§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last raised with the Iranian Government the position of the Jews imprisoned in Iran; and if he will make a statement. 556W
§ Mr. Hain
[holding answer 8 January 2001]: We and our European partners have taken every opportunity to raise our concerns about the unsatisfactory nature of the case, which I last raised with the Iranian ambassador when I met him on 19 October. While noting the reductions in the sentence of between two and six years on appeal, we hope that the Iranian judiciary will now show clemency. The EU sponsored the 4 December General Assembly Resolution expressing concern about discrimination against people who belong to religious minorities and Iranian failure to comply with the international standards on the administration of justice.
§ Mr. Alexander
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage religious tolerance in Iran. 
§ Mr. Hain
Human Rights are a high priority in our dealings with the Iranian Government. We and our EU partners take every appropriate opportunity to press the Iranian authorities over our concerns about their treatment of religious minorities in Iran, particularly the Bahai and Jewish communities. The EU sponsored a United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted on 4 December which expressed concern about discrimination against people who belong to religious minorities. The Iranian authorities are well aware that we and our EU partners view persecution on religious grounds as totally unacceptable.