Iran president urges Mideast states to ‘drive back Zionism’

Iran president urges Mideast states to ‘drive back Zionism’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a ceremony commemorating "National Day of Nuclear Technology" in Tehran, Iran on, April 9, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Middle East states on Thursday to “drive back Zionism,” in an Army Day tirade against the Islamic republic’s arch-foe Israel.

Speaking flanked by top general as troops paraded in a show of might, Rouhani also sought to reassure the region that the weaponry on display was for defensive purposes and not a threat.

“The region’s nations have lived alongside each other for centuries and never had a problem… If there is a problem, it is caused by others,” he said in the speech broadcast live on state television. “Let us stand together, be together and rid the region of the aggressor’s presence.”