Iranian Embassy reacts to Australian politicians’ offensive remarks

IRNA – The Iranian Embassy in Canberra in a statement on Friday in response to the offensive remarks of two Australian politicians against Iranian asylum seekers saying they have ‘gravely outraged the Iranian community living in Australia’.

Nine News Australia broadcasted a program called ‘A Current Affair’ on 26th February 2018, regarding the arrest of an Iranian couple charged with supplying industrial drugs in Sydney.

‘The biased and unilateral approach in the televised program coupled with the offensive remarks made by two Australian political leaders against Iranian asylum seekers have gravely outraged the Iranian community living in Australia,’ read the statement.

‘Hence, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to notify the Esteemed Director of the Nine News of the following points so that you may adopt a fair and balanced approach in dealing with the Iranian community by publishing the Embassy’s response.’

‘Iran as an immediate neighbor of one of the largest drug producing countries in the world has been one of the prime victims of illegal drugs, thousands of our security and military personnel have lost their lives in fight against smuggling and the transit of the drugs through our country. Iran has always advocated the policy of non- appeasement in its decisive combat against drug trafficking and its measures in this respect have been frequently admired by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime,’ it added.

‘In this program, One Nation leader, Senator Pauline Hanson has claimed that Iran disagrees with extradition of criminals. This allegation is made despite the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran in its negotiations with Australian authorities on frequent occasions expressed its readiness to sign an agreement of extradition of criminals with the Australian Government; and since then we have been waiting for the executive response to implement a bilateral agreement in this regard.’

‘The Government of Iran strongly believes that we should not adopt discriminatory measures in combat against criminal offences. Those criminals and financial defrauders, who destroy the lives of innocent people, take refuge in Australia and use this country as a safe haven should be also treated indiscriminately. Despite frequent requests from the Government of Iran, rendering substantial judicial evidence to the Government of Australia about these people, we do not understand why these criminals are not being extradited to Iran within the framework of international regulations and treaties, or why the process of their extradition is being delayed,’ Iranian Embassy said.

‘The former Labor leader, Mark Latham in ‘A Current Affair’ also points out something about the fake refugees and the very sad and unfortunate incident of the hostage taking at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place (Sydney).’

‘It is worth mentioning that many years before this tragic incident occurred, the Iranian Government officially informed the Australian authorities of this person’s criminal records and his psychological problems and requested for his extradition. Iran had also cautioned about his free and dangerous activities, but the Australian authorities surprisingly granted him citizenship.’

‘Furthermore, the Government of Australia notably insists on the compulsory return of Iranian asylum seekers, knowing that these people due to the outrageous and inhumane economic sanctions of the USA and its alliances including Australia against Iranians; and under the fake publicities of the people smuggling had legally left Iran and illegally entered Australia. Many of them destroyed their identity documents before landing in Australia.’

However, during recent years, Iran has provided the necessary facilities for voluntary return of the Iranian asylum seekers to our country after recognition of their Iranian identities. During the Consular Consultative Negotiations between our two countries, Iran also offered some practical solutions in order to resolve this issue, some of which are being implemented by two parties, the statement added.

‘Mr. Latham in his offensive remarks addressed Iranian asylum seekers as ‘trash’. Such a remark is literally something which is not expected to be heard from an experienced politician. This wording has gravely outraged the Iranian community living in Australia. In response to Mr. Latham we would remind him of the fact that the behavior of one person should not be applied to the greater community, of which thousands of Iranians living in Australia.’

‘Among Iranian asylum seekers, there are a large numbers of educated and skilled workers that due to the economic or social reasons have preferred to come and live in Australia. By the same token it is quite obvious that the convection of few Australian citizens for supplying industrial drugs in one of the neighboring countries of Australian cannot and should not be applied to whole Australian community.’

‘Moreover, there are tens of thousands of Iranian currently living in Australia, many of them are among the very successful individuals working in different fields such as science, research, education, trade, medicine, industry, construction and their valuable contributions to your community and Australian people is admirable. There are very few research centers in Australia in which Iranians do not play remarkable rolls.’

We are wondering why the media in Australia do not mention the origin or nationality of those Iranian migrants who accomplish an achievement in Australia, but when an Iranian national commits an offence they specifically emphasize on this person’s origin or nationality, the Embassy said.

‘Finally, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran supports the Australian Government bringing criminal offenders to justice indiscriminately. In this respect, the Government of Iran is ready to expand bilateral police and judicial cooperation and exchange information with Australian Government in order to combat against drug trafficking and other transnational organized crimes, including financial and economic criminals and prepare the ground for technical and legal proceedings.’