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Deal with Iran another bribe from Government over asylum seekers

The Australian Greens have expressed concern today over reports that Australia is offering changes to official Travel Warnings to Iran in exchange for approval to forcibly deport Iranian asylum seekers.

"It seems the Australian Government is prepared to bribe anyone and everyone to get rid of asylum seekers wherever possible. First it was Nauru, PNG and Cambodia, this week it was cash bribes to people smugglers and now it's the Iranian Government," Greens Immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

"Cutting a deal with Iran to forcibly deport asylum seekers in exchange for downgrading the Government's official Travel Warning for Australian tourists is extraordinary.

"These travel warnings are for keeping Australians traveling overseas safe, they aren't a play thing of the Government's to be used as free chips in political negotiations.

"The Abbott government also needs to be upfront with exactly what the terms of this deal are. What safeguards will be put in place before signing Australia up to another breach of international law and putting Australian tourists at risk.

"Seeking asylum in Iran is illegal. Unless Julie Bishop has negotiated for Iran to change this law and for Australia to monitor compliance with this law, then the deal is not good enough.

"This is yet another example of the government trying to bribe its way out of its international obligations," said Senator Hanson-Young.

"The Government needs to be upfront about what they are negotiating and what are the risks. The obsession with secrecy is wearing very thin."


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