Prime Minister Sunak: “We will not accept collaborations that compromise our national security”

By June 22 2023, 17:30 Latest News No Comments
House of Commons

House of Commons

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed this week that the Government was investigating the reports of British universities collaborating with Iran. “We will not accept collaborations that compromise our national security” declared Prime Minister Sunak on Wednesday.

Responding to a question by Conservative MP, David Davis, at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Prime Minister assured the House that “officials in the Department for Business and Trade are currently investigating the allegations made in the recent press article” by the Jewish Chronicle exposing a number of British universities collaborating with Iranian counterparts on drone technology. “We will keep on it,” added the PM.

The MP for Haltemprice and Howden, listed reasons the UK sanction Iran including “promoting terrorism, destabilising the Middle East, supplying weapons to our enemies and, of course, the proliferation of nuclear weapons”. He asked for the Prime Minister to “initiate an investigation .. and take action to stop the failure of our sanctions regime before it does any more harm to the national interest of the United Kingdom and our allies”.

A Government source has said in a response to a letter from Parliamentarians regarding the Jewish Chronicle report, that the investigation will span the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office, the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and HMRC. Signatories of the letter to Minister of Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch MP, included CFI Honorary President Lord Polak MP, CFI Parliamentary Chairmen, Rt Hon the Lord Pickles, and the Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, and CFI Parliamentary Officer Bob Blackman CBE MP.

Bob Blackman CBE MP, raised the issue again in the Commons on Thursday, highlighting the “emerging scandal that the drone technology and other sophisticated weaponry being used by Russia in Ukraine, having been supplied by Iran, uses technology supplied by British universities”, and the “threat to our national security”. He noted that “executions continue in Iran. There have been attacks this week by the Albanian police on the Ashraf peace camp for Iranian refugees,” and asked to “have a debate in Government time on Iran’s nefarious activities, and on making sure our national security is safeguarded”.

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