Danby lays down the gauntlet

February 29, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Federal Labor Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby published an ad in Friday’s Australian Financial Review challenging the foreign minister to debate her Iran policy.


Mr Danby said, “There are many questions as to Australia’s ever closer ties to the Iranian regime that Ms Bishop has refused to answer.”

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

In January, Ms Bishop suspended sanctions against Iran without public consultation, without parliamentary debate and apparently without any sort of checks that her actions would allow Australians to unwittingly aid and abet Iranian and allied terrorist actions in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

On the last four Mondays of the 2015 Parliamentary year, the Opposition called for the Government to have a Parliamentary debate on Iran and the wider Middle East.

Surely the substantial step of suspending sanctions against this regime warranted such an investigation?

Mr Danby listed the following issues he would like Ms Bishop to answer in a parliamentary debate:

  • Her announcement in April last year—that is, before the nuclear deal was even signed, much less implemented—that she was negotiating an intelligence sharing arrangement with Iran.
  • Why she chose not to denounce Iranian ballistic missile testing even though she condemned similar tests by North Korea. The Iranian tests on 10 October and 17 December last year were in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1929. The US protested the tests and slapped sanctions on Iran as a result.
  • Her statement from June last year that Iranian and Russian involvement in Syria should be seen as a positive, given that they, along with Hezbollah and Syrian forces are now besieging and shelling 300,000 civilians in Aleppo.
  • Why last year she floated the idea of Iranian consulates in Sydney and Melbourne, given that Iran has used its diplomatic presence in other countries—notably Argentina and Thailand—to organise terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets.
  • Why she said she would consult with Iran ahead of Australia bombing Da’esh targets in Syria, given that Iran is part of the problem in Syria, not part of the solution.
  • Her apparent turnaround from three years ago, when she demanded that a relatively low-level Australian official not visit Iran and said, “In addition to concerns about its nuclear program, Iran’s leaders continue to make bellicose statements with regard to Israel and the regime has been an active sponsor of terrorist organisations around the world.”
  • The apparent lack of scrutiny that has gone into the 144 entities from which she removed designation in January, which would reassure the Australian public that they have no institutional link to the proscribed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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.

Any misguided belief that Ms Bishop had that Iran might moderate after signing the nuclear deal has already been proven grossly inaccurate.

Since the deal has been signed, Iran has funnelled extra troops into Syria – it and Russia, with their Syrian and Hezbollah mates are now besieging and pounding Aleppo, killing indiscriminately and preparing for the next wave of refugees to flood into Turkey and beyond.

Since the deal has been signed, Iran has boasted of its military ability to influence all corners of the Middle East.

It was even reported yesterday that the bounty on author Salman Rushdie’s head had been renewed.

Michael Danby told J-Wire: “Although Australia has approved the sanctions they cAn be disabled up until March 13.”


7 Responses to “Danby lays down the gauntlet”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    I house shared with an Iranian born woman 25 years ago and we are still friends.

    She is now an Aussie, assimilated, drinks Shiraz wine and is funny.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The Government’s short-sighted Iran policy is all about those “business opportunities” that Ms Bishop has been trumpeting.
    A nuclearised Iran would soon terminate any “business opportunities” that clashed with its wider goals, and Australia would not be immune.

  3. Samuel Terry says:

    I believe that the Australian electorate of Melbourne Ports who, in its wisdom, sent Mr Danby to Canberra, would feel a greater satisfaction if he devoted his energies towards issues closer to its concerns. For example ‘negative gearing’ or ‘a roof over our heads’ or maybe even ‘same sex marriage’ than the Gordian Knot of the Middle East politics. But, if he has such great concerns for the ME why don’t we hear his raised voice concerning their citizens dungeoned away without trial on Nauru and Manus Island??? Now, that would be an opportunity for him, on his eventual retirement, to be remembered as one who, with such compassion, stormed the barricades for justice and humanity!

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Mr Terry, although all the issues which you mentioned are very deserving of attention, let us not delude ourselves into the false belief that a greatly empowered Iran will not achieve global reach that will affect Australia’s vital interests. Even without a nuclear capability, Iran has, over the years, demonstrated that it can act far from its shores.

    • Eleonora Mostert says:

      Wow you are a very scary man Samuel Terry, I guess you’re one who think we should let even more Muslims into Australia like the rest of the world and have a mess here too. I have no compassion as these people are the cause of their afflictions and try to inflict their hate and murderous behavior onto us. These people are evil. Today’s news bulletin… A muslim woman dressed in black holding a child’s severed head threatening to blow herself up in the streets of Prague. Nice let some more in Australia. As for same sex marriage… it’s sick and UNNATURAL. By all means stand up for humanity with compassion and justice… I do not call these people humans, nor do I call them animals but pure unadaltereate EVIL.

    • Erica Edelman says:

      Your little diatribe led me to think about EVERY person who EVER tried to warn the government of the day about Hitler and what he was capable of doing. Hardly anybody listened. You know the rest. Mr Danby has every right to question her motives and movements about the Iranians. Read the papers, Mr Terry. Especially the RELIABLE literature about Iran. Think about what will happen to your ridiculous suggestions (money, housing, refugees)if Iran builds the nuclear capability they are suggesting (read: denying) they will build. Or is it, Mr Terry, that you are blatantly anti-Israel and just can’t see past that? You need a history lesson, Mr Terry.

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