Iran – Australia ups the ante

December 6, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australian Government today announced its intention to impose additional sanctions in response to Iran’s continuing non-compliance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on its nuclear program.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd

The announcement of new measures follows the attacks on the British Embassy in Tehran on 29 November, as well as the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report reinforcing concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the additional sanctions, targeting additional entities and individuals for their involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs, underline Australia’s mounting concern about Iran’s program.

“The measures will also further restrict business with Iran’s petroleum and financial sectors.

“Iran must take steps required by the UNSC and the IAEA, and engage constructively with the international community on its nuclear program,” Mr Rudd said.

The Australian sanctions are consistent with measures recently taken by the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries.

“Australia is committed to a negotiated solution of the Iran nuclear issue.”

Executive Director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, Dr Colin Rubenstein, welcomed the announcement by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd that Australia will be pursuing additional sanctions against Iran, including measures that will “further restrict business with Iran’s petroleum and financial sectors. He told J-Wire: ” Hopefully, these measures will, when enacted, bring Australia into line with the international consensus developing, which  includes the US, EU and Canada, that, in the wake of the latest IAEA report on Iran’s illegal nuclear program, the time has come to bring the  maximum diplomatic/economic  pressures on the Iranian  regime  before it is too late. In AIJAC’s view, only the immediate implementation of the most severe sanctions possible, genuinely threatening Iran’s clerical rulers’ ability to cling  to power, and backed up by a credible threat of military action, can now hope to prevent a fatal choice between the catastrophe of a nuclear Iran or the grave risks  associated  with a military strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.”

Dr Danny Lamm, president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “We welcome the strengthening of the sanctions. We can only hope that it will lead to the cessation of Iran’s nuclear development. It is heartening to see Australia joining other developed countries in this campaign.”

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