§ 5. Mr. Merlyn Rees
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he intends, in view of the escalation of the war between Iraq and Iran, to urge his European Economic Community partners to impose an arms embargo on these countries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Luce
The United Kingdom is impartial in the Gulf conflict and supplies no items of defence equipment which might significantly enhance the capability of either side to prolong or exacerbate the conflict. We do not believe an arms embargo would be an effective method of ending this conflict, although we would welcome it if our European Community allies followed our very restrictive policy on supply to both sides.
§ 50. Mr. Denis Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to the total number of military and civilian casualties in the capital cities of Iraq and Iran; and whether there has been any progress towards a peace settlement.
§ Mr. Luce
We have no precise information regarding casualties in the capital cities of Iraq and Iran, although we have noted the resumption of attacks on civilian targets in the Gulf conflict with great concern. We have participated in demarches in both Tehran and Baghdad with our European Community partners, calling on both sides to respond to appeals by the United Nations Secretary-General to stop these attacks.