Australia sanctions Iranians over Middle East conflict

Australia has sanctioned five Iranians and three entities in response to what it calls Tehran's destabilising behaviour in the Middle East.

The targeted people include Iran's Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced on Tuesday.

Former defence minister Amir Hatami, managing director of Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Mehdi Gogerdchian and Major General Gholam Rashid are also targeted.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, Aircraft Engine Design and Manufacturing Company and an Iranian communication technology company also had sanctions applied.

"Those sanctioned also include Iranian senior officials, businesspeople and companies that have contributed to the development of Iran's missile and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle programs," Senator Wong said.

"Iran's proliferation and provision of these technologies to its proxies has fostered instability across the region for many years."

The navy seized an Israeli-linked, Portuguese-flagged vessel on international waters in April 2024, with Australia calling for the immediate release of the civilian ship and its crew.

"The IRGC is a malignant actor that has long been a threat to international security and to its own people," Senator Wong said.

The Albanese government has sanctioned 90 Iranian-linked people and 100 Iranian-linked entities.

The new measures follow like-minded nations imposing sanctions in recent weeks after Iran launched drone and missile attacks against Israel in April.

"Australia will continue to deliberately and strategically apply pressure on Iran to cease its disruptive activities and adhere to international law," the foreign minister said.