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Israel, Iran Conflict: 5 Quotes That Illustrate Recent Struggles

By Morgan Chilson   |   Friday, 29 Aug 2014 05:21 PM

Interactions between Iran and Israel have been disintegrating for a couple of decades, despite a strong history of alliances.

These five quotes show some of the tension and rhetoric:

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• In February 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told The New York Times, “In recent months, we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Thailand, and others. In each instance, we succeeded in foiling the attacks in cooperation with local authorities. Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, were behind all of these attempted attacks.”

• "Israel is a wound on the body of the world of Islam that must be destroyed," said Iran’s then-new president Hassan Rouhani in August 2013, according to The Washington Post. But hours later, Rouhani was quoted by another publication with a different interpretation, the Post said, “Quds day, which is in memorial of Imam [Khomeini], is a day that people present the unity of Islam against any type of oppression or aggression. And in any case, in our region, it is an old wound that has been sitting on the body of the Islamic world, in the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the dear Quds. And this day, in fact, is a remembrance that Muslim people will not forget this historical right and will always stand against oppression and aggression."

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• "Sometimes it is said by enemies of the Iranian nation, including the menacing dirty mouth of the rabid dog of the region in the Zionist regime ... They say that Iran is a threat to the whole world. No! This statement of the enemy is exactly against the Islamic philosophy and teachings. Those wicked and wickedness-creating forces are threats to the world; those that have shown nothing except wickedness, such as the fake regime of Israel and some of its supporters," said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about Israel in a speech in November 2013, as reported by the Brookings Institute.

• In November 2013, Netanyahu said about an interim agreement reached with Iran regarding nuclear weapons: "What was reached last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake. Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world."

• During discussions with Iran about nuclear proliferation in March 2014 in Vienna, Israeli president Shimon Perez told The Nation, "The implementation of the agreement between the agency and Iran is proceeding, unfortunately, at a slow pace. Iran is buying time, but not answering the call. Iran does not uphold its commitment to cooperate with the Agency's investigation and does not provide full transparency."

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Interactions between Iran and Israel have been disintegrating for a couple of decades, despite a strong history of alliances. These five quotes show some of the tension and rhetoric.
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