Australia to play key role as Iran broker with Julie Bishop to visit Tehran

Australia to play key role as Iran broker with Julie Bishop to visit Tehran

Julie Bishop is to become the first senior Australian government figure to visit Iran in more than a decade and only the second senior Western leader over that same period, when she travels to Tehran in April, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The trip is being viewed as a potential game-changer in the fight against the Sunni-extremist Islamic State organisation, but it could also help unlock lucrative economic opportunities for Australia - reviving a once booming trade in education, wheat, meat, and other areas.

It is understood the rare visit by a senior US-aligned government figure has received the enthusiastic backing of the White House, which hopes Australia might provide a conduit for a new constructive dialogue between Washington and Tehran given the common enemy currently rampaging through Iraq, Syria, and now Libya.

It follows a specific invitation by the country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Australian Foreign Minister's Middle East foray will take place in April, less than two months before the US and Iran hit a self-imposed deadline for a comprehensive nuclear energy deal.

That follows a preliminary US-Iranian "political" agreement which is under discussion amid signs of a breakthrough recently allowing a March 31 deadline to be met.

Ms Bishop's Middle East foray will also take in other capitals and is likely to include Baghdad and the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

Australia currently has around 600 military personnel and several warplanes committed to the US-led international coalition attempting to drive IS back from vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The US has been engaged in protracted talks with the hardline Shiite government in Tehran at foreign minister level in a bid to restrict Iran's fledgling nuclear industry to strictly peaceful purposes, and therefore avert a possible outbreak of war between Iran and its mortal enemy, Israel.

That process is opposed by the conservative Netanyahu government in Jerusalem, which views Iran with maximum suspicion and has made clear its view that any concession to allow Tehran to use and develop nuclear technology would be viewed as a short step away from a nuclear armed Iran.

The last Australian foreign affairs minister to visit Tehran was Alexander Downer in 2003. So closed off has Iran been since the time of the erratic hardline former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the only other senior official to Western official to visit over the last decade was UN High Representative Catherine Ashton who went there a year ago.

The Australian National University's Amin Saikal sad the proposed visit by Ms Bishop was "extremely significant".

"The signs are very encouraging that they (US and Iran) will sign a political agreement by 31st of March, then she wants to be first cab off the rank amongst Western allies to visit the country," Professor Saikal said.

"If there is a comprehensive agreement, Iran is going to open up, and it is going to be a big market for Australia and it is also going to be an enormous source of income for this country including through the participation by Australian companies in a lot of projects."

Professor Saikal said it was a a little-known fact that two-way trade had been quite high in the 1990s with some 900 Iranian students undertaking Iranian government scholarships in Australia with their families as well.

"As a result, there is a considerable alumni in Iran and Australia is well regarded," he said.

Unlike the US, Canada, and Britain, Australia has maintained diplomatic relations with Tehran, positioning this country well if a peaceful nuclear energy industry is agreed on and harsh trade sanctions are lifted.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Trilateral meeting of Deputy PMs of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia held in Moscow
Trilateral meeting of Deputy PMs of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia held in Moscow
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Russia welcomes recent meeting between religious leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia
Russia welcomes recent meeting between religious leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia
Loading Bars
Latest
Russian Health Ministry greenlights joint COVID-19 and flu vaccination
Central Bank discloses volume of loans issued to Azerbaijan's districts
Georgia records surge in tourist visits from Uzbekistan
Tourist inflow from Kazakhstan to Georgia soars
Iran boosts exports through customs of Zanjan Province
Azerbaijan notes decrease in banking sector' profit
Azerbaijan sees rise in mortgage lending
Iranian currency rates for October 23
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 23
New customs post in Azerbaijan to speed up cargo movement along North-South corridor (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Armenia to sign new documents in Moscow
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Georgia sees decrease in tourist inflow from Azerbaijan
Turkmen company to purchase material, technical resources via tender
Kazakh energy company opens tender to buy metal corners
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakh KazMunayTeniz opens tender for Caterpillar equipment maintenance
Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on currency exchange operations for Jan. through Sept. 2021
Azerbaijani fund presents concept for restoration of liberated territories
EDB purchases bonds of Kazakh KEGOC JSC
US corporate workers to start returning to offices next month
Iran changes pricing of petrochemical products at its mercantile exchange
Iran's foreign exchange needs trigger to expand exports
Surge of energy prices puts Europeans in stalemate (VIDEO)
Chinese company opens massive eco-friendly mine in Serbia
Kazakhstan’s daily COVID-19 case count stands at 1,732
Georgian honey exports skyrocket, following COVID-ravaged year
Iranian envoy, head of Georgia's State Security Service meet
Turkey announces commissioning date for logistics center in Sivas (Exclusive)
US military eliminates one of Al-Qaeda leaders in northwest Syria
Mutation of Delta variant may be more transmissible: UK health agency
Biden, Macron discuss cooperation, to meet in Rome late October
India, UK working on free trade agreement: Harsh Vardhan Shringla at India Global Forum
Turkey reports 28,192 daily COVID-19 cases
G7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data
India perhaps only G20 country to fulfil...: India ahead of COP26 climate summit
U.N. plane aborts landing as air strike hits Ethiopia's Tigray
Relations with India stronger than ever, says Maldives Defence Minister
Chronicles of Victory: October 23, 2020
Iranian delegation leaves for Tashkent to observe elections
UK PM Johnson says fresh COVID lockdown not on the cards
2 soldiers, terrorist killed in northwestern Pakistan's clash
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shows 90.7% efficacy in trial in children
Belarus, Kazakhstan discuss joint efforts to maintain regional security
Georgia, Turkey to set up joint air force plant
TURKIC.World project presented at media forum of Turkic Council (PHOTO)
Iran boosts transit via TRACECA corridor
French court annuls "treaty" with illegal Armenian regime in Azerbaijan's Karabakh
Azerbaijan's MoD inspects combat positions in liberated Kalbajar, Lachin districts (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan Airways opens tender related to local fire alarm system
Iran looks to enhance road development in Ardabil province
Main countries of origin for tourists arriving in Georgia
Spanish Gedepsa interested in growing olive plantations in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan reveals number of mines, munitions found on its liberated lands (PHOTO)
Overview of Uzbekistan's retail trade turnover dynamics between 2010-2020
When Karabakh road infrastructure to be fully ready?
Armenians propagate Nazi Nzhdeh and accuse Azerbaijan of racism (VIDEO)
Relations With India Stronger Than Ever, Says Maldives Defence Minister
Bennett-Putin meeting lasted five hours, was warm and positive
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,112 more COVID-19 cases, 882 recoveries
Australia says EU has postponed free trade talks for second time
Azerbaijan’s volume of non-cash payments continues to grow
Delta Galil files for Nasdaq offering
Azerbaijan's investment attractiveness increased after liberation of its lands - minister (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan reduces wheat imports from EAEU states
Azerbaijan’s wheat imports from EAEU countries revealed
Belarusian company to supply Azerbaijan with cables
Azerbaijan sees growth in its population's bank deposits
Azerbaijan commissions recently built military facilities in its liberated lands (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Non-tourist trips to Georgia plummet
Kazakh Tengizсhevroil to reduce LPG supplies to Ukraine after polypropylene plant's launch
Iran to use domestic capacity for road fleet modernization
Azercell once again bestowed with ISO 37001:2016 Anti-bribery Management Systems standard of compliance
Azerbaijan reveals data on mine clearance work carried out in liberated lands
Azerbaijan’s cargo transportation by all types of transport decreases in 9M2021
Ukrainian companies interested in entering Turkmen market
EBRD, EU to provide loans for indirect financing of green technologies in Georgia
SOCAR-AQS exceeds drilling progress plan
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulatory letter to Hungarian counterpart
Azerbaijan to expand co-op with Turkey in mine clearance – ANAMA
Uzbekistan signs agreement to put out former uranium mining sites
Iran eyes developing non-oil exports
India hopes to work with China for resolution of issues: Shringla
Azerbaijan’s Bulla Deniz produces over 54,000 tons of oil with technical measures
UK foreign secretary begins India visit today, to hold talks with Jaishankar
Uzbekistan to expand network of local duty-free shops
Azerbaijani SME agency ready to fully support alternative energy dev't
SOCAR sums up results of operation at Oil Rocks
Turkmenistan overhauling railways on border of Akhal, Balkan regions
SOCAR reveals time of commissioning 2nd production complex at Gunahsli field
Uzbek, Russian enterprises considering joint textile enterprises
Azerbaijan to start exporting locally-produced mineral water to Europe (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan not planning to transfer all schools online - ministries
SOCAR details on works carried out at Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery in 2020
Progress on CAREC transport projects in Kazakhstan unveiled
Russia reports 37,141 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours
Natural gas, coal prices to remain at high levels through start of 2022
FAO's representative office may be opened in Turkmenistan
All news