Australia offers Trump only limited commitment on Iran: Australian PM

TEHRAN, Sep. 22 (MNA) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after talks with US President Donald Trump that his country is not getting involved with the US in its pursuit of aims in relation to Iran, beyond a commitment to freedom of navigation in the region.

“There was no discussion about anything else,” Morrison, who made a state visit to the White House on Friday, told journalists.

“There was an appreciation of our involvement in that particular operation which was I remind everyone is about freedom of navigation in the Straits of Hormuz. That’s what that is about. The other matters that are being pursued by the United States are matters that they’re pursuing.”

The US president had signaled he would raise with Morrison a possible military contribution in Iran, although later he said the topic had not been discussed.

In August, Australia joined the US-led International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), a military coalition to escort foreign vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

Key Washington allies Germany and Japan have refused to join, and France has expressed reservations about the US’ provocative initiative.

“I made it very clear when we announced our involvement in that arrangement that it was very much about that freedom of navigation issue and that’s what it is about and that’s appreciated,” Morrison said.

He also praised Trump for what he said was a “restraint” in relation to Iran.

“And it was good to have the opportunity to confirm that again in the course of our discussions,” Morrison said. “So I think that should provide some assurance. I mean Australia will make its decisions in our national interest.”

ZZ/PR

News Code 150309

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