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Jonathan Djanogly raises concerns about the religious establishment’s influence in Iran


17th June 2013

Following the Foreign Secretary’s statement on the UK’s policy towards Iran with the election of the new President, Dr Hassan Rouhani, Jonathan Djanogly raises concerns that the new leader may be dictated to by the religious establishment in Iran.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con): Further to the last question, Iran is a key regional player yet is intransigent on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and nuclear capability. Is my right hon. Friend not concerned that, although the new President is perhaps a moderate, he will be dictated to by the religious establishment in Iran?

Mr Hague: As we were saying a few moments ago, the power structure in Iran is complex and enormous authority resides in the Supreme Leader—there is a big clue in the title—in particular over the nuclear issue. We cannot assume that a newly elected President, whatever his intentions—and we cannot yet be sure of those—would be able to execute all the policies that he would like to see.

We will take the issue step by step. We will respond in good faith to efforts to improve relations, but we will judge Iran on actions rather than words.

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