Still no Government response 90 Days after tabling of Iran Report

It has now been over 90 days since the tabling of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Senate Committee report into violence in Iran, and the Australian Government is yet to provide a response to the report and its recommendations.

Shadow Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Claire Chandler, said the Government had ignored repeated calls by the Iranian-Australian community to act with urgency to implement the committee’s 12 recommendations.

“The community is at a loss to understand why the Albanese Government is ignoring the committee’s recommendations and refusing to act on recommendations,” Senator Chandler said.

“There is no doubt that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) regime is responsible for gross human rights violations against its own people, particularly against women and girls, and protestors voicing their opposition to the oppressive regime.

“The Committee Report made 12 recommendations to the Australian Government to prevent further violence and hold those responsible for abhorrent human rights violations to account, including minimising relations with the IRI regime and taking the necessary steps to enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be listed as a terrorist organisation. Neither has happened.

“In the three months that the Government has ignored the report, the IRI has only increased its malign behaviour. It has been publicly revealed that the IRI directed the harassment and home invasion of someone living in Australia, but there has been no apparent consequences for this unacceptable threat against our nation and the government refuses to answer questions about it.”

Answers to questions on notice have revealed that the Government has not even asked the Attorney-General’s Department for advice on legislative amendments to enable a terror listing of the IRGC. The Government has cited privacy concerns as a reason for not revealing whether IRGC operatives have been or are present in Australia.

“We know that the IRI regime is working to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, getting closer to developing nuclear weapons, and using its terror networks to escalate terrorist activity. Yet rather than facing consequences, the regime is managing to increase its influence and seeking further concessions from the West,” Senator Chandler said.

“The Albanese Government’s decision to maintain a largely business as usual relationship with the IRI despite its behaviour sends the wrong message.

“While there have been sanctions applied to a small number of Iranian officials, the Government’s decision to ignore other recommendations risks creating the false impression that human rights abuses occurring in Iran are the fault of a few rogue individuals. The truth is that they are deliberate and systematic actions supported and implemented by the regime against its own citizens.”

The Opposition calls on the Government to immediately table its response to the Committee report and take urgent actions to implement the recommendations, including introducing legislative amendments to enable the IRGC to be listed as a terrorist organisation.