MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned nations to avoid "egging Iran to go to war" in order to avoid a "nuclear explosion."
While he did not specify any country or world leader, the President's remarks come after United States President Donald Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of "consequences" in an all-caps tweet.
"Then they should stop egging Iran to go to war because then if that's what will happen, even a few hundred missiles, nuclear then there's no use talking about climate change," said Duterte on Wednesday, July 25. He was then speaking at a climate change conference.
"A nuclear explosion everytime it is done eats, erodes the dignity of the earth altogether," he added.
Duterte, himself known for making incendiary remarks, called for "sobriety" and "cooler heads" in order to avoid a nuclear war.
"It behooves upon the leaders of nations who are really there and who can make the change, they can do much and we appreciate nations who approach the problem in sobriety and understanding and providing the cooler heads, so to speak," he said.
He then mentioned China and "other countries," then seemed to say he cannot be too specific in naming countries "because you know how it is."
"Let us decide that we avoid war because that would be disaster. I think it would be the end of planet Earth," said Duterte.
The Philippine leader, however, did mention Trump but in the context of the historic Paris climate change treaty he made the US withdraw from.
"He’s my friend and all of us have been invited to the US several times," said Duterte.
On Sunday, Trump threatened Iran's Rouhani of severe "consequences" after Rouhani delivered a speech warning the US that any confrontation would lead to the "mother of all wars."
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.