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Anti Israel protest in Iran
Photo: AP
Iran: Volunteer suicide bombers seek to attack Israel
Hard-line student leaders claim over 10,000 people across Islamic Republic have registered for volunteer suicide attacks is Israel since Gaza offensive began

Hard-line student groups appealed to the Iranian government to authorize volunteer suicide bombers to leave Iran and fight against Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

 

The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet responded to the call by Wednesday. Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched on Monday a registration drive since Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.

 

"Volunteer student suicide groups ... are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities in order to pave the way for such action," the students asked Ahmadinejad in an open letter, a copy of which was made available to the AP Wednesday.

 

Volunteer suicide groups have made similar moves in the past and the government never responded to their calls. However, some hard-liners have claimed they successfully but secretly left Iran and carried out attacks against Israel. Their claim could not be verified.

 

The hard-liners started signing up volunteers after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious decree on Sunday that said anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.

 

In a speech Tuesday, Ahmadinejad called for the trial of Israeli leaders on charges of massacring Palestinians in Gaza. His comments come a day after Iran's judiciary set up a court to try Israeli leaders for such "crimes."

 

"A sense of religious obligation has encouraged me to register for suicide attacks against Israel. How can I remain indifferent while defenseless Palestinians are being butchered," said volunteer Ali Reza Takrim Namini, as he was filling up the form.

 

Hard-line students are regularly holding protest rallies in front of Egyptian interests section to condemn Cairo's refusal to re-open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to allow shipment of humanitarian supplies.

 

The students have warned they will storm the mission by Thursday if Egypt doesn't condemn the Israeli attacks and Rafah border crossing remains closed.

 

Protesters are also holding daily gatherings in front of Jordanian and Saudi embassies to denounce Arab silence over the tragedy.

 

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