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April 17, 2016 7:05 am

Iranian President Blames ‘Zionist Regime’ for All Mideast Woes

avatar by Lea Speyer

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikipedia.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israel is the “root source of violence and extremism in the Middle East,” Iran’s president on Thursday, according to Tehran’s semi-official news agency, Tasnim.

Addressing the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey, President Hassan Rouhani warned that the world must “always be vigilant against the danger of the Zionist regime.”

According to Tasnim, Rouhani said that Israel is engaged in the “continued massacre of innocent Palestinian people, mostly women and children,” and that “the siege of the Gaza Strip shows the violent nature of the Zionist regime of Israel that continues its brutalities.” He also accused the international community, particularly the West, of ignoring what’s taking place.

In a subtle threat to the OIC, Rouhani also called for unity in the Islamic world amid reports of an apparent draft statement by Saudi Arabia against Iran and proxy Hezbollah. “Since any divisive move does not enjoy consensus among (the member states) of the organization (the OIC) and the Islamic Ummah and is in conflict with the raison d’être of the organization, it would be invalid,” he stated.

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The president’s warning follows comments made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday, denouncing the Saudi initiative as “destructive.”

The conflict between regional enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia has heated up over the last several months. Despite signing a nuclear agreement with P5+1 powers, Iran continues to test-fire ballistic missiles, leaving Saudi and Western officials questioning the Iranian regime’s apparent violation of the deal and true nuclear ambitions.

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