The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that further sanctions are to be placed on Iran.
AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler AC said, “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is a destabilising factor in an already unstable region. We congratulate the Australian Government on imposing these additional sanctions on Iran to help force it to comply with international opinion and UN Security Council resolutions, to stop its enrichment program and open up all nuclear sites to unfettered access for international inspectors.”
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, added, “Tough sanctions such as these – targeting both Iran’s energy and financial sector – represent the last, best chance for the international community to avoid facing a terrible choice on Iran in the not very distant future. By joining the European Union, the United States, Canada and others in imposing such sanctions, we can try to avert that terrible choice – either allowing Iran to become a nuclear-armed power, with all the terrible repercussions that are likely to ensue, or having to use military force to prevent this, an unpredictable, dangerous and undesirable option.”
The UN Security Council has passed numerous sanctions against Iran, most recently on June 9, 2010. These UN sanctions impose travel restrictions on specified Iranian individuals, restrictions on dealing with those Iranian banks and companies complicit in the Iranian nuclear program, and prohibitions on selling Iran certain arms.
Iran’s nuclear program has long been an issue of concern, given its bellicose statements toward other countries in the Middle East; its refusal to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unfettered access to its nuclear sites as required under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the discovery in Iran of weaponisation schematics and technology that no peaceful nuclear program would require.
The autonomous Australian sanctions announced yesterday go beyond the UN sanctions, and follow in the footsteps of the European Union, which announced autonomous sanctions against Iran on July 26. The new Australian sanctions designate, for travel and financial restrictions, 98 entities and 12 individuals involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, and/or associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which are responsible for the Iranian nuclear program.
Importantly, the new Australian sanctions impose further restrictions on business dealings with Iran’s oil and gas sectors.
“Australia’s actions encouraging Iran to comply with international demands, in accordance with its treaty obligations, should be widely supported,” Dr. Rubenstein concluded.