Iran’s Big Italian Bear Hug

With elections in Iran engulfing the media’s energies, there’s apparently no room for anything else. Besides, it can’t be bothered with reports written in weird languages, i.e. not English (only Arianna at the now multi-lingual Huffington Post understands the folly of this narrow view).  We’ve already updated on Germany, now it’s time to focus on its warm-weather EU partner Italy.

First, the government level: following the election results, Italy’s foreign minister expressed his hope to develop bilateral relations (his ambassador in Tehran is already being smothered with love). But even beforehand – just when much of the international community maintains a wait-and-see holding pattern approach vis-à-vis Iran – direct flights by sanctioned IranAir between Tehran and Rome were resumed. Months earlier, Italians eager to strengthen economic ties with Iran claimed that their country would become Tehran’s number one European trading partner.

But seriously, folks: Rome looks to be the target of Iranian illicit activities to circumvent sanctions.

This is the story: Eleven engineers who were formerly with the Italian energy giant Ansaldo Energia have been indicted for industrial espionage, including fencing and infringing UN sanctions provisions. According to the charge sheet, the engineers stole trade secrets that they took with them to a rival company, CFD, and then sold them to Iran’s state-owned MAPNA, which is involved in energy production machinery and sanctioned for WMD involvement.

Last on the list are mavericks such as Roberto Toscano, Italy’s ambassador to Tehran from 2003-2008. He’s ubiquitous for a European – whether contributing to a report by the DC-based pro-Iranian lobby, or organizing a “debate” in Barcelona with Mousavian (since both are regime apologists, it’s not clear what they could “debate” about).

So goes Rome these days – lest the media would like to take notice.

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in Huffington Post, Iranian Financial Sanctions, Iranian Nuclear Crisis, Iranian Politics, Seyed Hossein Mousavian
2 comments on “Iran’s Big Italian Bear Hug
  1. Persian says:

    Your personal or institutional focus on our country is disgusting, as a liberal Iranian with no affiliations towards regime, i assure you that many people here-including me-support their country and do not let your agenda for bringing down our homeland works,even though that would mean supporting the regine we hate!

  2. […] isn’t the only Mediterranean country getting the full bear hug treatment from Iran. Spain, where unemployment hovers around 25%, has also become a target for Tehran’s […]

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