Danby asks Australian government to condemn Iran’s missile testing
Inserting an advertisement in the Australian Financial Review, Labor Federal MP Michael Danby has continued his campaign for the Australian government to publicly condemn Iran’s repeated firings of ballistic missiles.
Mr Danby’s current advertisement points to the hypocrisy in the joint statement made by Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday, February 12th that condemned missile testing in North Korea.
Danby said: “The foreign minister and Prime minister rightfully renounced the action, calling North Korea’s missile test a ‘threat to regional and global peace and security’. However, an almost identical missile test fired in Iran five days earlier went entirely ignored by the Australian foreign minister. On February 8th, Iran launched its fifth ballistic missile test with a previous test occurring only one month ago.
Both North Korea and Iran’s actions violate U.N. resolutions. U.N. resolution 2231, passed soon after the signing of the Iran nuclear deal outlines the international community’s desire for the Islamic Republic to restrain from these kinds of ballistic missile tests. Similarly, North Korea’s actions violate the resolution that countries must not fire missiles with nuclear capability. Bishop’s silence on only one of these violations calls into question her motivations to choose which missile tests is an alleged ‘threat’. North Korea may be a rogue state but Iran subsidises Hezbollah a group Australia classifies as a terrorist organisation.
Both the previous Obama Administration and the New Trump government have recently put Iran ‘on notice’ for their missile testing. They have called for Emergency Security Council meetings on Iran in the UN. But Australia remains silent.
In 2015, Julie Bishop visited Iran and met with President Hassan Rouhani. The purpose of her trip was among other things, in order to broker a deal with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in which Australia’s Asylum Seekers from Iran would be repatriated to Australia. Clearly, Bishop prioritises returning asylum seekers over the risk to global safety and security. This can be the only explanation for her selective concern of a Ballistic missile test carried out in North Korea. But not the ones by Iran, Furthermore the asylum seekers deal never came to pass was never in fact made so her silence achieved nothing.
Bishop feels that “it’s in Australia’s interest to engage more with Iran’’. The question for Australians remains at what cost?”