Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Italian counterpart Moavero Milanesi
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Italian counterpart Moavero Milanesi

Knesset Speaker Yoel Edelstein addressed the Mediterranean Dialogues conference (MED) on Middle Eastern Affairs, an annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event aims at drafting a “positive agenda” for the Mediterranean by stimulating debate and promoting new ideas, rethinking traditional approaches and addressing shared challenges at both the regional and the international level.

Edelstein rebuked the Italian government for siding with Iran.

“Israel has no border with Iran, and yet, Iran has consistently and insistently worked to create a border with Israel… and is establishing a presence in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Syria,” Speaker Edelstein told the conference. “It’s a shame that instead of isolating, Italy is deepening its cooperation with Tehran and hurting the international effort to block its terror and subversion. Israel will act independently against anyone who tries to undermine our existence.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left the Rome hotel lobby where the MED conference on Middle Eastern affairs was taking place, shortly before Speaker Edelstein’s speech.

“In China, India and Africa Israel’s technological innovations in the fields of agriculture and desalination are saving lives. It’s unfortunate that such amazing cooperation with Israel can be seen in such remote places, but not in Arab countries that are in our backyard,” Speaker Edelstein said in his speech.

Earlier, Speaker Edelstein met with Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and said “Iran is a dangerous country which poses a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire world, not only with missiles, but also with the dissemination of lies, hatred and evil throughout the world. It’s unfortunate that Italy insists on continuing its trade relations with Iran.” 

Earlier, Zarif slammed Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency over what he said seemed to be a covert program aimed at “killing” the nuclear deal.