Rouhani: Israeli Ambassador, West should impose 'red lines'

Iran 'remains threat to region,' Jewish State envoy says

25 January, 14:20

    (ANSAMED) - ROME, JANUARY 25 - Western countries must not treat Iranian President Hassan Rohani like "the king of the world," during his visit to Rome and Paris this week, the Israeli Ambassador to Italy, Naor Gilon, said Monday.

    "I hope it doesn't become a victor's parade by the king of the world to whom everything is allowed," the ambassador told ANSA in an interview in which he underlined his concern over the Iranian head of state's high-profile Italian sojourn.

    Israel expects that the West "not forget its basic values" and that it imposes on Iran respect for very precise "red lines" not just on military-use nuclear power but also on the destabilisation by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East and the failure to respect human and political rights.

    Rouhani's visit comes on the eve of the Day of Memory of the Holocaust being marked Wednesday. "Iran has a long history of negationism amd each year during these days it organises a competition to ridicule the Holocaust," the ambassador said. "I find it difficult to think that the Italian authorities can't find a way to express their disapproval," he added.

    On human rights in Iran Gilon noted that "2,000 people have been hanged in Iran, some of them for political reasons".

    "The rights of women, of gays, of minorities are not respected. Out of 3,000 reformist candidates for the new Parliament of Tehran, only 30, or 1.0%, obtained permission to stand in the election".

    What disturbs Israel most is the "destabilising" role of Tehran in the region, he added.

    The hand of Tehran is present in every regional crisis from Bahrain to Yemen and Lebanon. "Israel does not have a border with Iran but Iranians are on its borders," he said, referring to the "terrorists" from Hamas and Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shiite movement has received sophisticated weapons from Iran and some 100,000 missiles, more than those in the arsenals of many of the regular armies in the world, he said.

    The danger is that Iran now feels itself free of restraints, after the nuclear accord, and thanks to the money unfrozen from its accounts will aim for military reinforcement and a new expansionism thanks to its allies ranging from Syrian President Assad to Hezbollah, he added.

    Iran is "a threat perceived not just by Israel but also by the Sunni Arab states, who in fact are in the process of re-arming".

    "Isis is not the Number 1 enemy, in that it is the fruit of destabilisation and not the cause," the Israeli ambassador said.

    "One can only defeat Isis by stabilising the Middle East," said Gilon. And to that the West must "impose limits and bars" to Iranian ambitions, he concluded. (ANSAmed).

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