Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah KhameneiReuters

Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei'slatest controversial comments on Israel are"unacceptable" and "complicate" ongoing negotiations onTehran's disputed nuclear program, a French government spokeswoman saidWednesday. 

"Khamenei's comments are unacceptable and complicate negotiations," NajatVallaud-Belkacem told reporters.   

She was referring to Khamenei's references to the Jewish state earlierWednesday as being "doomed to collapse", "the rabid dog" of the Middle East,and with leaders "not worthy" of being called "human".   

Speaking after President Francois Hollande held his weekly cabinet meeting,Vallaud-Belkacem said that France would continue to be "firm but not closed"at the talks, which kick off Wednesday in Geneva. 

The so-called P5+1 group - which includes the United States, China,Russia, France, Britain and Germany - are set to try and reach a deal withIran to freeze or curb its nuclear activities in exchange for some relief frominternational sanctions. 

Israel and the West suspect Iran's program is aimed at developing aweapons capability, but Tehran insists it is entirely peaceful. 

The last round of talks with Iran that ended on November 10 cameclose to a framework agreement, but failed to reach a deal dueto French concerns over some of the issues on the table.

Since then, Hollande has visited Israel and pledged that sanctions on Iranwill remain in place as long as Paris is not convinced that Tehran hasdefinitively renounced its program. 

"We obviously want the negotiations to be successful," saidVallaud-Belkacem.   "In some ways, the ball is in Iran's court today."