Iran's Rouhani dismisses Netanyahu's 'Iranophobia' remarks

Mar 08, 2018, 08:52 IST | IANS

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent claims that the Islamic republic is a "threat" to the region

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent claims that the Islamic republic is a "threat" to the region. Israel cannot call Iran a threat to the Middle East, as Israel has driven the region to the brink of destruction, Press TV quoted Rouhani as saying during a cabinet session on Wednesday.

"Those who have over the past 70 years created tension, launched wars and caused destruction in the region and have committed genocide and caused Sabra and Shatila (massacre) are in no position to portray Iran as a threat," said Rouhani. "Iran is no threat to anyone. Iran is (the pillar) of stability and security for the entire region," Rouhani said.

Also, he maintained that the development of Iran's missile program is aimed at safeguarding peace and security in the region, and "it will strongly defend its rights." On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that Iran was responsible for "darkness descending" on the Middle East. Netanyahu also said that "Iran is building an aggressive empire."

He made the remarks in Washington addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands had been disastrous to the Middle East region.

"Despite Netanyahu's claims, the fact is that illegal occupation lies at the heart of most of the calamities in our region," Zarif tweeted on Tuesday. "Historically, occupying another's land has never been sustainable. This occupation, too - and the apartheid system that perpetuates it - will not last long," Zarif said.

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