Iranians chant ‘Death to Israel & America!’ on Quds Day as Rouhani joins rally (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Iran is hosting anti-Israel rallies across the country, with demonstrators taking to the streets to shout slogans against the Jewish state and to condemn the occupation of Palestinian land. The protests are part of the annual Quds Day holiday.
Quds Day, also known as Al-Quds Day, as a historic Arabic name for Jerusalem, is aimed at protesting Israel and Zionism, and to express support for Palestinians and the importance of Jerusalem for the religion of Islam.
State media reported that "millions" took to the streets in Tehran and other Iranian cities on Friday, shouting "Death to Israel."
Demonstrators held banners with slogans including "Israel should be wiped off the map." Some could be seen burning the Israeli flag, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Protestors also took aim at the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
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"Death to the House of Saud and Daesh (IS)," the protesters chanted, along with "Death to America" and "Death to the UK."
Protesters could also be seen burning the IS flag, after the terrorist group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in the country's capital earlier this month.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards have pointed the finger at arch rival Saudi Arabia for the attack, though Riyadh has denied playing any role.
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Many protesters on Friday carried photos of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who also founded Quds Day. Others were carrying photos of his successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani joined the march through Tehran.
President @HassanRouhani joins #Quds_day_2017 rallies in #Tehranhttps://t.co/6vm0I4kzsD#irna#Iranpic.twitter.com/Bhs1oS1EWY— IRNA News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) June 23, 2017
"The message of Quds Day is that of hatred towards the occupying and usurping regime as well as support for the oppressed nation," he said, as quoted by Press TV.
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani was also scheduled to address crowds before midday prayers.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards also took part in the event, displaying three mid-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles in Tehran.
#Iran displays domestic missiles during #Quds_day_2017#irnapic.twitter.com/8tFskoOHSK— IRNA News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) June 23, 2017
The country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs have long been a point of contention between Tehran and Washington, and are behind American sanctions against Iran.
Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Quds Day, founded by Khomeini in 1979, is held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The holiday has since been adopted by Muslims in other countries across the globe.