A Pagine Ebraiche journalist was the only reporter who asked Iranian president Hassan Rouhani about human rights during the press conference Rouhani held in Rome on the last day of his visit to Italy last Wednesday.
“How do you think we can trust your words and your propaganda if your nation continues to be ranked as one of the top countries that promotes human rights denial?” Adam Smulevich asked. The question did not receive any answer, since Rouhani decided to leave the room, where, until that moment, he had held a press conference where the only questions allowed had received a prior approval by Iranian diplomatic staff.
Rouhani’s refusal to answer quickly made the rounds of the web and newspapers.
“Did we want to show that the Iranian leader neither wanted nor could answer our questions? Not really, because we already knew that. We wanted rather to expose how the final press conference of this unhappy visit to Italy was playacting, where not only the answers were obvious, but mostly the only questions admitted had been agreed to in advance. This is not a problem for Iran, it is a problem for Italy and for its’ system of information and politics,” Pagine Ebraiche editor-in-chief Guido Vitale commented.
Vitale also wrote: “People should not thank us. We just do our duty and we love our job. Thank those who enabled the Italian Jewish world of producing news in a credible and strong way, of working to leave tangible signs. Thank those who enable us to be journalists with our heads held high.”