Hassan Rouhani
Hassan RouhaniReuters

Calling Israel a "cancerous tumor", Irani's President Hassan Rouhani urged Muslim nations worldwide to unite and destroy Israel.

Speaking at a conference, Rouhani said on Saturday that "one of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region", adding later that Israel is a "fake regime".

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Rouhani's rhetoric showed that the international community should join the United States in sanctioning Iran.

"Israel is well aware of defending itself against the murderous regime in Iran," said Netanyahu. "Rouhani's hate speech calling for the destruction of Israel proves once again why the nations of the world should join sanctions against the Iranian terror regime, which also threatens them,."

Rouhani also attacked the United States, saying that "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 Quran and our Islam".

"Choosing to stand by the US is a betrayal of the Muslim world."

The comments come amid tensions between the US and Iran, after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has reiterated that more sanctions on Iran could be on the way.