ECAJ approves new sanctions on Iran

August 3, 2010 Agencies
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of autonomous sanctions against Iran as part of international efforts to dissuade the country from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.

The sanctions are in addition to those mandated by the UN Security Council and  prohibit new investment in, and the sale of equipment and technology to, companies involved in Iran’s oil and gas industry, which could be used to support Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

“The Federal government is to be congratulated for acting in co-operation with the governments of the EU, Canada and the United States”, said ECAJ President Robert Goot. “ The sanctions announced by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith include restrictions on Australian business dealings with Iran’s oil and gas sector and have a real chance of hurting the Iranian regime.  That is the only way the regime can be pressured into complying with Iran’s international legal obligations concerning its nuclear program and averting the danger of a long and terrible war.”

Mr Goot called for further sanctions by the international community to prohibit the sale to Iran of refined  oil products. “Iran has huge oil and gas reserves but because of its dysfunctional economy and poor quality of governance, it cannot refine enough oil to supply its own domestic demand and is dependent on imports”, he said.

Supporting an idea first proposed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd,  Mr Goot also renewed the community’s call to the government to work with Australia’s allies to bring Iranian President Ahmadinejad to justice for inciting genocide against Israel and the Jewish people  in flagrant violation of international law.  “Even though Iran is not a party to the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court could acquire the necessary jurisdiction to prosecute Ahmadinejad personally if it receives a formal referral from the UN Security Council,” Mr Goot said.  “If enough like-minded countries succeed in bringing the matter to a vote in the Security Council, the political impact on the Iranian regime could be telling, even if there is a veto by China or Russia”.

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