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Will Australia erode or build trust with Iran?

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That is the question posed by our NAJ Taylor in the 15 July edition of The Guardian.

Noting that Australia has since 2008 imposed autonomous sanctions on Iran since 2008, in addition to the raft of sanctions that have been set by the UN Security Council since 2006, he writes:

Australian sanctions against Iran must … be considered as an extreme measure to be taken only if efforts in support of regional as well as Iranian denuclearisation come to fail, or if the imminence of Iranian nuclear weapons acquisition demands an immediate response by the Australian government over and above those taken by the nuclear watchdog and the UN Security Council.

Australia’s recent statements respond to neither of these circumstances. Australia’s autonomous sanctions against Iran are in fact a swift “alignment” of Australian policy with that of the US, Britain and EU, as reasoned by [Foreign Minister] Senator Carr on 10 January.

The more appropriate way forward for any incoming Australian Prime Minister is clear: Australia must adopt an independent foreign policy towards Iran on the nuclear issue. Australia could certainly more “creatively” use its position on the UN Security Council, particularly as chair of the Iran Committee, to facilitate and foster a broader commitment to dialogical exchange with Iran than has otherwise been the case.

In all it does, Australia should commit to dialogue with Iran as a process of mutual discovery, based on an exploration of all parties’ commonalities and differences. Such a dialogue will require a level of trust and commitment from all parties, particularly if Australia is to successfully foster the climate of mutual respect necessary for the dispute to be resolved peacefully.

Read the full piece at Will Australia erode or build trust with Iran?

Originally published by AWPR, 5 August, 2013 | 5:07 pm

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