Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have staged anti-Israel rallies across Iran to mark al-Quds day, the country’s annual Palestinian solidarity day, which falls on the last Friday of Ramadan.
Footage from Iranian state television showed massive crowds demonstrating in the capital Tehran, chanting “Death to Israel”
Many at the protest in Tehran – from young children to elderly ladies – sported red bandanas with “I love fighting Israel” written on them, while others burned a replica of the Statue of Liberty with a Star of David on its head.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, attending the rally, said regional conflicts were making it increasingly difficult to address the Palestinian issue and called for greater unity between Muslims.
Iran, which does not recognize Israel and has called for its destruction, has marked al-Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic revolution.
Al-Quds is the historic Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.
Hit the heart of the Zionist regime
“In Lebanon alone over 100,000 missiles are ready at all times to fly … at the heart of the Zionist regime,” said General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, in a speech before Friday prayers at Tehran University.
“Tens of thousands of other missiles … have been planted across the Islamic world and are awaiting orders so that with the push of a button a sinister and dark dot on the political geography of the world disappears forever,” he said.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Thursday canceled its annual al-Quds Day event in Beirut’s southern suburbs, amid security concerns gripping the country in the wake of deadly suicide bombings earlier this week in a Christian village along the Syrian border.
In a statement, the Iran-backed Shiite group said it was scrapping the commemorations, citing the prevailing “security situation.”
It was the first time the group, which also participates as a political party in Lebanon’s government, cancelled the annual commemoration.