Netanyahu Fires Back: If Rohani Isn't Familiar With Iranian Terror in Syria, Israel Can Update Him

Prime minister responds to Iranian president, who accused Israel of 'supporting terrorists' and creating problems in Syria with its 'interference'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office, April 2, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Wednesday to remarks made a day earlier by Iranian President Hassan Rohani attacking the United States and Israel for their roles in Syria.

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"There's no end to the absurdity," said the prime minister. "The Iranian terror octopus is accusing Israel of terrorism."

"If Rohani isn't familiar with the terror and sabotage activities carried out daily by the Iranian Quds Force in Syria, Israel can brief him about it," Netanyahu said.

Ahead of flying to a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Rohani said at Tehran's airport that "there's interference from Zionist forces in Syria which has increased problems. They don't respect Syrian national sovereignty. They bomb areas in Syria. They support terrorists. These are all issues which have increased Syria's problems."

He also said that "the Americans are against the Syrian government establishing its authority throughout the whole country and are even thinking of a breakup [of the country]."

Tensions rose between Israel and Iran in early February when anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli F-16 warplane returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria. 

Israel then launched a second and more intensive air raid, hitting what it said were 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense systems. 

Senior Iranian political and military officials have denied playing a role in shooting down the Israeli jet or launching a drone into Israeli territory.