Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised “complete solidarity” with persecuted Christians in Iran on the heels of President Donald Trump’s stern, all-caps warning to the Muslim-majority country on Twitter.
“Let me say clearly,” Netanyahu explained, “Israel stands in complete solidarity with persecuted Christians in Iran.”
The Israeli leader made the comments Monday, when he delivered a satellite address to the annual summit of Christians United for Israel in Washington, D.C.
Netanyahu went on to ponder aloud why so many are “silent” as Christians are jailed and tortured in Iran, The Times of Israel reported.
“Well, I can say this: we in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people: Christians, Bahai’i, students, journalists,” he continued. “Iran’s regime is a point of darkness in the Middle East. Israel is a point of light.”
The prime minister also noted that Israel is the “only country for thousands of miles where Christians not only survive, they thrive,” adding that Christian “holy sites are protected and Christian worship is done without fear.”
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 24, 2018
Netanyahu’s comments came under the shadow of Trump’s escalating war of words with the Iranian regime.
On Sunday, the president posted a bombastic tweet in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said a war between the U.S. and his country would be “the mother of all wars.” He went on to warn Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.”
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran, responded to Trump’s bold missive Monday, warning the Republican leader to “be cautious” with his words, noting the tweet left the Iranian government “unimpressed.”
COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 23, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday morning Trump is “not afraid” to “take steps” against Iran if necessary.
“[Trump is] certainly not going to tolerate the leader of Iran making threats against Americans,” she said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”