Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ripped Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for hypocritically wishing a "very happy and peaceful Christmas to all" given the Iranian regime's known torture and imprisonment of Christians.
Zarif tweeted on Dec. 23 a verse from the Quran about Jesus and wrote, "A very happy and peaceful Christmas to all. May Christ's universal message of peace be embraced in the coming year."
Netanyahu wasn't having it, also noting Zarif's use of Twitter, a social media platform banned in the Islamic Republic.
"Get a load of this: A few days ago, Iran's foreign minister tweeted a very happy and peaceful Christmas to all,'" Netanyahu said in an address from his office. "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."
"The angels said, Mary, God gives you glad-tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Christ, Jesus, son of Mary; highly honored in this world and the next" Quran 3:45
A very happy and peaceful Christmas to all. May Christ's universal message of peace be embraced in the coming year
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 23, 2017
"Now imagine praying quietly in your home, surrounded by your family," Netanyahu added. "And all of a sudden, armed thugs burst in and drag you away to prison. They torture you merely for practicing your Christian faith. Welcome to Iran. Saying ‘Merry Christmas' while jailing Christians in your own country is the height of hypocrisy."
According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu was referring to reports from earlier this month that four Iranian Christian converts had been arrested.
Netanyahu urged anyone who stands for freedom or against hypocrisy to share his message, adding a request to "say a quiet prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters suffering at the hands of this cruel Iranian regime."