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‘Netanyahu resorts to bigoted lies’: Iran says Israeli PM seeks to demonize it

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh claims Jewish state’s leader is ‘angry at losing his dupe in the White House’ and conjuring ‘racist Iranophobia’

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh gestures during a press conference in Tehran on February 22, 2021 (ATTA KENARE / AFP)
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh gestures during a press conference in Tehran on February 22, 2021 (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

The Iranian foreign ministry lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday for drawing attention to Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, claiming that he “resorts to bigoted lies.”

“Angry at losing his dupe in the White House, Netanyahu resorts to bigoted lies to conjure racist Iranophobia,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh wrote on his Twitter account.

“It must really hurt that his anti-Iran plots have come to naught yet again,” Khatibzadeh said, adding, “from saving Jews to opposing occupation, Iran has always fought oppressors. History doesn’t lie.”

He may have been referring to pre-revolutionary Iran hosting Jewish refugees during World War II.

In further comments reported by the semi-official Fars news agency, Khatibzadeh claimed Netanyahu is “irked by the failure of his plots against Iran and is now seeking in vain to demonize the country.”

Netanyahu on Thursday said he had told US President Joe Biden that he will do whatever it takes to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, regardless of whether Washington reenters the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

“I told him, with or without an agreement, my obligation as the prime minister of Israel, as the prime minister of the Jewish state, is to prevent a recurrence of the terrible things that have been done to our people,” he said in an interview with Channel 13.

“There is a regime whose flagship goal is to destroy us. I will do everything I can, everything in my power, to prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an event marking the two millionth vaccine recipient, in Ramla, January 14, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Biden administration is seeking to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program, which former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from in 2018.

Netanyahu was a harsh critic of the deal when it was originally signed in 2015 and has once again been vocal in his opposition to a US return to the deal in its original form.

Washington has said it is prepared to reenter the JCPOA if Iran first returns to compliance with the restrictions it has been openly violating for the past several months.

While Jerusalem’s priority is the nuclear issue, it is hoping the US will also demand curbs to Tehran’s ballistic missile program and regional aggressions. Biden has said he wants to address those issues in a subsequent agreement after the sides return to the existing JCPOA, but Israel fears the US will lose the leverage that has been built by the Trump administration’s maximum pressure sanctions regime once it returns to the old deal and that Iran will not be willing to negotiate further.

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