Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document

Download PDFDownload PDF


r cj

No. ^ 7 Date 14th April, 1980THE HON. A N D R EW PEACOCK M.P.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Andrew Peacock, stated today that the Government had examined Australia's relations with Iran following a United States request that the Australian Government take certain steps in support of United States'

actions announced on 9 April.

Mr Peacock said that the continued holding of the hostages was cruelly inhumane. It amounted to an attempt to conduct relations between States on the basis of government sanctioned kidnapping and blackmail. As such it struck at the heart of

civilised discourse between countries. The rules of that discourse had been painstakingly built up over centuries and they served all countries.

We had seen some terrible things in this century, Mr Peacock said, but even at the outbreak of major wars diplomatic immunity and the safe-conduct of representatives had been respected. If there was ever an issue on which all governments should unite, this was it.

The Government of Iran could no longer hide behind the fiction that a group of "students" was responsible for what was happening. The responsibility belonged to it. The Government of Iran claimed a superior morality; that claim could have no credence so long as it was associated with the debasement of

international standards. ' ,

Mr Peacock said that the Australian Government was determined to maintain its strong and consistent support for efforts by the United States Government to secure the release of the hostages.

Mr Peacock said that it had been decided not to appoint a new Ambassador to Iran for so long as the hostage question was unresolved. Had there been a resident Ambassador in Tehran at this time he would have been withdrawn. Consistent with the restraint that Australia is showing with respect to trade, it was also decided that "the Australian Trade Commissioner now in Tehran would be withdrawn.

At the same time, in present circumstances, the Government considered there was a strong case for keeping.some Australian representation in Tehran in order to maintain a channel for pressing Australian views on the Iranian authorities, to maintain a flow of reporting on developments in Iran and to protect Australian interests there. While this would be should not be seen as in any way qualifying Australia's abhorrence of the detention of the hostages. ·


· · · / 2

2 ..

Mr Peacock said he would be making - regular reports to Cabinet on the situation. Additionally the Government will have the benefit of a report from the Prime Minister following talks:he anticipates having with other leaders in

Salisbury this week.

Mr Peacock said that if the situation did not change it was likely thatiAustralia would be taking further measures.