Israel President Isaac Herzog on Thursday made a sensational accusation, when he accused Iran of “orchestrating” the October 7 attacks by Hamas to “derail” the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor which was paving the way for Israel’s inclusion in the region and peace process.
Herzog further claimed that Iran is supporting the “terror machine” by providing billions of dollars aiming to undermine the regional situation.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, President Isaac Herzog said, “We are also attacked from the north by Hezbollah which is a huge terror organization, that has taken over Lebanon under the arms of Iran. And the real umpire of evil here starts in Tehran and spreads Islamic fundamentalism of the worst kind to the entire region.”
“They have taken over Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, and now from Yemen, we are attacked and Iraq, and everybody should be aware that there is an Iranian evil effort to undermine the regional situation,” he added.
The Israel President said that the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) that was announced during the G20 Summit sidelines in India was a visionary step giving more strength to New Delhi and paves the way for Israel’s inclusion in the region’s development.
He further alleged that Iran wanted to “derail” this effort of Israel’s inclusion and the “huge peace vision.”
India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.
“Around two months ago in the G20 summit, Prime Minister Modi, US President Joe Biden announced a special corridor of energy, communications, business, and science from Israel all the way down to India for Saudi Arabia in the Gulf and Jordan. An amazing vision that connects all of us together will connect Europe to Southeast Asia and even America all the way to Australia. That is a grand vision that gives India huge strength on the way,” Herzog said.
“But somebody decided they wanted to derail this effort of inclusion of Israel and this huge peace vision of President Biden…this empire of evil Iran, who is working extra hours to undermine any inclusion of Israel in the region and any peace process. And all nations in the world must fight Iran for pursuing this evil approach” Herzog added.
On being asked if Tel Aviv has any evidence of Tehran’s involvement in the October 7 attacks, Herzog said that although he does not have anything specific, but pointed out that “terrorist leaders” met in Beirut just weeks before the attack.
“I am not dealing with the specific attack here; I don’t have specific information but just a few weeks before the attack, all the terrorist leaders met together in Beirut, Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah, number 2 in Hamas, and Al-Nakhalah of Islamic Jihad, with the commander in-charge from Iran, the commander of revolutionary guard from Iran was orchestrating this,” the Israeli President further said.
He added, “They met in Beirut. Not only that, the Foreign Minister of Iran threatened specifically against the agreement, apostille agreement between Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia with clear threats about how it will impact the situation so you can add one in one, the conclusions are clear, Iran is supporting in billions of dollars this terror machine all over the world”.
Israel’s President addresses Gaza conflict and civilian safety
Herzog defended Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, stating that they do not target hospitals but rather respond to threats from Hamas, and emphasized the right to self-defence.
Herzog said, “We are not targeting hospitals. Hamas has placed command and control centres under the hospitals, and from there, they are shooting and killing our citizens. So we have the right to defend ourselves. They have missiles. They have missiles in living rooms. They have terror machines all over the civilian premises.”
Herzog hails Cooperation with India
Herzog expressed the longstanding cooperation between Israel and India in sharing knowledge on combating terrorism and recalled the Mumbai attacks. He praised the mutual contributions in science, technology, and medicine, and emphasized the strong bond between the two nations.
Herzog said, “I think for a long time we’ve been sharing know-how on combating terrorism. We remember the Mumbai horrific attacks and how the Jewish community was attacked in Mumbai as well as many from the non-Jewish community. And we always express sorrow. And when we remember that, there are a lot of issues to share. We share in science and technology.
We share in doing good to the world in medicine. We have a great message as two great ancient nations on how to contribute to the world and there’s a lot of mutual admiration… I want to express a clear message of affection and friendship to the people of India, wherever they are and the leadership of India.”