Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, considered by some in the West as a “moderate,” told the Islamic Unity Conference on Saturday what he really thinks of Israel. “One of the most important effects of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” said Rouhani in an English translation of his comments posted to his office’s website. The Arabic version of the website—per a Google translation into English—clarified that Rouhani was describing Israel.
Rouhani said Israel was “deployed” into the Middle East as an entity that “completely obeys the West in regional matters.” He continued, “They formed the fake Israeli regime and killed and displaced the historical nation of Palestine.”
Following the surprising public comments, Israel warned the words are more than just empty threats. “History has taught us that anti-Semitic threats from fanatical leaders, and exporters of terror who have hegemonic aspirations, must be taken seriously,” said Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan in Germany on Sunday. Erdan, whose comments to the pro-Israel Deutscher Israelkongress conference were published in a press release, encouraged Germany to “take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime.” He noted that Iran threatens Europe as well.
Erdan pointed out that Israel has helped uncover Iranian terrorism plots in European territory, and “Iran will not stop and continue to try to carry out terror attacks in Europe.”
Indeed, Rouhani didn’t limit his antagonistic comments to Israel in his Saturday speech. The West, and the United States in particular, were targeted as well, and Rouhani even invoked Islam in his anti-West comments.
“Submission to America and the West means betraying Islamic ideals and Muslim generations, and laying red carpet for historic criminals,” said Rouhani, according to the Iranian Presidency’s website.
The strong comments from Rouhani come as the US has resumed stiff sanctions against Iran, including oil and financial sanctions, after exiting the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year. So far, Europe has resisted in following the American approach.
Erdan believes that the US goal of changing the Iranian regime’s actions via the sanctions is important not just for Israel, but Europe as well.
“Forcing a change in Iran’s behavior is necessary for the safety of the people of Israel, of the people of Iran, and of the people of Europe… Changing the behavior of the regime is what the Iranian people want, that is what the Gulf States want, and I call on Germany to join the US sanctions against Iran, and if Germany does so, other European countries will do the same.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also believes Rouhani’s comments highlight the importance of renewing sanctions on Iran. Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Saturday, said, “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.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 25, 2018)