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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Iranians stage anti-Israel rally
Iranians on anti-Israeli rally
The crowd shouted slogans and waved placards
Many thousands of Iranians have gathered in central Tehran square for a rally against Israel and in support of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The Iranian parliamentary speaker addressed the crowds, warning Israel that no part of its territory is safe.

Protesters waved Hezbollah flags and carried posters of its leader and shouted "death to Israel".

Iran backs Hezbollah, which seized two Israeli soldiers last week sparking Israeli air strikes across Lebanon.

Hezbollah has responded to the Israeli offensive by firing rockets into Israeli towns from Lebanon's southern border.

'Filthy tumour'

Iranian speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said Israel should "flee occupied Palestine".

"The Americans should know that as long as this filthy tumour lies in the body of the Islamic world, Muslims will not stop hating America," he said.

Iranian speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel addresses crowds
Gholam Ali Haddad Ade told Israel to "flee Palestine"
Mr Haddad Adel said Israeli towns were within range of "the brave children of Lebanon".

He also called on Muslims whose governments had criticised Hezbollah to rise up against their leaders - a reference to many Gulf states, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The crowds pelted a star of David symbol with stones and tomatoes. President George Bush was portrayed in posters as Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and the devil.

Cautious approach

Israel has accused Iran of providing missiles to Hezbollah, although Iran denies this.

The BBC's Iranian analyst Sadeq Saba says the fighting in Lebanon is benefiting Tehran by distracting international attention from its controversial nuclear programme.

But our correspondent says the Iranian government has adopted a cautious approach and most analysts say the country does not want to enter the crisis directly, unless Israel attacks Syria or Iran itself.

More than 200 Lebanese citizens have been killed since Israel launched air strikes last Wednesday following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by militant group Hezbollah.

Twenty-four Israelis have died in the violence - 12 as a result of Hezbollah rocket attacks.

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