Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian president and current Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, said Friday that Hitler’s treatment of Jewish people in Europe was due in part to their being “a pain in the neck.”

Rafsanjani’s comments came during a sermon for "International Jerusalem Day" on Iranian TV.

Video: Click here to watch Rafsanjani's speech (memritv.org).

Rafsanjani noted that Jews caused problems for European governments because they “had a lot of property” and “controlled an empire of propaganda.” He also said that the Nazis were successful in saving Europe from the evil of Zionism.

The former Iranian leader served as president from 1989 to 1997, and was succeeded by Mohammad Khatami. Rafsanjani ran for a third term in office in 2005, but lost to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.