"You can't be anything other than anxious when you hear that kind of language," Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

Labor anxious about rising US-Iran tension

RAPIDLY escalating tension between the United States and Iran is stirring anxiety among Australia's political leaders.

Donald Trump has declared the US is "locked and loaded" to respond to Iran's alleged attacks on Saudi oilfields, while Tehran has responded with its own aggressive warning of a fully-fledged war.

"You can't be anything other than anxious when you hear that kind of language," Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

"I would note that there seems to have been a walking back from the brink in terms of the language of both sides overnight."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called for calm in response to the rising tensions, urging the Australian business community not to overreact.

Mr Marles pointed out the US president was no stranger to using strong language, having launched similar rhetorical missives against the North Korean leader in the past.

"I think the difference between rhetoric and action can be a big difference," he said.

"But there's no doubt that when you hear that kind of language, which feels like it very much is on the brink, it's obviously a source of anxiety."

Any military confrontation between the US and Iran could disrupt global oil supplies and spark fuel shortages in Australia.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has said there is no immediate threat to Australia's fuel stocks after the weekend's attacks, with 90 days worth of reserves.

But Mr Marles pointed out this included stock on-water, which could include fuel on ships on the other side of the world.

"I think explaining that Australia has a 90-day reserve is not an honest account," he said.

"Right now, I think it is absolutely fair to say that the government has failed in this."

The deputy opposition leader argued there were genuine questions for the coalition to answer around fuel security.

"Right now, I don't think there is any way in which you could honestly say that what we have in place at the moment meets those requirements," Mr Marles said.



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