(Italian daily il Garantista – 17 June 2015) – Following the Paris gathering organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), we should take a look at the international status quo and Italy’s approach regarding these issues.
Last Saturday a gathering was organized in Paris by the NCRI. Active in exile for a long time now, the NCRI consists of various democratic organizations and dignitaries. This council was established in Tehran back in 1981 and representatives of religious and ethnic backgrounds, the Kurds, Baluchis, Armenians and Zoroastrians are members in this body. Ambassador Terzi, former Italian foreign minister, was also present in the Paris rally and we are asking him questions on his opinions about the gathering.
Please give us your opinion about the 2015 NCRI gathering that you took part in.
Giulio Terzi: This year’s initiative by the Iranian Resistance was able to organize over 300 Iranian organizations in exile, along with tens of thousands of members to take part in this rally. A large number of youths and many Iranian families, who are living in exile along with millions of Iranian families, could be seen in the gathering. What was significant in this year’s rally in comparison to last year was the strength of its political message: This power was seen from the NCRI, or through American, European and Arab dignitaries delivering messages of root change in Iran: focusing on Iranian youths, consisting of a large number of the Iranian people, for “regime change”; emphasizing the Iranian people not tolerating crackdown by the religious regime; on freedom of schools, expression of opinion and beliefs, and daily lives. Not tolerating the Iranian regime’s repression can clearly be seen in universities and throughout Iran.
Maryam Rajavi said, “Youths across the globe are sensitive about events taking place in Iran and support Iranian youths.” Ingrid Betancourt, Rudi Giuliani, Louis Freeh, General Shelton and Bernard Kouchner firmly supported freedom and voiced strong warnings of the Iranian theocracy obtaining nuclear weapons. They stressed on the necessity to adopt a specific and compiled strategy by the West and Arab countries to end Iran’s meddling in the region and Muslim countries. All the speakers underlined no victory will be possible in the Middle East without a firm confrontation with fundamentalism that is provoked by the Iranian regime. The reason is that Shiite sectarianism leads to Sunni extremism. This trend is continuing not only in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, but it can also be seen in the crises from Pakistan to Libya and Nigeria.
The Paris gathering was held just a few days before a sensitive decision about Iran’s nuclear issue. What do Iranian dissidents think about this issue?
Giulio Terzi: A total mistrust could be seen in this rally. All dignitaries who delivered speeches saw no credibility in the Iran agreement. Instead, this itself became a subject of strong criticism against the Obama administration. These criticizes were not raised by the American delegation, but also thirty dignitaries from various groups, especially the Republican group who criticized very aspects of the negotiations. Other dignitaries also delivered negative remarks and evaluations about the Iran talks.
Anyhow, the general point of view is of mistrust following many years of clandestine nuclear activities hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency and not presenting convincing explanations, intensifying efforts in constructing banned devices and uranium enrichment that was barred in the Lausanne agreement, all in recent weeks. On the other hand, everyone knows that the Iranian Resistance unveiled Iran’s nuclear plans in 2003 and recently, exposing the centrifuges in Fordo in 2009. This itself is one of the reasons that Shiite militias are so furious about Liberty residents. Therefore, all countries – especially Italy – should accept these refugees.
What can Italy do? Who represented Italy in the Paris gathering?
Giulio Terzi: Dozens of residents have asked to be accepted by Italy. Italy has reached this decision from two years ago that these individuals have adequate data to be accepted, because these individuals are actually protected by the United Nations. It is painful to say that the Italian government’s policy vis-à-vis these individuals has been very closed. This is inconsistent with the policy adopted by Italy regarding immigrants that come to Italy, not willing to accept an Iranian group that has survived many plots and is currently in danger. The Italian delegation of MPs and political dignitaries belonging to various groups participated in this gathering. Of the quality of the Italian delegation and what these individuals said about the Paris even I come to this conclusion that every one of them confirmed the Iranian Resistance’s will to bring about change in Iran.
A delegation of the Radical Party led by Marco Panella took part in this year’s rally. Sergio Delia, head of the Hands Off Cain Association, and Elizabetta Zamparutti, the treasurer of this association, and Antonio Stango, a member of the board of directors took part. The Radical activists met with numerous Arab and Muslim MPs, discussing the rule of law, government reservations including a new definition of a legal state in the UN.
The methodology of human rights: you support this proposal and what invitation do you for Italian and international bodies to join this debate?
Giulio Terzi: The multinational Radical Party delegation, in which Marco Panela, Sergio Delia and Elizabetta Zamparutti took part in, reached this conclusion that their presence in Paris was a good opportunity for Marco to speak with his addresses on the issue of transition to a legal state, which he has worked hard for years, in order to have the ‘methodology of human rights’ be recognized and concreted in the international stage. Rights are not a hollow idea, but a goal of having ‘human rights’ recognized official. The recognition of truth is truly an ambition. However, wasn’t the path taken to revoke capital punishment itself not a huge ambition?