Tens of thousands of Iranians marked the annual Al-Quds Day in the Islamic Republic on Friday, carrying banners with slogans such as “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine” and featuring chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Israeli and American flags were also burned.
The rally in Tehran was attended by several high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who are frequently depicted in the West as moderates. Both men echoed the position of the Palestinian Authority and mocked the soon-to-be released U.S. peace plan as a failure.
The annual riots, also being held in Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere, were orchestrated in 1979 by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni, who declared that the last Friday of Ramadan should be a day of pan-Islamic demonstrations against the Jewish State.
In Iraq, thousands of Iranian-aligned Shiite militia forces took to the streets of Baghdad to mark the occasion, stamping over and burning American and Israeli flags. Members of the notorious Hashd al-Shaabi militia, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), held up Iranian flags and posters of various Iranian religious figures.
Iran currently exerts significant political and economic powers in Iraq. Iranian efforts in the country have centered on training and supplying a variety of Shiite militias under the wider umbrella of the PMF, a diverse 60,000 to 140,000 strong group formed in 2014 to compensate for the repeated failures of the Iraqi Army.
In London, Al-Quds Day leader Nazim Ali told the gathering: “Hey Zionists, leave Palestine alone. All in all you’re just a bunch of land grabbing thieves (…) We don’t need no Zionism. We don’t need no Zionist control.”
However, pro-Iranian protesters were this year barred from carrying Hezbollah flags that had been a common sight on past marches in London, after the government outlawed the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group in March.
In Berlin, the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, as well as the Israeli Ambassador in Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, and his U.S. counterpart, Richard Grenell, all attended pro-Israel counter-demonstrations.
[Photo: RT / YouTube]