World News

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping | AP business

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping | AP business

"This destabilizing behavior is a threat to Australia's interests in the region", Morrison told a news conference in Canberra.

"The government has decided it's in Australia's national interests to work with our global partners to contribute", he told reporters at Parliament House on Wednesday. Iran's response was to use its Revolutionary Guard to seize the British oil tanker Stena Impero plus an Iraqi tanker it claimed was "smuggling fuel for some Arab countries".

The warship will be redirected from an anti-piracy operation in the Middle East, while the Australian troops will be based in the headquarters that are co-ordinating the US-led maritime security mission.

On Tuesday, Australian said it would join the so-called coalition to patrol the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

"(The G7 meeting) is an important time, I think, to reinforce these shared values in today's world - democracy, respect for human rights, global law and free markets", he told reporters.

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Labor has supported the new mission as "appropriate", but critics are warning the involvement of Australia's military in the region could be seen as an "act of aggression" in breach of worldwide law.

The friction is rooted in U.S. President Donald Trump's decision in May 2018 to unilaterally withdraw from a landmark nuclear deal signed in 2015 between world powers and Iran.

"Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time-bound and it will be part of an worldwide mission, separate from any other matters in the region".

In correspondence with the prime minister, Barratt, now president of Australians for War Powers Reform, argued that in the absence of any credible threat to Australia or an authorising resolution of the United Nations security council, any Australian involvement in attacks on Iran would be an act of aggression and therefore illegal. Iran retaliated by capturing a British oil tanker on July 19.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of the British tanker and a series of attacks on worldwide merchant vessels that the US and Britain have blamed on Iran, though it denies involvement. "The United States, which is spearheading a sanctions policy, certainly sees a partner in Israel". Washington held Tehran responsible for the attacks and also accused them of destroying navigation devices in waters, accusations Iran denied.


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