We’re right to protect oil supplies against Iranian attack

Ensuring the free passage of the significant portion of Australia’s oil supply which is shipped through the Persian Gulf’s narrow Strait of Hormuz is obviously in our national interest.

Up to 16 per cent of crude oil and 30 per cent of refined oil destined for Australia pass through the Persian Gulf, where Iran is suspected to have been responsible for six separate attacks on tankers in recent months.

For this reason, the Morrison government’s decision to contribute a frigate, surveillance aircraft and supporting personnel to the US-led International Maritime Security Construct in the coming months deserves the bipartisan and broad support it is receiving.

Some pundits oppose this decision by drawing parallels with the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq war, and express concerns that Australian involvement in ensuring the safe passage of ships risks entangling us in open-ended military conflict.

Many also blame US President Donald Trump for precipitating the current crisis by pulling the US out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal last year.

Those pushing this line largely ignore Iran’s violations of the agreement, including maintaining a secret nuclear archive of weapon development research hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Those who insist everything was under control until the US pullout are not making realistic projections about the future.

Read the article by Ahron Shapiro in The Sydney Morning Herald.