Iranian president Hassan Rouhani
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hit back at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's US Congress speech, calling Israel the "greatest danger" in the region.

Netanyahu warned the US Congress on 3 March against a nuclear deal with Iran saying any agreement "paves Iran's path to the bomb."

According to ISNA news agency, the Iranian leader said in response: "[Israel] claims to speak of peace and warns of future threats while it is the creator of the greatest danger for the region.

"The people of the world are content with the way negotiations with the P5+1 group are moving forward... but there is only this occupying regime that is enraged by these talks.

"Americans and the people of the world are more intelligent than to listen to advice from an ever-warmongering regime."

Rouhani further accused Israel of holding "many atomic bombs" and failing to submit its own "nuclear installations... to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency," reported France24 News.

Iran is in negotiations with the P5+1 group – Britain, China, France, Russia, US, Germany, to reach a nuclear deal before 1 July.

While Iran defends its nuclear program saying its only for civilian purposes and not to make bombs, Netanyahu has warned US President Barack Obama that any nuclear agreement with Iran could be a "countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare [by a country that] will always be an enemy of America."

US President Barack Obama said on 2 March that Iran must freeze its nuclear program for at least 10 years in order for a nuclear deal to be reached.

Speaking from the White House, Obama told Reuters: "If they [Iran] do agree to it, it would be far more effective in controlling their nuclear program than any military action we could take, any military action Israel could take and far more effective than sanctions will be."