Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Tuesday, 21 February 2012

MPs back government over Iran


MPs have voted to support the government in its decision not to rule out military force against Iran, as ministers seek to increase pressure on Tehran over the country's nuclear ambitions.

The vote came at the end of a debate on a backbench motion, tabled by Conservative MP John Baron, which urged the government to rule out the use of force against Iran.

Opening the debate on 20 February 2012, Mr Baron argued that military action in the region would be "counter-productive".

But members voted by 285 to 6 to support a cross-party amendment which said the government should keep "all options" open when dealing with the regime.

Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who signed the amendment, claimed that Israel would be more likely to attack Iran's nuclear plants unilaterally if Britain were to rule out military intervention.

MPs overwhelmingly voted to support ministers and amend Mr Baron's motion, despite a one-line whip giving them the freedom to vote against the government if they wished to do so.

You can watch the first part of the debate here .


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