Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday night, saying it is " cynical" and "full of hypocrisy."
"Rouhani spoke of human rights even as Iranian forces are participating in a large-scale slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria," Netanyahu said in a statement dispersed by the Prime Minister's Office.
Netanyahu also said that despite Rouhani's assertion that the nuclear program is meant for civilian purposes, the International Atomic Energy Agency determined the plan has military aspects.
"Any rational person understands that Iran, one of the most oil- rich countries, is not investing capital in ballistic missiles and underground nuclear facilities to produce electricity," the Israeli prime minister asserted.
Netanyahu justified his earlier call for the Israeli delegation to ban the Iranian President's speech, repeating the claim that Iran's new strategy is "to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons."
"The international community must test Iran not by words but by actions," he added.
Netanyahu is considered a hard-liner when it comes to Iran and its efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities, but not all Israeli officials agreed with Netanyahu's decision to ban the Iranian president's speech.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, one of the major players in Israeli politics since last January elections, called the move a mistake.
"Israel shouldn't be portrayed as a serial objector to negotiations uninterested in peaceful solution," Lapid said in a statement.
"Leaving the UN assembly is reminiscent of the ways Arab states behave toward Israel," he added.