Iran election

.I spoke in Parliament on Monday 17 June in the debate on the statement about the election of President Rowhani in Iran. Here is my exchange with the Foreign Secretary.

Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): The Iranian people are overwhelmingly young and want to engage with the rest of the world. They are controlled by a conservative theocratic group. The President who has just been elected comes from that conservative group, but he has been chosen because the young people want change. How can we get across, to the young people of Iran in particular, that we are not the enemy and that we also want change in Iran?
Mr Hague: I very much agree with the hon. Gentleman. We have no quarrel with the people of Iran and we are not their enemy. We do try to get that message across.
Of course, it is not easy to broadcast into Iran but we make every effort to do so. The BBC makes very good efforts to do so; I have done a number of interviews on BBC Persian that directly address the issues, so that the people of Iran can hear what we say and how we argue about those issues.
It is possible, in a world much more connected and with so many social media, to convey the messages in many new ways. We are taking every opportunity to do that, and for private individuals to do that is extremely healthy. We can get the messages across. Perhaps—without, as I say, over-analysing the result—we are seeing a wish among the young people of Iran to have better relations with the rest of the world.


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