Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu totally distorts history, noting it was Iran which saved Jews three times in the course of history.
In a speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu claimed that Iran has genocidal ambitions against the Jewish people. "Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazis were a Jewish problem,” Netanyahu told congressmen.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Zarif said, "Well, it is unfortunate that Mr. Netanyahu now totally-- distorts realities of today.
"He even distorts his own-- scripture. If-- if you read the book of Esther, you will see that it was the Iranian king who saved the Jews. If you read-- the-- the Old Testament, you will see that it was an Iranian king who saved the Jews from Babylon.
"Esther has a town in Iran where-- where our Jewish population, which is the largest in the Middle East-- visit on-- on a regular basis. It is-- it is truly, truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved Jews three times in its history: Once during that time of-- of a prime minister who was trying to kill the Jews, and the king saved the Jews, again during the time of Cyrus the Great, where he saved the Jews from Babylon, and during the-- Second World War, where Iran saved the Jews. Iran has a bright record of-- tolerance to other religions. We have a Jewish member of our parliament.
"It is totally regrettable that somebody plays such a distortion of reality, not only of contemporary reality, but even of Biblical reality, and of the scripture to which-- they claim allegiance.”