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Media release

30 June 2008

Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador to Iran

Mr Marc Innes-Brown is to be Australia's new Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is expected to take up his appointment in August 2008.  Mr Innes-Brown will succeed Mr Greg Moriarty, who has been Ambassador since March 2005. 

Australia’s relationship with Iran includes serious and frank dialogue on issues of mutual concern.  Iran has a substantial role to play in contributing to both international and regional security.

Australia and Iran enjoy significant people-to-people links.  The Iranian Australian community makes an important contribution to Australia’s social and cultural life, while Australian universities remain a place of learning for students from Iran.

Iran is a part of the larger Middle Eastern market, which continues to be an important destination for Australian goods.  Australian firms have traditionally exported agricultural commodities to Iran, though the commercial relationship has diversified in recent years, in particular to include motor passenger vehicle exports.

Mr Innes-Brown is currently Australia’s Ambassador to Iraq, a position he has held since August 2006.  Prior to this appointment, he was the Head of the Iraq Task Force during 2005-06.  In Canberra, he has held a range of positions including Director, Indonesia Section and Director, East Timor Section (2003-05).  From 2001 to 2003, Mr Innes-Brown was seconded to the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he worked on South-East Asia and Americas policy issues.

Overseas, Mr Innes-Brown has served as First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Washington (2000-01) and Third Secretary, Australian Embassy, Bangkok (1995-98).  He also headed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s temporary tsunami response office in Phuket, Thailand during January-February 2005.  Mr Innes‑Brown was awarded a Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for his outstanding work during the aftermath of the tsunami.

Mr Innes-Brown was born in Goulburn in 1966.  He holds a Bachelor of Economics degree (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Arts (Political Science) degree from the University of Hawaii.

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