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Hassan Rohani Photo: EPA
Hassan Rohani Photo: EPA
 
 

Italy conference exposes 'Iran's true face'

Conference on ‘new face of Iran’ held in Italy exposes its traditional anti-Israel stance, as Iranian ambassador refuses to attend event over participation of Israeli embassy worker

Menachem Gantz
Published: 10.10.13, 11:15 / Israel News

It was meant to be a conference dubbed “The New Face of Iran – the opportunities for dialogue opening before an international audience during the days of President Rohani.”

 

The Italian Institute for Asia and the Mediterranean Basin arranged a formal event on Tuesday at the Italian Parliament in Rome, sponsored by the Iranian embassy in Italy. The institute invited the public to participate and sent invitations to media representatives. An Italian citizen working at the Israeli Embassy also registered for the event.

 

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Having realized that the embassy worker had confirmed his attendance at the conference, the Iranian ambassador to Italy, Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, said he would not attend that event, if the worker would be present. He requested that his attendance be blocked.

 

The Italian Foreign Ministry got involved and turned to the Israeli Ministry in Rome in order to enable the participation of the Iranian ambassador in the conference. But the Israeli ambassador, Naor Gilon, decided there was no reason to honor such a request, and the representative of the embassy was sent to the parliament.

 

Upon his arrival, the organizers approached him again – this time aggressively and vulgarly – and demanded that he leave the place. “I am an Italian citizen, and with all due respect to the Iranian ambassador, I have more of a right to enter the Italian Parliament than the Iranian ambassador,” the man said, demanding to remain.

 

Arriving an hour-and-a-half late, the Iranian ambassador realized that the event would either be canceled, or go on without him, and decided to attend, and pass on his message regarding financial cooperation with countries that have been “hurt as a result of illegal sanctions.”

 

The Israeli Embassy’s spokesperson in Rome, Amit Zarouk, confirmed the incident saying, “We do not play by Iranian rules. I am happy that our insistence helped expose to the Italians the true face of Iran, which has not changed.”

 

 

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