Cooperating with Trump ‘unconstructive’, Iran tells Australia

June 23, 2020 - 18:26

TEHRAN — Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian Parliament speaker, has said Australia’s cooperation with U.S. President Donald Trump’s “illogical policies” will not be conducive to regional security. 

In a Tuesday meeting with Australia’s ambassador to Tehran, Lyndall Sachs, Amir Abdollahian said Iran is aware of U.S.-Australia ties but regards as “unconstructive” Australia’s cooperation with the U.S.-led military coalition in West Asia, Mehr reported.

In July 2019, the U.S. proposed a coalition plan to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf. Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, invited U.S. allies such as Britain, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Australia to join the coalition. Australia and some other countries joined the coalition.

“The government has decided that it is in Australia’s national interest to work with our international partners to contribute. Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time-bound,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on August 21.

In September 2019, Australian Ambassador to Russia Graeme Meehan said his country’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition does not mean that Australia agrees with the United States’ stand on Iran.

“We are quite careful to say that our participation in the maritime action to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz doesn’t mean that we agree with all the actions that the United States is taking in relation to the nuclear deal. Of course, the two things are connected, but there are also differences, and I think that is the same for some of the European countries that are considering participating in the maritime act. The European countries don’t generally agree with the United States’ action of pulling out of the nuclear deal,” Meehan said.

Elsewhere in his Tuesday remarks, Amir Abdollahian described Iran-Australia ties as positive and constructive but added that the level of ties is not up to par. 

He also said Iran is interested in holding talks with Saudi Arabia and other regional countries, emphasizing that Tehran has always believed that regional crises can be resolved through dialogue without foreign intervention.

Sachs, for her part, said Canberra understands Iran's pivotal role in ensuring the security of the region and as a country that seeks international peace and stability. 

“Australia does not interfere in internal affairs of other countries but plays its role through negotiating with different parties,” she said.

Ambassador Sachs also expressed a willingness for expansion of Iran-Australia parliamentary ties.


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