As the countdown to Qods day events nears its end on Friday September 18, the two distanced camps of the Iranian government, the conservatives and the moderates, make new announcements everyday regarding the ceremony.
On the opposition camp several leaders have announced that they will join the march. Kalameh website confirmed MirHosein Mousavi, chief rival of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will attend the march. IRNA reported that former president Mohammad Khatami will take part in the ceremony. And Mehdi Karroubi, the outspoken disputer of the June presidential elections, has directly rallied his supporters to show their strength on this day.
Ayatollah Sanei, a senior cleric who has repeatedly condemned government actions against protesters of the elections, also summoned people today to join the Friday march to "reject oppression and injustice all over the world."
Yesterday Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Expediency Council also rallied people to join the Qods Day demonstrations to "awaken the neglectful." Hashemi Rafsanjani who has been the speaker of this event for many years has been sidelined this year for his alignment with the opposition.
Today, Friday Prayers Headquarters announced that hardliner Ahmad Khatami will lead the Qods Day prayers and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will give the opening speech. This is the second time in the past month that Mr. Ahmadinejad has spoken in the Friday prayers.
Ayatollah Khamenei has also warned people not to use the march for any other purpose but to express solidarity with Palestine.
Qods Day established by Ayatollah Khomeini as a day to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, has been marked by a march on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan in Iran and several other Muslim countries.
This year protesters to the June elections in Iran have announced that they will join Qods Day march to once more voice their protests. The earlier demonstrations of protesters in June and July were put down violently by government forces through beatings, shooting and arrests.
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