I regret my inability to attend today’s important rally and I commend you all for your attendance and your solidarity with the brave Iranian protesters.
There is a unique energy that comes from the symbolism of gathering together, united in support of a cause rooted in the pursuit of justice and liberty.
And as Iran continues to attempt to suppress the protests there, it is pivotal that we, as free people, demonstrate our rejection of tyranny and our admiration for the courage of those who stand face to face with state violence.
The defenders of freedom have names – spare a thought for these five people:
Mohammad Ghobadlou, Manouchehr Mehman Navaz, Nagab Sedarat Madani, Mohommad Boroughani and Sahand Nouyrmohammad-Zadeh.
All sentenced to death for their dissent against a regime that holds human rights in contempt.
The world has also come to know the name of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who should be enjoying the prime of her life, but was killed for failing to conform to the regime’s dictates on how women should dress.
As Shadow Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Claire Chandler pointed out recently that the Iranian regime is a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
This is an outrageous situation, which provides the regime an undue degree of legitimacy, and I join my Coalition colleagues in calling on the Australian Government to take a leading role in removing Iran from that Commission as soon as possible.
Moreover, Australia has not yet followed the lead of nations like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France in moving to sanction Iran for its abuse of its own people.
This inaction is humiliating, undermines Australia’s credibility, and is a disservice to the cause for freedom in Iran.
We must push the Government to do better and to act swiftly in imposing overdue sanctions.
I once again salute you all for your attendance at today’s rally and reaffirm my admiration for all who stand united against the actions of the oppressive Iranian regime.