Australian FM to Discuss Missiles, Rights With Zarif

Australian FM to Discuss Missiles, Rights With Zarif

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Monday she will challenge her Iranian counterpart when they meet this week over reported missile tests during a military exercise that drew the threat of a diplomatic response from the United States.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps test-fired several ballistic missiles last Tuesday and Wednesday.
"The onus is on Iran to prove that it is on its way back to being a responsible international player," Bishop said in Fiji, where she was discussing aid after a recent cyclone, Reuters reported.
Bishop is due to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Canberra today. Zarif traveled to Australia via New Zealand.
Iran is coming under diplomatic pressure after the ballistic missile tests, with the United States intending to raise the issue during UN Security Council consultations this week.
Bishop said she intends to raise human rights issues in Iran with Zarif in addition to the missile tests.
Zarif was challenged on the issue during a meeting with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Sunday. McCully and Zarif also discussed Middle Eastern security and trade, according to a statement from McCully's office.
Australia also intends to use Zarif's visit to discuss a deal that could see Iranian asylum seekers returned to their homeland. Australia is seeking guarantees from Iran that those returned will not be punished.


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