Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said Thursday that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei personally told him in 2000 that Israel must be physically annihilated.
"In a private discussion we held in Tehran in October of 2000, Ali Khamenei told me that Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth," Aznar told the audience, according to a report in Israel Hayom.
Aznar spoke at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).
Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Dore Gold, the head of JCPA, asked Aznar if Khamenei was "referring to a gradual historical process involving the collapse of the Zionist state, or rather its physical-military termination?"
Aznar answered, "He meant physical termination through military force." In their conversation, the Spanish diplomat added, Khamenei described Israel as "an historical cancer, an anomaly," and said that he was "working toward Iran defeating the United States and Israel in an inevitable war against them."
Israel Hayom added that Aznar also met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and discussed the matter with him.