In his response to this afternoon’s statement on Iran, Shadow Foreign Secretary and LFI parliamentary supporter David Lammy MP made clear that the government must go further to deal with the threats posed to the UK and Israel by the Iranian regime.
Lammy set out the case against Tehran: “In the last year, the charge sheet against the Government of Iran has grown and grown. They have funded violent militias across the Middle East. They have supplied drones to Russia that menace Ukraine’s cities, kill civilians and destroy infrastructure. They have continued to pursue their nuclear programme, in breach of international commitments. They have brutally suppressed the protests of young Iranians who dared to demand a better future. In the last 12 months, they have executed more people than almost any other country in the world. They continue to detain UK-Iranian dual nationals, including Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof. And they continue to harass and threaten dissidents, even those who have made their home here in the United Kingdom.”
He continued: “At the end of last year, I called for the United Nations Human Rights Council to urgently investigate Iran’s crackdown on protestors and for the Government to bring forward stronger sanctions against the Iranian regime. Labour has also called for a new joint FCDO and Home Office state threats cell to co-ordinate this action in government. So we welcome the measures that the Foreign Secretary has announced today.”
Later, Lammy reminded the House of the government’s longstanding failure to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, despite Labour’s calls to do so: “Labour proposed a new mechanism for proscription for state-linked actors in the National Security Bill, but the Government, unfortunately, did not support it.”
He also raised Labour’s concerns about the future of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran: “there is a clear and ongoing pattern of Iran breaching the JCPOA’s terms, preventing monitoring and verification, and enriching uranium past the point of any civilian justification. It has also continued to violate UN Security Council resolution 2231, including in its ballistic missile activities. The UK has a responsibility as one of the signatories of the JCPOA to take a leading role in containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its related activities. So may I ask the Foreign Secretary about the prospects of negotiations on what some are calling a “less for less” deal?
You can read the full debate here.