Hailing Trump threat, Israeli UNESCO envoy calls Iran’s leaders ‘animals’
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Hailing Trump threat, Israeli UNESCO envoy calls Iran’s leaders ‘animals’

Carmel Shama Hacohen says ‘best president ever’ knows how to deal ‘not only with human beings but also with animals’

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Israel's ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen throws a copy of the day's resolution on Jerusalem in the trash, October 26, 2016. (Erez Lichtfeld)
Israel's ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen throws a copy of the day's resolution on Jerusalem in the trash, October 26, 2016. (Erez Lichtfeld)

A senior Israeli diplomat on Monday called Iran’s leaders “animals” while praising US President Donald Trump’s threatening tweet against Tehran.

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen said Trump was “among the only world leaders who knows not only how to deal with human beings but also with animals.”

The Hebrew comment came in response to a tweet by Trump in which he threatened his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that his country would suffer consequences “the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered,” if it threatened the United States.

In English, Shama Hacohen hailed Trump as the “best president ever!”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday said it had no response to Shama Hacohen’s comments.

A former lawmaker for the ruling Likud party, Shama Hacohen is concluding his term as Israel’s envoy to the UN’s Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization this summer. He will be replaced by Eli Lev until Israel formally quits the agency at the end of this year.

Late Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to respond to Rouhani, who had threatened the the US leader not to “play with the lion’s tail,” and that conflict with Iran would be the “mother of all wars.”

“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” Trump said, writing the entire message in capital letters.

The high-stakes verbal sparring is reminiscent of the exchanges Trump had last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, before tensions eased and the two leaders met this year in a historic summit.

Trump has made Iran a favorite target since his unexpected rapprochement with nuclear-armed North Korea.

Earlier Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was not “afraid to tackle” Iranian officials with sanctions at the “highest level” of its government.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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