The Israeli prime minister’s speech comes after the Iranian president called on the Muslim world to unite against the Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after the latter described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” in the Middle East.

“Israel knows very well how to defend itself from the murderous Iranian regime,” Netanyahu said on Saturday night, according to Jerusalem Post. “Rouhani’s slander, which calls for the destruction of Israel, proves yet again why the nations of the world need to join in the sanctions against the Iranian terrorist regime which threatens them.”

The comment comes in response to Rouhani’s speech, in which the Iranian president criticized the west for the creation of the state of Israel and also criticized Israel for being a tool in the hands of the west.Another major player in the region is Saudi Arabia, which seeks to counter Iran’s growing influence. The two nations have different versions of Islam, with Saudi Arabia predominantly-Sunni Muslim nation and Iran a predominantly-Shia Muslim nation.

Turkey, a secular state in name, is another powerhouse in the Middle East, but its interests are now focused on countering Kurdish separatism and possible migrant influx from Syria.

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