Iranians reiterate how much they hate U.S., Israel Copyright 1998 Nando.net Copyright 1998 Reuters TEHRAN (January 23, 1998 12:01 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Crowds chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" marched through Tehran and burned an Israeli flag Friday to mark a nationwide day of protests against the Jewish state. Marchers hoisted banners saying "Death to Zionism," "Islam is victorious" and "World Arrogance (the West) will be defeated," and carried pictures of the late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some marchers set fire to an Israeli flag, drawing cheers from the crowds, which included groups of men disabled in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. President Mohammad Khatami, a relative moderate who recently called for a "crack in the wall of mistrust" between Iran and the United States, was among the marchers. The march was part of nationwide rallies marking "World Qods (Jerusalem) Day," the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The day was dedicated to protests against Israel and support for Palestinians by Khomeini after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. People dressed in the traditional black chador robe streamed through city streets to Tehran University for mass Friday prayers, which were led by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. "I am sure that some day this superfluous body will be eliminated from the region and the Islamic world," Rafsanjani said in a sermon. "I am sure that justice will conquer oppression and that nothing named the promised land of Israel will remain." Iran says Israel has no right to exist. Tehran has strongly condemned the Middle East peace process as a sellout of Palestinian and Islamic rights.
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