Iran Nuclear NewsAustralia 'may put sanctions on Iran'

Australia ‘may put sanctions on Iran’

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AAP: Australia, Japan and the European Union are likely to join the United States in slapping sanctions on Iran if it fails to suspend its nuclear enrichment program soon, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says. Australian Associated Press

Australia, Japan and the European Union are likely to join the United States in slapping sanctions on Iran if it fails to suspend its nuclear enrichment program soon, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says.

Mr Downer is tipping many countries will introduce different types of measures and sanctions against Iran after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly defended expanded US sanctions on Tehran.

The US slapped new sanctions on Iran on Thursday, accusing its Revolutionary Guard of spreading weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Downer said Washington was not trying to set itself on a path to war with Tehran, although the Americans as a matter of doctrine never ruled military action in or out.

“What they’re doing is applying much tougher sanctions against Iran,” he told ABC television.

“I think the European Union, Japan and us as well, Australia, will wait for a little while and see whether there’s going to be any further progress in negotiations with the Iranians, particularly involving the international atomic energy agency.

“But my guess is if their enrichment program isn’t suspended some time fairly soon, as it’s meant to be, then you will see lot of countries introducing different types of measures and sanctions against Iran.”

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Tony Burke, speaking on the same ABC program as Mr Downer, said Labor would also support “in the strongest terms” economic and political sanctions against Iran if it won office in November.

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