Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used the platform of the ongoing World Holocaust Forum to accuse Iran of being "the most anti-Semitic regime" in the world.
"I am concerned that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet. A regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state," Netanyahu said, speaking to world leaders on Thursday.
Saluting US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for "confronting the tyrants of Tehran," Netanyahu accused the Islamic Republic of posing a threat not only to Israel, but to the "peace and security of the entire world," and called on governments worldwide "to join the vital effort of confronting Iran."
Pence was one of dozens of foreign leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prince Charles and others taking part in the event, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp from the Nazis.
"I wish to assure again our people and all our friends, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state, defend our people and defend the Jewish future," Netanyahu stressed.
The Israeli prime minister and other senior Israeli officials have repeatedly accused Iran of anti-Semitism, and have compared Tehran's alleged nuclear programme to the Nazis' brutal genocide of millions of European Jews. On Tuesday, Netanyahu told US media that "the lessons of Auschwitz" included the necessity to "stop bad things when they're small - and Iran is a very bad thing."
Tel Aviv has expressed concerns about Tehran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, and successfully lobbied US President Donald Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. Iran maintains that it has no intention of obtaining a nuclear weapon, or weapons of mass destruction of any kind, and destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons in the 1990s. Israel maintains a deliberate policy of ambiguity regarding its status as a nuclear power, but is thought to possess a vast arsenal of ground, sea, and air-launched nuclear weapons. Israel is not a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.