Remarks by Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy and Ambassador to the UN, in a panel on “Policy on Iran” in Paris, 29 June 2018, organized jointly by FEMO and APA.
Thank you very much. I’m very pleased and honored to be here. I congratulate to the president of FEMO and especially for the vision that FEMO has proposed, publishing the book much earlier than the latest event developed in a way that shows all the weakness and really the difficulties that the regime is encountering.
I’d like to spend just a few words on what—and commenting the European position on Iran as it is now and as it has been over the last three years. And European position, I mean European position, the position by European institution commission, all the major organs of the commission, and the major EU governments, especially those which belong to the six plus one—to the 5+1 negotiation.
The first point I would like to make is that this policy of appeasement at all costs that Europeans are carrying on with the Iranian regime is based on a false assumption and on a dangerous narrative. The assumption and the narrative are that Rouhani regime is an improvement in the government and a sort of a guarantee for Western interests in the region. And this is completely wrong, because we know very well that not only Rouhani is very much inserted in a leadership which is exactly the leadership belonging to the “great leader Khamenei” which has not changed in its fundamentals and in general messianic vision of bringing the Shias ahead of all the Muslim world and dominating the region, but this also creating a situation that destroys—is really destroying the Iranian economy with no real fight against corruption, modification of the structural elements of the Iran resistance, no control on the banking and financial tools which continue to fuel and to be at the basis of recycling in support of terrorist activities and therefore increasing the strength of the IRGC and the security very oppressive system. So these assumption and these ideas that Europeans continue to present, to float in interacting with Iran must be modified, must change. And it is extremely important that Europeans come together with the Trump administration in finding a common road map to address the Iranian problem.
How to do that? The way is to continue pressuring and establishing conditionalities in our relationship, (as in) European Union relationship with Iran. It is completely wrong to pursue other ways such as increasing cooperation across the board, not only cultural and political, but even as in some member states has happened, even in the military and intelligence field with Italian counterparts giving very mixed signals and the possibility of misinterpretation which are dangerous to the Western security. So this is a major aspect that must be considered and changed in European politics.
The second aspect is economic relations. I’m part of a world in Italy which has seen over the last couple of years, especially with …government—and now, thanks God, we have a new government which is reviewing the fundamentals of our security and economic policy in another direction and much closer and much more compatible with the American administration. But over the last couple of years, we have seen some things which have completely and understandable, and to make just an example, last December in budget law, the Italian government has inserted a fund of five billion euros in support for Italian companies and investment on the Iranian market, guarantees, export guarantees, investment insurance, and so on. And in that law, some likeminded Senators and member of the Chamber tried to insert a clear reference to the European regulations and norms which are conceived to fight the risk of terror financing or recycling for terrorist purposes and so on. And the government voted against even those amendments. Just to give you the impression, the mood that exists, it is extremely important to be more serious, to interact between … to avoid this derailment of European policies just to continue to give our … the impression that the Iranian market is an El Dorado. It is not an El Dorado. It’s a trap full of risk. It was already in the past even before the Trump administration took power in Washington, but now it’s very evident that there are enormous risks for European companies and Italian companies, for instance, even major companies, are already suffering for the wrong decisions which were pushed to take by the … and … government.
I’d like to conclude about the action that the Iranian regime is carrying on recently and really the unacceptable tricks that they’re trying to use to try to disseminate hatred and even provoke divisions among Iranians to try to undermine the spontaneous and very important revolt that more than 140 cities in Iran have taken place over the last seven, eight months.
And would like just to mention the latest case, which is—let me use this word: revolting, in my opinion. And it is interview that was given to Bloomberg by Reza Pahlavi, the son of the former Shah. And I believe that in that review and the fact—in that interview that he gave, and the fact that he said, “Well, (all we know) it’s better to support the regime than support the PMOI/MEK, because we have to,” he was talking against the policy of appeasement. Here is not policy of appeasement, here is a policy of complicity and co-responsibility which cannot be accepted in any possible way, and that’s why I like to use this opportunity of saying a couple of words to reiterate strong support to President-elect Maryam Rajavi to continue her fight, because we cannot accept that from his golden exile, the son of the last and discredited ruler of Iran speak against the only and truly democratic resistance, which is the PMOI/MEK. Is it a family revenge? Is it anger because of the fight for democracy, freedom? The Mujahedin have always pursued against Shah Pahlavi first and the mullahs’ regime after. And I think that we should show openly that we don’t fall in this last trap by the Iranian regime and its accomplices.