The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, called on New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to take a stance against a visit to the American city by the Iranian regime’s president later this month, “in a sign of solidarity with the Iranian people and their chants for democracy and human rights.”
In his letter to mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Alemanno urged the New York mayor to “take a stance against Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York City in the strongest terms in a sign of solidarity with the Iranian people and their chants for democracy and human rights.”
“Please enact measures to deprive Ahmadinejad and his delegation in New York of city resources,” the Mayor of Rome added, while calling for Ahmadinejad’s trial by an international tribunal.
Below is the text of the letter translated into English:
Mr. Michael Bloomberg,
Honorable Mayor of New York City
August 27, 2010
Dear Mr. Mayor,
News about the scheduled visit of the president of the religious dictatorship in Iran to New York City to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in September has saddened democratic and freedom-loving forces everywhere.
Over the past year, Iranian cities have witnessed millions of Iranians declaring to the world that they reject the religious dictatorship in its entirety and seek democracy and freedom instead. The regime responded to these demonstrations with widespread arrests, torture, rape and execution of dissidents and political prisoners as “mohareb” (enemies of God). Daily executions, hanging of juveniles, and medieval sentences like stoning have been a source of anguish for the world public opinion. Last year, the UN General Assembly vehemently condemned systematic human rights violations in Iran. This was the 56th such condemnation by a UN body thus far.
At the same time, the clerical regime has intensified its plots against 3,400 Iranian dissidents residing in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, all of whom are “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention. At the behest of the regime, in July 2009, Iraqi forces perpetrated a series of fatal attacks against the unarmed camp residents, killing 11 of them and injuring 500 more. A number of the families of these dissidents have been detained and sentenced to death inside Iran. Among them are Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Aqai, and Javad Lari. In a recent statement, Secretary Hillary Clinton called for the annulment of their execution sentences.
Meanwhile, the clerical is pressing ahead with its nuclear weapons program and is defying UN Security Council resolutions in this regard. As the Iranian people reject the clerical regime in its entirety, Tehran’s insistence on obtaining nuclear weapons and exporting terrorism and fundamentalism to other countries in the region have triggered a serious regional and international crisis. Accepting the president of such a regime at the UN General Assembly is unacceptable. He must be put on trial at an international tribunal instead for committing many of the gruesome crimes against the Iranian people.
Perhaps you remember that when Ahmadinejad visited Rome in June 2008 on the occasion of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization summit, in a courageous decision, Rome’s city hall turned off the lights at its square for 15 minutes in protest to the visit. This act of protest was warmly received by the residents of the city.
We are certain that the overwhelming majority of the people of New York and yourself personally are highly dismayed by the presence of a brutal dictator in New York City and the UN headquarters, which was erected as the symbol of world freedom and solidarity. This is especially true since this visit and others like it are exploited by the Iranian regime in order to intensity its suppression of the Iranian people and export of terrorism and fundamentalism abroad.
Therefore, please allow us to urge you to take a stance against Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York City in the strongest terms in a sign of solidarity with the Iranian people and their chants for democracy and human rights. Please enact measures to deprive Ahmadinejad and his delegation in New York of city resources.
Mayor of Rome