Iran's FM blasts 'warmonger' Netanyahu

Mohammad Javad Zarif fires back after Netanyahu says Israel is focused on preventing the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Elad Benari,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, fired back on Wednesday after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel is focused on preventing the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons and on preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria.

“Iran, a country without nuclear weapons, is threatened with atomic annihilation by a warmonger standing next to an actual nuclear weapons factory. Beyond shameless in the gall,” tweeted Zarif.

Netanyahu, speaking earlier on Wednesday at a ceremony to rename Israel's nuclear research facility for former President Shimon Peres, said that “the IDF will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria. No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us.”

"Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger, and in any case will not achieve his goal,” he continued.

Netanyahu’s comments came after Iran's defense minister, Amir Hatami, visited Damascus where he made clear his country will continue its support of the Syrian government to ensure improved security in the region.

During Hatami’s visit, Iran and Syria signed a deal cementing Iran’s “cooperation” with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Iran has been providing Assad with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently made clear that Iran would withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.

Israeli officials have made clear that Israel will not accept any Iranian military entrenchment in Syria.