Man climbs Harbour Bridge in Iran protest

A PROTESTER who climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in heavy fog could be jailed for two years and be fined more than $20,000 after he was charged by NSW Police.

The man appears to have scaled the structure to protest against the government of Iran and send a message to the US and its leaders.

Authorities were told about 6am on Sunday that a man had illegally climbed one of the arches.

The 33-year-old parked his car on the northern end of the bridge, blocking traffic, before commencing his climb, detectives say.

Because it was "so foggy" it was hard to see the man, a police spokeswoman told AAP, but Police Rescue managed to bring him down after 7am when he was arrested.

He was subsequently charged with damaging, disrupting or obstructing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and/or a $22,000 fine.

He was refused bail to appear in Central Local Court on Monday.

AAP understands the man previously attempted to scale the bridge a few years ago as a form of protest.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, which appears to have been taken on top of the bridge, a man dressed in a yellow high-vis vest addresses US President Donald Trump, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and "all American people".

The man appears to support the Restart movement, which encourages people in Iran to change the country's regime.

According to its official website, the group "wants to overthrow the regime of Islamic Republic of Iran" and "establish a government based on knowledge and merits" so the Middle East can live in peace.

In the video, the US, Israeli, and Australian flags can be seen tied to the bridge, along with the former Iranian flag.

"President Trump, I have a message from (the) Iranian people to you. At the moment we don't have any president in Iran. Our president at the moment is President Trump," the man says in the video.

"You are our president at the moment until we get (a) new president and we get rid of this terrorist regime. The lions are waking up, the patriots are awake, all the patriots around the world are together, we all are together in this fight."

A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said a review of the incident is underway to see if there are "any further measures TfNSW can take to limit similar incidents".

"Any additional security measures will need to be balanced with the need for the public to use the bridge for legitimate purposes," the spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday evening.

TfNSW reviews all security incidents to major infrastructure and over the last year a number of security and threat assessments have been carried out for the bridge.

Changes have been implemented, including alterations to barrier fencing, anti-climb meshing, and the installation of additional surveillance cameras.

The Transport Management Centre said a few lanes on the bridge were briefly closed to traffic during Sunday's incident.

Some 15 environmental activists were charged in May after the group protested on the Harbour Bridge to demand action on climate change.



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