Iran will not be able to destroy Israel, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in response to his Iranian counterpart on Twitter on Tuesday.
Lapid's tweet came after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian tweeted: "The disturbing remarks of the foreign minister of the fake Israeli regime towards the great nation of Iran are an example of the famous Iranian proverb that 'a camel dreams of a grain of cotton, sometimes it licks the grain of a grain.'"
"We defend the rights, interests and progress of the nation with authority and rationality," Amirabdollahian wrote. "Zionism has no place in the future of the world."
Lapid tweeted in response: "The extremist Iranian regime threatens Israel with annihilation but will continue to lose this battle.
"Their failed leadership is destroying Iran from within," he added. "In the words of the Iranian poet Saadi: 'He whose essence is evil, will forever remain so.'”
It was unclear which of Lapid's remarks Amirabdollahian found disturbing. A day earlier, Lapid said that negotiations for Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal were unlikely to end well for Israel.
The Vienna talks “won’t reach an optimal result as far as we’re concerned, but we are always working with the people involved to improve the result for Israel," Lapid said.
The foreign minister said that Israel is continually engaged with the other countries involved in the talks, but that will only bring “a lot of small achievements, not a big one."
World powers’ negotiations with Iran resumed on Monday, after a break for New Year’s weekend.
China, France, Russia, the UK and the US issued a joint statement that they “consider the avoidance of war between nuclear-weapon states and the reduction of strategic risks as [their] foremost responsibilities.”
“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the joint statement reads.