Chanting "Down with Khatami, hail to Rajavi," "Khatami is a terrorist and a murderer," the protesters declared that the policy of appeasing the clerical regime, encourages them to suppress and export terrorism.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Lennart Friden, parliamentary deputy in Sweden and Dr. Antonio Stango, the head of the Helsinki Watch, took part in a press conference in Rome and condemned Khatami's trip to Italy and declared support for the Iranian people's just Resistance and the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
In the conference, Dr. Saleh Rajavi, Chairman of NCR's Committee on Health and Medical Care, Ms. Mitra Bagheri, NCR's representative in Rome and Mrs. Ferminia Moroni Naghdi, widow of Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, who was assassinated by terrorists dispatched from Tehran in 1993, also took part in the conference. A number of families of the martyrs, including Mrs. Aziz Reza'i, seven of whose children were slain during the regime of the shah and Khomeini, were also present.
Mr. Friden said in his speech: With much propaganda, Khatami is trying to purport as if he is a moderate and an advocate of freedom. If he is true to his words, I must be mistaken to have defended freedom in my entire life.
Dr. Stango added: "I want to ask where was Khatami when the young people were being executed? He was the Minister of Guidance for many years and was responsible for physical attacks against opponents.
In part of his speech, Dr. Rajavi said: "Despite his rhetoric about defending women's rights, as the head of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Khatami refused to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." Dr. Rajavi said six of my family members were slain by the clerical regime.
Mrs. Naghdi added: It is truly shameful that instead of prosecuting the killers of my husband and the closure of the mullahs' embassy which is the nerve center of terrorist conspiracies, Italy throws a red carpet for this regime's criminal president.
Ms. Bagheri said: The demonstrations by Iranians in Rome yesterday which reflected the desire of the Iranian people to overthrow the ruling theocratic regime and to establish democracy and popular sovereignty in Iran, confirmed that as far as the Iranian people are concerned, relations with this dictatorship is absolutely unacceptable. She expressed the hope that Italian policy makers would have received the message of the Iranian people.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 10, 1999