Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Italian political leaders to demonstrate outside Iran embassy


Mon. 31 Oct 2005

ROME, Oct 31 (AFP) - Italian political leaders from both left and right will take part in a rally outside Tehran's embassy in Rome on Thursday to protest against calls by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini of the right-wing National Alliance party said Monday he will join leaders of the two biggest opposition parties, Piero Fassino and Francesco Rutelli, as well as Rome's left-wing mayor Walter Veltroni, for the torchlight rally.

Veltroni described Ahmadinejad's comments as "an intolerable insult not only to the Jewish state but to all the international community."

The appeal was launched at the weekend by the right wing daily Il Foglio, whose editor Giuliano Ferrara is a former spokesman for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi described Ahmadinejad's comments as "completely crazy and unacceptable," in a television interview to be screened Monday.

"This behaviour leads nowhere. We have reached the absurd and I hope that wisdom returns to the minds which gave voice to such sentiments," he said in extracts of the interview released at the weekend.

Amos Luzzatto, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said he and members of his organisation would attend Thursday's rally.


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