TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Australian ambassador to Tehran over Canberra’s recent decision to stop referring to East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the “occupied” territory.
The director general of the Iranian Foreign Ministry office for Middle East and North Africa asked Ambassador Paul Foley to convey Tehran’s protest and dissatisfaction over the move to Canberra.
The Australian attorney general and foreign minister had declared earlier that Canberra will not describe east Jerusalem as “occupied,” a term used in United Nations resolutions.
The ambassador said he would relay Tehran’s views to his country’s relevant officials, adding that there has been no change of policy regarding the issue of Palestine and Israel in Australia.
The head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, has said the decision would “unfortunately” influence trade between Australia and the Arab world.
“I'm afraid this will really cast a lot of shadows, negative shadows, over relations between Australia and the Arab world, and there will be a sort of negative consequences,” Abdulhadi told ABC radio, according to The Guardian.
In 2004, the international court of justice ruled the West Bank was “occupied”. Successive Australian governments have accepted the use of the term.
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