Iran's Parliament Speaker Says Israel Is Responsible for Syrian Civil War

Rejecting Netanyahu's Purim analogy, Ali Larijani says the prime minister 'has read neither Torah nor history.'

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani
Vahid Salemi / AP

The speaker of the Iranian parliament on Sunday pinned the blame for the six-year-old Syrian civil war on Israel, Iran's official news agency has reported.

Speaker Ali Larijani's comments came in reaction to remarks in Moscow last week in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared the ancient attempt in the Purim story to destroy the Jews and contemporary Iranian hostility towards Israel. Larijaini accused Netanyahu of distorting Iran's ancient history.

"It seems that he has read neither Torah nor history,” Larijani said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. “Of course, one cannot expect an evil Zionist to tell the truth."

Netanyahu was in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, after which the prime minister said he had stressed in his talks that Israel would object to any settlement of the Syrian civil war that leaves Iran or any of its satellites permanently in Syria.

After Putin wished Netanyahu a happy Purim, which began Saturday evening, the prime minister said the Purim story involves an attempt to destroy the Jewish people, but it failed, and that why holiday is celebrated to this day. "Today there is an attempt and the continuation of Persia, Iran, to destroy the Jewish state."

The Iranian parliament speaker, who sees things rather differently, said that Israel's "ongoing adventurist actions in the region are pre-planned to pave the way for the Zionist regime to complete dominance over the region."