Mattarella didn’t spare words on Iran. According to an official note, President Mattarella “expressed the Italian Republic’s firm condemnation, and his personal indignation, at the brutal repression of the demonstrations and the death sentences and execution of many demonstrators” in Iran.
- This happened on Wednesday, during the presentation of credentials (a ceremonial ritual), when the Italian head of State had a “brief conversation” with the newly-appointed Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Reza Sabouri.
- There is no recollection of another occasion when the Head of State has communicated his “personal indignation.”
Human rights are Italy’s red line. During that meeting, President Mattarella urged the ambassador to relay to the Iranian authorities “the urgency of an immediate end to the violence directed against the population. The respect with which Italy looks to its international partners and their legal systems finds an insurmountable limit in the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” stresses the note.
Cross-institutional harmony. The move was agreed, per diplomatic practice, with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy Foreign Minister Edmondo Cirielli also attended the meeting. His party, Brothers of Italy, filed a motion – whose first signatory is Senator Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata – to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “terrorist entity.”
- “We have asked all countries, including Italy, not to enter areas like this, which are a red line for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” replied Ambassador Sabouri at a press conference on Thursday.
Tajani’s line. “Iran has crossed the red line, the point of no return, starting to carry out death sentences,” said Antonio Tajani – who’s Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and party coordinator of Forza Italia – to SkyTg24. Weeks ago, Minister Tajani summoned Ambassador Sabouri and asked him to relay to Tehran Italy’s call to freeze the death sentences.
- On Thursday, speaking at a hearing before the joint Foreign Affairs Committees of the House and Senate, he explained that the government had asked Tehran “for real change” but that “the required signal has not arrived, [as] the authorities continue their blind repression.”
- “What is happening in Iran is unacceptable […] We too make mistakes,” said the minister, “but we do not accept political readings and interference. We respect human values, but we do not accept the claim of some countries to impose their culture and lifestyle on other societies.”
Italy’s nuclear woes… In the same hours, Rafael Mariano Grossi – Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency – was in Rome, where he met with President Mattarella and Minister Tajani. “We support monitoring of nuclear activities, starting with Iran,” stressed the latter.
… and civil society calls. Davood Karimi, President of the Association of Iranian Political Refugees residing in Italy, wrote to President Mattarella expressing, on behalf of the mothers, fathers, children, wives and husbands of the fallen, “our immense joy” at his firm and determined stance against the death sentences and his call to stop executions and violence in Iran.
- “In his words we find not only a president of a country such as Italy in solidarity, but also a man of the great Iranian family,” reads Mr Karimi’s letter. “We will never forget those who stood by us in the darkest moments of our history.”