In early February the CMEC Iran Programme Director, Faezeh Faiz, visited Vienna on a delegation with the Iran All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Conservative delegates included the APPG Iran Chairman, Ben Wallace MP, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lamont of Lerwick and, David TC Davies, MP for Monmouth. Through the two-day visit the Parliamentarians aimed to increase their knowledge and understanding of the current nuclear situation in Iran. The British Ambassador HMA Simon Smith greeted the delegates at the airport and hosted a working lunch for them. The Russian, Chinese, Turkish and Brazilian Ambassadors to Austria also attended the lunch which gave the Parliamentarians the opportunity to hear a wide range of opinions on Iran and its nuclear programme.
The newly appointed Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr Amano, met with the delegation for a highly informative briefing. The UK delegates asked questions about the IAEA’s access to and inspections of nuclear sites as well as the technicalities of nuclear proliferation. The officials explained the safeguards facilities and analysed the likelihood of weaponisation. The British Parliamentarians were able to share their own experiences from previous visits to Iran and meetings with Iranian officials in the UK.
The delegation met with the Chairman of the Austrian Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr Josef Cap and Ambassador Lars-Erik Lundin from the EU Delegation to the International Organisations in Vienna. While in Vienna the Iranian Ambassador, Dr Ali Asghar Soltanieh, met with the APPG delegates and received them for a dinner at the Iranian Embassy.