The timing is just right for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's first-ever visit to Iran, given Australia's recently boosted troop deployment to Iraq,and the newly announced framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

Not that the latter will be top of Bishop's agenda for this visit. As Lowy Institute Middle East expert Rodger Shanahan says in the interview below, there is now enough depth in the West's relations with Iran that third-party envoys are no longer needed to carry messages to Tehran. Rodger also talks about the delicate subject of Iran's role in the Iraq conflict, and the economic opportunities that might arise for Australia in Iran from a cut in the sanctions regime: