By Jeremy Herb - 01/24/14 01:32 PM EST
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani predicted that Israel would not launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” to air Sunday, Rouhani said Israel’s threats of an attack on Iran are “empty slogans.”
“Israel knows well our regional capability, Iran's capability. And we know what capabilities the Israelis have, for that matter,” he said. “So with all of these in mind, these are empty slogans. When it comes to practice, the Israelis cannot do that. If they do such a crazy thing, our response will make them rue the day.”
Israel has been sharply critical of the interim nuclear deal six world powers struck with Iran in November, warning it would not stop Iran from seeking nuclear weapons.
Israel has continued warning it could be compelled to launch a strike, if it felt that was the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The Obama administration has long sought to keep Israel from launching its own attack on Iran and has defended the interim deal as a crucial step to avoiding the need for any military action altogether.
Lawmakers in Congress also skeptical of the interim Iran deal have pushed to pass legislation that would require the U.S. to back any Israeli strike.
The new Iran sanctions bill circulating in the Senate includes a provision on a potential strike by Israel:
“If the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”