HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 c450W
Mr. Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government governing the exportation of armaments to Iran and Iraq.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The United Kingdom has been strictly impartial in the conflict between Iran and Iraq and has refused to allow the supply of lethal defence equipment to either side. In order to reinforce our policy of doing everything possible to see this tragic conflict brought to the earliest possible end, we decided in December 1984 to apply thereafter, the following set of guidelines to all deliveries of defence equipment to Iran and Iraq:

  1. (i) We should maintain our consistent refusal to supply any lethal equipment to either side;
  2. (ii) Subject to that overriding consideration, we should attempt to fulfil existing contracts and obligations;
  3. (iii) We should not, in future, approve orders for any defence equipment which, in our view, would significantly enhance the capability of either side to prolong or exacerbate the conflict;
  4. (iv) In the line with this policy, we should continue to scrutinise rigorously all applications for export licences for the supply of defence equipment to Iran and Iraq.

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