Nuclear Iran on Abbott’s agenda
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Nuclear Iran on Abbott’s agenda

Addressing the annual Leadership Dialogue, a series of talks between officials from Australia, the UK and Israel, Abbott called the Iranian regime “a monstrosity”.

Tony Abbott. Photo: Dreamstime.com
Tony Abbott. Photo: Dreamstime.com

THERE could be another Holocaust if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, former Australian prime minster Tony Abbott said this week.

His comments came during a roundtable on the first day of the annual Leadership Dialogue, a series of talks between officials from Australia, the UK and Israel. 

Now in its 12th year, the dialogue is held by the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue – founded by Melbourne businessman and philanthropist Albert Dadon, who hosted the roundtable – and the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at Herzliya’s IDC.

Addressing the roundtable, Abbott called the Iranian regime “a monstrosity”.

“If I were the Israeli leader, I would be repeating [Menachem] Begin’s words that never again will there be a Holocaust. The worry is that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon then there could be,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Israeli prime minster Ehud Olmert said Saudi Arabia was not yet ready to follow in the steps of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and normalise relations with the Jewish state.

“I think that Saudi Arabia is in favour of developments [with Israel] but cannot take steps unless there is progress on the Palestinian issue,” he said, adding, “If anyone thinks that this agreement releases us from any responsibilities towards the Palestinians, it is a mistake.”

In a welcome address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison emphasised the importance of the relationships between Australia, Israel and the UK, saying, “Together, we are striving to uphold the liberal world view, of openness, of economic and civil and political freedoms.”

Prior to the event he stated, “Our collective efforts can make a big difference and the UK and Israel are crucial partners for Australia.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event took place online, with speakers and panellists joining from Israel, the UK and Australia, as well as the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Other discussions included a panel on the future of the United Nations with Australian UN representative Mitch Fifield, former Israeli UN ambassador Danny Danon and UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, a panel on tackling COVID-19 and a discussion on the Biden administration’s approach to Iran which included Australian Senator David Fawcett and Mark Regev, the Australian-born adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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