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Written Question
Arms Trade
13 Jul 2021

Questioner: Alyn Smith (SNP - Stirling)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the value was of exports of arms and military equipment to (a) Afghanistan, (b) Bahrain, (c) Bangladesh, (d) Belarus, (e) Central African Republic, (f) China, (g) Colombia, (h) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, (i) Democratic Republic of Congo, (j) Egypt, (k) Eritrea, (l) Iran in 2020.

Answered by Ranil Jayawardena

Such exports require an export licence, which are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. The most recent publication was on 13th July 2021.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
2 Nov 2020

Questioner: Jack Lopresti (CON - Filton and Bradley Stoke)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK is taking to address Iran’s regional aggression since the expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo on 18 October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK did not want to see the arms embargo expire, given the major implications for security and stability in the region. We remain concerned at Iran's destabilising regional behaviour and continue to hold Iran to account for its activity in the region. We currently have over 200 EU sanctions listings in place against Iran, including against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety. We also continue to support the enforcement of UN prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons to non-state actors in the region, including to Lebanese Hezbollah (UNSCR 2216, Iraqi militia groups (UNSCR 1546) and the Houthis in Yemen (UNSCR 1701). The EU arms embargo on Iran remain in place as do UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran. We are committed to working with regional partners, the E3 and the US to find a sustainable solution to Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
22 Oct 2020

Questioner: Baroness Eaton (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to prevent the arms embargo on Iran from expiring.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UN conventional arms embargo on Iran expired on 18 October. The UK, alongside our E3 partners (France and Germany), remain concerned about the impact of the expiry on the region. Despite E3 efforts to find a compromise in the UN Security Council, there was no consensus to extend the embargo. We abstained on the US draft resolution because it was clear that it would not attract the support of the Council. Ultimately, unless a resolution could pass, it would have no impact on Iran. We remain committed to countering Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will remain in place, as will other prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons, including to Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militia groups and the Houthis.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
22 Oct 2020

Questioner: Baroness Eaton (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK abstained on the US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UN conventional arms embargo on Iran expired on 18 October. The UK, alongside our E3 partners (France and Germany), remain concerned about the impact of the expiry on the region. Despite E3 efforts to find a compromise in the UN Security Council, there was no consensus to extend the embargo. We abstained on the US draft resolution because it was clear that it would not attract the support of the Council. Ultimately, unless a resolution could pass, it would have no impact on Iran. We remain committed to countering Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will remain in place, as will other prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons, including to Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militia groups and the Houthis.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
7 Oct 2020

Questioner: Jamie Wallis (CON - Bridgend)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take to seek an extension of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran before it expires.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UN conventional arms embargo on Iran is due to expire on 18 October. The UK, alongside our E3 partners (France and Germany), remain concerned about the impact of the expiry on the region. Despite E3 efforts to find a compromise in the UN Security Council, there was no consensus to extend the embargo. We remain committed to countering Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place as will other prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons, including to Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militia groups and the Houthis. Regional security needs to be addressed through any renewed negotiations with Iran, regional dialogue and by working with partners in the region.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
30 Sep 2020

Questioner: Jamie Wallis (CON - Bridgend)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the upcoming expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK has been clear that the scheduled expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo in October 2020 would have major implications for regional security and stability. The UK Government continue to engage regional partners, the US, and others, to find a solution to Iranian proliferation in the region, whilst upholding the authority and integrity of the UN Security Council. In the meantime, the EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will remain in place until at least 2023. We will also continue to enforce sanctions regimes including those under UNSCRs 1540, 1701, and 2216 which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to Lebanese Hizballah and the Houthis in Yemen. The UK encourages all states to implement national export control best practice in support of these regimes.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
9 Sep 2020

Questioner: Gareth Bacon (CON - Orpington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2020 to Question 71913, what progress has been made in discussions with international partners to address the expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

We have serious concerns regarding the implications for regional security of the scheduled expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo. We are considering all options both inside and outside of the UN Security Council (UNSC). We continue to be guided by the need to uphold the authority and integrity of the UNSC and to advance regional security and stability.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
20 Jul 2020

Questioner: Lord Turnberg (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage the United Nations to renew the sanctions on Iran when they are due for review in October.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN travel ban and the UN conventional arms embargo are due to expire in October 2020. E3 Foreign Ministers made clear on 19 June that the planned expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo would have major implications for regional security and stability. We share concerns about Iranian proliferation, and have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour. We are working closely with remaining JCPoA parties to address these issues, as well as with other members of the UN Security Council.

There are also other sanctions regimes which restrict Iranian ability to proliferate weapons in the region that will remain in place after the arms embargo expire. These include UNSCRs 1540, 1701 and 2216, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to Lebanese Hizballah and the Houthis. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will also remain in place until 2023. There is an independent EU Iran human rights sanctions regime, which places trade restrictions on specified goods and technology which may be used to repress the civilian population of Iran and on specified goods and technology which may be used for interception and monitoring services in Iran. These EU trade restrictions do not have an expiry date.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
16 Jul 2020

Questioner: Gareth Bacon (CON - Orpington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what mechanisms are in place to prevent Iran from increasing arms exports to terrorist groups after the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour in the region, including proliferation to non-state actors. As set out in the E3 Foreign Ministers statement of 19 June, we are working with partners, including UN Security Council Members, to address the planned expiry of the UN conventional arms embargo.

It is also important to note that other UN sanctions (UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701), which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will also remain in place until 2023. The UK encourages all states to implement national export control best practice in support of these regimes.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
18 Jun 2020

Questioner: Jonathan Gullis (CON - Stoke-on-Trent North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for regional security of the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of the UN arms embargo expiry for Iran as well as the region, and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
17 Jun 2020

Questioner: Andrew Bowie (CON - West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what mechanisms are in place to prevent the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran from expiring in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. We are consulting partners on the implications of the expiry of the UN arms embargo for Iran and wider regional security. We note that other sanctions regimes will remain in force, such as UNSCRs 1540, 1701, and 2216 which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to Lebanese Hizballah and the Houthis. The UK encourages all states to implement national export control best practice in support of these regimes. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will also remain in place until 2023.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
12 Jun 2020

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for regional security in Iran of the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of the UN arms embargo expiry for Iran as well as the region, and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires.


Written Question
Iran: UN Resolutions
11 Jun 2020

Questioner: John Lamont (CON - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 49098 on Iran: Arms Trade, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN Security Council Resolutions 2231, 1540, 2216 and 1701 in tackling Iran’s regional threat.

Answered by James Cleverly

We have long been clear about our concerns over Iran's continued destabilising activity throughout the region. As part of this, we have significant and longstanding concerns, alongside our international partners, over Iran's ballistic missile programme, which poses a further threat to regional security. Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch - using ballistic missile technology - are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran must abide by this.

We remain concerned about the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the revelation it has developed an independent military space launch capability, and call on Iran urgently to cease all forms of destabilising activity. We regularly examine options and activity to address these issues and call on Iran to fully comply with UNSCRs 2231, 1540, 2216 and 1701.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
3 Jun 2020

Questioner: John Lamont (CON - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of regional threat posed by Iran re-entering the arms market following the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo in October 2020.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will also remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of the UN arms embargo expiry and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.


Written Question
Iran: Arms Trade
27 May 2020

Questioner: Baroness Eaton (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran in October on human rights advocates in the country.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of arms embargo expiry for Iran as well as the region, and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

Separate to sanctions in place under the JCPoA, there is an EU Iran human rights sanctions regime. It consists of asset freezes and travel bans on certain individuals and entities involved in human rights violations; and trade restrictions on specified goods and technology which may be used to repress the civilian population of Iran, and on specified goods and technology which may be used for interception and monitoring services in Iran. These EU trade restrictions do not have an expiry date.