Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday said that “resistance and fighting the usurper Zionist regime” is the only way for Palestinians to gain their rights.

He made the comments during a meeting in Tehran with Ziad al-Nakhala, head of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

“The jihad of the Palestinians must continue until the Zionist enemy is surrendered to the rights of the Palestinian nation,” said Rouhani, according to a report on the Iranian presidency’s website.

“With the help of the new authorities of the White House, the Zionist Regime is seeking to dominate the entire region and Palestine is a part of this plan,” he charged.

He further claimed that “the Israelis have never accepted the rights of the Palestinians and therefore, the only way is to fight and resist.”

“The great Iranian nation have proved it several times during the past 40 years that one can achieve victory through resistance and fighting, and today, the enemies are trying to put Iran under pressure with a new economic war and full siege,” continued Rouhani, referring to the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.

Rouhani also said, “Given its occupying nature, if the Zionist Regime surrenders the Palestinian nation, it will not satisfy them, so the entire peoples of the region must consider the Zionist regime not just the enemy of the Palestinian nation, but also the enemy of the entire region.”

The remarks are the latest example of the anti-Israel rhetoric of Rouhani, who has been described as a “moderate”.

Less than two months ago, the Iranian President referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor”, resulting in him being condemned by countries around the world.

Last June, Rouhani said that Israel “can never feel safe” because it is “oppressing the Palestinian nation”.

The Iranian president has in the past called Israel “illegitimate” and lamented that the crisis in Syria has made it difficult for Iran to focus on harming Israel.

Shortly after being elected in 2013, Rouhani called Israel an "old wound" that "should be removed". Iranian media later claimed that Rouhani’s remarks were distorted.