Bishop responds to Danby attack

February 5, 2016 by J-Wire
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Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has slammed the decision by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to table a suspension of Australian sanctions against Iran…but the Minister has said that Australia looks to Iran to meet its commitments.Mr Danby said, “For months I and the Federal Opposition have been calling on the Foreign Minister to debate in Parliament her increasingly close ties with Iran. I have challenged Ms Bishop to be open and honest with the Australian people, but she has chosen to suspend sanctions against Iran with a back door process.”

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

On 2 February, Ms Bishop tabled the ‘Autonomous Sanctions (Suspension of Sanctions—Iran) Instrument 2016’, which would see Australia suspend sanctions against Iran without the need for Parliamentary debate.

“I believe this is dishonest and cowardly”, Mr Danby said. “She participated in debate after debate when Australia applied sanctions but now wants to sneak past the Parliament dropping off those very sanctions.

In recent months, Ms Bishop has quietly manoeuvred to bring Australia closer to Iran.

In April last year, Ms Bishop announced her intention to negotiate an intelligence-sharing agreement with the Iranians, even as the Iranians continue to support Hezbollah, classified as a terrorist organisation by the Australian Government.  Mr Danby demanded that the Foreign Minister explain the legalities of Australian–Iranian intelligence sharing to Parliament. She did not.

In August last year, Ms Bishop suggested that she would confer with Iran, which supports the murderous Syrian regime, once Australia decided to bomb Da’esh (ISIS) targets in Syria.

And in September last year, she narrowcast to ABC Rural listeners the benefits of increased trade with Iran were sanctions to be lifted.

Bishop has also been silent on Iranian violations of international laws and decency. On 10 October and 17 December, Iran test fired nuclear warhead-capable ballistic missiles, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929. Ms Bishop did not condemn either launch, which were condemned by the United States.

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop

On 27 January, the UN’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Iran’s Supreme Leader denied the Holocaust. Ms Bishop was silent for a week, until finally bowing to pressure and quietly issuing another narrowcast statement of criticism.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told J-Wire: “The removal of Australia’s economic and targeted financial sanctions against Iran on 17 January is in line with the international nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and our obligations under UN Security Council resolution 2231.

Mr Danby should be well aware that amending Australian sanction laws does not involve parliamentary debate as the majority of sanction-related laws are made through regulations authorised by the Governor-General.

The suspension of sanctions will ensure Australian businesses are not disadvantaged in comparison with businesses in operating in like-minded countries such as the EU.

The broader purpose of the nuclear deal is to constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term – a worthwhile outcome and Australia will of course look to Iran to meet its continued commitments under the nuclear deal going forward.”


One Response to “Bishop responds to Danby attack”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Julie Bishop is the best Minister for Foreign Affairs I have know in my adult life time (21 years old in 1973).

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