Iranians staged rallies across the country today, with protesters condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and chanting ‘death to Israel’.
Tens of thousands of people marched in the capital, Tehran, as part of the Qods Day rallies held each year on the last Friday of Ramadan.
Qods – or al-Quds in Arabic – is the Farsi name for Jerusalem, which is one of Islam’s holiest cities, as well as being key to the Christian and Jewish faiths.
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Iran does not recognise the state of Israel and has long resented its control of Jerusalem.
In 1979 the late Ayatollah Khomeini announced the last Friday of Ramadan would be a day of rallies in support of the Palestinians, whose lands in the West Bank and Gaza were conquered and occupied by Israel in 1967.
The United States, because of its long-term support for Israel, is also subject to regular vitriol in Iran.
Protesters trampled the Israeli flag and chanted ‘down with the USA’.
Similar rallies took place among Shi’ite Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and some other countries with Shi’ite Muslim minorities.
Just before Friday prayers the deputy commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, General Hossein Salami, hit out at Israel.
He also criticised Iraqi Kurds for allegedly provoking unrest along Iran’s western and northwestern borders, where Iranian forces have clashed with Kurdish separatists.
General Salami said: ‘I warn…officials in northern Iraq to fulfil their commitments. We will decisively destroy any place that is the origin of threats against our ruling system, and we will be unbound by any cautions.’
Headline: Conservative Tribune