Ahmad Khatami
Ahmad KhatamiReuters

A senior Iranian cleric on Friday urged Palestinian Arabs to "rage" against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Iranians took to the streets of Tehran and other cities following Friday prayers to protest against Trump's decision, calling for "death" to Israel and the United States and burning their flags.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an ultra-conservative and a key leader of the main weekly Muslim prayers, said Trump had drawn a line on years of peace efforts by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"He proved that the cure for the issue of Palestine is only, only, an intifada (uprising)," Khatami, who was appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in his sermon at Mosalla, Tehran's largest mosque, according to AFP.

"Only intifadas can turn day into a dark night for the Zionist regime," he added, urging the Palestinian people to rise and "rage against this occupying regime".

"Any damage that you can incur to this occupying and criminal regime will mean you have taken a step towards pleasing God," he said.

Trump's declaration has triggered a global diplomatic backlash, with several world leaders warning the move could spark fresh unrest in an already volatile region.

Iranian state broadcaster showed thousands of people protesting after the Friday prayers in Tehran and other cities.

Protestors chanted "death to the America", "death to Israel" and "death to England", and torched American and Israeli flags – as they often do during protests.

They also held up signs that read "Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is ours" and "We stand against Israel to the end", according to AFP.

Khatami is notorious for his threats and controversial comments. He previously said that Iran still considers the United States to be “the Great Satan” despite the nuclear agreement that it signed with world powers, including the U.S.

When Barack Obama was in office, Khatami said that the Iranian president should “punch the American president in the mouth” if he “talks nonsense.”

He recently threatened to “shatter the teeth” of Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)