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Iranians Stage Anti-Israel Demonstrations

(RFE/RL) 28 October 2005 -- Tens of thousands of Iranians staged anti-Israel protests across Iran today, days after their ultraconservative president called for the Jewish state's destruction.

The demonstrations are part of the annual state-organized Qods (Jerusalem) Day protests, aimed at showing Iran's solidarity with the Palestinian nation. The demonstrations today are expected to grow ahead of midday prayer morning sermons.

Today's demonstrations come after Iran's President Mahud Ahmadinejad earlier this week said Israel should be "wiped off the map". His comments were condemned by countries from Britain and the United States to Russia, while Israel called for Iran to be suspended from the United Nations.

Late yesterday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said the president's comments reflected the policy of the Islamic republic. In comments on state-run television, he said today's massive demonstrations would illustrate the anger of the Islamic world over the Jewish state's existence.