Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called Israel a "cancerous tumor" established by Western countries to advance their interests in the Middle East.
Addressing an annual Islamic Unity Conference on Saturday, Rouhani said "one of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region." He went on to refer to Israel as a "fake regime" set up by Western countries.
Iran supports terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas that are pledged to Israel's destruction, in addition to positioning Iranian troops in Syria close to Israel's border.
Israel consistently condemns Iran as an existential threat to the Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemned Rouhani's remarks on Saturday evening, stating, "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."
Rouhani said the United States cultivates close ties with "regional Muslim nations" to protect Israel, an apparent reference to Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and the kingdom's Sunni Arab allies.
He said bowing to American pressure amounts to "treason."
Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran nearly three years ago after Iranian protesters stormed its diplomatic posts in Iran in response the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. The two countries support opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen.
This article originally appeared at worldisraelnews.com.
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