Australia says Iran should take back citizens

2015-04-11 11:32

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Saturday that Iran should take back its citizens who failed in their bids for refugee status, confirming his government will lobby Tehran on the issue.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is expected to raise the deportation of Iranian nationals when she visits Tehran next week, a move which could ease pressure on Australian immigration camps on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

"It's important that those who are found not to be refugees go home," Abbott told reporters in Sydney.

"And this is where we will be talking to the Iranian government about taking back people who are... Iranian citizens, because they deserve to be in Iran. They belong in Iran."

Possible persecution

Refugee advocates say Iran refuses to take back failed asylum-seekers returned against their will and have raised questions about their safety if they are returned to their homeland.

"Obviously we are looking after those who are found to be refugees," Abbott said when asked about the possible persecution of Iranians sent home.

"But those who are not found to be refugees should go back to their home country and if their home country is Iran, that's where they belong."

Iranians make up about 20% of the 1,848 people held in immigration detention centres in Australia, according to official figures from late March and account for many of the 1,707 held on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Several thousand more are understood to be living in the community on bridging visas but still awaiting the final assessment of their claims for refugee status.

Indefinite detention

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the issue of returning failed asylum-seekers had already been a matter of diplomatic discussion between Bishop and her Iranian counterpart.

"One of the biggest challenges that we are facing with failed asylum-seekers is those refusing to return home," the unnamed diplomatic source told the newspaper.

Refugee advocates say there are about 45 Iranian asylum-seekers in indefinite detention in Australia who have already had their claims for refugee status denied and are refusing to go home.

Under Canberra's immigration policy, asylum-seekers arriving by boat are subject to mandatory detention and since 2013 have been denied resettlement in Australia, even if found to be genuine refugees, and are instead housed on Nauru or PNG.
Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.