[Sir William Cash: ... There is an enormous crisis in the middle east, with ISIS/Daesh and the other factors at play – not to mention the Russians – and the interaction between all that and the peace and stability we all earnestly wish for. The reality is that this kind of document – in fact, it is not just one document; I have counted them and I think there are 14 in all – and the deal being done must have some bearing on the current situation. It would be unthinkable that there would not be such interaction at a diplomatic level, given the importance of Iran in the whole middle east crisis we are experiencing at the moment – all the documents, the involvement of the United Nations Security Council, which endorsed it on 20 July, and the interaction with not only our own Prime Minister but the President of France and Chancellor Merkel, who put out a statement in September 2015. That is not unimportant to say the least in relation to the events taking place at this time.
My main message is this: given the importance of the diplomatic interaction, and bearing in mind the fact the matter relates to nuclear issues and potential nuclear threats and their relationship to Israel, not to debate this subject at the right time really did not give the House of Commons an opportunity to discuss it when it really should have been discussed. ...]
Dr Julian Lewis: I am glad my hon. Friend has brought this sort of politics into the debate. All this reminds me very much of the darkest days of the cold war, a policy of containment and the fact that the then Soviet Union had different factions – modernisers and hardliners. Can we not hope that a policy of containment in the case of Iran might lead eventually to the emergence of a modernisers’ victory, albeit slowly and perhaps over decades?
[Sir William Cash: One must indeed hope so. In the extremely complex and dangerous world that we now inhabit, we must also hope that some sensible diplomatic and useful solution – I would not call it a compromise – can be found.]
[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]