Netanyahu called on other countries to place sanctions on Iran after Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor.”
By: United with Israel Staff and AP
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.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated that he “strongly” condemns Rouhani’s “unacceptable” remarks
“It is absolutely unacceptable when Israel’s right to exist is called into question or its destruction is invoked,” he said.
“Because of our historic responsibility, the determined fight against all forms of anti-Semitism and support for Israel is particularly important to us. The security of Israel is not negotiable for Austria,” he underscored.
Kurz has previously condemned Iran and Rouhani for anti-Semitism.
Iran does not recognize Israel and regularly calls for its destruction.
In a rally in Tehran last year, Iran unveiled a digital clock in the city’s Palestine Square counting down the days to what it says will be the destruction of Israel in 2040.
The time frame appears to stem from comments made in 2015 by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who vowed there will be “nothing” left of Israel by the year 2040.
In September 2015, Khamenei proclaimed, “You [Israelis] will not see the coming 25 years and, God willing, there will not be something named the Zionist regime in next 25 years.”
He later tweeted in broken English, “Struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.” Khamenei calls for Israel’s destruction almost on a weekly basis.
Most recently, Rouhani threatened Israel and stated that it can never feel safe, while calling for all Palestinians to “return to their homeland.”