Russian FM criticizes Iran's calls for Israel's destruction

Sergei Lavrov says Russia won't accept statements that Israel should be wiped off the map.

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Elad Benari,

Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday issued a rare condemnation of Iran’s remarks calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

At the same time, he also said he believes that solving any regional problems should not be viewed through the prism of a conflict with Iran.

"We have stated many times that we won’t accept the statements that Israel, as a Zionist state, should be destroyed and wiped off the map. I believe this is an absolutely wrong way to advance one’s own interests," Lavrov stressed, according to the Tass news agency.

"By the same token, we oppose attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran," he added.

“This is happening in Syria, Yemen and even the latest developments around the Palestinian issue, including Washington’s announcement of its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, are largely motivated by this anti-Iranian stance," Lavrov said.

The comments come amid rising tensions between Israel and Iran. Last week, an Iranian drone which infiltrated Israeli airspace from Syria was shot down by the Israel Air Force.

On Sunday, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held up what he said was a piece of the Iranian drone and stressed that Israel would act against Iran while reiterating his country's position that Tehran was the world's greatest threat.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later slammed Netanyahu in his own speech at the Munich conference.