Iran gears up for annual anti-Israel 'Quds Day' demonstrations

The demonstrations are well-known for particularly angry scenes, including burning Israeli and American flags as well as threatening speeches and chanting against western countries.

June 23, 2017 09:16
2 minute read.
quds day iran

Iranian protestors burn an Israeli flag during a demonstration in Tehran on July 25, 2014 to mark the Quds Day. (photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI /AFP)


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Tens of thousands of Iranians are expected to gather to oppose the State of Israel and Zionism on Friday in a major protest to mark the annual International Quds Day. Al-Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem.

Traditionally held on the last Friday of Ramadan, protests are also due to take place across the Arab and Muslim world, including Iraq, Yemen and Turkey. Protests are sometimes held on the preceding weekend.

Initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, the yearly demonstration was established to protest the situation of the Palestinian people but also all "the nations oppressed by America or else."

50 years on from the Six Day War, this year's march is expected to be attended in large numbers.

Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim men from the Iranian-backed group Kataib Hezbollah wave the party's flags as they walk along a street painted in the colours of the Israeli flag during a parade marking the annual Quds Day (Reuters)

Ahead of Friday's protest, Iran's current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, emphasized the importance of the event.

"Today defending Palestine is defending the Truth; fighting Zionist regime is fighting hegemonic arrogant system," said Khamenei in a tweet from his official Twitter account.

"Quds Day is not a day to just defend a nation that's been forced out of their home; it's when we fight an oppressive arrogant system."

"There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity [Israel]," read a post on his Twitter account Thursday.

The demonstrations are well-known for particularly angry scenes, including burning Israeli and American flags as well as threatening speeches and chanting against western countries.

At a 2016 Al-Quds Day event in Tehran, General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, boasted that "in Lebanon alone over 100,000 missiles are ready at all times to fly... at the heart of the Zionist regime."

"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."

On Sunday, despite pressure to ban the event, hundreds took part in London's Al-Quds Day march. Some paraded Hezbollah flags and held banners reading "Zionism is racism." One speaker at the event declared that "Zionists" were responsible for the recent Grenfell Tower fire in London.

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