Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s tweet wishing Christians a Merry Christmas by citing the hypocrisy of the message. “I wonder what the Christians jailed this month in Iran would say about that tweet,” Netanyahu said in a short video released Friday.


Netanyahu Photo Credit: Screenshot

In a short video on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Tehran over its treatment of Christian Iranians, stressing the hypocrisy of Iran’s top diplomat’s recent tweet wishing “a happy and peaceful Christmas to all.”

“Get a load of this,” Netanyahu said before reading a part of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s tweet that appeared highlighted on the screen. “I wonder what the Christians jailed this month in Iran would think about that tweet. I wonder what Iranian youth would think about that tweet, but sadly the regime bans Twitter. Except, of course, if you’re a high-ranking official.”

“Imagine you are praying quietly in your homes, surrounded by your family. And all of a sudden, armed thugs burst in and drag you away to prison,” Netanyahu continued. “They torture you merely for practicing your Christian faith. Welcome to Iran.”

Netanyahu followed clear remark before inviting social media users to share the video: “Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ while jailing Christians in your own country is the height of hypocrisy.”

Watch: Netanyahu slams Iran over its treatment of Christians

On Sunday, Iran’s Mehr News Agency shared a statement released Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in which he extended his New Year’s Eve wishes to Christian Iranians. “We are proud of Iran that is home to all Iranians, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian and consider respecting all divine religions as the valuable teaching of the merciful Islam,” Rouhani said in the statement, as quoted by the semi-official news agency. “Wishing a year full of blessings and happiness for our fellow Christian Iranians, I ask the Almighty growing success and pride for all.”