Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s most recent call for the destruction of Israel represented his most comprehensively anti-Semitic speech ever, and is particularly “ominous” in light of Tehran’s continued quest for nuclear capability, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) warned Thursday.

Addressing a group of ambassadors from Islamic countries earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said the “annihilation of the Zionist regime” is not just a Palestinian issue, but the “key for solving the world problems,” and he slammed US leaders for “kissing the feet of the Zionists.”

August 17′s annual Quds Day — Jerusalem Day — “is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying. “Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world.”

“It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs,” added Ahmadinejad, asserting that the Zionists are “behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world.”

The ADL noted in a statement Thursday that this speech differed from past anti-Semitic rants by the Iranian leader in that he no longer tried to hide the fact that by “Zionists” he does not mean Israelis, but Jews.

“In his bluntness, Ahmadinejad cuts through the false dichotomy of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism when he uses the term ‘Zionist’ to describe alleged Jewish control of the world for 400 years,” said ADL director Abraham Foxman.

Foxman called the speech “Ahmadinejad’s most comprehensive anti-Semitic speech yet,” and added that while the message itself has been heard before, Ahmadinejad’s words had “more ominous overtones and should be taken seriously as the Iranian regime continues on its march toward a nuclear weapon.”

Ahmadinejad also made reference to Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel this week, saying that the influence of the Zionist regime is so profound that “the presidential election hopefuls must go kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their victory in the election…. If the people’s votes really counts in those countries, why then a candidate must go to kiss the feet of a clandestine Zionist minority, sacrificing the entire prestige, chanted mottoes, and values of their system before the Zionists, and justifying the entire criminal acts of that regime?”

Foxman said that Ahmadinejad’s remarks were “filled with anti-Semitism and expressions of contempt for Israel and its leaders.” He called them the “hallmark of the hate-filled and irrational nature of the Iranian regime.”