Australia: Oil is one reason for staying in Iraq

Australia's defense minister said Thursday that protecting Iraq's oil supplies is one of his country's motivations for keeping troops in Iraq, adding a new government justification for its Iraqi mission. The minister told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio that one reason behind Australia's decision to remain in Iraq was "to make sure a humanitarian crisis does not develop between Sunnis and Shi'ites and driven by al-Qaida if we were to leave prematurely." He said other reasons - which the government has previously stated - included supporting a key ally, the United States, and ensuring stability in the Middle East and defeating terrorism.