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Italian Senate Condemns Iran’s Regime for Terrorism and Spreading Disinformation

On the 19th of October, a conference titled "Iran: One Year after the Violent Uprising and the Regime’s Continued Dissemination of False Information" was held at the Italian Senate. Senator Giulio Maria Terzi, who chairs the European Union Relations Committee in the Italian Senate, presided over this event, which provided a platform for esteemed participants to share their invaluable perspectives.
Conference at the Italian Senate – October 19, 2023

On the 19th of October, a conference titled “Iran: One Year after the Violent Uprising and the Regime’s Continued Dissemination of False Information” was held at the Italian Senate. Senator Giulio Maria Terzi, who chairs the European Union Relations Committee in the Italian Senate, presided over this event, which provided a platform for esteemed participants to share their invaluable perspectives.

Prominent individuals who contributed to the discussions included:

Mrs. Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate.
Mr. Emanuele Pozzolo, a member of the Italian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mrs. Elisabetta Zamparutti, a former parliamentarian and co-founder of Hands Off Cain.
Mr. Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights.
At the outset of the session, Senator Giulio Terzi announced the 2023 Sakharov Prize, which would be awarded to Mahsa Amini in recognition of all Iranian women who have fought for freedom. He emphasized that this acknowledgment was made possible through the efforts of European Parliament representatives.

Senator Terzi proceeded to address the Iranian regime’s persistent attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the Iranian resistance. He highlighted the regime’s elaborate machinery responsible for disseminating misinformation and propaganda, which it has employed for years to stifle dissent and tarnish the reputation of Iran’s resistance both domestically and internationally. This apparatus, despite having military components, has aggressively targeted political opponents of the regime across the globe. Senator Terzi cited specific instances of attacks and assassinations against Iranian Resistance members in European cities.

He also stressed the regime’s strategy of promoting misinformation and exerting influence in various parliaments, including the Italian Parliament, and its ability to deceive individuals through dubious information sources. Despite numerous legal victories and defamation case successes over the past 17 years, false accusations continue to cast a shadow on those who admire the extraordinary actions of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK/PMOI) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Former Colombian Senator Ingrid Betancourt, who was held hostage by terrorists for six years, underscored the importance of discussing the Iranian regime and its impact on global conflicts. She emphasized the regime’s substantial role in advancing terrorism on an international scale, particularly in recent conflicts in the Middle East.

Drawing from her personal experience, Mrs. Betancourt explained her acquaintance with the MEK, highlighting that the Iranian regime had spread misinformation and false accusations about the organization, labeling them as terrorists and communists.

Mrs. Betancourt then delved into the Iranian regime’s disinformation campaign and the “Iran Experts Initiative,” a program paid for by Tehran to misinform the public and governments, promoting the Iranian regime’s agendas while blaming the Iranian Resistance for serious accusations.

The former Colombian Senator stressed the importance of scrutinizing information and not falling for Tehran’s orchestrated disinformation campaigns. She also warned of a growing alliance of dictators around the world, posing a significant threat to freedom, democracy, and human rights on a global scale.

During the session, Mr. Emanuele Pozzolo, a member of the Italian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, highlighted the Iranian regime’s commitment to spreading false information against the MEK in Italy and Western countries. He emphasized that those in charge of Iran’s politics have an absolute and exclusive fear of the organization.

The Italian parliamentarian questioned why some individuals, especially those in public office, failed to recognize the Iranian regime’s deception. He stressed the importance of acknowledging Iran’s role as the foremost state sponsor of terrorism and its efforts to exert influence over international terrorist groups, including Sunni extremists.

Mr. Pozzolo called on parliaments, including the European Parliament, to sound the alarm and remain vigilant regarding Iran’s intentions. He stressed the importance of recognizing what Iran represents and proclaims today.

Mrs. Elisabetta Zamparutti, co-founder of Hands Off Cain, highlighted the historical challenges the MEK faced when it was classified as a terrorist organization. She noted the successful removal of the MEK from various terrorism lists and emphasized the MEK’s embodiment of modernity and respect for human rights under the leadership of NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, whom she hailed as a female leader in contrast to the theocratic Iranian regime.

Mrs. Zamparutti expressed concerns about Tehran’s oppressive measures against its citizens, exemplified by the alarming number of executions. She called for initiatives to combat disinformation and promote a truthful perspective on the Iranian Resistance, stressing the need for parliamentary discussions and debate as part of a peaceful search for truth.

In conclusion, she highlighted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist, as a testament to a radically different approach compared to the Iranian regime’s ideologies. Mrs. Zamparutti firmly believed that supporting the MEK and the NCRI is crucial for toppling the Iranian regime.

Mr. Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, expressed concerns about many democratic governments falling into the Iranian regime’s misinformation trap. He recalled a pivotal moment from over 20 years ago when French authorities targeted the Iranian Resistance, led by Maryam Rajavi, in an anti-terrorism operation that was later proven baseless. Mr. Stango emphasized the importance of governments like France acknowledging their errors and issuing apologies for these unjust actions, especially given that similar incidents have occurred multiple times.

Mr. Stango also raised questions about the relationships between various countries and Iranian embassies involved in activities supporting terrorism. He highlighted the importance of understanding the Iranian Resistance’s perspective, as outlined in a Ten-Point Plan presented by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, promoting values such as a secular government, the separation of religion from the state, equal opportunities, gender equality, and the abolition of the death penalty and torture.

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