During Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani's visit to Rome, he was asked a question about human rights in a press conference on Wednesday, and decided to answer by leaving the room.
Adam Smulevich, a reporter from the Jewish-Italian newspaper Pagine Ebraiche asked the Iranian president, “How do you think we can trust your words and your propaganda if the nation continues to be ranked as one of the top countries that promote human rights denial?”
The reaction of the Iranian leader was not a pleasant one. According to participants who attended the conference, Rouhani “rummaged the room with angry eyes” and after a few seconds of tension, left without giving an answer.
The journalists’ were only allowed to ask questions which had prior approval by Iranian officials, which is why Smulevich was surprised by Rouhani’s reaction, saying, “He stared at me in the eyes, not with a lot of sympathy, then ignored me and headed towards the exit."
The purpose of Rouhani's visit to Italy was to sign a business agreement with the local government, following the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) lifting sanctions which were placed on Iran.
Iran has since been eager to establish new financial relationships with several countries in Europe.