Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all key decisions in Iran, says Israel is too small to be called an enemy, and that the United States is the "center of animosity" toward the Islamic republic.
He made the comments in speech on Thursday to a crowd in northeastern Iran on the first day of the new Persian calendar year. His speech in the city of Mashhad was broadcast live on state radio.
Israel, which is believed to have the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Mideast, has threated to take military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to stop Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.