Danby slams Iran decision

January 22, 2016 by J-Wire News Service
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Labor Member of Federal Parliament for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has slammed the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s decision to lift sanctions against Iran.

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

Danby said: “Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, a source of instability in the Middle East and violates UN Security Council resolutions, such as Resolution 1929, which prohibits Iran from testing nuclear warhead-capable ballistic missiles. Dropping sanctions against Iran will serve to increase instability in the Middle East.

“While the US Congress has debated the Iran deal and sanctions, Julie Bishop arrogantly refuses to allow a parliamentary debate as Australian Labor continues to ask for one on this major shift in Australian foreign policy. It’s extraordinary that under the Turnbull-Bishop government, Australia learns of major policy shifts by press release. The opposition has been continuing to call for a Parliamentary debate on this deal with Iran and the lifting of sanctions.”

Danby has been highly critical of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s increasingly close relations with Iran, in an effort to secure agreement of returning asylum seekers and future trade deals.

Michael Danby added, “I have asked Ms Bishop to explain to Parliament what benefits to Australia there will be in providing intelligence to Iranian-sponsored militias in Iraq, which are now increasingly fighting in Syria. I have asked Ms Bishop to explain why she is in favour of allowing Iranian consulates in Melbourne and Sydney, when Iran has repeatedly used the diplomatic cover provided by consulates and embassies to enable Hezbollah terrorist activity in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. I have also asked whether Ms Bishop has already decided to remove Australia’s autonomous sanctions against Iran, since she has been narrowcasting on ABC Rural radio the benefits of trade with Iran. She has not bothered to reassure Australians that she has a peaceful Middle East or Australia’s best interests at heart. Since the Vienna nuclear deal was concluded in July, Iran has fired ballistic missile tests in September and November. Unlike the United States, Australia has failed to even protest these violations of United Nations resolutions.

Iran has a history of aggressively breaking the rules or pushing the envelope. Whatever slim hope there is that the nuclear deals working will work is dependent on us ensuring Iran does not get away with breaking the rules. We are failing miserably, and so will the nuclear deal. The ramifications of that is a nuclear Iran and more nuclear proliferation across the Middle East.”

Michael Danby provided J-Wire with this background to the current Iran situation:

Pattern of West ignoring Iranian violations in order to usher in deal

Iran has a history of issuing threats or undertaking action in violation of previously agreed or binding obligations as a way of testing Western resolve. Most flagrantly, this occurred in regards to testing of ballistic missiles.

Ballistic missile tests

Iran tested ballistic missiles on 10 October and again on 17 December 2015, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929.

Beyond issuing a statement in the UN Security Council, the US and the UN took no action. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop didn’t condemn either launch.

The second test launch took place after the IAEA Board cleared Iran of PMD of its nuclear program.

IAEA report on PMD

As above, the IAEA undertook to provide a report on the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme. The IAEA report on PMD was unsatisfactory in its conclusions.

As the Institute for Science and International Security wrote in its analysis of the IAEA report, “Iran did not provide the IAEA with anywhere near a full declaration about its past nuclear weapons related activities, and it did not provide the kind of transparency and cooperation required for the IAEA to conclude its investigation. The IAEA was unable to fully explain Iran’s nuclear weapons activities, including assessing with certainty that each activity and the program overall have ceased to exist. Most of its conclusions were based on incomplete information rather than a full Iranian declaration or cooperation.”

The report made clear that

  1. a)      Iran continued nuclear weapons work until at least 2009 (despite repeated Iranian denials that it had or would ever work on a nuclear weapon)
  2. b)      Iran has interfered with and prevented IAEA access to IAEA inspectors to areas where IAEA is supposed to have unhindered access
  3. c)      Iran did not provide the IAEA with answers to numerous lines of enquiry


2 Responses to “Danby slams Iran decision”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Be it China or Iran it is better to get along with other nations and trade with them too.

  2. harry rich says:

    The actions and policies of foreign ministers of most countries reflect the general policies of that country. Julie Bishop does not function in a vacuum just like John Kerry’s diplomacy coincides with that of the white house.
    It would be interesting to hear Mr. Turnbull’s attitude to the points raised by Mr. Michael Danby. Question time would be an ideal venue .

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