Ian BiggsToday I announce the appointment of Mr Ian Biggs as Australia's next Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Australia values its longstanding relationship with Iran and we have maintained an Embassy in Tehran since 1968.

In 2014-15 total two-way trade with Iran was valued at more than $354 million. We look forward to enhancing commercial opportunities following implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal and the lifting of most international sanctions on Iran.

Australia has significant reasons for engaging Iran on issues of shared interest and concern, including the fight against terrorism in Syria and Iraq, as well as the common challenges of people smuggling and illegal migration.

Mr Biggs is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Until recently he was Acting First Assistant Secretary of International Security Division. He has served overseas as Ambassador to Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, Chargé d’Affaires in Baghdad, and Deputy Head of Mission in Vienna and Damascus.

Mr Biggs holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney. Mr Biggs is expected to take up his appointment in July 2016.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Paul Foley for his strong contribution since 2013 in advancing Australia’s interests in Iran.

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