The Italian ambassador in Tehran, Giuseppe Perrone, was summoned by Iran's Foreign Ministry late Wednesday, to object to Rome hosting earlier in the week Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) leader.
Italy's Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week hosted MEK’s Maryam Rajavi, which Tehran has long designated as a terrorist entity.
According to a readout on its website, the Iranian Foreign Ministry told the Italian envoy that Rajavi was a "terrorist criminal," whose hosting by Italian senators was a "clear example of sponsorship for terrorism," which "Iran will not tolerate in any fashion."
MEK was among a long list of political forces that worked together to bring down the Iranian monarchy in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The clerical order that came to power, however, began purging the group only a few months into the revolution. The ensuing conflict saw the Islamic Republic executing MEK members en masse, while the group engaged in an assassination campaign targeting high-profile figures within the ruling theocracy. The organization thus sought exile in neighboring Iraq and later in Albania to continue the escalating battle.