Tehran says Israel PM aims to damage Iran’s status

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s foreign ministry is saying Israel’s prime minister seeks to damage relations between Iran and the world, referring to the Jewish state as “a warmonger regime.”

The Tuesday remarks by ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi come two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the world to step up pressure on Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear program with tougher sanctions and threats of military action.

Araghchi said Iran views Israel as “angry” about moderate Hasan Rouhani’s victory in June presidential elections, claiming that Israel appears concerned the world will ease pressure in order to engage the Islamic Republic’s next president.

Iran denies Western charges that it is pursuing nuclear weapons, saying its program is for peaceful purposes.

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