Iran holds annual anti-Israel rallies, displays missiles

"Death to the House of Saud and Daesh (IS)", the demonstrators chanted.

"This year's rally. shows people want our region to be cleaned up from terrorists, backed by the Zionist regime (Israel)", President Hassan Rouhani told state TV.

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.

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.

The rallies are held to mark Quds Day, which falls on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Larijani called Israel the "mother of terrorism" and said in the "20th century, there was no event more ominous than the birth of the Zionist regime".

Iran has put up on display its ballistic missiles at the Quds Day rally, Tasnim reported.

In Tehran's Vali-ye Asr street, three mid-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles were displayed, including the Zolfaghar missile that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards used on Sunday to target bases of the IS in eastern Syria. Iran has marked the day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the country cut relations with Israel.

In one video, Rouhani's security guards rushed him into his auto while others prevented demonstrators from approaching. He cautioned that Iran had not abandoned its nuclear aspirations and identified it as the "number one source of regional instability".

Other videos showed First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and outspoken MP Ali Motahari being heckled by angry protesters.

Some participants also carried placards with pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and quotes about Jerusalem that are attributed to him.

"The ugly action of a small group insulting the president can not damage national unity... and the strong support for Mr Rouhani", wrote Massoumeh Ebtekar, the president's deputy on environmental affairs.

The Iranian nation will use all its capacity to support the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and the Islamic resistance movements, the statement noted according to IRNA.

The figure of 8,411 days - or just over 23 years - on the panel is based on a speech which Khamenei gave almost two years ago predicting Israel would no longer exist by 2040.

  • Leroy Wright