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Iranian officials call for rallies at end of Ramadan

July 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, July 30 (UPI) -- Iranian lawmakers called on their constituents to take to the streets next week to counter Western efforts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Iranians observe Quds Day next week, a day of solidarity with Palestinians that is also seen as an occasion to express formal frustration with Israel. The day corresponds with the last Friday of Ramadan, which falls on Aug. 9 this year.

Members of the Iranian parliament called for national support for the Quds Day rallies.

"The Muslim nation of Iran along with other Muslims and freedom-seekers will once again stand up and announce its support for the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations," a statement published Tuesday by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV read.

Iran celebrated its first Quds Day in 1979, the year of its revolution.

The parliamentary statement said demonstrators should work to thwart U.S. and Israeli plots in the region. Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei expressed similar sentiments this week, saying Western influence was undermining an Islamic revival in the Middle East and North Africa.

Former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani will be sworn in as Iran's next president Monday. He ran as a moderate in June elections, vowing to reach out to members of the international community when he takes office.

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