Italian Foreign Minister Calls For Implementation of Additional Sanctions Against Iran
New York, NY, September 25, 2008 … Suggesting that diplomacy hasn't worked, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today that the European Union should implement tough sanctions aimed at ending Iran's enrichment of uranium and pursuit of nuclear weapons.
"We believe that the threat posed by the enrichment of uranium in Iran is not only dangerous for Israel, but for my country, for Italy," Mr. Frattini told a gathering of ambassadors, U.S. and Italian Jewish community leaders, and dignitaries today at ADL's National Headquarters in New York City. "Italy is joining those who are ready to implement effective sanctions against Iran, and implement new sanctions."
Mr. Frattini pointed to this week's address by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations as the latest proof of the regime's unwillingness to budge on the nuclear issue or to tone down its anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
"I don't see a clear possibility to repeat an offer of dialogue when the interlocutor is presenting to us a wall," Mr. Frattini said, referring to Iran. "We wouldn't be a credible Europe if we would continue to accept behavior like this. Italy will be on the forefront of proposing that sanctions are necessary."
On Israel's security, Mr. Frattini reaffirmed his nation's strong commitment to ensuring the safety of the Jewish State, saying it is "our moral duty." "Every day, Israel fights for its life," Mr. Frattini said. "If we don't fight for the security of Israel, than no one is fighting. That is why I say Israel's security is non-negotiable."
Italy strongly desires to play a role in working toward a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, said Mr. Frattini. He added, however, that Italy would be unwilling to work with any Palestinian government that includes the terrorist group Hamas.
The Italian Foreign Minister also called for the European Union to redouble efforts to fight against all forms of anti-Semitism on the continent.
Mr. Frattini spoke at a luncheon where he was recognized by ADL for his role in working to confront anti-Semitism in Europe and in promoting strong bilateral ties between Italy and Israel, and Italy and the U.S. Following his address, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, presented Mr. Frattini with a gift of an artwork inscribed with biblical passages in Hebrew.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.