Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif never got a chance to be in the same room together at the MED conference on Middle Eastern Affairs in Italy amid escalating tensions between the two regional powers.

Zarif reportedly left his hotel room in Rome and left Italy on Friday ahead of Edelstein’s remarks at the conference, prompting the senior Israeli politician to go after the top Iranian diplomat and his country over Tehran’s alleged threat to Israel’s security.

“He can’t hear the truth, and deal with the fact that he represents a country that spreads hate and terror throughout the world,” Edelstein wrote in a post on his Facebook page, accompanied by a clip of part of his remarks at the conference.

“You might ask me why I keep talking about Iran, perhaps you would say to the point of obsession. Well, ladies and gentlemen, as the son of two Holocaust survivors, when people threaten to kill me time after time, I tend to believe them. Call my warnings as you will, but the repeated Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic rhetoric from Iranian leaders aren’t words alone,” the politician said. 

Iran has been working hard to establish a presence in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Syria. As you all know, and the maps clearly show, Israel has no border with Iran, and yet Iran has consistently and insistently worked to develop a border with Israel,” Edelstein added.

Earlier, Zarif slammed Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency over what he said seemed to be a covert program aimed at “killing” the nuclear deal.

Contributed by Sputnik News