Europe

Iran vows to defend Muslim nations against terrorism, Israel

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a military parade marking National Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a military parade marking National Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

  • In front of the portraits of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, and late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, left, a long-range, S-300 missile system is displayed by Iran's army during a parade marking National Army Day at the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Speaking during the parade, Iran's President  Hassan. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    In front of the portraits of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, and late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, left, a long-range, S-300 missile system is displayed by Iran's army during a parade marking National Army Day at the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Speaking during the parade, Iran's President Hassan. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, top center, reviews army troops marching during a parade marking National Army Day in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Speaking during a National Army Day parade, Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. Persian writing says, "we are soldiers so long as we live." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, top center, reviews army troops marching during a parade marking National Army Day in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. Speaking during a National Army Day parade, Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group. Persian writing says, "we are soldiers so long as we live." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

Iran's president has vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel.

Speaking during a National Army Day parade on Sunday, Hassan Rouhani praised Iran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group, saying "if tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran."

In the speech, broadcast live by state TV, he emphasized that Iran's military power was for defensive and deterrent purposes, and should not be seen as a threat to its neighbors.

He appeared to be referring to Gulf Arab states, which have long viewed Iran as seeking to dominate the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran back opposite sides in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars.