New York, NY, November 12, 2009 … In a meeting in Rome on November 11, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi assured ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman that Italy will not cooperate with Iran to launch an Iranian data communications satellite.
Responding to news reports quoting Iranian officials who announced that Italy would cooperate with Iran to launch the satellite, Mr. Foxman expressed serious concerns to the prime minister about the perception that Italy might be moving away from its longstanding policy of support for existing sanctions against Iran.
"We welcome hearing directly from Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy's unequivocal denial of reports to the contrary coming from Iran," Mr. Foxman said.
In the meeting, Mr. Berlusconi emphasized Italy's firm commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability and its unwavering support for the efforts of the United States and the international community to achieve that result.
In a statement following the meeting, Mr. Foxman added: "Italy has been a staunch supporter of the safety and security of Israel, a strong ally of the United States and plays an important role in the international effort to curtail Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. The prime minister reiterated that support. We appreciate Prime Minister Berlusconi's willingness to hear our concerns and his explicit statement that Italy will not cooperate with Iran to launch a communications satellite."