Iraq & Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Given that the Sunni-Shi’a divide is now a fault line in the region and that an almost primeval form of jihadism is driving that on the Sunni side, does the Foreign Secretary agree that it is imperative that ownership of solving this conflict has to be in the region, particularly in Iraq but also in neighbouring Iran, which, as he has implied, could help significantly? I agree with the previous comments that it is imperative that we lose no opportunity to engage Iran, even if it is not up in lights as some formal alliance, which is what has understandably been rejected this morning. It is a key to all of this, does he agree?

Mr Hague: I absolutely agree with the broad thrust of what the right hon. Gentleman is saying. The prime responsibility lies with all the states of the region; they all have a responsibility to improve the way in which they work together, because they are all at risk in various ways. There is no state that has an interest in this instability in Iraq, other than possibly the regime in Damascus. Every established state in the middle east has its interests confronted and threatened by these developments. It is important that they improve their own working together, and we must use our own diplomacy to encourage that. I stress again that that requires a change of policy by Iran as well as every effort on our part to engage Iran.