Australia / 23-08-2012
Carr orders walkout on anti-Jewish rants
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has instructed Australian officials to walk out of a summit in Iran if the country's leaders start spouting antisemitic rhetoric.
Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations Gary Quinlan and Prime Ministerial Special Envoy Joanna Hewitt are set to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran next week.
The opposition has called on the government to cancel the visit, arguing Iran will use it to claim greater international legitimacy.
But Senator Carr says that's nonsense, pointing out Australia has officials permanently based in an embassy in Tehran.
"The opposition in this parliament hasn't suggested we revoke diplomatic relations," he told reporters on Thursday.
But Senator Carr says he does believe it is "regrettable" that the summit is taking place in Iran.
"If there is any of that antisemitic rhetoric, that inflammatory anti-Israeli rhetoric, from the president of Iran, our ambassador at the UN is under instruction from me directly to be the first on his feet to walk out," he said.