§ Mr. Hawksley
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give an assurance that the United Kingdom will not alter its 234W sanctions against Iran until the British subjects held in Iran are freed; and if he will encourage other European nations to adopt the same policy.
§ Mr. Hurd
The Govenment have made clear their position on the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran in reply to questions to my right hon. Friend in the House on 21 January.—[Vol. 997, c. 250–51.] Our sanctions measures were related specifically to the detention of the United States hostages and assurances were given on this point. We continue to hope that the British subjects held in Iran will be released soon. We are working hard in various ways to bring this about. We are in touch, among others, with our partners in the European Community, who gave firm evidence of their support in the joint statement issued by the 10 Foreign Minister on 20 January.
§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied that the participation of United Kingdom officials in negotiations for the release of the United States hostages in Iran will not prejudice the situation of the four United Kingdom subjects held by that country; and if he will make a statement with regard to United Kingdom interests generally and the United Kingdom's policy upon the continuation of sanctions.
§ Mr. Hurd
We are glad that the Bank of England and its officials were able to play a constructive part in the final resolution of this problem. I see no reason why this should prejudice the position of the four British people still detained in Iran.
The Government hope that the release of the United States hostages will now make possible a general improvement in the relations between Iran and other States. Britain wishes to build a good relationship with Iran in the future. In this connection we have again urged that the four British subjects detained in Iran should now be released, and we continue to work to that end. This would open the way for full and friendly relations to be resumed. The Government have made clear their position on the lifting of economic sanctions in their reply to the House on 21 January.—[Vol. 997, c. 250–51.]