Mr Terzi Ambassador Giulio Terzi, the former Italian foreign minister was answering questions from journalists during an online question and answer session on May 25 entitled ‘Crisis in the Middle East & Iran´s Destructive Role, Europe´s Policy, P5+1 Nuclear Agreement With Iran’.
He said : The West should support the forces of moderation and tolerance in the Islamic world lead by the Iranian resistance, and not an Iran that sponsors terrorism and anti-semitism, a leading Italian diplomat has urged.
Ambassador Giulio Terzi, , also warned the international community against backing the extremist rulers in Tehran in the battle against the extremists of the Islamic State.
He said: “Since the Khomeini revolution, Tehran has always acted as the guardian of the Shiite community in Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Iraq. It has established a strong network of Shiite militias: the Hezbollah in Lebanon; the Houthis in Yemen; the Badr Organization, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hezbollah and the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.
“While controlling the Shiite clerical establishment and financial networks throughout the Middle East, and even in Europe and in Latin America, the Iranian regime has also befriended Sunni actors in order to reinforce its regional status: it has developed strong ties with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and made inroads into Sunni Sudan, in order to deliver Iranian weapons to Gaza.”
And the current war against Isis should not deflect attention from Iran, he warned.
He added: “Tehran’s meddling in countries in the region is a strategic undertaking with the objective of compensating shortcomings and pitfalls at home.
“As Iranian clerics’ popularity is ebbing at home and as more of the population in particular the youth are becoming restive and demand change, Tehran is resorting to more and more outside intervention. But this has turned into a strategic quagmire for Tehran.
“Tehran cannot retreat because it will be seen as a solid and unmistakable sign of weakness and regime’s failure. Very similar to the nuclear crisis, Tehran is in a great impasse on the regional arena.”
He said it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to collude with Iran in the fighting against ISIS, adding: “You cannot ally one extremist to fight against another one. It is necessary to focus on all those who foment Islamic extremism.
“Moderate Muslim forces like the Iranian resistance led by Mrs Rajavi advocate a tolerant, antifundamentalist Islam. The West should decisively support forces of moderation in the Islamic world like the Iranian resistance.
“Some Muslim countries, like Iran, provide financial and political support to organizations which engage in radicalization, antisemitism, hatred propaganda against western values.
“Extremist interpretations of Islam, appeals to Jihad, and to Islamic dominance characterize both Sunni and Shia fundamentalism. They are equally dangerous.
“There could be little doubt that Islamic fundamentalism did emerge as a global issue only after the Iranian revolution of 1979.
“Iran defines itself as a revolutionary power with hegemonic aspirations, seeking dominance. A country which would not and could not play by the rules while it is led by a regime committed to ‘exporting the revolution’.”