2017-03-09 17:08:00

Israeli premier fears Sunni terrorism in Middle East will be replaced by Shia

Moscow, March 9, Interfax - Russia plays a big role in fighting Islamic Sunni terrorism but the latter must not be replaced by Islamic Shia terrorism under Iranian leadership, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

"Lately there has been serious progress in fighting radical Islamic Sunni terror led by ISIL and Al-Qaeda [both banned in Russia] and Russia made a big contribution in this," Netanyahu said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday.

"We would not like radical Islamic Sunni terror to be replaced by radical Islamic Shia terror under the leadership of Iran," he said.

Soon Jews will be celebrating the Purim festival in memory of the events that took place in Ancient Persia 2,500 years ago when an attempt was made to exterminate the Jewish people, Netanyahu said.

"Iran actively continues these attempts," Netanyahu said.

At the same time, now that the Jewish people have their own state and army, they can defend themselves, he said.

Shia terror poses a threat not just to Israel but to the whole world, the Israeli head of government said.

The events the Purim honors occurred in the 5th century B.C., and "we are living in a different world now, but let us talk about it right now," Putin said.

Purim is a Jewish festival established according to the Biblical Book of Esther in memory of the saving of the Jews, who lived in the Persian Empire, from their extermination by Haman, a favorite of Persian King Artaxerxes.