Visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed hard yesterday at the AUSMIN talks in Sydney for Australia to join an international coalition against Iran in Strait of Hormuz, but there are fears such a venture would escalate into direct military conflict between the US and Iran.
The Prime Minister said any Australian co-operation in an US-led mission in the Strait of Hormuz would depend on the details of the mission and the size of the international coalition.
Former Australian Foreign Minister Mr Carr told The Australian today any mission to protect shipping could not be separated from the Trump Administration’s other points of conflict with the Iran.
“It’s altogether appropriate for the Australian ministers to take their time with this request from our US ally,” he said.
“While some in the US administration pitch this as about freedom of navigation, there are others working furiously behind the scenes to turn this into yet another ‘regime change war’ in the Middle East.
“It is of concern is that one of those people is John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser.
“The best advice for Australian ministers is to cleave closely to the position of our European partners, rather than to the ebb and flow of American alarms.”
Mr Carr also warned Mr Morrison that there could be a political cost to joining any US-led military action in the Strait of Hormuz.
“Australian public opinion would be heavily against entering another US-led war in the region,” Mr Carr told The Australian.