Parliamentary Majority in Italy Calls for New Iran Policy, Urges Firmness Against Tehran and Support for National Council of Resistance and its President-elect Maryam Rajavi

Fourmembers of the Italian parliament representing different political parties and the representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Italy held a press conference today in the parliament building to declare that 326 parliamentary deputies - making up the majority of the parliament and encompassing parliamentarians from both the ruling coalition and the opposition - have signed a joint statement urging the Italian government to adopt a new policy on Iran based on firmness in dealing with Tehran and support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

The 326 parliamentarians presented a tragic resume of the repressive and terrorist policies and practices of the ruling theocracy in Iran, noting that "support for Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance, who as a symbol of unity is backed by the majority of the Iranian people, will contribute to the establishment of democracy in Iran and peace and stability in the region."

Deputies Carlo Leoni from the Democratic Left Party, Armando Veneto from the Popular Party, Paolo Cento from the Greens,and Maria Celespe Nardini from Communist Refoundation Party announced in their joint press conference today that among the signatories of the statement there are three cabinet ministers, four deputy ministers and a number of chairmen of parliamentary committees and groups.

The Italian MPs emphasized that "this Resistance and its 580-member parliament, which has committed itself to free elections and a secular and pluralist government, is the best answer to the ominous specter of fundamentalism as the new global threat."

Armando Veneto told the news conference that he and his colleagues had sent the statement of the majority of the members of the Italian parliament to Italy's prime minister. In a letter accompanying the statement, the parliamentarians noted the past record of Iran's new President, Mohammad Khatami, and his role in domestic repression and export of terrorism and urged the Italian government "not to repeat the mistakes of the past and not to be misled by a mirage called moderation in a fundamentalist and terrorist regime."

Mrs. Mitra Bagheri, the NCR's representative in Italy, thanked the Italian parliamentarians for their initiative and said that their vote showed the awake conscience of the Italian people against human rights violations and terrorism and in defense of the people and the Resistance of Iran. She called on the Italian government to adopt a firm policy against the religious, terrorist dictatorship.

The majority of the Italian parliamentarians noted in their statement: "The recent developments and the removal of Rafsanjani, in whom some had naively invested, from presidency, again confirms the falsity of the regime's ability to reform. Today, even the former advocates of critical dialogue acknowledge that the policy has been a failure and unacceptable. To continue the policy is tantamount to inviting the mullahs to persist in further suppression and export of terrorism. It must therefore be abandoned. Today, more than ever before, the time has come for the international community to adopt a decisive and coordinated policy to expel the Tehran regime from the international community."

The parliamentarians recalled the ruling by a German court in April which found the religious and political leadership of the clerical regime to be responsible for the assassination of Iranian dissidents abroad. They emphasized that the murder of Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, the late representative of the NCR in Italy, was "a flagrant violation of Italy's national sovereignty." Naghdi was gunned down in Rome in March 1993 and the Italian judge investigating his murder announced that an Iranian embassy diplomat was suspected of committing this "political murder".

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
July 2, 1997

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