Speaking in an exclusive interview with the American TV channel, NBC, Rouhani described the Israeli regime as “occupier and usurper” and one which does injustice to regional people and has brought instability to the region through its warmongering policies.
He also responded to a tirade by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had described Rouhani as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” shortly after his election as Iran’s 11th president.
“Israel should not allow itself to comment on an administration that has come to power through a democratic and free election,” said the Iranian president, who garnered more than half of the votes cast on June 14 in a national election marked by a turnout of more than 72 percent.
Rouhani, however, noted that Iran does not seek war with anyone in the region, saying that Tehran is after regional peace and stability.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu repeated his call for tougher international pressure on Iran over its nuclear energy program and said halting Iran’s nuclear energy program tops his agenda during his upcoming visit to the US in late September.
He argued that all diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the issue over Iran’s nuclear energy program must be accompanied by a “credible military threat.”
But Rouhani emphasized that Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons and has never pursued that path.
The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program with the Israeli regime repeatedly threatening to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has every right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Tehran has also vowed a crushing response to any act of aggression against the country.