Iranians rail against Israel at funeral for soldier beheaded by IS

The Times of Israel reports: “Thousands of Iranians called for Israel’s destruction at a funeral Wednesday for a young member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps beheaded by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria, a killing that has struck a nerve within the Islamic Republic as its forces continue to suffer casualties in Iraq and Syria.

The slaying of 25-year-old Mohsen Hojaji captured the imagination of many in Iran, a Shiite-ruled nation whose national religion holds sacred acts of mourning and the acknowledgement of sacrifices. Since his death, artists and others have memorialized Hojaji in videos and paintings, while discussion of his slaying has muted domestic criticism of Iran’s foreign military operations, especially in Syria.

A cleric at the funeral alleged that Israel and the US were behind IS, drawing cries of ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Down with the US’ from the audience.

‘We swear on blood of Hojaji we will not rest until destroying Israel,’ cleric Ali Reza Pahanhian said from the podium. ‘Israel, we swear on the head of Hojaji that we will behead your leaders. Guards! Prepare your missiles for annihilation of Israel.’…”

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