Addressing the 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Israel was a “cancerous tumor” established in the Middle East by Western countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening responded, saying: “Israel knows very well how to defend itself from the murderous Iranian regime. 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.”
Rouhani called on the world’s Muslims to unite against the United States and its ally, Israel, accusing Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states of rolling out red carpets before them.
“Submitting to the West headed by America would be treason against our religion […] and against the future generations of this region,” Rouhani said, adding, “We have a choice to either roll out red carpets for criminals, or to forcefully stand against injustice and remain faithful to our Prophet, our Koran and our Islam.”
Referring to a $450 billion in US arms sales to Saudi Arabia (the real amount is far smaller, according to news media, well below $100 billion), Rouhani said Riyadh thinks its security is guaranteed this way, but suggested President Trump had said he uses the Saudis as milking cows and threatened the Saudis won’t survive for two weeks without American support.
“It is better for them to ask their masters to respect them at least in public, or at least not accept their masters’ continued insults,” Rouhani said.
“We are ready to defend the Saudi people’s interests with all our power,” Rouhani said, “We won’t even ask for a $450 billion contract…”
Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016, after Iranian protesters ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and set it on fire following the Saudis’ execution of including prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. The two countries are engaged in a proxy war in Yemen.