Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism has written to the UK government’s Minister for Asia and the Pacific, the Rt Hon. Mark Field MP regarding alarming recent developments around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015.
An urgent question tabled in the House of Commons this month (click here to read the full transcript on Hansard) allowed MPs to question Field on the UK’s position on the Iran Deal in the context of the United States’ unilateral withdrawal last year which has paved the way for President Donald Trump to impose harsh sanctions on the Islamic Republic and make existential threats against the country. In this context, Iran has stated that it will “diminish its commitments” towards the JCPOA.
Please read below the content of our letter to Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field MP:
I write on behalf of the Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism, a new independent, non-partisan, think tank seeking to identify the causes of, and best possible remedies to, terrorism and security threats, always mindful of the need to protect individual liberties and the human rights of all those affected.
We welcome the UK government’s commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) declared this month during an emergency question in the Commons, and we share the alarm expressed by several your parliamentary colleagues at the decision of the United States to unilaterally withdraw from the deal. We are further concerned by the tightening of economic sanctions against Tehran by the US that are causing hardship and misery to the population of Iran.
Tactics Institute welcomes the UK government’s assurance that diplomatic efforts are ongoing behind the scenes to try to ensure that the Iranian regime continue to abide by the JCPOA despite provocations from Washington.
We believe that the UK should pursue a policy on this matter, both as part of the European Union, and after Brexit, that ensures London is not involved in imposing punitive sanctions on Iran. Sanctions threaten the fabric of Iranian society and evidently only push elements in the country towards more belligerent rhetoric and policy positions.
During the debate in the Commons that accompanied your statement on 8th May (https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-05-08/debates/89499CE4-E065-42D0-A652-8ABD1977EC05/IranNuclearDeal?highlight=iran#contribution-870B9DC6-6569-4EC5-BA8A-ECB06B043E5C) you made repeated references to Iran as a “threat” to the stability of the Middle East. While the Tactics Institute condemns any provocative actions taken by the Tehran government, we suggest that there is a disproportionate emphasis placed on Iranian actions by the UK government. While we hope that Iran will not deviate too far from the JCPOA, and welcome your commitment to diplomacy as a way to maintain positive relations with Tehran, we also urge the UK government to take an even-handed approach and work with its European partners to oppose the unilateral and entirely counter-productive policies and provocations of the Trump administration which are causing alarming regional instability that will have global implications if it is not checked as a matter of urgency.