Iran invites Italian diplomat to anti-Israel rally

Iran summoned Italy's ambassador to Tehran to protest a planned pro-Israeli rally on Thursday that was organized to denounce recent anti-Israel comments by the Iranian president, according to news reports. Italy's foreign ministry confirmed Wednesday that Ambassador Roberto Toscano had been summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry a day earlier, but did not say why. The ANSA news agency reported he had been handed a note of protest because of the rally planned to be held outside the Iranian Embassy in Rome. In a separate meeting Tuesday, Toscano also met with Iranian Vice President Parziv Davoudi. During that meeting, Davoudi called on Toscano "to convey the realities of Iranian society accurately to his government so that Italian officials can adopt stances toward Iran without being influenced by Zionist propaganda," according to Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency. Davoudi also called for Italy's "active response to the crimes committed by the Zionist regime against Palestinians," IRNA said on its Web site.