Netanyahu Revisits ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ Argument After Iranian FM Interview
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “not impressed” by the Iranian foreign minister’s interview Sunday with CBS News, given there is a “huge gap” between Mohammad Javad Zarif’s “moderate” statements and Tehran’s actions. In his sit-down, the Islamic Republic’s top diplomat slammed Jerusalem for what he described as continued violations of international law made possible by ongoing U.S. support. Zarif primarily was referring to the targeting by Israeli fighter jets of Iran’s military assets in Syria, including an April 9 strike on a base near Palmyra that reportedly killed seven Iranian soldiers. The day after, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the mission a “crime” that would “not remain without [a] response;” however, Zarif appeared to hedge Iran’s bets, suggesting that Jerusalem and Tehran are not on a collision course to full-scale war. In response, Netanyahu reiterated that the Jewish state will not countenance a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria, especially through the deployment of “Revolutionary Guards, who are advancing an army against Israel with the declared goal of destroying the state.” Zarif also weighed in on the upcoming relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move he said is “an affront to the entire Muslim world.” When asked about President Donald Trump’s efforts to devise, in conjunction with France, Britain and Germany, a follow-on deal to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord, Zarif made clear that Tehran would not abide by any such add-ons and instead called for European powers to bring Washington into compliance with the pact.