Rouhani: We’ll defend Muslim countries against Israel

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, on Sunday vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel, The Associated Press reports.

Speaking during a National Army Day parade on Sunday, Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and said, "If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran."

The speech came at the same rally in which Iran paraded its new S-300 missile system which was purchased from Russia.

Rouhani emphasized that Iran's military power was for defensive and deterrent purposes, and should not be seen as a threat to its neighbors.

He appeared to be referring to Gulf Arab states, which have long viewed Iran as seeking to dominate the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran back opposite sides in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars and the two have clashed several times in recent months.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, recently accused Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.

His Saudi counterpart, Adel Al-Jubeir, has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom's neighbors.

Iran has also accused Saudi Arabia of collaborating with Israel, due to the two countries’ similar positions against Iran’s nuclear program.

The similar position of Israel and Saudi Arabia has been used by Iranian media to claim that the two countries are working together against Iran’s nuclear program.


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