Anti-Assad protest in Syrian city of Hama 311 (R).
BERLIN – Lawmakers in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies unanimously passed a
resolution on Wednesday calling for the international community to ratchet up
its pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end his government’s repression
of democracy activists, as well as Iran’s and Hezbollah’s influence in
Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the chamber’s Foreign Affairs
Committee, in an interview to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, described the
resolution as a trailblazing document and an “in depth examination of how Syria
is one of the worst dangers in the Middle East.”
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The deputies agreed that
“only a correct policy of sanction and condemnation” can halt “the violation of
human rights, which has always been perpetrated by the Alawite regime,”
according to a translated copy of the three-page resolution obtained by the
Assad is a member of the heterodox minority Alawite strand of
Islam, and his family has controlled Syria since 1970.
“The possible fall
of Bashar Assad’s regime would be a lethal blow for the Islamic Republic, which
defines the protests in Syria as a ‘plot of the West,’” the Italian legislators
US officials have asserted that Iran’s government is working with
Assad to clamp down on Syria’s democracy movement.
The Italian resolution
was formulated late last month.
According to Nirenstein, “not a single
member voted against” it on Wednesday and the results are
Speaking to the Post
from the Chamber of Deputies, she added
that Syria is “endangering the freedom of Lebanon” through its support for the
Iranian-backed group Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s accumulation of
“40,000 short- and medium-range rockets.”
While the European Union has
sanctioned the Assad government for suppressing pro-reform demonstrations, the
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies appears to be the first European parliament to issue
a sweeping criticism of Assad’s blood-soaked repression of his population, as
well as to condemn Syria’s efforts to target Israel and destabilize the Middle
According to the resolution, “Palestinian-Syrians repeatedly tried
to march across the border between Syria and Israel and swarm into the country;
according to intelligence sources, the Damascus regime offered $1,000 to each
protester willing to go to the border to provoke the reaction of Israeli
soldiers so as to distract the world’s attention from the massacres perpetrated
in Syria against the anti-government protesters.”
groups, and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, noted that the Assad government paid
Syrian farmers and Palestinians living in Syria to storm the demilitarized zone
on the eastern edge of the Golan Heights.
The Italian resolution also
calls for “work to prevent Syria from introducing foreign powers and security
forces into its territory to crackdown on its protesters.”
In addition to
increased sanctions against Assad’s government, the Italian lawmakers ask that
Syria permit a UN mission access to the country to investigate the human rights
The deputies also advocate a broad-based international effort
to force Syria to end its campaign of violence against its people.
Italian legislators deemed the efforts of the international community, including
the United States, “to engage in dialogue with the present Syrian regime...
unrealistic and unfeasible.” The resolution underscores the Syrian- Iranian
alliance as a source for volatility and jingoism in the region.
to the resolution, “Last February, some days after the fall of Mubarak’s regime
in Egypt, two Iranian war ships went through the Suez Canal for the first time
since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and docked at the port of Latakia in
“Following their arrival, on March 2, Presidents Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad and Assad signed a protocol to immediately start work to transform
Latakia Port into a military base for the Iranian Navy, with the possibility to
accommodate war ships, submarines and batteries to launch missiles against ships
and air crafts,” the legislators said.
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