Australia imposes fresh sanctions on Iran
Sydney, Oct 15 (IANS) Australia Wednesday imposed new financial and travel sanctions on Iran and expressed serious concerns about Iran's nuclear programme and its failure to abide by binding United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said in a statement: 'In response to on-going Iranian defiance of the Security Council and given the government's strong commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, the government has now decided to impose new financial and travel sanctions effective from today'.
The UNSC resolutions require Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and to meet the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) verification requirements. Three UNSC resolutions have imposed sanctions, including travel and financial restrictions against those engaged in Iran's proliferation sensitive activities.
'The sanctions are targeted against 20 Iranian individuals and 18 organisations which contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programmes, or otherwise assist Iran to violate its Security Council obligations. These organisations include Iranian banks Melli and Saderat,' Smith said.
However, the foreign minister reiterated that the new measures are not intended to prevent legitimate Australian trade with Iran.
He added: 'The Australian government has strongly condemned the statements by Iranian President Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel and questioning the Holocaust. These anti-Semitic comments were appalling by any standard.'
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