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Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has received representations from the US authorities on measures to limit Irans access to international financial systems; and whether UK assistance has been requested in this regard. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials discuss Iran frequently with their US counterparts. They have discussed possible measures, including financial measures, that the international community might have available should Iran not come into compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency Board and UN Security Council resolutions. In resolution 1696, the Security Council made mandatory on Iran a suspension of all uranium enrichment related and reprocessing activities and expressed its intention to adopt appropriate measures under article 41 of the UN charter if Iran did not comply. Iran has not put in place a full suspension and the E3+3 (France, Germany, UK + China, Russia, US) are presently
consulting on appropriate measures, as a first step towards wider consultations; decisions have not yet been taken.
Members of the US Administration have also briefed Ministers and officials, including from HM Treasury, on their concern that Iranian-owned banks are being used to facilitate the transfer of funds to organisations involved in terrorism and proliferation related activities. On 8 September, the US announced that it had taken measures to exclude Bank Saderat from the US financial system, on the grounds of its alleged involvement in transferring funds to terrorist organisations. US officials subsequently travelled to a number of countries, including the UK, to explain the US action and to underline the need for vigilance. The Government take the financing of terrorism and proliferation-related activities extremely seriously and will continue to work closely with the US and other countries to ensure that international financial markets are not abused.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of al-Qaeda operatives in custody within Iran; what recent discussions her representatives have had with the Iranian authorities regarding such people; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: An official Iranian statement in July 2005 recorded that Iran had 200 al-Qaeda members in custody. We remain concerned about al-Qaeda and its activities in Iran. In official contact with the Iranian authorities, we continue to urge Iran to take effective action against members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups using Iran as a base, transit route or refuge. We encourage Iran to do more to share information about the detainees with the international community.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of Iranian compliance with the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1373. 
Dr. Howells: We believe that Iran should co-operate fully with the rest of the international community against international terrorism, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1373. We remain concerned that Iran is not doing more to share information. Iran has not matched its oral commitments to ratify new terrorism conventions. We believe the Iranian Government needs to demonstrate more fully that they are prepared to take action against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups using Iran as a base, transit route or refuge.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent on projects for the promotion of democracy and freedom of information in the Islamic Republic of Iran in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Encouraging respect for human rights and political freedoms is a key element of our approach towards Iran. We do not take sides in Iran's internal political debatesthese are for Iranians themselves to resolvebut seek to promote the internationally recognised
principles to which many Iranians aspire, including freedom of speech and transparent, genuinely democratic and accountable government.
In line with long-standing EU policy, we are committed to supporting political reform. We continue to support the development of governmental and non- governmental organisations where opportunities arise. We do not publicise the details without the consent of our Iranian partners. The EU has allocated around £4.4 million to projects in Iran under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. Three projects, to which the EU has allocated a total of £2.9 million, are implemented by UN agencies. A further £1 million project was launched in January 2005. We are encouraging the EU to allocate more resources to support political reform under the EU's new financial perspective (2007 to 2013).
On 10 October, the Government announced that they would make resources available to fund a BBC Farsi TV service to be run by the BBC World Service. The service will cost approximately £15 million per year to run in addition to start up costs of approximately £9 million.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Iraq-based web logs are monitored by her Department; what role web log monitoring and analysis has in (a) making policy decisions and (b) informing the Department of the views of Iraqi people on (i) the occupation, (ii) the ongoing violence and deaths of Iraqi civilians, (iii) the Iraqi Government and (iv) the governments and policies of the occupying powers. 
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information her Department has received on the numbers of (a) deaths of and (b) injuries to (i) Israeli civilians and (ii) Israeli military personnel by rocket or other attacks from inside Lebanon for each month between June 2005 and June 2006. 
Dr. Howells: Between June 2005 and June 2006, the information we have indicates there was a total of one Israel Defence Force (IDF) fatality, 14 IDF injuries and two civilian injuries. Specifically, on 29 June 2005, one IDF soldier was killed and four were wounded. On 30 November 2005, nine IDF and two civilians were injured. On 27 May 2006, one IDF soldier was injured.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with the government of (a) Iran and (b) Syria about its role in arming Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon; what reply was received from each; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Ministers have had no recent contact with their Syrian counterparts. However, we do have contact with Syria through our respective embassies, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials have discussed the situation in the Middle East with Syrian officials throughout the crisis in Lebanon. We have also summoned the Syrian Ambassador in London to pressure Syria to take action in relation to Hezbollah.
Ministers and officials have discussed Iran's approach to terrorism and its role in the region with their Iranian counterparts on many occasions. Senior FCO officials also protested to the Iranian Ambassador in London during the conflict to urge Iran to stop their support for Hezbollah.
We are very concerned about the role of Syria and Iran. Iran supplies Hezbollah with financing and weapons and has personnel in Lebanon assisting Hezbollah. As well as supplying arms to Hezbollah, Syria facilitates the supply of arms and finance from Iran to Hezbollah. Through their support for Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are encouraging extremism, threatening the stability of the region, and putting peace in the Middle East further out of reach. We have repeatedly called on Syria and Iran to stop their support for Hezbollah and their interference in Lebanese internal affairs in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 14-16WS, on the middle east peace process/Lebanon, what actions are planned (a) to develop a new programme to build viable institutions for a future Palestinian state and (b) to develop capacity in the Palestinian Territories. 
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 14-16WS, on the middle east peace process/Lebanon, if she will make a statement on the proposed UK role in improving Palestinian security. 
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms have been put in place by the EU to investigate and report on the implementation of child care legislation and protection of children's and other human rights in Romania prior to the enlargement of the EU. 
The European Commission is responsible for monitoring Romania's compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria prior to accession. This includes monitoring of
child care legislation and human rights. The latest Commission report of 26 September noted the continued implementation of child care legislation in Romania (which is in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child), a continual decrease in the number of institutionalised children and substantial improvements in conditions in remaining institutions. Further details on this and other human rights aspects in Romania can be found in the Commission's report. This is available on the Commission website at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2006/sept/report_bg_ ro_2006_en.pdf.
Mr. McCartney: We are appalled at the continuing attacks against internally displaced persons in Darfur. There are credible reports of assault, robbery, physical and sexual abuse. Incidents of rape are also increasing due to the rising presence of armed militia.
We utterly condemn these acts of violence. Together with our EU, African Union (AU) and UN Security Council partners, we are pressing all sides to stop the fighting; to agree to the deployment of a UN force in Darfur; to co-operate in bolstering the AU in the interim; to commit to and implement the Darfur Peace Agreement; and to ensure full humanitarian access for the UN and non-governmental organisations in Darfur. It is through these actions that we will start to see a sustainable improvement in the protection of the vulnerable populations of Darfur. Achieving them is a top priority for the Government and one for which we are seeking to build the widest possible coalition of support.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when HM High Commission, Islamabad will reply to the representations made to them by UKvisas about the case of Mr. K. H. (reference GV100/095780/SU; post reference ISB/1157487) about which the hon. Member for Aylesbury wrote to UKvisas on 26 July; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Due to a shortage of staff during the Visa sections busiest period of the year, there was unfortunately a delay in retrieving the applicants file in Islamabad, for which UKvisas apologises.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much has been lost in housing benefit (a) fraud and (b) error in the local housing allowance pilot areas since their introduction; 
Mr. Plaskitt: Information regarding the amount lost in housing benefit fraud and error is not available below national level. Our latest estimates of fraud and error in housing benefit are published in Fraud and Error in Housing Benefit April 2002 to September 2005, which is available in the Library.
The Department commissioned an independent evaluation of the local housing allowance within the pathfinder areas. This included qualitative data gathered from local authority fraud staff. The evaluation has concluded that the local housing allowance has not resulted in significant levels of new types of fraud or higher levels of fraud more generally. Furthermore, there are indications that fraudulent activity by some landlords may have been reduced.
James Purnell: The Pension Service contact centres administer both State Pension and Pension Credit. The Pension Service nationally is currently achieving a year to date performance of 96.7 per cent. of calls answered against a target of 95 per cent.
Reducing the number of qualifying years needed for a full basic State Pension to 30 will mean the proportion of women entitled to a full basic State Pension will increase to around 70 per cent. of women reaching State Pension age in 2010, compared with around 30 per cent. today.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The UK had the highest levels of Child Poverty than any industrialised nation. It has now fallen faster than any other major economy. We are committed to abolishing child poverty by 2020.
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