Italy appears to be standing strong with Israel regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
On Wednesday, during the Herzliya Conference, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata told a packed audience that even if Iran acted rationally with nuclear weapons they would pose an unacceptable global threat.
“Under its own nuclear umbrella, Tehran would be free to raise and lower the volume of regional tension as best suits its national interest…” and that “with a nuclear Iran, the rules of the Middle Eastern game would not only change overnight; they would change irreversibly,” stated Terzi.
The Italian Foreign Minister went on to suggest that “in the end, however ‘regional’ the trigger, a nuclear crisis will always have a global impact…Should Tehran acquire nuclear capabilities, others would follow and the Middle East –at the very doorstep of Europe— would enter this new regional nuclear race.”
The Italian Foreign Minister also addressed the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. “We can no longer afford delays in our action. No example is better than Syria to remind us that the Assad regime and its allies do not necessarily act under similar constraints. We are witnessing the emergence of fast-rising economic and military powers, in different regions, which pursue their interest with the power of a State and the flexibility of a non-state actor.”
Terzi concluded by pointing to Israel as a regional stabilizer, stating that “Israel not only lies at their geographical center. It is also at their frontline. As the dust settles, and room grows for new ideas, Israel will be the first and foremost engine of a new path towards a more secure and peaceful Middle East.”
Iran has been an important topic at the Herzliya Conference, the annual forum for addressing Israel’s national agenda by bringing together Israeli and elite international policy makers. Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Rudy DeLeon, also announced on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is not bluffing regarding Iranian nuclear attainment. However, DeLeon emphasized that all other options had to be explored first.
“Precisely because America is strong, we are not afraid to talk to our adversaries,” he stated.