Joint media release:

  • Senator Claire Chandler, Shadow Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs

12 September 2023

The Federal Opposition stands with the Iranian-Australian community as the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Jina Amini and the Women, Life, Freedom movement approaches this Saturday 16 September.

Over the last 12 months we have sat with and listened to thousands of Iranian-Australians and heard their concerns, fears and ideas for action. The violence and oppression of women, girls, protesters and critics of the Islamic Republic regime are horrific. Accounts of Australians being intimidated, targeted and harassed in our country by agents of the regime are unacceptable and deeply troubling.

The Coalition has fought consistently to bring these accounts to the Parliament and the Government. We fought for the removal of the regime from the UN Committee on the Status of Women, established a Senate inquiry in October last year which received more than 1000 submissions, and have consistently urged the Government to respond to the recommendations of that inquiry.

It has now been more than seven months since the Senate Inquiry completed its report, making 12 recommendations for action by the Government. In that time Iranian diaspora community groups have repeatedly written to the Government asking for urgent implementation of the committee recommendations. Disappointingly, the Government is yet to even respond to the Committee report. We again urge the Government to respond to the Committee report and take action.

“As the Committee report highlighted, Australia has not only a moral imperative to play our part in holding the regime accountable for human rights abuses, but a practical necessity to protect Australians against the threats of the regime and to reduce the international influence of the world’s top purveyor of state-sponsored terrorism,” said Senator Chandler, Shadow Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Senate Inquiry.

“Despite its abhorrent behaviour, the IRI regime is expanding its global diplomatic influence, providing weaponry to Russia, continuing to gain positions of influence at the UN, and continuing to profit from hostage diplomacy and breaching sanctions. Australia must step up efforts to hold the regime accountable and this is precisely what the Committee’s recommendations were carefully designed to do.”

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Birmingham said that the Opposition had repeatedly offered bipartisan support to the Albanese Government for stronger action.

“The Coalition remains consistent in our position that the Government should announce a tangible response to the human rights abuses in Iran that has seen the horrific treatment of Iranian women and girls,” said Senator Birmingham.

“We welcomed and supported those Magnitsky-style sanctions that have been applied however like the Iranian-Australian community we note that Australia has consistently lagged behind like-minded nations in the application of targeted sanctions.

“Australia’s position should reflect the bravery and courage of the women and girls fighting for basic human rights. We join with the diaspora community in urging the Government to take stronger action and reiterate our bipartisan support for doing so.”