Iran does not recognise Israel, Iranian Ambassador to Rome Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari said at an ANSA forum on the new scenarios opened up by Iranian President Hassan Rohani Thursday.
The forum also featured the chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee, Pier Ferdinando Casini, former Italian ambassador to Tehran Luca Giansanti, currently director-general for political affairs and security at the Italian foreign ministry, and the president of Italy's Centre for International Studies (Ce.S.I.), Andrea Margelletti.
"We do not recognise a country that is called Israel," Ambassador Mozaffari said.
The United States recognises that Iran is completely different from Islamic State (ISIS), Mozaffari went on.
Mozaffari said that despite the "US having always given their allies in the region unconditional support" over the last 37 years, Washington has "for the first time recognised that no Iranian was involved in the September 11 attack, just as there are no Iranians among those who have cut off heads in Iraq".
He said this was one of the important effects of the recent accord on Iran's nuclear programme.
"We are happy that after these 37 years an issue has been resolved that had been created by them, although there are other obstacles to its realisation," the ambassador said referring to July 14 nuclear accord, on which he also recognised the important role played by Europe.
"We believe," he added, that the solution of a complex question via diplomacy is an example to be followed".
Mozaffari insisted on Tehran's desire to seek a diplomatic interlocutor in Saudi Arabia, a rival Sunni power to the Shiite Iran in the region.
"We never wanted to remove (Saudi Arabia) from the efforts to resolve regional crises," he stressed, and "we have never interrupted relations with them" despite the many cases of tension, also in the last few months.
Casini, the Senate foreign affairs committee chair, told the forum that he would like to see "certainties" for Italian investors entering or re-entering the country after the recent nuclear accord.
These certainties, he said "regard business risk but also the issue of the liberalisation needed in an economy in which sanctions have spawned phenomena like parasitism".
In foreign policy, he said, "Iran is a problem, but also a resource" to help solve regional problems.
He voiced the hope that Iran can help improve the institutional "paralysis" in Lebanon, favouring the election of a new president, and also foster better relations with Sunni powers.
Giansanti, the former ambassador in Tehran who is now foreign ministry director-general for political affairs and security, said 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".