Iranian president's anti-Israel remarks condemned in Italy

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday marked his arrival in Italy - first visit to a European nation since his 2005 election - with remarks against Israel which drew immediate condemnation, dpa reported.

"The European people have been subjected to most of the Zionists' damage and today the costs of this falsified regime, both the political and the economic, fall on the shoulders of Europe," Ahmadinejad said, referring to Israel.

Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said the Iranian president's comments provoked "great concern."

"I believe that the language used by Ahmadinejad over the non-recognition of Israel, a member-state of the United Nations, and his negation of the suffering of a people, stands against history and our common sentiments," La Russa was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

The Iranian president was in Rome to attend a UN food conference, but his presence and that of another leader much criticized by the West, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, sparked controversy.

Representatives of Italy's Jewish community distributed pamphlets at the Coliseum bearing Ahmadinejad's image with a "No Access" traffic sign and the words: "We don't want you here."

In a speech to delegates from some 50 countries at the UN Conference on World Food Security, Ahmadinejad lashed out against the "sometime-Satanic" policies of rich nations and the West that he said were to blame for world hunger.

"Is their goal supplying the expenditures of wars and occupations? Is their goal justifying the investments in new sources of energy in the depths of seas in the North Pole or in other regions?" Ahmadinejad said.

The Iranian president, who began his speech with a Muslim prayer, also presented a set of proposals he said would help solve the food crisis, including expanding the rule of "ethical and humanistic values."

He also called for the need of what he described as "the coming to power of pure and monotheistic managers," an apparent reference to Islam and Muslims.

During an afternoon news conference at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Rome headquarters, Ahmadinejad elaborated on remarks he made Monday in Iran that Israel would be wiped off the world map,

Challenged by an Israeli journalist to motivate his reasons, Ahmadinejad said he had merely provided "news" about Israel's future, which he said was shared by most analysts and observers.

"It will happen whether we are involved in it or not," the Iranian president said, adding that Israel, which he blamed for the persecution and murder of Palestinians, was "doomed to go".

Italian officials said no meetings were planned between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Ahmadinejad, who was scheduled to leave Rome on Tuesday evening.

But the Iranian president devoted the beginning of his news conference praising the Italian people who he said, shared part of a common cultural heritage with Iranians.

Asked about his failure to talk to Berlusconi, Ahmadinejad said he was in Rome to attend the UN summit, and there was "no time" for bilateral talks or to meet the Italian people, adding he hoped his meeting with journalists would help "compensate" for this.

Earlier Tuesday the Iranian-born deputy director of Italian news agency, Adnkronos International, AKI, Ahmad Rafat, was turned away by security guards when he tried to attend the food summit.

FAO Director of Communications, Nick Parsons, expressed "regret" that Rafat, who had been regularly accredited for the summit, was denied entry. He added that the Italian authorities were responsible for all security decisions.

"I consider it very serious that Ahmadinejad's censorship can reach all the way to Rome, preventing a journalist with all the proper credentials, who heads an Italian news agency to carry out his job because he has negative opinions, as many Italians do, of a government that has shut down over 100 newspapers in two years and left over 1,000 journalists without work," Rafat told Adnkronos news agency.

Rafat, also executive member of the media rights group, Information, Safety & Freedom, launched an appeal a few days ago to raise awareness over what activists say is Iran's repression of civil and human rights.

The three-day food summit, hosted by the FAO, is aimed at winning donor pledges for urgent aid as well as forging an agreement to revive a 1996 pledge by a world leaders to halve the number of hungry people by 2015.

In an apparent reference to Ahmadinejad and Mugabe, the mouthpiece of Italy's Catholic bishops, Avvenire, cautioned delegates "not to let the focus and the debate shift from the food emergency towards the presence of some 'cumbersome' leaders who have arrived in Rome."

Georgia, Tajikistan contribute to intensification of cargo transit
Georgia, Tajikistan contribute to intensification of cargo transit
Regional Gender Expert Group to be set up for CAREC Gender Strategy implementation
Regional Gender Expert Group to be set up for CAREC Gender Strategy implementation
OIC member countries boost imports of Turkish-made products
OIC member countries boost imports of Turkish-made products
Loading Bars
Latest
Georgian Co-Investment Fund eyes to implements another energy project
Baku Metro opens tender to buy metal structures
Volume of lending to construction sector greatly increases in Azerbaijan
Net profit of Azerbaijani ASB Bank in 1Q2021 decreases
Azerbaijan eyes starting fish caviar export to Hong Kong in 2021
Aggregate capital of Azerbaijani ASB Bank grows
Georgia's Silknet maintains strong cash balance in 2020
Armenia confuses history with mythology again - Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijani president congratulates president of Djibouti
Turkey leads among countries investing in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector (PHOTO)
Museums like War Trophy Park in Baku, open in many countries - Russian historian
Russia ready to assist in normalization of relations between Azerbaijan, Armenia
Azerbaijan has great opportunities for wind energy dev't - expert
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responds to statement of OSCE MG co-chairs
National Bank of Georgia sees decrease in international reserves
Various types of fabrics exported to Turkmenistan from EAEU countries
Kazakhstan's KMG Engineering to buy pump-compressors via tender
1Q2021 assets of Azerbaijan Industry Bank slightly down
Turkmenistan Railways opens tender for installation of surveillance cameras
Kazakhstan’s telecommunications operator to pay dividends for 2020
Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom sells its solar energy subsidiary
Azerbaijan, Belarus discuss military-technical cooperation prospects
Passenger traffic in Georgia slowly getting back on track
Zangazur corridor to create single economic space between Turkey, Azerbaijan - expert
Kazakhstan considers standardized license agreement with EAEU members
Uzbekistan considering restoring air communication with Azerbaijan
Precious metals production down in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Italian senator: Why Armenia destroyed Aghdam if it considered it to be its own? (PHOTO)
Volume of wheat flour exports from EAEU to Turkmenistan revealed
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 pharmaceutical retail turnover grows
Money transfers to Georgia up in March 2021
New IRTI Report Highlights Progress of IsDB Member Countries Towards SDGs
Spain eyes new projects in Azerbaijan’s petrochemical sector – ministry
Spanish companies show interest in Azerbaijan’s renewable energy projects – ministry
Azerbaijan's 2M2021 foreign trade turnover figures published
Azerbaijan names 1Q2021 revenues from retail trade in gasoline, diesel fuel
Citigroup profit triples on $3.85 billion reserve release
India fast-tracks approval for foreign vaccines
Azerbaijan confirms 2,317 more COVID-19 cases, 2,109 recoveries
Study shows Indians among most optimistic about early return to pre-Covid normal
India, France Can Assume Leadership Role In Run-Up To COP26: French Minister
Path Of Future World Order Will Be Set In Indo-Pacific Region: EU Council President
Azerbaijani PASHA Bank's profit surges in 1Q2021
Turkey sees decline in number of real estates bought by Azerbaijani citizens in 1Q2021
Turkmenistan increases potato imports from EAEU
Opening of Zangazur corridor to expand Azerbaijan's transit potential, says expert
Georgia sees increase in subsistence minimum
Volume of obligations of Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank in Q1 2021 increases
OSCE Minsk Group took no concrete steps to resolve Karabakh conflict, says Azerbaijani MP
Zangazur corridor cannot be unblocked without Turkey’s agreement, participation - President Aliyev
Turkish ministry issues data on cargo shipment via Iskenderun port for Jan. through Feb. 2021
Shell proposes guidelines for achieving net-zero emissions in EU
Until last days, Pakistan was always on our side - Azerbaijani president
Turkey, Uzbekistan, UAE lead in dried fruit export to Georgia
Karabakh will generate lot of GDP in non-energy sector of our economy, also transportation - President Aliyev
Our international efforts in region led to creation of new formats of cooperation - President Aliyev
EBRD committed to financing renewable energy projects in Kazakhstan
Georgia's banking system remains large relative to size of its economy - Moody
We will do everything if Armenia has positive signals for us to try to build connections - President Aliyev
Moody's sees low risk stemming from waste and pollution issues in Georgia
Putin reaffirms Russia’s support for Lebanon’s sovereignty
Georgia benefits from favorable debt structure - Moody
Tipalti buys Approve.com in all-Israeli fintech merger
“The Guardian” must refute defamatory article about New Azerbaijan Party
Iran's trade turnover with Qatar drops
UK job ads and restaurant bookings rebound as lockdown eases
Turkey issues data on volume of crude oil shipment via local ports from Jan. through Feb. 2021
Iran can enrich uranium to high degree – President Rouhani
Shell to raise share of has in hydrocarbon output to 55%
Kazakhstan set up task force to develop local investment management system
Production of catalysts for Iran’s petrochemical sector launched
Data on cotton yarn sales on Turkmen exchange in March 2021 revealed
Bank of America profit more than doubles on reserve release boost
Group of journalists visit Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district (PHOTO)
Russian company to supply big batch of agricultural machinery to Azerbaijan
Shell targets 2-3% reduction in carbon intensity this year
Iran’s PMO unveils volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Fereidoonkenar port
2M2021 volume of stone coal shipment via Turkish ports disclosed
Data on shipment of goods across Turkish Antalya port from January through February 2021 disclosed
Graduate of Baku Higher Oil School marries Pakistani student from same university (PHOTO)
Data on cargo movement through Turkey's Gemlik port revealed
Turkey's steel exports to China surge
Turkey’s activity on Turkmen commodity and raw materials exchange in March 2021
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 15
Azerbaijan announces commissioning date for 'Victory Road' to liberated Shusha (PHOTO)
Revenues of Georgian Silknet mobile operator down
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
Value of Iran's import of Turkish chemicals notably up
Azerbaijan improving access of entrepreneurs to insurance services
Turkey talks number of ships received at Aliaga port from Jan. through Feb. 2021
Kazakhstan boosts import of electrical goods from Turkey
Russia discloses amount of grains and legumes imported from Turkey
Central Bank of Azerbaijan holds foreign exchange auction
Iran to create major turning point on production of petrochemicals
Turkmenistan, French Public Investment Bank may sign MoU
Russian, Belarus presidents discuss situation in Karabakh via phone
Date of next interest payment on SOCAR bonds announced
Iran's Ilam Gas Refining Company discloses its production data
Microsoft implementing projects with Azerbaijan's educational institutions
All news