Ben Wallace – 2022 Statement on International Military Services Limited

The statement made by Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, in the House of Commons on 16 March 2022.

On Thursday 10 March 2022 I authorised the release of £393.8 million to discharge the debt owed by the Ministry of Defence-owned company, International Military Services Limited (IMS).

The debt resulted from contracts which were signed between IMS Ltd. and the pre-revolution Iranian Government. Following the Iranian revolution, the contracts were not fulfilled, despite prepayments made by Iran to the UK. The UK courts and the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) subsequently confirmed that the debt was still owed to the Iranian Government.

The payment of the debt reflects the UK Government’s determination to meet that international obligation, while seeking to ensure that such funds can only be used in accordance with applicable sanctions, and domestic counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering legislation, for example to purchase humanitarian goods.

I have been a consistent campaigner on IMS settlement, including as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Iran and securing a Westminster Hall debate in March 2014 in which I called to “honour the debt once and for all”.