Doing business with Iran

March 11, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has questioned the cost to Australia’s reputation of making deals with Iran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Mohammad Javad Zarif

In a report in the Australian Financial Review and elsewhere, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said “it’s in Australia’s interest to engage more with Iran” as part of her prospective deal with the visiting Iranian foreign minister to send back asylum seekers to Iran. The West Australian newspaper has published a quote from Foreign Minister Bishop in which she states: “It’s in Australia’s interests to engage more with Iran . We’ve made that clear to our friends in Israel.” The paper also reported that Dr Zarif and Ms Bishop last year agreed to share intelligence on tracking Australians fighting with the Islamic State.”

However, three pages later in the newspaper, it is reported that Iran conducted yet another ballistic missile test in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929.

Unlike the US, Australia’s Foreign Minister said nothing. The UK publication The Independent reported<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-fires-two-ballistic-missiles-marked-israel-must-be-wiped-out-a6920741.html> that these missiles charmingly had ‘Israel must be wiped out’ written along their sides.

Mr Danby said, “Three days ago, the Australian navy seized a shipload of 2000 small arms sent by Iran to stir up the insurrection in Yemen. Australia said nothing.” Mr Danby has run an advertising campaign, including in the Australian Financial Review, highlighting the lack of Australian response to Iran’s ballistic missile tests. Mr Danby said, “In November, the Iranian government sponsored an official cartoon competition mocking the Nazi genocide of WWII. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said nothing.” He continued, “Prior to the nuclear deal, Australia had a history of condemning such Iranian violations of international norms. In the past, we would have also condemned (Shia) Iran and its terrorist subsidiary Hezbollah besieging the (Sunni) Syrian city of Aleppo. Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist group by the Australian Parliament. And 2000 of its Iranian adherents have been killed in action in Syria. Australia under Foreign Minister Bishop has, since the nuclear deal, kept silent.

She wants to force these Iranians back. At what cost to Australia’s reputation?”

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement: “Israel condemns the recent Iranian ballistic missile test launches. The range of these missiles includes all of Israel and large parts of the Middle East, a region currently engaged in a bloody conflict resulting in waves of refugees fleeing to countries in the region and in Europe. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards stated to the media that most of Iran’s missile arsenal covers Israeli territory.

The test firing of ballistic missiles constitutes a gross violation of UNSC Resolution 2231, which confirmed the nuclear agreement between Iran and the powers. The resolution restricts Iran from launching missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead – the same missiles that Iran test-fired this week. The development of ground-to-ground missiles with nuclear warhead capability calls into question Iran’s’ intentions to comply in full with the nuclear agreement.

Iran continues to dismiss the international community’s demands and to develop its aggressive capabilities. It seems the Zarif-Rouhani “smile campaign” is nothing more than a smoke screen to disguise the real intentions of the ayatollah regime.

Israel calls on the international community to react firmly and decisively against further Iranian missile launches and Iran’s continuing development of ground-to-ground missiles – a violation of the Security Council resolution. Iran’s ballistic missile program must stop.”

Zionist Federation of Australia president Dr Danny Lamm condemned the test launches of Iranian ballistic missiles, which have Israel in their range. He called on the “international community to react firmly and decisively against further Iranian missile launches and Iran’s continuing development of ground-to-ground missiles – a violation of the Security Council Resolution [2231]”.

Dr. Lamm, referring to the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif observed that Zarif has made repeated statements about Israel being the “biggest enemy of peace and security in the regime” and praised the nuclear deal as an “opportunity for countries of the Middle East to repel threats like terrorism” and the Israeli “regime”. Speaking upon his arrival in Indonesia, Zarif again put “the Zionist regime” at the forefront of his agenda. Dr. Lamm said Zarif’s visit to the region was an outrageous attempt to divert attention away from the major crisis in Syria, which is backed by Iran, by attacking Israel for its policies.

Dr. Lamm said, “If we were not talking about one of the most dangerous regimes in the world, it would almost be laughable. But we are talking about a country that repeatedly calls for the annihilation of Israel, that sponsors terror in the region by financially assisting Hamas to rebuild their tunnels and replenish their stockpile of weapons, and that provides logistical support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Assad’s brutal regime in Syria. This threatens the safety and security of the free world.”

Michael Danby wrote the following letter to the AFR this week.

“Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says “it’s in Australia’s interest to engage more with Iran” as part of her prospective deal with the visiting Iranian foreign minister to send back asylum seekers to Iran (10 March). At what cost?

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop

Three pages later in your newspaper, you report that Iran conducted yet another ballistic missile test. Again, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929. Unlike the US, our foreign minister said nothing. The UK publication The Independent reported that these missiles charmingly had ‘Israel must be wiped out’ written along their sides. Again, we said nothing.

Three days ago, the Australian navy seized a shipload of 2000 small arms sent by Iran to stir up the insurrection in Yemen. Australia said nothing.

As I advertised in your newspaper on 26 February, in October and December last year, Iran conducted other ballistic missile tests. The Obama Administration protested but again Australia said nothing.

In November, the Iranian government sponsored an official cartoon competition mocking the Nazi genocide of WWII. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said nothing.

Prior to the nuclear deal, Australia had a history of condemning such Iranian violations of international norms. In the past, we would have also condemned (Shia) Iran and its terrorist subsidiary Hezbollah besieging the (Sunni) Syrian city of Aleppo. Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist group by the Australian Parliament. And 2000 of its Iranian adherents have been killed in action in Syria.

Australia under Foreign Minister Bishop has, since the nuclear deal, kept silent. She wants to force these Iranians back. Your readers might well ask, at what cost to Australia’s reputation?”

The letter has not been published.

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif is expected to visit Canberra on Tuesday  where he will meet Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop and deliver an address at the Australian National University.

Comments

One Response to “Doing business with Iran”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Mr Danby seems to be the lone voice in the ALP decrying this state of affairs.
    Where is the high-ranking ALP shadow minister, who recently, in an incompetently veiled statement, approved of Arabs murdering Jews?

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