Luca Giansanti, former Italian ambassador to Tehran and currently foreign ministry director-general for political affairs and security, told an ANSA forum on Iran Thursday that of the many actors destabilising the Middle East, "Iran has its responsibilities" but is not the only one.
Iran protects its interests and "we have to work where interests coincide," he said.
"The game for Europeans and the West in general is complicated because we must try to rebalance a situation perceived by our Sunni allies in the Gulf as unbalanced in favour of Iran", he said.
This balancing act, "working with all sides, is fundamental", he said.
Italy's relationship with Iran is not just economic but for years has seen the two work on regional crises like Afghanistan and Iraq, he said - and now, with other actors, in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, where signs of a possible solution are being seen. Giansanti also said that Iranian diplomacy had a "very great tradition" and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had sophisticated abilities, which have enabled him to build a "solid personal relationship with US Secretary of State John Kerry", which "goes beyond the relationship between the two countries, which is destined to remain complicated"