Former Italian Foreign Minister, Giulio Maria Terzi sharply criticized the Ayatollah regime and the European Union’s policy towards it, in a special interview with Israel Hayom.
Italy’s former foreign minister and member of the national-conservative “Brothers of Italy” party, Giulio Maria Terzi, might have met his death in the spectacular terrorist attack the Iranian intelligence had planned to carry out last summer in the outskirts of Paris. In the course of the mass meeting of the Iranian opposition, Terzi gave the participants an enthusiastic speech as head of the Italian delegation. At the very same time, the French, Belgian, German and Austrian security services were executing an extensive operation to capture the perpetrators of the planned attack and the Iranian diplomat, an intelligence official, who was behind it.
In an interview with Israel Hayom, on the heels of the European Union’s resolution to include senior Iranian intelligence personnel in its list of terrorists, Terzi said: “It is an important resolution, but is too little, too late. Serious pressure must be exerted on the Iranian regime. The regime in Tehran must understand that if such a thing recurs, it will pay a very heavy price. There must be a European deterrence. The Iranian terror phenomenon cannot be eliminated if it is not met with a response.”
Terzi, aged 72, a professional diplomat, who served in the past as Italian ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations, is one of the most vocal critics in Italy towards Iran – among Iran’s largest commercial partners in Europe and, as such, an enthusiastic supporter of the nuclear agreement.
In fact, Italian dependence on Iranian oil is so great that the American government decided to include Italy in the short list of nations that receive a six-month exemption from the renewed American sanctions. Terzi heads the Italian section of the international organization “United Against Nuclear Iran” and his message is unequivocal: “The Iranian regime made a strategic decision to return to its old policy of destroying its political opponents living outside Iran, mainly in Europe.”
He claims: “Due to the European approach towards Iran, consolidated by Federica Mogherini, the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Europe has become a hunting ground for the Iranian intelligence services targeting opponents of the regime. European sovereignty has been violated by the Iranians time and time again, and when managing European foreign and security policy, assessment of the Iranian threat is still essentially nonexistent. The European Union still does not see in Iran a threat to the citizens of Europe, and some of the opponents of the regime who were assassinated or were on the assassination hit-list were European citizens.”
“Separation equivalent to a discussion on the sex of angels. Terzi demands that the EU and the governments of Europe amend their narrative and strategy towards Iran. The European Union has caused the public to believe, with its adoption of the nuclear agreement, that Iran is the present-day Eldorado, promising limitless business opportunities, with all its resources and young, educated population, and that it thereby guarantees future economic development alongside the fiction of reformist leaders.”
Terzi pointed out the faults in the European position, saying: “All of the above created a completely blind foreign and security policy in Europe, unrelated to the Iranian reality and lacking understanding of the Iranian agenda for the future. Europe accepted, de facto, that Lebanon should be considered an Iranian asset. Now we need to agree that Iran has the right to exert political and security influence on Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Gulf Emirates.”
This cannot happen. “Iran is one of the chief security risks for Europe due to its increasing meddling in the Middle East. It is a terrorist state, but in Brussels you cannot use this term without people eyeing you strangely. They have there an intellectual and psychological refusal to see the Iranian regime as it really is: a leading player in the international terror arena. After foiling the terror attack at the Paris convention, news of other incidents in Holland, Denmark, Norway and Belgium surfaced. The European Union has to impose sanctions on the entire leadership of the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. It is impossible to separate the military arm from the political arm of this organization. Such a separation is like discussing the sex of angels, with all due respect to the angels.”
When Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, leader of the Lega Nord right-wing party, called Hezbollah “terrorists” a month ago when visiting the Israeli-Lebanese border he was subject to severe criticism in Italy – even from within the government of which he is a member. This is mainly because of the claim that Salvini endangered the lives of the Italian soldiers serving in the extended UNIFIL force.
UNIFIL, under whose nose the Hezbollah dug tunnels that infiltrated Israeli territory, is currently under Italian command. Terzi rejects the claims that UNIFIL’s mandate cannot be extended beyond its present supervisory actions. “In the present situation” he emphasized “we are placing our soldiers in real danger. We either do not have a mandate suitable for the situation on the ground, or are not prepared to act in a manner that will enable solving the key problem on the ground. If we have a mental aversion to doing the work properly, we should not be there. Hezbollah has become the Iranian’s ‘Foreign Legion’ and in its ranks today are [mercenary] forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan, desperate people in need of money.”