"Israel is the main source of all conflicts in the Middle East," Hossein Ruyvaran, an expert on the Middle East and the Arab world who teaches at the University of Tehran, said. "Since this state was established in 1948, the region has been plagued by many wars sparked by Israel – in 1948, 1956, 1973, 1982, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014. The Israeli regime is the main reason for regional tensions due to its ambitions. This regime has tried to change the geopolitical orientation in the region."
These remarks came in response to Netanyahu calling on the United States and the United Kingdom to adopt a tough stance on Iran due to Tehran's ostensibly "defiant aggression" and in light of the country's "defiance against the international order."
"Claims that Iran is the key threat [in the Middle East] and the main reason behind all troubles in the region are groundless," Ruyvaran said. "Israel has tried to use these accusations to turn the West against Iran. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has adopted Resolution 2234 which strongly condemns Israel's unlawful settlements on occupied lands."
Hassan Hanizadeh, Iranian political analyst and former chief editor of the Mehr News Agency, expressed similar sentiments. He referred to Netanyahu's remarks as "anti-Iranian political propaganda."
Netanyahu's comments came after Iran had tested a new ballistic missile last week. The United States imposed new sanctions on Tehran, with US President Donald Trump tweeting that the Islamic Republic has been "formally put on notice" for conducting the test. He added that Iran was "playing with fire."
Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 2 февраля 2017 г.
Iran is playing with fire — they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 3 февраля 2017 г.
Tehran has repeatedly said that its missile program is defensive in nature and does not threaten other countries. On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that the test was not intended "to send a message" to the new US administration.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!