Samir Kuntar - AP - 17.7.2008
Samir Kantar in south of Beirut, Lebanon, July 17, 2008. Photo by AP
Text size

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to anti-Israel comments by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei show that Iran has Israel "horrified," convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar said in a conference in Tehran on Monday.

Kuntar, who was convicted of murdering four Israelis in a 1979 terror attack and was released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange deal in 2008, was referring to comments by the Iranian Supreme Leader on Saturday, when he called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that should be removed.

Speaking later Saturday, Netanyahu said Khamenei's remarks "strengthen the steadfastness of my government on the security needs of Israel's citizens and our demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state."

On Monday, speaking on the sidelines of the Tehran conference on the Palestinian Intifada, Kuntar remarked on the swiftness of Netanyahu's response, tells the semi-official Fars Iranian news agency that "Ayatollah Khamenei's statements horrified the Zionist regime, otherwise we would not witness Netanyahu's rapid reaction."

The convicted terrorist also stressed Iran's importance in the effort to free Palestinian land from Israeli occupation, saying that the "existence of a powerful Iran will no doubt help to the settlement of the Palestinian issue and the victory of resistance."

Kuntar's remarks came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by AFP as saying that if "the backers of the Zionist regime want to solve the issue... the solution is simple ... everyone should go home."

"Some poor people were brought to Palestine on the promise of security and jobs while they made Palestinian people into refugees... So now Palestinians should go home and those brought here should go to theirs," Ahmadinejad was quoted by AFP.

Ahmadinejad was also quoted by the IRNA news agency earlier Sunday as questioning whether or not the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was in fact had to involve Western countries.

“Is the Palestinian issue and Arab issue or a problem between the Arab nations on the one side and some western countries on the other side?" the Iranian president asked, "or it is a problem between Arab nations on the one hand and some Jews who have occupied the Palestinian lands on the other."