Iran marks Jerusalem Day after 2-year pandemic suspension

Thousands of Iranians have marched in rallies in the capital Tehran to mark Jerusalem Day, which Iran says is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians

Via AP news wire
Friday 29 April 2022 13:09

Thousands of Iranians marched in rallies in the capital Tehran on Friday to mark Jerusalem Day, which Iran says is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians. It was the first time such marches were held since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran has been marking the day, the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution led by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It is also known as Quds Day, after the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Demonstrators chanted the “death to Israel,” and “death to America,” slogans that have become tradition in mass rallies in Iran since its revolution. Demonstrators also set fire to American, British and Israeli flags.

State TV later showed a variety of ballistic missiles on display at the rally, which it described as “Israel hitters."

Iran does not recognize Israel and supports Hamas and Hezbollah, militant groups that oppose it. Israel views Iran as its archenemy in the Middle East.

The rallies all headed to Tehran University, where the ceremony ended at Friday’s noon prayers. Similar rallies took place in other Iranian cities and towns.

State news agency IRNA quoted a general of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard's expeditionary force, known as the Quds force, as saying that Iran supports any groups ready to fight Israel.

"We support any front that is formed against this criminal regime, and we will support any community that is ready to fight this criminal regime,” Gen. Esmail Ghaani said at a speech in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Many high-ranking Iranian officials attended the rally in Tehran, including President Ebrahim Raisi and the powerful Guard commander, Gen. Mohammad Salami.

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