§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the volume and value of British exports to and imports from Iran over the past three years; what is his policy on the sale of defence-related items to Iran; what Export Credit Guarantee Department insurance cover is available to British firms selling goods to Iran; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards trade with both Iran and Iraq.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
Figures of trade by volumes are not available. The value of British exports to and imports from Iran over the past three years was:
1981 1982 1983 £ million £ million £ million United Kingdom exports 402.8 333.7 630.0 United Kingdom imports 154.1 225.9 100.5
British companies are free, subject to export licensing regulations, to trade with all countries where there is a market for their goods unless an internationally recognised embargo is in force. There is no such embargo on trade with Iran and Iraq.291W
ECGD cover for Iran is available on terms of up to 180 days where payments are secured by irrevocable letters of credit.
The United Kingdom is neutral in the conflict between Iraq and Iran and it is our policy not to supply lethal equipment to either sides.