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Berlusconi tells ADL: Italy not helping Iran

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told the Anti-Defamation League that Italy will not help Iran launch a communications satellite.

In a Nov. 11 meeting in Rome with ADL national director Abraham Foxman, Berlusconi denied media reports that the Iranian government would use Italy to launch the satellite after March 2011, according to an ADL statement.

The Italian prime minister also emphasized his commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

"Italy has been a staunch supporter of the safety and security of Israel, a strong ally of the United States and plays an important role in the international effort to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions," said Foxman. "The prime minister reiterated that support. We appreciate Prime Minister Berlusconi’s willingness to hear our concerns and his explicit statement that Italy will not cooperate with Iran to launch a communications satellite.”

The Italian company that helped build the satellite also said that it had no plans to help Iran launch the satellite.

The Associated Press reported that the Carlo Gavazzi Space company said no launch platforms exist in Italy and it had not requested an export license.

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