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Iran summons Australian envoy over rights sanctions

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has reiterated that the government supports a two-state solution.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has reiterated that the government supports a two-state solution. Photo: Getty

Australia’s envoy in Iran has been summoned by the country’s government to protest the latest round of Australian sanctions over human rights abuses.

Australia’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran was called to Iran’s foreign ministry over “interventionist remarks” by Australia and sanctions targetting four Iranian citizens.

The development comes as Iran prepares to mark on Saturday the first anniversary of country-wide protests over the country’s mandatory headscarf law.

The protests erupted after the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was detained by Iran’s morality police allegedly over her headscarf.

Those sanctioned by Australia include the spokesman for the Law Enforcement Forces, involved in cracking down on women who defy its veiling laws, and the head of Iran’s cyber police who censored widespread protests.

Two Iran Broadcasting reporters have also been sanctioned along with a web-hosting service and satellite channel Press TV sponsored by Iranian state media.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Wednesday said Australia stood in solidarity with the people in Iran and the new sanctions would target those who oppress women and girls.

“While the protests may have subsided, the suffering has not,” she told parliament.

“Women and girls in Iran still face systemic persecution, sexist discrimination continues to be entrenched in Iranian law and in practice.”

Senator Wong said Iran needed to prosecute those responsible for Ms Amini’s death instead of clinging to claims she died of natural causes.

Iranian officials occasionally summon foreign envoys to protest similar remarks.

—AAP with AP

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