Hundreds of thousands of Iranians showed up in the streets to cheer “death to Israel” and “death to America” on the country’s annual “Al-Quds Day.”
According to a Reuters report, protesters expressed their hatred for America and Israel, holding signs saying “Israel should be wiped off the map” and equating America with ISIS.
Al-Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem.
"Daesh [ISIS], America and Israel are all the same. They are all terrorists," said a young woman marching in Tehran, Iran’s capital.
Al-Quds day is an annual event that has been held on the last Friday of Ramadan (June 23rd in 2017) since Iran initiated the practice in 1979. Its purpose is to oppose Zionism and Israel’s dominion over Jerusalem in support of Palestinians and those Iran perceives to be under “Jewish occupation.”
The government officially sponsors and organizes the day’s events. The Islamic Republic of Iran officially refuses to acknowledge the existence of the state of Israel.
Protesters in Iran also burned the flag of ISIS in response to a series of attacks in Tehran, claimed by ISIS, which killed 17 in early June. According to Iran’s state media, millions turned out for the annual event.
Iran’s newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani said that the event’s wide support came from a desire to defeat terrorism, which he claimed was supported by Israel. "This year's rally ... shows people want our region to be cleaned up from terrorists, backed by the Zionist regime," said Rouhani to state TV.
On one street in Tehran, three ballistic missiles were displayed, missiles that high-ranking Iranian military personnel have claimed can reach Israel.
This comes just a week after the U.S. Senate voted to impose sanctions on Iran and Russia. "With this rally our nation is telling America that we are determined to continue our path,” said President Rouhani regarding the Senate’s vote.