Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Iran holds annual anti-Israel rallies, displays missiles

Iran has sworn the destruction of the Jewish state, and backs militant groups with similar ideologies such as the Gaza Strip's Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

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.

This year's commemoration coincided with an intensifying battle for influence in the region between Shia Iran and its Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia, Gulf neighbours which severed diplomatic relations in January 2016.

Rouhani told reporters that the rally was Iran's response to the us violations of the "rights of people" of Iran after the Senate last week approved new sanctions on Tehran over its missile program, something Congress is expected to decide on soon.

'Daesh (IS), America and Israel are all the same. "The Saudi Arabian regime is not Muslim - they are allies of Israel".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani joined the march through Tehran.

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 current situation in the Islamic world is the result of plots hatched by the axis of United States and the Zionist regime and the negligence of some regional leaders toward the problems of the Muslim world and the oppression of the Palestinian people", said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who serves as Secretary General of Iran's "Palestine Intifada Conference".

The rally also inaugurated a huge digital countdown display at Tehran Palestine Square, showing that Israel will allegedly cease to exist in 8,411 days.

They warned that Rouhani faced the same fate as Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, Iran's first elected president after the 1979 Islamic revolution, who was impeached by parliament in 1981, less than two years later.

The figure of 8,411 days - or just over 23 years - on the panel is based on a speech Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave almost two years ago, in which he predicted that Israel would no longer exist in 25 years.

Another missile on display at the Tehran rally was the Ghadr, with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) that can reach both Israel and USA bases in the region.

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