Foreign and Commonwealth Office

All Written Answers -Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 18 December 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has commissioned research to determine what the UK’s obligations in international law are in the event of economic or environmental damage being caused to other countries by radioactive fallout or blast arising from a British nuclear weapon being (a) accidentally detonated or (b) deliberately targeted and the effects spread to a third or more of the country.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
We have not commissioned any research. The issues are long-standing, and the Government has not seen the need to commission fresh research.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 December 2014

Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
On 7 November 2014, the IAEA Director General issued his latest report on the status of Iran’s nuclear programme. This report covers Iran’s nuclear programme, the IAEA’s efforts to address the Possible Military Dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme (PMD), and the nuclear aspects of the Joint Plan of Action with the E3+3. The report is available on the IAEA’s website at http://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gov2014-62.pdf.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 December 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons held in Vienna on 8 and 9 December 2014; if he will publish on his Department’s website all print and oral submissions made by the UK to the conference; and if he will make a statement.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
A very wide range of views was expressed by participants at the Conference, as reflected in the factual summary of the conference issued under the Chair’s authority. 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 United Kingdom believes that the UN Disarmament Machinery and the Non-Proliferation Treaty provide the right forum for working towards a world without nuclear weapons. The UK Ambassador restated our concern at the humanitarian consequences which could result from the use of nuclear weapons. That is why the UK works extremely hard to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to keep our own nuclear weapons safe and secure. We are also committed to working towards a world without nuclear weapons. We shall, however, retain a credible, continuous and submarine-based deterrent for as long as the global security situation makes it necessary. The UK intervention at the conference has already been published on the gov.uk website. I have also arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 9 December 2014

William McCrea (Shadow Spokesperson (Justice); South Antrim, DUP)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of when negotiations on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme, including enrichment capacity, will be completed.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The E3+3 and Iran have extended negotiations until the end of June 2015, with the aim of concluding an outline agreement by the end of March. We did this because we believe that a deal is possible but more time is needed to bridge differences – particularly on the core issue of Iran’s enrichment capacity.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 4 December 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his Answer of 25 November 2014 to the hon. Member for Moray, Official Report, column 776, whether the UK will attend the international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in Vienna; and what the reasons are for the decision on attendance.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) announced in the House on 2 December that the UK has accepted the Austrian Government’s invitation to attend the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. It is clear that a large number of states wish to discuss this issue. We are willing to attend the Vienna conference to do so.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 3 December 2014

Nigel Dodds (Shadow Spokesperson (Justice); Belfast North, DUP)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his priorities are for the extended negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme; and if he will make it his policy to withhold UK support for lifting sanctions until his Department sees irrefutable evidence of Iran dismantling any nuclear weapons capability.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The UK’s goal is to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons capability. The UK, with E3+3 partners and Iran, will use the extended negotiating period until end of June to explore fully a deal which achieves this by restricting key elements of Iran’s programme and by building confidence over time in the peaceful nature of Iran’s programme. Sanctions will only be lifted in return for concrete actions which address our proliferation concerns

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 2 December 2014

John Howell (Henley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the prospects of achieving a comprehensive deal with Iran on nuclear issues.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
Negotiations to ensure Iran’s nuclear programme is peaceful have been tough, but we have made progress. We believe a deal which addresses our concerns is possible. That is why negotiations were extended until 30 June. We believe the twin track policy of sanctions and negotiations is yielding results.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 27 November 2014

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the statements by the government of Iran that that country’s nuclear activities are for exclusively civilian nuclear purposes.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
We welcome Iran’s statements that its programme is exclusively peaceful. However international concerns about its programme remain. These are based on IAEA reports and national assessments. Iran needs to resolve with the IAEA the outstanding issues surrounding the possible military dimension to its nuclear programme. It also needs to restore confidence with the international community through concluding and implementing a comprehensive agreement with the E3+3 on its nuclear programme.

All Written Answers – Military Alliances, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 November 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the contribution of the Minister for Europe on 6 November 2014, Official Report, column 311WH, in which he stated that the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement underpins all nuclear defence co-operation between the UK and the US, what information his Department holds on whether there are similar nuclear defence co-operation agreements between other P5 states.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The UK is not aware of any nuclear defence co-operation agreements amongst other P5 States which are similar to the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement between the UK and US.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 November 2014

Bob Blackman (Harrow East, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) recent reports that Iran has injected uranium hexafluoride into IR-5 centrifuges and (b) whether such activity would be in compliance with the terms of the Joint Plan of Action.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The 7 November 2014 IAEA report into the status of Iran’s nuclear programme states that since September, Iran has intermittently fed natural UF6 into the single IR-5 centrifuge installed at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz as a part of its IAEA safeguarded research and development activities. We do not believe that anything in the November report indicates a violation by Iran of the Joint Plan of Action. Our focus remains on reaching a comprehensive agreement by 24 November 2014.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 24 November 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the prospect of Iran neutralising its stockpile of 20 per cent enriched uranium.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The IAEA Director General in his November report on the status of Iran’s nuclear programme reconfirmed that all of Iran’s 20% enriched uranium stockpile has been down-blended to less than 5%, or converted to oxide, in keeping with Iran’s commitments under the Joint Plan of Action.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 21 November 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage Iran to clarify issues relating to possible military dimensions of its nuclear material and implement the additional protocol.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
We offer our full support to the IAEA in its efforts to address the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. We continue to call on Iran to cooperate fully by providing immediate IAEA access to sites, persons, documents and information as requested by the Agency. In a comprehensive agreement, Iran will need to comply fully with its Additional Protocol to reassure the international community of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 21 November 2014

Bob Neill (Vice-Chair, Conservative Party; Bromley and Chislehurst, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The IAEA Director General in his November 2014 report on the status of Iran’s nuclear programme reiterated concerns about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military organisations. We offer our full support to the IAEA in continuing to pursue the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

All Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 November 2014

John Howell (Henley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme of recent satellite imagery indicating a possible nuclear clean-up operation at that country’s Parchin facility.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The IAEA have been clear that clean-up activities have seriously undermined their ability to verify whether weaponisation related activities took place at Parchin. IAEA access to the site remains an important step in addressing the Agency’s concerns. We fully support the IAEA’s work on this crucial issue. A comprehensive agreement between the E3+3 and Iran remains the best way to ensure Iran’s nuclear programme is peaceful going forward.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 20 November 2014

Andrew Smith (Oxford East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government will be represented at the conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons taking place in Vienna in December 2014.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
As I stated to the House during Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 28 October 2014, Official Report, column 153, the Government has received this invitation and is considering whether to attend the Conference, and will update the House once we have reached a decision.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 19 November 2014

Robert Halfon (Harlow, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of Iran’s compliance with Modified Code 3.1 in the subsidiary arrangements to its Comprehensive Standards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The IAEA is responsible for ensuring Iran complies with its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. According to the IAEA, Iran is failing to implement modified Code 3.1. Under a comprehensive agreement, Iran will need to comply fully with its obligations under modified Code 3.1 in order to reassure the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is entirely peaceful in nature.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 19 November 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the P5+1 has discussed the future status of sanctions against Iran in the event of a permanent nuclear deal.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
Sanctions are a key part of the E3+3 negotiations with Iran. Ultimately, under a comprehensive deal, all sanctions imposed against Iran because of its nuclear programme will be lifted. The speed of sanctions relief will depend on the actions Iran takes to address proliferation concerns.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 18 November 2014

Douglas Alexander (Shadow Foreign Secretary; Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the likelihood of the deadline for a comprehensive Iranian nuclear deal being met.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
The E3+3 have made progress with Iran in the nuclear negotiations but significant gaps – especially over Iran’s enrichment capacity – remain. Reaching agreement on these areas in particular by 24 November will be challenging.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 November 2014

Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on Iran’s commitment to agree a permanent nuclear agreement with the P5+1.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
E3+3 and Iran are both committed to trying to reach a comprehensive agreement by 24 November. But there are still significant gaps between the parties. Reaching agreement by 24 November on these areas will be challenging. It will require Iran to accept reductions in the scale and scope of its programme.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 November 2014

Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on Iran’s possession of IR-2M model centrifuges.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The IAEA has verified in their 7 November 2014 Report on Iran’s nuclear programme that at Natanz, Iran has 1,008 IR-2M centrifuges installed but not operating, and 172 IR-2M centrifuges installed for research and development.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 November 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of recent reports of a large explosion at Parchin military complex in Iran.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
As reported in the media, there was an explosion and consequent fire at the Parchin military complex, outside of Tehran in early October 2014. The explosion was not in the area of the high explosive test facility at Parchin referred to in IAEA Board of Governors’ reports. Permission for IAEA inspectors to access facilities at Parchin as required remains necessary to address international concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme.

All Written Answers  – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 6 November 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether Iran’s support for international terror groups has been raised in talks between Iran and the P5+1.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
E3+3 negotiations with Iran focus purely on the nuclear issue. Iran’s support for designated terrorist groups such as the military wings of Hizballah and Hamas, as well as other militant groups across the Middle East, do not form part of E3+3 discussions with Iran, although they may be discussed bilaterally in the margins between individual E3+3 members and Iran.

All Written Answers  – North Korea: Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 October 2014

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received of bilateral co-operation between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of nuclear weapons technology.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The nuclear programmes of Iran and the DPRK are both of significant concern to the UK and to the international community. We continue to carefully monitor all developments, and to support and lead international efforts to prevent WMD proliferation, including the spread of related knowledge and technology.

Oral Answers to Questions  – Nuclear Weapons (Vienna Conference), Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 28 October 2014

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
Whether the UK will be officially represented at the conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna in December 2014.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The Government have received an invitation to the conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna in December. We are considering whether to attend.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
I urge the Government to attend the conference and to join the family of nations around the world that supported the previous conferences. One hundred and twenty-eight nations attended the 2013 conference in Norway, 145 went to Mexico earlier this year and the New Zealand Government, on behalf of 155 nations, have urged universal attendance at this conference. They have drawn attention to the first ever resolution that was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1946, which drew attention to the devastating effects of nuclear weapons and nuclear warfare on humanity as a whole. Britain should be there and should not boycott it, as it will apparently do along with the other five permanent members of the Security Council.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The House will be aware of the hon. Gentleman’s consistent views on this subject. The goals of the conference are unclear and, consequently, none of the P5 nuclear weapon states has attended the conferences in the past, as he said. We do not believe that a ban on nuclear weapons is negotiable, nor that it would even be observed by many nuclear powers. Even if it could be achieved in theory, in practice the confidence and verification measures that would be necessary to make it effective are not in place.

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
Does my hon. Friend agree that the greatest humanitarian effect of Britain’s possession of a nuclear deterrent is to reduce the chances of nuclear war or nuclear blackmail against this country?

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The House is, as ever, grateful for my hon. Friend’s interest and expertise in this matter. The Government’s policy is that the Vanguard class submarine will be replaced at the end of its life in the late-2020s by the successor strategic submarine, which will carry the Trident missiles, subject to main-gate investment approval for the programme in 2016. I know that he will approve of that.

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader; Moray, Scottish National Party)
The last conference was attended by more than 140 states and by the United Nations, the Red Crescent and civil society. What message does it send to the rest of the world and to rogue regimes that seek to have nuclear weapons that the UK is prepared to boycott such a conference? The Minister went to school in Vienna. Why does he not take the opportunity to go back and take part in the conference?

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
As I said, the objectives of the conference are unclear. That is why the P5 nations have not attended in the past. The hon. Gentleman suggests that we are doing nothing. We have reduced the number of nuclear warheads that we possess by well over 50% since the peak of the cold war. In 2010, this Government announced further reductions to no more than 120 operationally available warheads and a total stockpile of no more than 180 warheads by the mid-2020s. That is action, which is what the Government need to pursue.

All Written Answers -Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 27 October 2014

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy in the P5+1 talks is on Iran’s capability to build a nuclear weapon.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The UK is committed to ensuring that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapons capability. A comprehensive agreement between the E3+3 [P5+1] and Iran is the best way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

All Written Answers -North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 27 October 2014

Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Government will consider implementing sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of perpetrating crimes against humanity, as detailed in the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)
The UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) recommended the introduction by the UN Security Council of targeted sanctions on human rights grounds. Existing UN and EU sanctions against the DPRK are based on UN Security Council Resolutions prohibiting the further development of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. They target goods and activities that support those programmes, and individuals and organisations, both inside and outside the DPRK, who have acted in breach of these Resolutions.

Any introduction of sanctions on human rights grounds would require the establishment of a new sanctions regime. The UK would want any new sanctions proposals to have a clear impact on the human rights situation in North Korea without any unintended negative effect on the general population. Any sanctions against individuals or organisations would also have to meet the strict requirements established in recent legal cases where sanctions have been successfully challenged in the UK and European courts.

All Written Answers -Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 27 October 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure compiance with Article 6 of the 1968 Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Government committed itself to reduce the number of operationally available nuclear warheads to no more than 120 and to reduce our overall nuclear weapon stockpile to no more than 180 by the mid 2020s. The Government also gave an assurance that the UK will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-Nuclear Weapons States Parties to the NPT and who are not in material breach of their obligations under the NPT. We have continued to work to build the confidence between the Nuclear Weapons States which is necessary for further reductions, for example through the UK-initiated P5 process. We continue to push for entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and for negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty to start in the Conference on Disarmament. We have made clear that our goal is a world without nuclear weapons. This goal has to be approached step by step through further reductions by the two States which hold the majority of nuclear weapons, and through increased confidence between the Nuclear Weapon States.

All Written Answers -North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 October 2014

Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK manufacturing products are not used as components in North Korean produced weapons.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
North Korea is currently subject to sanctions imposed by the UN and EU. These measures include an asset freeze, travel ban and an extensive embargo which prohibits the export of arms, dual-use goods, and luxury goods and imposes restrictions on the export of other listed items which could contribute to nuclear or ballistic missile programmes. All export licence applications are assessed against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, considering the prevailing circumstances at the time of the application, including the capabilities of the equipment, and the end user. A licence would not be granted if to do so would be a breach of our international obligations or we assessed there was an unacceptable risk of diversion to a WMD programme or to a military programme in an embargoed destination. However, it is impossible to completely prevent non-listed items manufactured in the UK being used in North Korean produced weapons, for example if items are legitimately exported from the UK to third countries but are subsequently sold to entities in the DPRK. For this reason the UK is also active in encouraging other countries to enforce DPRK sanctions more effectively. HMRC works together with Border Force to enforce export controls and trade sanctions and they have a range of powers available to prevent illicit exports. Enforcing sanctions is a high priority.

All Written Answers -North Korea and Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 October 2014

Simon Kirby (Brighton, Kemptown, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the nuclear weapons capability of (a) North Korea and (b) Iran.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013, following earlier tests in 2006 and 2009. We note with concern reports suggesting the Yongbyon nuclear reactor has been restarted, that the nearby uranium enrichment facility has apparently been expanded, as well as DPRK’s statements reiterating its ‘right’ to conduct further nuclear tests. We continue to urge 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 permit full access by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the event of any further test, we have made clear to DPRK that they should expect a robust response.

Iran does not have a nuclear weapons capability, but we are concerned about the goals of Iran’s nuclear programme, the associated proliferation risks and Iran’s history of concealing its nuclear activities. The most concerning elements of Iran’s nuclear programme were frozen or rolled back under the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, which will expire on 24 November. A comprehensive agreement between the E3+3 and Iran is the best way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We urge Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA to address international concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

All Written Answers -NATO: Newport, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 15 October 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will propose at the next NATO Leaders Summit extending that alliance’s support for the principles of weapons ban conventions, which are outlined in the Wales Declaration, to nuclear weapons.

David Lidington (The Minister for Europe; Aylesbury, Conservative)
As set out in its 2010 Strategic Concept, NATO is committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. However, for as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO has stated that it will remain a nuclear alliance.

The United Kingdom fully supports efforts to combat the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction through the universalisation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention. Furthermore, the UK will continue to work to make nuclear weapons less necessary, with the goal of making them unnecessary. We believe that the best way to achieve a world without nuclear weapons is through gradual disarmament negotiated step–by-step within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. As set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, we consider that our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threats, and the United Kingdom will retain a credible, continuous and effective minimum nuclear deterrent for as long as the global security situation makes it necessary.

All Written Answers – USA, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 12 September 2014

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what role the implementation of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty has had in any negotiation on the renewal of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

David Lidington (The Minister for Europe; Aylesbury, Conservative)
The UK takes all of its international obligations seriously. The Mutual Defence Agreement is fully compliant and compatible with our obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

All Written Answers – Ukraine: Russia, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 9 September 2014

David Jones (Clwyd West, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the actions of the Russian Federation in relation to Ukraine are compliant with the provisions of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.

David Lidington (The Minister for Europe; Aylesbury, Conservative)
The situation in Ukraine remains of very grave concern to the UK, and Russia’s actions have presented the most serious security crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War. With international partners we have unreservedly condemned all illegal interventions by Russia in Ukraine. In particular, the UK does not, and will not, recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. This violates the UN Charter, is illegal under international law and breaches the commitments Russia made in the Budapest Memorandum. That is why Russia has been isolated in the Security Council and in the wider international community. We have, as required under the the terms of the memorandum, consulted the US frequently since the occupation and annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of the east by Russian-backed separatists. Both the US and UK continue to ensure that Russia pays a price through sanctions for the annexation of Crimea and its incursion into south-eastern Ukraine; we will maintain our pressure on Russia to use its influence to de-escalate the situation in the east.

The Budapest Memorandum does not specify any military commitments. In this Memorandum, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons, Russia joined the UK and US in reaffirming their obligation to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.” Russia is in clear breach of those commitments as well as a number of other international obligations and commitments, including under the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 8 September 2014

Kerry McCarthy (Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs); Bristol East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether anyone from his Department will attend the third international Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna in December; and what discussions he has had with international counterparts about that conference.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
I refer to the answer given on 14 May 2014, Hansard, column 675W. We await details of the conference agenda and objectives. I have not discussed the conference with my international counterparts.

All Written Answers – North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 22 July 2014

Nigel Dodds (Shadow Spokesperson (Justice); Belfast North, DUP)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to prevent the use and development of nuclear weapons by North Korea; and what assessment he has made of the recent missile tests in the Gongwan Province.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)
We remain extremely concerned by the continued development of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and ballistic missile programme, and by its refusal to abide by UN Security Council resolutions. We continue to work closely with partners to press for implementation of the UN’s sanctions regime, to control the DPRK’s access to proliferation sensitive material and to prevent them from exporting arms and technology.

In the last few weeks the DPRK has undertaken a series of launches of short-range ballistic missiles, mainly of the SCUD class. No prior notice was given in advance of any of these launches. While it is likely that the DPRK is conducting these launches for training and development purposes, it is without doubt also using them to demonstrate its capability, and timing them to maximise political effect. We strongly condemn these, and we urge the DPRK to comply with all of its obligations under relevant UNSCRs and to refrain from any further provocations that cannot help but destabilise the peninsula and the wider region.

Oral Answers to Questions – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 22 July 2014

Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Labour)
What recent assessment he has made of progress in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran on that country’s nuclear programme.

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
Negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive agreement have been tough but productive. It was not possible to reach a deal by 20 July, but both sides are committed to building on the progress that has been made. We have therefore agreed with Iran to extend the Geneva interim agreement until 24 November to give us the time to bridge the differences, in particular on the core issue of enrichment.

Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Labour)
I congratulate the Minister on his well deserved appointment. Does he consider that the timetable set for agreement between the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and Iran on the enrichment of nuclear materials is sufficient?

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
I am grateful for that welcome. The right hon. Gentleman and I have spent much time in this place discussing some of the very issues that we are talking about now. He is right to raise concerns about the deal. Rather than making a bad deal, we believe it is important to delay it to make sure that we have an appropriate deal. Talks have been productive. Both sides have worked hard on a draft text but more time is needed to bridge the differences that remain, in particular on enrichment, and to agree the details of how the agreement will be implemented.

Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke, Conservative)
The joint plan of action abandons the demands made by the six United Nations Security Council resolutions that Iran must halt all enrichment, so what assessment has my hon. Friend made of the message that this would send to the Iranian regime about how serious we are about sticking to our guns where Iran’s nuclear capabilities are concerned?

Tobias Ellwood (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bournemouth East, Conservative)
I appreciate my hon. Friend’s concerns and pay tribute to him for his interest in this area. We are looking for the appropriate deal to be struck. It has not been on the table up to this point. It was decided to delay matters until November and I hope to be able to report back to the House very soon on what progress has been made.

Written Ministerial Statement -Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 July 2014

David Lidington (The Minister for Europe; Aylesbury, Conservative)
I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 22 July and the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 23 July. The FAC will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, and the GAC will be chaired by the Italian presidency. The meetings will be held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

Introductory remarks

Baroness Ashton is expected to cover the floods in the western Balkans, and the outcome of the 16 July donor conference. She is also expected to update Ministers on relations between Serbia and Kosovo. I do not expect substantive discussion on either item.

Ukraine

Ministers will have a substantive discussion on the situation in Ukraine. I will use this opportunity to update Ministers on the outcomes of my recent visit. I will seek to ensure that the Foreign Affairs Council will adopt the Council decision establishing the EU advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine. Adoption would be an important signal of ongoing EU support for Ukraine’s reform trajectory. I will also stress the need to continue to urge Russia to use its influence with the separatists to de-escalate, and to cut the flow of weapons. I will draw attention to the conclusions of the high-level meeting on Ukraine to discuss donor co-ordination and highlight the need to encourage Ukraine to do more to demonstrate commitment and progress on economic reforms.

The UK will be pushing for Council conclusions that include tasking the European External Action Service to develop further options that keep the pressure on Russia in relation to its illegal annexation of Crimea; to encourage the Commission to pursue further trilateral talks with Russia and Ukraine regarding energy supplies;

that support the measured approach being taken by the Ukrainian authorities to regain control of the east of the country; and that encourage all parties to engage with the dialogue process and work towards a sustainable peace in Ukraine.

Iraq

Ministers will discuss the situation in Iraq. While this has stabilised over recent weeks, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other armed groups remain in control of much of northern and western Iraq. I will emphasise the need for the swift formation of an inclusive Government, as the security response to ISIL will need to be underpinned by a political solution if there is to be a lasting resolution to the crisis. As part of that, I will call for member states to continue pressing all sides to remain engaged in the political process and come to an agreement on candidates for Speaker, President and Prime Minister. I will also encourage member states to consider how best to assist the Government of Iraq in the fight against terrorism, and how to tackle the threat of foreign fighters. The discussion may also cover ISIL’s presence in Syria and the impact that they are having there.

Middle east peace process

Ministers will discuss recent developments in the middle east peace process. The UK will want to ensure the EU sends a clear message expressing its concern at the recent escalation in violence in Gaza and Israel, and urging all sides to take steps to deescalate the situation and avoid any further civilian injuries and the loss of innocent life. Recent events reinforce the need to take steps towards a lasting peace.

Iran

Ministers will also discuss the Iran nuclear negotiations. The joint plan of action, the interim deal agreed by the E3+3 and Iran in November 2013 and implemented from January, expires just before the FAC, on 20 July. The E3+3 are currently working hard with Iran in Vienna to agree a deal. At the FAC, Ministers will discuss the outcome of the talks and any necessary follow-up action required by member states.

General Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council on 23 July is expected to focus on: the Italian presidency work programme; procedure to follow up on European Council conclusions; the Europe 2020 mid-term review; and Lithuania’s accession to the economic and monetary union.

Italian presidency work programme

The GAC is expected to take note of the Italian presidency programme, “Europe, a Fresh Start”, which was published on 2 July 2014. The UK and Italy share priorities on several aspects of the EU agenda, including: growth; jobs; competitiveness; better regulation; and foreign policy in the Mediterranean region. We welcome Italy’s initiatives to boost growth and investment, particularly their focus on strong manufacturing and service sectors; and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. We also share an interest in further growth-focused institutional reforms.

European Council conclusions follow up

The GAC performs an important role in ensuring that the actions mandated in European Council conclusions

are properly implemented. The GAC is expected to discuss its conclusions follow-up role, and consider ways to improve this function in the future.

Europe 2020 mid-term review

The GAC will consider the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. Discussions for the mid-term review are in early stages. The UK is developing its position but will be fully engaged with the review.

Good progress has been made in improving the stability and integrity of the euro area and it is essential that the EU does not weaken its general commitment to fiscal sustainability.

Accession of Lithuania to the economic and monetary union

The GAC will adopt the legal acts enabling Lithuania to adopt the euro on 1 January 2015. This follows a recommendation of euro area member states at ECOFIN in June and endorsement of the Commission’s proposal at the June European Council. The Commission’s convergence report of 4 June 2014 assessed that Lithuania meets all the convergence criteria for adopting the euro.

Written Answers -India, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 July 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had on the prospects for India joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty during his visit to that country in July 2014.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)
During his visit to India in July 2014, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), met with the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss a wide range of issues, including civil nuclear co-operation. India welcomed the UK’s strong support for their membership of the major export regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group. There were no discussions on India joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Written Answers -Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 10 July 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost of work undertaken by his Department relating to nuclear disarmament was in 2013-14; and if he will make it his policy separately to detail in his Department’s annual report and accounts expenditure and activity relating to nuclear disarmament.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Work on nuclear disarmament is led by the Counter-Proliferation Department, which has approximately thirty members of staff. We also use our global network of embassies and missions on a daily basis to take forward this work. We do not record time spent on disarmament specifically, therefore we will not be reporting separately on the costs of this work in the Annual Reports and Accounts. More detailed information on our progress on nuclear disarmament was most recently reported in our NPT PrepCom National Report, which was deposited in the House on 29 April 2014 (reference DEP2014-0656).

Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 June 2014

Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of prospects for successful negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The current negotiations with Iran are the best opportunity in years to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme. Negotiations so far, which have built on the Geneva interim deal, have been constructive, but challenging: any deal will require Iran to take significant steps to address comprehensively our proliferation concerns. However, there remains commitment on all sides of the table to reach a deal.

Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 June 2014

Douglas Alexander (Shadow Foreign Secretary; Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on extending the deadline for agreeing a P5+1 comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran.

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)
The UK, like the rest of the E3+3, remains strongly committed to reaching a comprehensive agreement with Iran by 20 July. The Geneva interim deal is renewable by mutual consent. It is important that Iran addresses our concerns and agrees to limit its nuclear activity without delay.

Written Answers – Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 9 June 2014

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader; Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made towards negotiating a peaceful solution with Iran on the nuclear issue.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The November interim agreement between the E3+3 and Iran was a significant first step to resolving the nuclear issue. It has created time to negotiate a comprehensive agreement. On this we are making progress although we are under no illusion about the difficulty of reaching a successful outcome. Talks resume on 16 June in Vienna, with the aim of reaching an agreement by the 20 July which is when the interim deal currently expires

Written Answers – Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 May 2014

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response the UK has made to the application of the Marshall Islands to the International Court of Justice in respect of compliance by the UK with Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The UK is currently considering its response to the proceedings instituted by the Marshall Islands in the International Court of Justice on 24 April 2014. The UK is confident of its record in progressing nuclear disarmament in accordance its obligations under the 1968 treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and will defend its position robustly.

Written Answers – Nuclear Disarmament, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 13 May 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the steps he plans to take to remove UK nuclear weapons from deployment and their subsequent destruction.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Government committed in 2010 to reduce the UK’s nuclear weapons stockpile by the mid 2020s, down to no more than 120 operationally available warheads and no more than 180 warheads. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom will retain a credible, continuous and effective minimum nuclear deterrent for as long as the global security situation makes that necessary. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review sets out the Government’s approach in more detail.

Written Answers – Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 8 May 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what active steps his (a) Department has taken and plans to take to facilitate the convening of a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The UK is fully committed to convening a Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction as soon as possible, in line with the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference Action Plan. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), Ministers and officials have discussed the Conference with their counterparts from the region, and will continue to do so. Officials have attended, and supported, recent informal consultations between the Facilitator and states of the region at Glion in Switzerland, and will engage in future informal consultations to build agreement. The UK continues to provide financial support for the work of the Facilitator, Finnish Under Secretary of State Jaakko Laajava.

Written Answers – North Korea, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 7 May 2014

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the situation in North Korea.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)
We remain extremely concerned by the ongoing situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) especially regarding the nuclear threat and human rights.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2013 annual human rights report listed the DPRK as a country of concern. Compelling reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations, including the curtailment of fundamental freedoms and the continued use of political prison camps, are especially worrying. I met the US Special Envoy for DPRK Human Rights, Robert King, on 6 May to discuss how we can maintain international pressure on this.

The security situation remains deeply troubling. Recent statements implying that the DPRK is considering a further nuclear test, coupled with the DPRK’s March decision to launch ballistic missiles in clear breach of UN Security Council Resolutions and to conduct live-fire artillery exercises, have only served to heighten tensions in the region. The UK continues to closely monitor the situation with our allies.

Written Answers – Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 1 May 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation the UK will have at the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York in May.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The UK Head of Delegation is Dr Matthew Rowland, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament. Dr Rowland is supported by officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Written Answers – Falkland Islands, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 28 April 2014

Derek Twigg (Halton, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he plans to make to the statement of the President of Argentina on 2 April that the UK was keeping NATO’s most powerful armed bases in the Falklands and that this included a nuclear attack submarine.

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; East Devon, Conservative)
The British ambassador in Buenos Aires has conveyed our disappointment to the Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister that the President of Argentina once again repeated her unfounded claims about the UK military presence in the South Atlantic on the very anniversary of Argentina’s illegal invasion of the Falkland Islands which tragically led to so many deaths on both sides. Claims that the Falklands is a “military nuclear base for NATO in the South Atlantic”, or represents a military threat to the region are obviously untrue: The UK’s military presence on the Falkland Islands is purely defensive in nature and the number of UK forces has declined to the minimum necessary to defend the Islands.

With regard to nuclear weapons, the UK’s position is clear. The United Kingdom ratified the protocols to the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone covering Latin America and the Caribbean (the Treaty of Tlatelolco) in 1969, and it fully respects these obligations. The UK position on its deterrent is unambiguous and well known: the UK will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states parties to, and in compliance with, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Written Answers –  Iran, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 8 April 2014

Andrew Rosindell (Romford, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
E3+3 negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive agreement, which began in February, have so far been constructive and substantive, covering a range of issues, including enrichment, the Arak reactor, civil nuclear cooperation and sanctions relief. The Iranian negotiators have repeatedly stressed their commitment to reaching an agreement before the end of July. We, however, have no illusions about the challenge ahead in reaching an agreement which addresses our proliferation concerns.

Written Answers – Nuclear Security Summit, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 1 April 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2014, Official Report, column 189W, on the Nuclear Security Summit, which organisations made what suggestions to the UK’s contribution to that Summit.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The UK contributed three statements to the Nuclear Security Summit: a National Statement, a Progress Report and a Statement on the UK led Information Security initiative. All three statements are publically available on the NSS website. No body from outside HM Government contributed written proposals for inclusion in the UK’s statements. There were discussions between officials and the following organisations as the UK’s contributions were being formulated: National Skills Academy Nuclear; World Institute of Nuclear Security; International Atomic Energy Agency; Kings College London; Vertic; and EU Joint Research Centre.

Written Ministerial Statement – Foreign Affairs Council/General Affairs Council: 24 March 2014

David Lidington (The Minister for Europe; Aylesbury, Conservative)

[…]

Baroness Ashton briefed Ministers on her 8-10 March visit to Iran. She had met human rights activists and the Iranian Government had signalled their disapproval. She noted that the EU’s special representative for human rights would visit shortly. Baroness Ashton also noted that E3+3 talks with Iran would resume on 18 March to continue discussions towards a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear file.

[…]

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 6 March 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on whether in her capacity as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy the right hon. Baroness Ashton of Upholland scheduled to visit Iran for nuclear talks.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Baroness Ashton plans to travel to Iran in the coming days, but her visit is still to be confirmed. The focus of the visit would be EU/Iran relations and include discussion of human rights and regional issues.

Written Answer, Nuclear Weapons – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 5 Feb 2014

Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Hall Green, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2014, Official Report, column 278W, on nuclear weapons, by what date the House will be informed of the Government’s intention on attendance at the conference in Mexico on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Government is considering whether to attend the Conference. A decision will be made shortly, and communicated to the House.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 4 Feb 2014

Priti Patel (Witham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether IAEA inspectors will be granted access to Iran’s Parchin facility under the P5+1-Iran Joint Plan of Action.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)

The Joint Plan of Action does not grant IAEA inspectors access to the Parchin military base. This issue is being discussed as part of the IAEA’s separate discussions with Iran on the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. We welcome the recent signature of a Joint Statement on a Framework for Co-operation between Iran and the IAEA and hope that this will soon include allowing the agency access to Parchin.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 4 Feb 2014

Priti Patel (Witham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on Iran’s possession of advanced IR-1 centrifuges.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The IAEA’s November 2013 report on Iran’s nuclear programme to the Board of Governors verified that Iran currently has 18,458 IR-1 centrifuges installed for uranium enrichment. Only around half of these are currently operating. Under the Joint Plan of Action, which came into force on 20 January 2014, Iran has agreed not to make any further advances in its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant and Fordow. This includes not installing further centrifuges; bringing into operation any centrifuges installed but not being used to enrich; and limiting production to replacement of failed machines.

Written Answers, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 4 Feb 2014

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2014, Official Report, column 428W, on Iran, what measures the Iranian authorities need to take to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
To ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, Iran must take action on all of the key elements of its nuclear programme that represent a proliferation risk. This includes addressing concerns about the fuel cycle (enrichment levels, capacity and stockpile), heavy water-related activity, research and development as well as agreeing to enhanced monitoring and verification measures (including ratifying the additional protocol). The steps Iran has taken under the Joint Plan of Action, which came into force on 20 January, are an important first step. But Iran needs to take further significant and sustained steps before the international community can have full confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 30 Jan 2014

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the P5+1-Iran Joint Plan of Action recognises Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Joint Plan of Action, implemented on 20 January, does not recognise any right to enrich uranium. It does, however, stipulate the elements of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran, including a mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon.

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Iran’s portfolio of advanced IR-1m centrifuges will be discussed under the P5+1-Iran Joint Plan of Action.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Joint Plan of Action commits Iran to not install or bring into operation any new centrifuges or advanced models during the six-month interim agreement (which is renewable by mutual consent). It also commits Iran not to produce new centrifuges, except to replace damaged existing machines with models of the same type. Negotiations aimed at agreeing a comprehensive solution to Iran’s nuclear programme, including uranium enrichment, are expected to begin shortly.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 29 Jan 2014

Bob Blackman (Harrow East, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what processes are in place if Iran withdraws from nuclear talks during the six-month interim agreement period.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Under the Joint Plan of Action agreed between the E3+3 and Iran, negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear agreement will run in parallel to implementation of a first step interim agreement. The Joint Plan of Action states that the first step will be:
“time-bound, with a duration of six months, and renewable by mutual consent, during which all parties will work to maintain a constructive atmosphere for negotiations in good faith.”

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on 28 Jan 2014

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the P5+1 – Iran Joint Plan of Action requires Iran to grant International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to all nuclear-related facilities.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Under Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, inspectors already have access to Iran’s declared nuclear facilities. But under the Joint Plan of Action, Iran has agreed to enhanced monitoring of its nuclear facilities by the IAEA. This includes additional access for the IAEA to centrifuges assembly workshops, rotor production workshops and storage facilities and uranium mines and mills for the first time since 2006, and daily access for IAEA inspectors to surveillance records at its Natanz and Fordow facilities.

Written Answers, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 28 Jan 2014

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the P5+1 – Iran Joint Plan of Action requires Iran to suspend research and development of (a) ballistic missiles and (b) nuclear-related weaponisation.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
UN Security Council Resolution 1929 requires Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and this remains in force under the Joint Plan of Action. Under the Joint Plan of Action Iran has reaffirmed that it will not seek to develop nuclear weapons.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 27 Jan 2014

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on nuclear negotiations of statements by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that the P5+1 have recognised Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does not explicitly refer to a “right to enrich” and the UK does not believe such a right exists for any country under the NPT. The Joint Plan of Action agreed between Iran and the E3+3 at Geneva in November 2013 sets out that, in the event of a comprehensive settlement, Iran would have “a mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs”. Agreeing the limitations on this enrichment programme, not statements about recognition of the right to enrichment, will be a key issue in the comprehensive negotiations, which are expected to begin in February.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 Jan 2014

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2014, Official Report, column 607W, on Iran, if he will take steps to develop and seek agreement on a mechanism for the inclusion of Saudi Arabia formally in the process.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
We fully recognise the interest that regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, have in developments regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. We engage regularly with them on this issue and will continue to do so. However, it would not be appropriate to develop a formal mechanism for including them in E3 plus 3 negotiations with Iran.

Written Answer, Nuclear Weapons – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 23 Jan 2014

Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK will send a representative to the conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons in Nayarit, Mexico on 13 to 14 February 2014.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 2 December 2013, Hansard, column 570W, to Jeremy Corbyn.
I will inform the House when a decision on attendance has been made.

Written Answer, Nuclear Weapons – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs,  21 Jan 2014

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation the UK intends to send to the second conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons in Nayarit, Mexico on 13-14 February 2014.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 2 December 2013, Hansard, column 570W, to Jeremy Corbyn.
I will inform the House when a decision on attendance has been made.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs,  20 Jan 2014

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his P5+1 counterparts the involvement of Saudi Arabia in future discussions of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia, naturally have an interest in developments concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, and we engage regularly with them on this issue and will continue to do so. There is, however, no feasible mechanism for including regional countries formally in the process.

Written Answer, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 Jan 2014

Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he intends to nominate a UK bank for transactions linked to the UK’s obligations under the Geneva Joint Plan of Action with Iran.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The Joint Plan of Action agreed in Geneva between the E3 plus 3 and Iran provides for proportionate and limited sanctions relief from the United States and the European Union, in return for significant commitments from Iran regarding its nuclear programme. As a member of the E3 plus 3 and the EU, the UK will fulfil its commitments under the Geneva agreement, while respecting the decisions taken by commercial entities.

Written Answer, Syria – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 17 Jan 2014

Mark Hendrick (Preston, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what specific provisions the UK Government is putting towards the international effort to decommission Syria’s chemical weapons.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
The UK has provided support worth £2.4 million to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ destruction effort. On 19 December we announced that we would accept some of the chemicals for destruction in licensed UK facilities. A Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose, will accompany the Danish and Norwegian vessels transporting the chemical stocks in international waters after leaving Syria. The UK will also provide specialist equipment for use on board the US vessel where material of greatest proliferation concern will be neutralised.

Written Answers, Iran – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 Jan 2014

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to include Saudi Arabia in forthcoming P5+1 negotiations with Iran.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
Countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia, take a close interest in developments concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, and we engage regularly with them on this issue. There is however no mechanism for including regional countries formally in the process.

Written Answer, Nuclear Weapons – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 16 Jan 2014

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader; Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK will be represented at the conference on the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons hosted by the Mexican Government at Nayarit on 13 and 14 February 2014.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 2 December 2013, Hansard, column 570W, to Jeremy Corbyn.

Written Answers – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 14 Jan 2014

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Canadian counterpart on the proposed agreement with Iran on nuclear energy.

Hugh Robertson (Minister of State; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
UK officials regularly meet with their Canadian counterparts to discuss Iran policy. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), also has regular discussions with the Canadian Foreign Minister. Their most recent meeting was at the Manama dialogue in December 2013.

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