Iran on 14 July is a potentially historic achievement. Iran has accepted far reaching limits on its nuclear activities including its stockpiles of enriched uranium, centrifuge numbers, and nuclear research and development. When the (International Atomic Energy Agency) IAEA has verified that these measures have been taken, it will benefit from phased sanctions relief. The aim of the agreement is to ensure that the Iranian nuclear programme will be for solely peaceful purposes. As such, we hope that it can make an important contribution to nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East and to the goal of a Middle East Zone free from Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Written Questions – Saudi Arabia: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 15 July 2015

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 3 July (HL718), whether they intend to apply the same conditions under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) framework to Saudi Arabia as those applied to Iran, which is also a signatory of the NPT.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
All non-nuclear weapon States party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, have an obligation not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, and to enter into a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to enable international verification of the fulfilment of this obligation. The UK continues to encourage all those States that have not yet done so to bring into force an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement to give the IAEA additional information on their nuclear programmes and expanded powers of access to their nuclear activities.

Oral Answers to Questions –  Russian Federation: EU Sanctions, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2015

[…]

David Lidington The Minister for Europe
The Prime Minister spoke to President Putin in May and made it clear that while we disagree profoundly with Russia about Ukraine we are still prepared to try to work with Russia on combating international terrorism and advancing the cause of non-proliferation. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has this week been working with the Russian Foreign Minister and other partners in Vienna to that aim.

[…]

Oral Answers to Questions – Topical Questions, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2015

Huw Merriman, Conservative
If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.

David Lidington, The Minister for Europe
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is currently on his way back from Vienna, where he has been taking part in the conclusion of the Iran nuclear negotiations. He plans, with your permission, Mr Speaker, to update the House on that issue at the very earliest opportunity. In addition to those important talks, my right hon. Friend has been leading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s efforts to follow up the appalling attacks in Tunisia earlier this month, and on Thursday this week he plans to travel to the middle east and to Cyprus.

Huw Merriman Conservative, Bexhill and Battle
I welcome the announcement on Iran. What confidence does the Minister have that a nuclear agreement with Iran will be subject to a rigorous inspection regime?

David Lidington The Minister for Europe
Clearly the question of inspection and access by the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors lay at the very heart of the negotiations. In fairness, I must advise my hon. Friend to wait for the Foreign Secretary’s statement, at which time he will have the chance to examine in detail the agreement that has been reached.

Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central
As the Minister has just suggested, details are still emerging of the agreement reached in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme. Those talks have seen many missed deadlines over the past 12 years, but all sides have been consistent in saying that no deal was better than a bad deal. At this early stage, what confidence does the Minister have that this is a good deal and that it will be implemented?

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
I am grateful for the question. There is little more we can add at this stage, because the deal is just being concluded in Vienna, as my right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe said. We have made it very clear that we need a long-term and comprehensive solution on the Iranian nuclear issue and that we want a durable, verifiable and comprehensive nuclear deal that addresses the proliferation concerns. We will have to wait, but I hope that there will be a statement very shortly.

[…]

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2015

Matthew Offord, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made on whether Iran’s operation of IR-1 centrifuges is in line with that country’s claim that its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian means.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
We are working towards a comprehensive agreement with Iran to achieve a breakout timeline of at least one year and ensure that Iran’s nuclear programm eis exclusively peaceful. Iran’s use of IR-1 centrifuges is central to its enrichment and, consequently, breakout capability. As agreed in Lausanne on 2 April, Iran’s enrichment capacity will be limited as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.

All Written Answers – USA: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2015

Paul Flynn, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the US government on the safety of that country’s nuclear missiles.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Foreign Secretary has made no such representations.

All Written Answers – USA: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2015

Paul Flynn, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on potentially unsafe transit of nuclear warheads by the US military.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
My Department has not received any such recent reports.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 7 July 2015

Dan Jarvis, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage nuclear non-proliferation and multilateral disarmament of existing nuclear weapons.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
We work with international partners in a variety of fora to prevent nuclear proliferation and to help achieve our shared goal of nuclear disarmament. The UK plays a very active role in the Iran nuclear negotiations, in upholding sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and in applying export controls via the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We encourage States that have not yet done so, to sign up to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) so that this important treaty can enter into force, pending which we provide significant financial and technical support to the international monitoring system designed to detect nuclear tests. We also encourage States that have not done so to sign up to International Atomic Energy Agency Additional Protocols. We continue to urge the start and early completion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a Fissile Material Cut off Treaty, to seek universalisation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and continue to work to build trust and confidence with other Nuclear Weapon States through the P5 process.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 7 July 2015

Daniel Poulter, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Iran’s development of the IR-8 centrifuge; and what effect this will have on that country’s enrichment capabilities.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The 29 May report from the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General confirms that Iran’s development work on the IR-8 centrifuge has continued in accordance with the Joint Plan of Action. Iran’s IR-8 research and development is limited to one prototype machine in place without connections at the Natanz nuclear facility. Use of IR-8 machines could significantly increase Iran’s enrichment capabilities should research and development on the centrifuge be completed.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 7 July 2015

Daniel Poulter, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect that Iran’s possession of advanced IR-8 centrifuge would have on its nuclear break out ability.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Use of IR-8 centrifuges for enrichment could significantly shorten breakout times. However, as reported in the 29 May report from the IAEA DG Iran currently has only one prototype IR-8 machine in place, without connections, in the research and development area at the Natanz nuclear facility. Ensuring that Iran’s use of advanced centrifuges is adequately constrained remains a key element of the E3+3 negotiations currently underway.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Power Stations: Saudi Arabia, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 3 July 2015

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are seeking assurances from the government of Saudi Arabia that the 15 nuclear power stations planned to be built with Russian involvement will not result in the production of fissile material that could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) sets the framework for States to pursue peaceful nuclear technology with appropriate safeguards to prevent that technology being used to develop nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is a member of the NPT, and we expect them to continue to remain in compliance with their Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as they develop their civil nuclear programme. We also continue to encourage Saudi Arabia to join the many non-nuclear weapon States that have given the IAEA additional information about their nuclear activities, and expanded access to check it, by signing an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 June 2015

Andrew Percy, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the proposed parameters of a permanent nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 would permit Iran to construct a graphite plutogenic reactor.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
We will only agree to a comprehensive deal that has the restrictions and verification measures necessary to reassure the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful, and gives us enough time to respond in the event Iran decides to violate the agreement. However, it remains the Government’s policy not to comment on the detail of the nuclear negotiations while they are continuing.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 June 2015

Nigel Evans, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Iran’s ballistic missile research and development programme.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1929 prohibits Iran from all activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran’s ballistic missile programme, and its continued development in violation of UNSCRs, is a significant concern. We keep Iran’s ballistic missile programme under constant review.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 June 2015

David Burrowes, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the proposed permanent nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 would permit the IAEA to conduct anytime, anywhere inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
A comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran must include robust monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities, and Iran’s implementation of its Additional Protocol which provides for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to nuclear facilities. Full implementation of the Additional Protocol under a comprehensive agreement is vital in order to reassure the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran must include robust monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities, and Iran’s implementation of its Additional Protocol which provides for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to nuclear facilities. Full implementation of the Additional Protocol under a comprehensive agreement is vital in order to reassure the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 June 2015

David Burrowes, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the IAEA has been granted access to the Arak facility in Iran.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has monthly access to the reactor at Arak. The IAEA Director General’s 29 May Iran report confirms that the Agency carried out an inspection at Arak on 11 May 2015 and observed that no new major components had been installed. Iran continues to abide by its commitments under the Joint Plan of Action.

 

All Written Answers – Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 22 June 2015

Paul Flynn, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterparts on the ratification by that country of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The UK is a strong supporter of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). During the past 12 months, officials have discussed US ratification of the CTBT with US counterparts in a range of bilateral meetings and during the London Conference of P5 Nuclear Weapon States in February 2015. In addition, the UK has called for ratification of the Treaty by all remaining Annex II countries (which includes the US) at the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference, the London P5 Conference, the G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group, the 69th UN General Assembly First Committee and at the Seventh CTBT Ministerial Meeting.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 18 June 2015

Matthew Offord, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the consequences for current negotiations of Iran’s abandonment of the Additional Protocol in 2006.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Iran signed its Additional Protocol on 18 December 2003, although it was never brought into force. Iran’s implementation of its Additional Protocol will be an important element of a robust and credible verification regime that enables the International Atomic Energy Agency to confirm that Iran is abiding by its nuclear commitments under a comprehensive agreement. The E3+3 and Iran agreed in Lausanne on 2 April that Iran would implement its Additional Protocol under a comprehensive deal.

All Written Answers – Middle East: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 June 2015

Baroness Tonge, Independent Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the threat to stability in the Middle East of a nuclear-armed Israel; and what action they will take to discourage nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
The UK notes that Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it possesses nuclear weapons. Israel is the only state in the region not to have acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British Government continues to call on Israel to do so as a non nuclear weapon state. In that regard we also call on Israel to agree a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The UK will continue to discourage nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, including by working with E3+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the UK, and the US) partners and Iran to negotiate a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, supporting efforts to tackle the deep seated regional tensions and genuine security concerns in the region, as well as working towards holding a conference on establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 June 2015

Chloe Smith, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the dismantlement of Iran’s advanced centrifuges has been discussed during nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
It remains the Government’s policy not to comment on the detail of the nuclear negotiations while they are continuing. We – and our partners – recognise the impact of advanced centrifuges on our objective of extending the time it would take Iran to acquire nuclear material for a weapon to at least a year; and have factored this into our approach to the negotiations.

All Written Answers – Middle East: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 June 2015

Virendra Sharma, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons the UN Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ended without agreement between the UK, the US and Canada to organise a conference to consider a nuclear-free Middle East.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
I refer the Member for Southall to the Written Ministerial Statement of 1 June 2015, Official Report, column 9WS, following the conclusion of the Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

All Written Answers – USA: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 June 2015

Caroline Lucas, Green
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on the siting of US nuclear missiles on UK soil; and if he will make a statement.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
I have not received any official reports on the siting of US nuclear missiles on UK soil. As The Minister of State for Europe, my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington), stated in the oral answer given on this matter on 9 June 2015, we have received no proposals from the United States to station nuclear armed missiles in the UK.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 15 June 2015

John Howell, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, by how much Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium has exceeded the amount permitted under the Joint Plan of Action.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The latest International Atomic Energy Agency Director General’s report on the status of Iran’s nuclear programme was issued on 29 May 2015. Nothing in this report indicates a violation by Iran of the Joint Plan of Action.

All Written Answers – Iran: Nuclear Power, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 15 June 2015

Philip Hollobone, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the proposal by Iran under a nuclear deal for a 24-day notification period for access to nuclear facilities in that country by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

Tobias Ellwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
A comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran that addresses our proliferation concerns will need to be fully verifiable by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This must include robust monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities, and Iran’s implementation of it’s Additional Protocol, in order to reassure the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.

All Written Answers – North Korea: Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 June 2015

Lord Alton of Liverpool, Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the Six Party Talks on North Korea will resume, and of the likelihood of progress on the issue of nuclear weapons controls in the light of the five previous United Nations Security Council Resolutions and two Agreed Frameworks.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), discussed this with the Assistant Secretary in Washington on 2 June. An immediate resumption of Six Party Talks appears unlikely. While the US remain open to the prospect of resuming dialogue, they have also called for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to demonstrate good faith before returning to talks. Thus far, the DPRK has rejected all proposals for talks on these terms.

We remain extremely concerned by the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and continue to urge the DPRK to: comply with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions; refrain from any further provocations; abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and permit full access by the International Atomic Energy Agency. We urge the rigorous implementation of sanctions by the international community to limit the DPRK’s ability to advance its programmes.

All Written Answers – North Korea: Human Rights, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 June 2015

Fiona Bruce, Conservative, Congleton
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what human rights conditions are attached to the UK’s cultural engagement projects inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Hugo Swire, The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The UK’s policy of critical engagement enables us to directly express to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the UK and international community’s concerns regarding the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programme and human rights situation. We use educational and cultural projects to encourage the DPRK citizens/population to better understand the outside world and the opportunities that reform, including on human rights, could bring. The UN Commission of Inquiry report on the human rights situation in the DPRK recommended that States and civil society organisations foster opportunities for people-to-people dialogue and contact in areas including culture. While a direct impact on human rights is not a condition for all Foreign and Commonwealth Office engagement projects, we consider carefully the impact of all project activities on the human rights situation in the DPRK when deciding whether or not to undertake a project.

All Written Answers – North Korea: Human Rights, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 June 2015

Fiona Bruce, Conservative, Congleton
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the UK is able to identify those responsible for human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; and what steps the Government is taking to impose sanctions on North Korean officials similar to the financial sanctions imposed by HM Treasury on people responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran and Ukraine.

Hugo Swire, The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Since the publication of the UN Commission of Inquiry report on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the UK has worked with the EU and our like-minded partners to ensure momentum is maintained on the human rights situation in the DPRK. This includes contributing to strong resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly as well as supporting discussion of DPRK human rights by the UN Security Council in December 2014. We continue to discuss with other governments how the international community can work together to improve human rights in the DPRK.

Existing UN and EU sanctions against the DPRK are based upon UN Security Council Resolutions prohibiting the further development of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Any introduction of sanctions on human rights grounds would require the establishment of a new sanctions regime at UN or EU level. Identifying individuals or entities with the degree of legal certainty required for sanctions listing would be difficult. Existing sanctions against Iran and Russia (as a result of action in Ukraine) are both at the EU level. The UK does not impose unilateral sanctions.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 March 2015

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their most recent assessment of Iran’s compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1835 on nuclear non-proliferation.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
Several of Iran’s nuclear activities are in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1929 and 1835 but they are consistent with Iran’s obligations under the November 2013 Geneva Interim agreement between the E3+3 and Iran. The E3+3 are currently trying to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran, under which Iran would have a nuclear programme with agreed limits.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 3 March 2015

John Howell, Conservative, Henley 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of progress in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
We have made some progress in recent weeks in negotiations, but we are still a long way off an agreement: Iran needs to respond positively to solutions the P5+1 have put forward if we are to make progress; and that needs to happen urgently – a lot of complex and difficult issues need to be resolved before we can reach a comprehensive deal, which addresses our proliferation concerns, and we have little time left before the deadline.

All Written Answers – Arms Control, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 February 2015

Lord Judd Labour 23rd February 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the February 2015 meeting of the “P5 Process”, what proposals they will be making in preparation for the April 2015 Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference on (1) a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East, (2) the revitalisation of the Conference on Discrimination, (3) the implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and (4) the future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative 23rd February 2015
I refer the noble Lord to the statement made on 12 February 2015 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), which I repeated in the House of Lords, Official Report, column HLWS256; and to the attached joint statement issued by the P5 States after their conference in London on 4-5 February.

London P5 Conference Joint Statement (PDF Document, 216.64 KB)

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 February 2015

Lord Davies of Stamford Labour 20th February 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of Iran’s ballistic missile research and development programme.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative 20th February 2015
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1929 prohibits Iran from all activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran’s ballistic missile programme, and its continued development in violation of UNSCRs, is a significant concern. We keep Iran’s ballistic missile programme under constant review.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 February 2015

Lord Carlile of Berriew Liberal Democrat 20th February 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether human rights abuses in Iran and that country’s support for terror groups have been discussed as part of the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns Conservative 20th February 2015
EU 3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) +3 (China, Russia, and the United States), nuclear talks with Iran have focused exclusively on the nuclear issue. However, Iran’s poor human rights record and links to proxy groups outside its borders remain causes of serious concern. We raise these issues publicly, in multilateral fora and in our bilateral contacts with Iran.

All Written Ministerial Statements– London P5 Conference, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 12 February 2015

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

I would like to update the House on the outcome of the recent London Conference of the five Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) nuclear-weapon states (the ‘P5’). The Conference was held on 4-5 February at Lancaster House.

After the UK initiated the P5 process in 2009, each of the P5 has held a conference, and the London conference saw the start of a second cycle. The conferences have offered the nuclear-weapon states a chance to engage in a structured dialogue. The London Conference was successful in positioning the UK well in the run up to the NPT Review Conference, taking place 27 April – 22 May. We welcomed France’s offer to host the next P5 Conference.

A copy of the joint statement issued by the P5 after the Conference is attached.

Joint Statement (PDF Document, 216.64 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS256

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 09 February 2015

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the date and agenda are of the meeting in London on nuclear weapons of the Permanent Five Security Council members to be hosted by the Government; and if he will publish on his Department’s website a list of all attendees at and the minutes of the meeting.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

The London P5 Conference took place at Lancaster House, 4-5 February, and covered a wide range of issues relevant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, encompassing disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Conference included outreach with a number of non-nuclear weapon states – Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates – as well as civil society. P5 delegates also visited the Atomic Weapons Establishment; this was part of our efforts to enhance transparency, but appropriate measures were put in place to ensure that our national security interests were protected.

The P5 Heads of Delegation were as follows:

– China: Wang Qun, Director General, Department of Arms Control and Disarmament

– France: Hélène Duchêne, Director for Strategic Affairs

– Russia: Grigory Berdennikov, Ambassador-at-Large

– UK: Peter Jones, Director for Defence and International Security

– United States: Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security

The P5 issued a statement on conclusion of the Conference, which is available here: [link to be inserted once live]. This captures the key outcomes of the meeting.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 03 February 2015

Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his overseas counterparts on the multilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

Multilateral nuclear disarmament discussions are held throughout the year in Geneva at the UN Conference on Disarmament. There are annual meetings in New York of the UN General Assembly First Committee and the UN Disarmament Commission and a five-yearly cycle of Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committees and Review Conferences, where the UK is normally represented at Ambassador or Official level. The UK also meets annually with the P5 nuclear weapon states at senior official level to discuss disarmament and non-proliferation issues, with the next meeting to be held in London on 4-5 February.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 02 February 2015

Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his overseas counterparts on the multilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

Multilateral nuclear disarmament discussions are held throughout the year in Geneva at the UN Conference on Disarmament. There are annual meetings in New York of the UN General Assembly First Committee and the UN Disarmament Commission and a five-yearly cycle of Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committees and Review Conferences, where the UK is normally represented at Ambassador or Official level. The UK also meets annually with the P5 nuclear weapon states at senior official level to discuss disarmament and non-proliferation issues, with the next meeting to be held in London on 4-5 February.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 02 February 2015

Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps the Government has taken towards its aim of achieving nuclear disarmament.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

I refer the Hon Member to the written ministerial statement (HCWS210) made on 20 January by the Secretary of State for Defence.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 January 2015

Matthew Offord (Hendon, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the consequences of Iran’s refusal to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to its Arak and Parchin nuclear-related facilities.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has monthly access to the reactor at Arak. The IAEA Director General’s 7 November report confirms that Iran continues to abide by its commitment under the Joint Plan of Action (JPoA) not to make further advances on the Arak reactor for the duration of the JPoA.

Access for the IAEA to Parchin remains an important but unfulfilled step. The 7 November IAEA report reiterates that clean-up activities at the site are likely to have undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification, however it is imperative that Iran provides access as the Agency continues to request. We fully support their work on this crucial issue.

All Written Answers – North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 22 January 2015

Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of North Korea’s nuclear activities.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

We keep the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and ballistic missile programmes under constant review. We are concerned that the DPRK has restarted its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, coupled with reports that a nearby uranium enrichment facility has been expanded. DPRK threats to conduct a fourth nuclear test are extremely worrying and only serve to destabilise regional security further. We continue to urge the DPRK to comply with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, to refrain from any further provocations, to abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to permit full access by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 21 January 2015

Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made on negotiations on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

The E3+3 and Iran agreed on 24 November 2014 to extend the negotiations for seven months because both sides believed that a comprehensive nuclear deal was possible, but more time was needed to bridge differences, in particular on Iran’s enrichment capacity. Since then there have been two further rounds of talks, most recently on 18 January. These talks have been serious and useful. For us to reach a deal, Iran needs to show more flexibility on the key issue of enrichment. Talks will resume in February.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 January 2015

Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the P5 nuclear weapon states will next meet in London; and if he will make a statement.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)

The UK will host the sixth Conference of P5 Nuclear Weapon States in London on 4-5 February; I will update the House after the meeting.

All Written Answers – North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 January 2015

Nigel Dodds (Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs); Belfast North, DUP)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions the Government has had with the South Korean authorities about (a) North Korean progress towards viable nuclear weapons and (b) protecting UK companies from North Korean hacking.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)

The UK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are close partners and regularly discuss matters relating to the Korean Peninsula, as well as broader international security concerns. The most recent Ministerial discussions were on 3 December 2014, when the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), held strategic talks with the ROK Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se. These talks covered a range of issues including international security. The Foreign Secretary made clear during these discussions our concern that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Separately, the ROK is one of a range of international partners with which we have engaged to help protect the UK and British businesses from cyber attacks. The Government is also working closely with industry to address the threat and impact of cyber attacks, as part of the UK Cyber Security Strategy.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 5 January 2015

Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what conclusions he has drawn from the outcomes of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons on 8 to 9 December 2014.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The UK was represented at the conference by Mrs Susan le Jeune, our Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency. At the Conference, officials listened carefully to the participants, who expressed a very wide range of views.

Some argued that the way to achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons was to ban weapons now or to fix a timetable for their elimination. This approach fails to take account of the stability and security which nuclear weapons can help to secure. None of us would gain from a loss of that stability. The UK believes that the UN Disarmament Machinery, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, provide the right forum for working towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Our Ambassador to Austria restated our concern at the humanitarian consequences which could result from the use of nuclear weapons. We are committed to working towards a world without nuclear weapons. In our Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, the Government undertook to reduce the number of warheads we have by the mid-2020s. However, we shall retain a credible, continuous and effective submarine based deterrent, for as long as the global security situation makes it necessary.

A copy of the UK intervention at the Conference has been placed in the Library of the House.

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