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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The former Italian foreign minister supported Janša’s position on Iran

By: C.R.

Giulio Terzi, former Italian Foreign Minister, former Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and former Italian Ambassador to the United States, praised and supported Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša at a webinar on August 27th, 2021 on responsibility for the 1988 massacre in Iran, that the crimes must be investigated by a commission. You can read his statement in full below.

Giulio Terzi: … Let me recall the words of Janez Janša, the Slovenian Prime Minister, who spoke at the Free Iran 2021 World Summit, I quote:

“For almost 33 years, the world has forgotten the victims of the massacre. This situation must change. The UN Commission of Inquiry is crucial to shedding light on the horrific 1988 massacre. The families of the victims are working to set up a commission of inquiry so that they can finally achieve justice and peace.”

While lobbyists of the Iranian regime are now attacking Prime Minister Janša for supporting the UN investigation into the massacre, the Slovenian Prime Minister’s call has received strong international support in both Europe and North America. The group of European legislators also welcomed his position in a letter. Former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird emphasised Slovenia’s “moral leadership and courage”. In the United States, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that Slovenia should consider the anger and criticism coming from Tehran to be an honour.

Let me say that, as the former Foreign Minister of the EU, Italy, I believe that the call by Prime Minister Janez Janša was perhaps the most “responsible” act of the EU Prime Minister in defending responsibility, justice and the rule of law against crimes against humanity, which have so far remained unpunished.

At the same time, I have no choice but to point out High Representative Josep Borrell for his attempts to distance himself from Mr Janša’s statement, stressing that this President’s remarks “certainly are not” a reflection of the EU’s position.

I note that EU officials have a legal obligation to condemn human rights violations instead of approving them. At stake is the EU’s credibility and its long-standing position as a leading role model in the field of human rights.

Prime Minister Janša is not the only one calling for a UN investigation.

On June 29th, 2021, the current UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, called for an independent investigation into the massacre and the role of the newly-elected President Ebrahim Raisi as Tehran’s deputy prosecutor.

On May 3rd this year, more than 150 former UN officials and renowned international human rights and legal experts wrote to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, urging her to set up an international commission of inquiry into the massacre. The signatories of the open letter include former UN High Commissioner and Irish President Mary Robinson, former UN deputy Secretary-General, 28 former UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights, and chairmen of previous UN commissions of inquiry into human rights violations in Eritrea and North Korea.

In addition, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said on June 19th, 2021: “The fact that Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being under investigation for crimes against humanity such as murder and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns in Iran. … We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and present crimes under international law, including countries exercising universal jurisdiction.”

In view of this, High Representative Borrell should end his “normal business” with the Iranian regime, which is run by mass murderers. He should strongly encourage all EU member states to join Slovenia, instead of distancing himself from Mr Janša’s statement. He should encourage all EU Member States to join this statement by the Prime Minister of Slovenia and demand responsibility for Iran’s greatest crime against humanity.

The highly questionable approach of the High Representative of the European Union is a matter of serious concern. First, on the one hand, he accused the Iranian regime of endangering international peace and security by supporting militias and non-governmental military forces, while some time ago he mentioned a drone attack on an Israeli tanker in the Persian Gulf. On the other hand, he sent his envoy, Mr Enrique Mora, to the inauguration ceremony of President Raisi, thus legitimising one of the main figures responsible for the horrific crimes against humanity.

Thousands and thousands of people are expecting a much more decisive response from the international community, especially the European institutions – a decisive response to the regime’s malicious activities, instead of the absurd concessions we have witnessed so far. Now is the time to change direction.

Our call, as well as the call of thousands of innocent victims and their families, must no longer be postponed. Thank you, Madam President.

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Rebellion Council of Iran (NCRI): … As you said, an investigation must be launched into the perpetrators of this genocide and a crime against humanity, and Europe must be stricter towards this regime. Once again, thank you so much for being with us today. Your position on Mr Janša was very important. Above all, Europe must take a courageous stance, as he did, against the Iranian regime. Thank you very much again.

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