Sanctions on Iran proved to be effective, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told
his Italian counterparts on a visit to Rome Tuesday.
Edelstein met with
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, Italian Senate President Pietro Grasso,
Italian Chamber of Deputies President Laura Boldrini and members of the Senate’s
Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday and Tuesday and discussed peace talks and
Iran. He is scheduled to meet Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Speaker emphasized to Bonino the importance of a diplomatic solution to the
Iranian nuclear threat that will ensure that they will not be able to obtain
“Sanctions on Iran proved themselves and harmed the Iranian
economy,” Edelstein said. “Iranian citizens are suffering from the sanctions;
therefore, [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani chose a strategy of hypocrisy
toward the world through lies and tweets, while he tries to develop nuclear
In response to Bonino’s questions about the peace process with
the Palestinians, Edelstein opined that the lack of leaks from the talks on
either side is a positive sign for negotiations.
At the same time,
Edelstein said there are “objective problems” with the talks.
there is a signed agreement, we have to ask whether [Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas] represents Hamas in Gaza,” the Knesset Speaker pointed
“There are still serious problems in connection to Jerusalem and
“A good agreement doesn’t end in a handshake and a photo in
the press, but with real cooperation between nations in areas like the
environment, water, agriculture and others,” he stated.
Speaker addressed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday, and in response
to a lawmaker’s question why Israel does not get rid of its nuclear weapons, he
said the two countries are not comparable.
“That’s like a criminal saying
that he wants a gun because a police officer has a gun,” Edelstein quipped.
“Besides, if the world lets Iran have nuclear weapons, there will be an
intensive arms race in the Middle East. It would be a nightmare.”
world needs to ask itself, Edelstein said, why a country with oil would spend so
much money and effort on nuclear energy.
In reference to continued
construction in settlements, Edelstein said “building is not an obstacle to
peace. The proof for that is that we left northern Gaza in 2005. Unilateral
plans did not prove themselves and only brought death to Israeli
“To Israel,” he explained, “Judea and Samaria is not occupied
territory, but disputed territory.”
Edelstein asked Boldrini to make sure
the Chamber of Deputies fights “absurd decisions” in the EU, like the directive
not to support institutions and businesses in the West Bank and the Council of
Europe’s condemnation of circumcision.