On Monday 7 January, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia has been chosen to head the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions committees on Iran, and on the Taliban al-Qaeda. The committees are tasked with monitoring the implementation of UNSC sanctions and recommending further measures.
A major theme of this year’s US presidential election campaign was the threat to world peace allegedly posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney competed to take the hardest line. Obama boasted of organising the “strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history” and promised to “take all options necessary” to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
In the past 11 years of the so-called war on terror, Australian troops have been sent to two US-led wars. The West has killed more than a million Iraqis and tens of thousands of Afghans, and displaced millions more. Our government backed the NATO intervention in Libya and is currently supporting everything short of military intervention in Syria.
Barely 10 years after false claims about weapons of mass destruction were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, a similar narrative is being used by politicians in the US and Israel to push the case for war with Iran.
Since WikiLeaks raised the ire of the US government in 2010 through the publication of leaked diplomatic cables, PM Gillard’s conduct towards Australian founder Julian Assange has been reprehensible. Gillard is yet to apologise for her inflammatory claims that Assange had acted illegally, despite the Australian Federal Police’s subsequent findings that he had broken no laws. Her remarks were made at a time when she should have been defending Assange from the US politicians calling for his assassination.