Australian Government’s Response to Iranian Officials’ Actions
The federal government of Australia has opted not to deport Iranian officials involved in harassing Iranian expatriates residing in Australia, despite ongoing security concerns. Iranian-Australians have courageously shared their experiences of facing threats and intimidation on Australian soil due to their criticism of the authoritarian regime in Tehran.
Government Accepts Two Recommendations
In response to a Senate inquiry addressing the human rights implications of violence in Iran, the Australian government has accepted two key recommendations. These recommendations focus on ensuring the availability of expertise and resources to assess threats against Australians and deterring hostage diplomacy situations. The government firmly opposes arbitrary detention, arrest, and sentencing, both within and outside of Iran.
Rejection of Recommendations on Expelling Iranian Officials
The government’s response has drawn criticism as it rejected two significant recommendations. Among these was the proposal to expel Iranian officials in Australia who were implicated in intimidating, threatening, or monitoring Australian citizens. This decision has been met with disappointment from both Iranian-Australians and activists.
Sanctions and Ongoing Concerns
Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced sanctions against four individuals and three entities with connections to the oppression of women and girls in Iran. These sanctions extend to entities like Press TV, a state-backed channel known for broadcasting forced confessions. Furthermore, Iran’s cyber police are also facing sanctions due to their role in restricting internet activity in Iran.
IRGC’s Status and Government’s Response
Despite calls to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization, the government has refused, citing the IRGC’s status as an “organ of a nation state.” Instead, the government is focusing on applying pressure to the group. This stance has led to disappointment among some members of the Iranian-Australian community.
Government’s Commitment to Human Rights
Foreign Minister Wong emphasized the government’s commitment to holding the Iranian regime accountable for human rights abuses. While the government acknowledged the need to take stronger action, it argued against the perception that Australia was lagging behind in responding to these abuses.
Concerns and Ongoing Efforts
Despite the government’s assertions, there remain concerns within the Iranian-Australian community and among activists that stronger action is needed to address the Iranian regime’s actions. These concerns persist amidst growing influence and troubling tactics employed by the Iranian regime.
Government’s Actions and Prioritization of Human Rights
The government defended its actions, highlighting its proactive stance in holding the Iranian regime accountable for human rights violations. It referenced steps taken to limit engagement with Iran and encouraged other entities to do the same. The government emphasized that it had taken stronger action on human rights compared to previous administrations.
Handling of Threat Reports
The government declined a recommendation for more comprehensive handling of reports regarding threats, intimidation, monitoring, or surveillance by the Iranian community in Australia. It cited the existing legislative powers and mechanisms of ASIO and AFP for handling such reports and assured that threats to public safety and serious threats would receive high-priority responses.
Requests and Transparency
Finally, the government took notice of requests to oppose the election of the Islamic Republic of Iran to United Nations bodies and to enhance transparency regarding Australia’s diplomatic relations with Iran. These issues continue to be of concern and are being monitored closely.