26 Jun 2019
Amid the tension between the US and Iran, Australia is reviewing the imposed sanctions before taking any actions. Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham hopes for a calmer situation before any further actions are taken.
Presidents Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani have exchanged words with each other over the past few days. Following Trump’s intent to take sanctions against Iran, Rouhani claimed that the White House is affected by mental disorder. Trump took to Twitter to describe the US as being ‘by far the most powerful Military Force in the world’. Moreover, his claimed Iran’s statement to be ‘very ignorant and insulting’ before adding ‘Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.’
Australia has been keeping an eye out on the tense situation but, Birmingham confirmed that no measurements have been taken. We have serious concerns around Iran’s destabilising behaviour,’ he said, ‘We urge calm from the Iranians in their response to at what at present are purely economic sanctions.’ The Australian trade minister considers the current situation as an alarming one, having the potential to escalate and result in serious consequences. ‘But economic sanctions designed to influence the behaviour of a state to prevent them from the escalation of development of nuclear technologies, and military activities and terrorism activities that could well undermine the peace and prosperity of the rest of the world.’
Richard Marles, Labor deputy leader shared Birmingham’s concern, saying that any actions will ‘have to be considered very carefully.’ Marles stated, ‘Obviously this rhetoric is concerning – but the actions of Iran have been concerning. That said, we need to move forward in a very sober and measured way here. And it’s important to understand exactly, what is, if anything, being asked of Australia.’
In the meantime, British foreign minister and prime ministerial hopeful, Jeremy Hunt fears ‘an accidental war’ if the UK decide to side with the US, which has been a great ally in the past. ‘The US is our closest ally – we talk to them the whole time; we consider any requests that they say carefully – but I cannot envisage any situation where they request, or we agree to any moves to go to war.’