Labor makes a move on Iran

March 2, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Federal Labor Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has welcomed the support of Labor’s International and Legal Affairs Caucus for a referral of the decision by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to suspend sanctions on Iran to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference Committee.

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

The Senate Reference committee is well placed to examine the Foreign Minister’s two Instruments, tabled on February 2 without debate, which suspend some sanctions against Iran, and amend the Autonomous Sanctions (Designated Persons and Entities and Declared Persons—Iran) List 2012 – a decision which lifts the designation of 144 Iranian entities and 10 individuals.

“The Foreign Minister’s decision to suspend sanctions on Iran came without public consultation and without due process”, said Mr Danby. “There are many questions about Australia’s ever closer ties to the Iranian regime that Ms Bishop has refused to answer. We can now be confident that Australian interests will not be harmed due to her rash decision.”

“While my concerns about the nature of the Iranian regime and the weakness inherent in the nuclear deal might not be shared by the Government” continued Mr Danby, “I remain confused and concerned as to why Ms Bishop has adamantly refused to debate this issue in Parliament.”

Mr Danby said, “I believe that the reason Ms Bishop has refused to defend her Iran policies speaks to a certain shame in her actions. Certainly members of the Coalition have expressed to me in private their discomfort about her abrupt turnaround with regards to her Iran policies.”

“I believe her back-door method of suspending the sanctions was dishonest and cowardly”, Mr Danby said. “She participated in Parliamentary debates when Australia applied sanctions but now wants to sneak past the Parliament dropping off those very sanctions. The Labor Party supports openness and transparency in this issue given its importance to Australia’s security interests and its relationship with the world. This Committee Hearing will allow experts (such as the Australian Defence Association), stakeholder groups, including Jewish community organisations, and members of the public, to make submissions

“I have repeatedly requested that the Government debate its Iran policy in Parliament. Public scrutiny by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference Committee is the next best thing, and I thank Tanya Plibersek and the Labor team for their support, and welcome their decision.”


One Response to “Labor makes a move on Iran”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The sole motivation is to score points against the government (which deserves to lose points on the Iran issue.)
    If the ALP were in government, it, too, would put “business opportunities” in Iran before all else, especially since action against a nuclear Iran is perceived to be useful to Israel.

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