Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Netanyahu speech was 'cartoonish circus'

Netanyahu speech was 'cartoonish circus'

"The entire speech was trying to evade the issue", Zarif said in reaction to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to the conference hours earlier.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif described Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday as a "cartoonish circus".

"I can assure that if Iran's interests are not secured, Iran will respond, will respond seriously".

Noting that the United States and its regional allies are suffering from the natural consequences of their own wrong choices, the Iranian foreign minister said, "They use this and other fora to revive the hysteria on Iran's foreign policy and obscure its reality".

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed deep skepticism about the Iran nuclear deal that lifted sanctions against the country.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a main architect of the nuclear deal, said it was "absolutely critical" to ensure it survives.

In his first address to the annual Munich event, which draws security and defence officials and diplomats from across Europe and the US, Mr Netanyahu urged his audience to counter Iran immediately, displaying a map showing what he said was Iran's growing presence in the Middle East. "It's not a better place". "For too long, major powers and their regional allies have made the wrong choices in our region and then have blamed others, particularly Iran, for the consequences of their own short-sighted and trigger-happy strategic blunders", Zarif said.

Kerry dismissed Netanyahu's contention that Iran would be on its way to having a nuclear arsenal in 10 years, saying "that's fundamentally not accurate".

"The leaders who signed the agreement here were people who thought they were bringing peace and strengthened the Nazis in the Munich agreement".

"This is a very unsafe development for our region".

"Recognizing differences but also recognizing a common goal, and maintaining respect for the interests of all parties guided the hard negotiations that led to the successful conclusion of the JCPOA", Zarif pointed out. "You should, it's yours", Netanyahu said.

"You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran", Netanyahu added.

Tehran has denied that the drone belonged to Iran.

He called out to Zarif in the audience, saying: "Do you recognize this?"

Netanyahu has been projecting a business-as-usual approach on his visit to Germany amid uproar at home after police on Tuesday said was sufficient evidence to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases.

"What has happened in the past several days is the so-called invincibility (of Israel) has crumbled", he said of the February 10 downing of an Israeli jet.

His fiery comments came as tensions between the arch enemies have mounted after clashes involving Syrian forces this month, sparked by Israel's downing of what it called an Iranian drone sent from Syria.

"Israel uses aggression as a policy against its neighbors", he added, condemning the Israeli regime for "mass reprisals against its neighbors and daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon".

"Lebanon has no belligerent intent on anybody, but watch out, we will defend ourselves", he said.

"The fact that we have this newfound relationship with the Arab countries - something that".

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