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'Death to China' heard at Rafsanjani sermon. Why?

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The US received a tiny reprieve from playing the role of the "Great Satan" in Iran Friday when protesters directed their ire toward a few of America's global rivals instead.

"Death to China!" and "Death to Russia!" chanted supporters of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi during a sermon by influential former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to news reports. Mr. Rafsanjani used the speech to criticize the government's crackdown on dissent following the contested June 12 election.

The Associated Press reports that the slogan broke out after hard-line supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yelled out the familiar "Death to America" chant during the speech. And Nico Pitney of The Huffington Post posted a YouTube video showing an outdoors rally in Tehran today, in which he says the protesters are chanting in Farsi "Russia, do us a favor and let go of our country!"

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