CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – MIDDLE EAST – 17 July 2006

Dr Julian Lewis: Given that Hezbollah would probably not have been able to proceed in the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers without the green light from Iran, have Ministers considered the possibility that Iran may have given that permission with a view to diverting the world's attention from the crisis over its own nuclear programme? What guarantees can the Government give the House that they will not allow themselves to be diverted in that way?

[The Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Kim Howells): We will certainly not be diverted from our examination of the Iranian nuclear programme. We are good members of the International Atomic Energy Agency and support entirely the UN's approach. We are absolutely determined to do what we can to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether in the Middle East or anywhere else.]