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Iran summons Australian diplomat over sanctions dispute

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published May 16,2024

Iran summoned Australia's Charge d'Affaires in Tehran to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to protest Australian sanctions on senior Iranian military officials and institutions for "destabilizing behavior" in the region.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that a protest note was delivered to the diplomat "following Canberra's move to impose new sanctions on a number of top Iranian officials and institutions."

The envoy was informed that Iran considers Canberra's sanctions both "illegal" and "unjustified," asserting that Tehran "reserves the right to reciprocate the move," according to the statement.

"The Australian charge d'affaires said he would convey Iran's stance to Canberra as soon as possible," it added.

On May 14, Australia imposed sanctions on five senior Iranian officials including Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani in response to Iran's "destabilizing actions" in the Middle East.

Additionally on April 13, the Canberra government also sanctioned three institutions and companies involved in Iran's missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs as well as the navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for seizing an Israeli-linked commercial vessel.

According to the official statement by Australian Foreign Ministry, these measures are in line with those taken by their "partners" after "Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel in April."

Australia aims to "pressure on Iran" to halt its "disruptive activities and adhere to international law," it added.