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E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2020 TAGS: IT, PHUM, PREL SUBJECT: ITALY ON THE IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW SESSION
REF: SECSTATE 7242
Classified By: Political-Military Counselor J. Liam Wasley for reasons 1.4(b) and 1.4(d)
1. (C) Poloffs delivered reftel points to MFA Human Rights Office Director Laura Carpini and to Gulf Desk Officer Silvia Santangelo to seek support for U.S. views and solicit recommendations to affect Iranian behavior on the occasion of the upcoming U.N. Human Rights Council's (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iran. Carpini stated that the GOI would be active in the process and would propose recommendations on dealing with priority human rights issues. The GOI focus, reported Carpini and Santangelo, would be on the death penalty, and in particular the execution of minors; on religious and ethnic minorities, with a focus on the Baha'i and the Kurds; and on freedom of expression for press and political activists. GOI points will also raise legal concern for the guarantee of due process and a fair trial. Carpini said it was important for all countries to ward against procedural traps and the apologist statements of other human rights violators, seeking to show political solidarity. Santangelo said the GOI would submit points, but had not yet decided if Italy would make a statement separate from that of the EU.
2. (C) Santangelo and Carpini both noted that the GOI had summoned the Iranian charge following the Ashura events; the Director General for Middle East Luigi Marras had asked that the Iranians show some sign of respect for human rights, according to Santangelo. Marras reportedly also raised the cases of American citizens being held in Iran, information about which had been provided by poloff. The Iranian charge responded that the events following Ashura were caused by a terrorist movement (the MEK was mentioned) that was infiltrating the country. The Iranian police, he argued, did not carry weapons, thus it was not possible that the Iranian police had caused any deaths. The election, he said, represented the will of the Iranian people and must now be respected. Santangelo remarked that FM Frattini has since called on all EU countries to summon Ambassadors for a similar demarche, and that EU countries were now doing so.
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3. (C) Santangelo noted that FM Frattini's planned meeting with the Iranian Majlis Foreign Affairs Committee head Alaeddin Boroujerdi, originally scheduled for January 21, had been postponed until early February. Bouroujerdi will visit at the invitation of Lamberto Dini, the Head of the Italian Senate,s Commission on Foreign Policy. Boroujerdi,s visit follows on Dini,s 2007 visit to Tehran, and the invitation to visit Rome was reportedly long-standing. Poloff has asked that Frattini raise the case of the detained American citizens at that meeting as well. THORNE