Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s remarks calling Israel a “cancerous tumor” by calling on more countries to join the US’ sanctions against the “Iranian terrorist regime.”
“Israel knows very well how to defend itself from the murderous Iranian regime,” Netanyahu stated Saturday.
“Rouhani’s slander, which calls for the destruction of Israel, proves yet again why the nations of the world need to join in the sanctions against the Iranian terrorist regime which threatens them,” he added.
Addressing an annual Islamic Unity Conference earlier in the day, Rouhani said “one of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region.” He also referred to Israel as a “fake regime” set up by Western countries.
Rouhani alleged that the US cultivates close ties with “regional Muslim nations” to protect Israel, an apparent reference to Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia and the kingdom’s Sunni Arab allies. He said bowing to American pressure amounts to “treason.”
He added, however, that Iran was prepared to defend Saudi Arabia from “terrorism and superpowers.”
“We do consider you as a brother,” he said. “We do consider the people of Mecca and Medina our brothers,” he added, referring to Islam’s two holiest cities, in Saudi Arabia.
Rouhani is considered a relative moderate in the West and has been hosted by several European countries.