03 March 2016

Senate Inquiry into Australian Iran policies

From Michael Danby, Member for Melbourne Ports, 4 March 2016:

... the Opposition is now forcing the Government to a public inquiry before the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee.

The reason for the inquiry is because no public consultation was undertaken when Ms Bishop suspended sanctions against Iran, and Ms Bishop has refused to engage Parliament or her critics in a debate on her Iran or wider Middle East policy, despite repeated calls by myself and Opposition Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tanya Plibersek for her to do so.

Yesterday news articles about the call for a Senate inquiry were in The Australian and the Australian Jewish News. ...

Remember, Iran still has an aggressive regional policy and has thousands of troops besieging the Syrian city of Aleppo. Iran conducted ballistic missile tests in October and December last year. Iran ran a competition of cartoonists mocking the Holocaust just this November in Tehran. Previously under any Labor government, Australia would have condemned any of these official Iranian activities. Since the signing of the nuclear deal, Ms Bishop has remained silent.

...Iranian leaders have continued their calls for Israel’s destruction, and their support for Iran’s aggressive regional policy.

For instance, in September last year, Islamic Revolution Guard Corps’ top commander in Tehran province, Brigadier General Mohsen Kazzemeini said, "...they (the US and the Zionists) should know that the Islamic Revolution will continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine."

"And we will continue defending not just our own country, but also all the oppressed people of the world, specially those countries that are standing on the forefront of confrontation with the Zionists," continued the General.

In relevant remarks in 2014, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said, "Only way to solve this problem is full annihilation and destruction of the Zionist regime... The armed resistance by the Palestinians is the only way to confront Israel," Ayatollah Khamenei said addressing a group of Iranian university students in Tehran at the time.

On 24 February this year, the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon announced that Iran would give $7000 to the family of each Palestinian killed in a stabbing or other attack as part of the ‘stabbing intifada’

And on 11 February, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Day, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said: "America is the Iranian nation's No. 1 enemy. America's hands are drenched in the blood of the martyrs of the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Palestinian nations. Some try to depict the enemy as a friend, and are unaware of the deceptions and plots of the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.] against the Iranian nation, as well as the plans of the enemies…"