Australian Premier Warned Not To Cozy Up to Iran

An Australian Jewish lawmaker called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to dump the nation’s current policy of rapprochement with Iran.

In a statement issued Monday, Michael Danby, a federal Labor member of parliament representing Melbourne Ports, said that Turnbull “can be a friend of Israel or a friend of the dangerous Iranian regime. He cannot be both.”

Danby has placed adverts in local media demanding Turnbull order Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to “halt and reverse this slide towards appeasement of the hardline, bellicose regime in Tehran.”

Bishop in recent months has visited Iran, signed an intelligence-secret sharing agreement with Iran, and apparently offered to allow Iranian consulates in Sydney and Melbourne.

On Sept. 23, Bishop met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. According to unconfirmed reports, she invited Zarif to visit Australia.

“Since the proposed nuclear deal with Iran, Australia and Julie Bishop have failed to respond, as they have in the past, to war-like announcements by Iran where Israel has been directly threatened,” Danby said.

In a statement, Bishop rejected the criticism and called on Danby to apologize for his “juvenile comments,” as she called them.

“The Australian government is a steadfast friend of Israel and reversed several U.N. voting positions of the former Labor government, of which Michael Danby was a member,” she said. “The government also rejects the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign supported by many within Labor and the union movement.”


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Australian Premier Warned Not To Cozy Up to Iran

Thank you!

This article has been sent!