Thousands of people are taking part in Friday's march marking Al-Quds Day in Tehran as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israel, according to a report in the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
During a speech in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the direct negotiations with Israel and questioned his authority to represent the Palestinian people.
"We ask: Who will conduct the talks. Who do they represent? Who gave him (Abbas) the legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians? Who has the right to cede part of Palestine to enemies? The region's nations will not allow anyone to give up even one centimeter of Palestine," he said.
"The Americans are bowing before the Zionist regime ahead of the elections. Their other goal is to give the Zionist regime an opportunity after it had reached a dead end. They (Americans) want to give the (Zionist regime) an excuse to repress and attack the Palestinians," the Iranian president added.
"It is clear that these talks will fail. All of this trickery will never be able to save the Zionist regime."
According to Ahmadinejad, "The destiny of Palestine will be determined in Palestine through the Palestinians' resistance - not in Washington, Paris or London.
Ahmadinejad amongst the crowd. (Photo: Reuters)
The Iranian leader continued to say the "Zionist regime is on the brink of collapse" and warned that the region's countries are "capable of destroying Israel."
Iranian opposition leaders, headed by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, announced that they would join the marchers. There are concerns that this will lead to clashes between the demonstrators and security forces.
According to ISNA, people from all walks are showing their solidarity "with the oppressed people of Palestine" and are condemning the "crimes committed in the occupied lands by the Israelis."
Iranians march in Tehran Friday (Photo: Fars TV)
IRNA, the regime's mouthpiece, said Iranian state and military officials are also present at the anti-Israeli rallies, expressing their "hatred of the barbaric measures of the Zionist regime."
The report said the marchers are also protesting against the "silence of the international community and human rights activists in the face of the Zionist regime's crimes against the besieged people of Gaza."
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the rallies.
Also Friday, Iran's top military official said Iran would retaliate by striking Israel's nuclear facility if its nuclear activities were hit by Israel, said the country's armed forces chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi.
"Our developed weapons can hit any part of the Zionist regime (Israel) ... We hope not to be forced to attack their nuclear facility," Firouzabadi told the semi-official Mehr news agency.
Earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said, "Jerusalem is the most important issue in the world. Despite the fact that Jerusalem is an Islamic issue, it is not limited to Muslims, because the Zionist regime conquers using force and lies right in front of 7 billion people in the world and threatens to attack the region's countries."
Al-Quds Day is marked annually on the last Friday of Ramadan by Shiite communities throughout the Muslim world. Terror organizations that are sponsored by Iran, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, also hold anti-Zionist rallies.
The annual day of protest was conceived originally by the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, in 1979.
Reuters contributed to the report
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