Press release by The Westminster Committee on Iran
The Westminster Committee on Iran today welcomed a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee warning that a military strike against Iran is unlikely to succeed and could provoke a violent backlash across the region.
The Commons foreign affairs committee, appointed by the House of Commons and made up to reflect the membership of the House as a whole, urged the Government to use its influence with Washington to persuade the US administration to "engage" diplomatically with the Iranians over their controversial nuclear programme.
In its report, the committee acknowledged that Tehran had suspended work on developing a nuclear weapon in 2003, but recognised a US attack was still a real possibility. "We remain of the view that such a military strike would be unlikely to succeed and could provoke an extremely violent backlash across the region," it said. The committee said that best chance of achieving a peaceful resolution was a change of policy by the US to "engage directly" with the Iranians.
"We recommend that the Government urges Washington to consider offering a credible security guarantee to Iran if the Iranian government in turn will offer an equally credible and verifiable guarantee that it will not enter into a nuclear weapons programme and improves its co-operation with the international community in other areas," the report said.
Stefan Simanowitz, a spokesperson for the Westminster Committee on Iran said:
"We hope that the government will not ignore the conclusions of this expert Committee that is intended to reflect the make up of the House. It is important to increase dialogue, understanding and trust with Tehran. Whilst nuclear weapons proliferation in any form is unacceptable, diplomactic avenues must be travelled and international law, as well as the bodies that are responsible for upholding it, must be properly respected. Iran has agreed to accept and observe the Additional Protocol of the NPT if its nuclear file is returned back to the IAEA jurisdiction from the UN Security Council. This could provide a way out of the current impass and should be seriously considered."
The members of the Commons Committee were:
Mike Gapes (Chairman) MP, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP
The Westminster Committee on Iran is not a campaigning organisation per se nor is it an official parliamentary body or All Party Parliamentary Group. Instead it aims to fill the space between these two types of bodies in order to increase dialogue, understanding and trust.
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