Aznar, speaking Wednesday at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on a meeting he had with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2002, said Putin’s comments came after he entreated him not to sell S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.

“We can sell them anything,” Aznar quoted Putin as saying, because in the end “Israel will take care of it.”

Aznar, one of the few western leaders to have met Khamenei, said the Iranians made it clear when they met in October 2000, that “Israel was a historic cancer and an anomaly condemned to disappear.”