MEK: Ambassador Giulio Terzi, at a Press Conference on Iranian Regime’s Development and Use of Ballistic Missiles
The National Council of Resistance of Iran held a press conference on Thursday, March 18, 2021, to discuss new revelations regarding the Iranian regime’s development and use of ballistic missiles.
Transcript of remarks by Ambassador Giulio Terzi, Foreign Minister of Italy (2011-2013) at the online press conference on the Iranian regime’s development and use of ballistic missiles.
The appeasement policy is completely wrong
Thank you very much for your presentation and the basic elements you have addressed to the International community, especially to the American administration, to the European Union. This appeasement policy is completely wrong and ill-designed. It is a very wrong track and we have to engage in a different track. And I try to say in my short words on this occasion.
I would like to start by saying that while Iran’s ballistic missile program goes almost as back as the 80s, it is evident that the Iranian regime’s activities during the past five years, since the implementation of JCPOA, have not demonstrated at all that the nuclear agreement has been a successful experience. On the contrary. And that is because it’s such a JCPOA antiballistic missile program is such a critical issue on both sides of the Atlantic.
We have to remember that in the preface to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the P5+1 stressed that the signatories and I quote, anticipate that full implementation of this JCPOA will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security. Resolution 2231 of the U.N. Security Council was based on the JCPOA as specifically calling for Iran to refrain from activities related to nuclear-capable missiles.
Iran started immediately violating the spirit of the JCPOA
But almost immediately after the implementation of the JCPOA the adoption and entering into force of the JCPOA, Iran started immediately violating the spirit of that joint program of action. Not an agreement, not a treaty, as we know in formal terms, but still a legally binding agreement and intent. And they started violating this, the norm and the spirit about the spirit of spirit, expanding the production, test and the exportation, even the exportation of its missiles.
And that happened as the proponents of the JCPOA should be reminded that on March 29, 2016, just a little less than one year after the adoption and after three months of the implementation of the nuclear agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom, France, Germany wrote a joint letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations accusing, explicitly accusing Iran of defying Security Council Resolution 2231 and they accuse Iran of defying the resolution 2231 because they had conducted and it was very evident that they were conducting missile tests which are not in line, not acceptable, taking into account this resolution, not accepted at all both in legal terms and also especially in the spirit of this resolution.
And the fact a European leader who has been constantly in favor of the agreement had to declare and to admit to the Bundestag on July 7, Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 7, 2016, said to the Bundestag, that “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council,” The Middle East and North Africa subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States and the hearing on March 31, 2017, titled, “Testing the limits, Iran’s ballistic missile program, sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
Iran has tested at least 15 ballistic missiles in defiance of resolution 2231
In that hearing, the chair of the subcommittee said, “Since the signing of the JCPOA, Iran has tested at least 15 ballistic missiles and has done so in open defiance of resolution 2231”. In fact, the Iranian regime had tested a rocket that can deliver a satellite into orbit, and that it did so on July 27, 2017.
Following a test of the Simorg, which means Phoenix, as you know, and following that test, again, the four countries of the five plus one, that is to say, US, France, Germany, and Britain issued their joint statement condemning the action of testing that rocket the action and expressing their concern that this test and the destabilizing impact in that region and I can go on and on because there have been a number of violations and example and evidence that Iran is violating not only with this missile test, which is extremely worrisome for the international community. but he has kept it, kept pushing, obtaining illicit and smuggled equipment and parts of equipment needed for manufacturing missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
I have to say they continue to obtain this equipment from different sources. One can identify and recognize the old operation that the Iranian regime has with North Korea. But very, unfortunately, they were able also to obtain from private companies technologies and spare parts and the component also from Western countries, which have been induced in violations on illicit trade with the regime. To the point that the German intelligence report which followed the nuclear agreement in 2015, a certain point said, “There has been small or no decrease in the Islamic Republic’s efforts to gain technology for missiles capable of carrying warheads.”
The ayatollahs kept expanding their ballistic missile program unabated
That means nuclear warheads. And actually, the ayatollahs kept expanding their ballistic missile program unabated. And with that and with no impunity, particularly from the E.U. countries throughout the last five years.
And again, and you mentioned Dr. Safavi, in a statement by the president-elect Maryam Rajavi on this matter that is really an extremely important statement because they can be summarized in a press conference and taken on June 20, 2017, by the representative of NCRI, a press conference, that one which exposed 42 centers for missile production development and testing by the IRGC throughout the country, so the IRGC is moving as huge machinery which matches economic activities with high tech and weaponization of armaments and nuclear, and the nuclear process, as we know very well because many centers belong to the IRGC.
And that is also a reason why the international community should be much more forthcoming, especially the European and Western countries in general, in labeling as a terrorist entity the IRGC.
The problem was aggravated over the years
The problem was aggravated over the years. I mean, there is another thing which must be underlined because there are not only deeds for a strategy of arming itself and providing this huge arsenal and missiles and the dual capacity, even more recently, global capacity missiles to his army, but also because Tehran has become a major provider of missiles and missile technology throughout the region and to its proxies and that has been so huge, this phenomenon that many terrorist entities and bad actors, including the Houthis in Yemen, we know they continuous attack. The Houthis have been addressed to neighboring countries, especially Saudi Arabia, but Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq.
All of these entities which are at war with the country, are carrying a sectarian war in the name of the mullahs and are spreading a situation of war with different intensities throughout the country. And this trend reached a turning point in 2019 when Iran targeted Saudi Arabia as a nation, and with the September 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities, which was condemned by the U.N. Secretary-General Guterres. But again, to no avail, because not that it was not an end to these nefarious activities by the Iranians.
The Iranian regime continues to manufacture, expand, export, ballistic missiles
So let me say that there should be no illusion of what is going on. The Iranian regime has set and established a policy of continuing to manufacture, expand, export, and even use ballistic missiles and war to increase their range.
These weapons are becoming more lethal, precise, accurate, and dangerous, and they are becoming a threat in an increased way by the day. There is a trend which is continuing, has never been determined sufficiently after now. And in light of the embargo, it is simply naive and dangerous to re-enter. I mean, it is astonishing how there are still voices.
Unfortunately, the American voice in this very moment that I would say there were many, many doubts and many concerns about the line that President Biden and Secretary Blinken and the top-level administration undertaken vis a vis Iran. They appear to be more cautious than many people were suggesting and especially more cautious than Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the Iranian leadership did appear to believe.
But we have to emphasize, I mean, all people are concerned by the Iranian threat to they cannot be shy in continuing emphasizing that it is simply naive and dangerous to re-enter the JCPOA without realizing that it was a flawed deal, because it didn’t produce. On the contrary, over the last five years, it produced exactly the opposite effect to what should have been expected by the international community. It did not provide that agreement, any restraint, to the Iranian regime, or malicious activities.
Europeans, ignore that’s a threat to the stability of the Middle East
And it is more dangerous, especially for Europeans, to ignore that this threat is another threat to the stability of the Middle East. And therefore, again, dear friends, it is a total failure.
What the last five years of implementation, say implementation between brackets on course as you. Well, because it was not implemented at all, especially by the Iranians who have taken these five years just to increase the capacity of the centrifuges, to increase the stockpile of enriched uranium, and so on and so on.
So, in conclusion, what is the suggestion that I believe should be put forward and should be really stressed?
First, zero enrichment and reprocessing
First of all, zero enrichment and reprocessing in the hands of the Iranian regime like this one must be completely forbidden, zero enrichment or processing or reprocessing, because the JCPOA represented the departure from the previous international demand of zero uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
That was really a dogma for the negotiators of a nonproliferation agreement, and there was a breach in that norm five years ago when Iran was allowed; this regime in Iran was allowed to start a path of enrichment and reprocessing.
Second, the regional issues
Second, Iran’s unacceptable behavior beyond nuclear proliferation, missile proliferation, beyond those big breaches to international law. Iran’s behavior must be addressed in any new agreement. The regional issues must be a core component of any new understanding on nonproliferation, both on the side of nuclear or missile proliferation.
Third, support for terrorism and for terrorist proxies
And third, Iran’s missile program if support for terrorist proxy for terrorist proxies and partners operating in the Middle East and in a wider sense, also in Europe or in Europe, because we know that terrorist activity by MOIS, IRGC intelligence, the Iranian intelligence in Europe is trying to heat to make a major terrorist attack.
I mean, Iran’s missile program must be looked at with a lot of care and attention, also in the sense that it can support terrorist and malicious activities of Iran around the world.
Fourth, hold the regime accountable for all its abuses
And fourth, it is the limited willingness of the international community to hold the regime accountable for all its abuses that must completely change. There must be a big emphasis on the priority that the Iranian threat is addressed, addressed not only to neighbors but also globally.
This limited willingness by the international community, and especially by the Europeans, must give ground to a determined political will to be firm and consistent. Thank you very much, and thank you very much.