Iranians Mark Quds Day

June 23, 2017

On June 23, Iran marked “Quds Day,” an annual event to express support for Palestinians and condemn Israel. Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest city after Mecca and Medina. Iran initiated the event in 1979, which has been held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan since then. Tehran intended the day to counter Israel’s “Jerusalem Day,” which commemorates how Israel gained control of the entire city during the 1967 Six Day War.

FlagsHundreds of thousands of demonstrators participated in government-sponsored rallies in Tehran and other cities across the Islamic Republic. They carried posters and chanted slogans condemning not only Israel, but also its allies, including the United States. Thousands chanted, “Death to Israel, Death to America.” Some burned Israeli and American flags. President Hassan Rouhani and other leaders accused the two countries of supporting terrorism. Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” created by colonial powers to “keep Muslim nations involved in internal conflicts.”

This year, Iranians also decried Saudi Arabia and ISIS. The black and white flag of ISIS was also burned. On June 8, ISIS gunmen and suicide bombers killed at least 17 people in twin attacks in Tehran. The same type of missiles that Iran launched at ISIS targets in Syria were displayed. The following are excerpted remarks by Iranian officials and photographs from Quds Day events.


President Hassan Rouhani


“The people’s message in Quds Day is hatred of the usurper, occupying Zionist Regime and the message of supporting the oppressed Palestinian people, who have subject to cruelty for 70 years.”

“This year’s Quds Day is important from another aspect, and that is because of terrorists in the region, who are sponsored by the Zionists and our people decisively want to eradicate terrorism in the region.”

“The other issue is the USA. The Americans have always sought to violate people’s rights and this year, they have plans in the Senate and the House of Representatives against the Iranian people.”

“The Iranian nation wants to tell the Americans that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will strongly respond to them and the path that the Iranian nation has chosen will continue.”

—June 23, 2017, at a rally in Tehran


Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani

“Even ISIS which is widely known as a brutal terror group across the globe has not yet displaced a nation.”

“The Zionists’ crimes are still fresh in the memory of the past century, from the establishment of Israel’s regime based on an evil plan to crimes in Deir Yasin, Gaza, Qafr Qasim, Sabra and Shatila and so on.”

“So, the Muslims are now facing a criminal entity called Zionism which, despite its connection with Judaism, has always been misused by the great powers as a pretext to develop their colonial plots against Muslims.”

“The colonial powers have created a cancerous tumor (Israel) in the region to keep Muslim nations involved in internal conflicts.”

“Imam [Khomeini] had repeatedly warned against negligence of the Muslim nations of the enemy plots. Quds Day is a reminder for all Muslims to take serious their duty to fight arrogant powers.”

“The U.S. president portrayed Saudi Arabia as the sponsor of terrorism during his presidential campaign and now he is backing the tribal regime of the KSA and democratically transferring power in Iran. And now he is blaming Iran for terrorism instead of Saudi Arabia. This is shameful.”

“Today the U.S. is looting the Islamic states’ wealth. To this end, they clearly support any tribal regime in the region to take their money.”

“We target the terrorists inside and outside of the country and the latest strikes were just the tip of the iceberg of Iran’s military might. Iran will not sit idle against enemies’ attacks.”

—June 23, 2017, in an address to worshippers


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


—June 21, 2017, in an address to academics



Women at Quds Day rally


Quds Day rally


Latin America, Quds Day


Quds Day rally 2


ISIS Quds Day



Photo credits: Photographs by Naser Jafari, Hamed Jafarnejad and others via Tasnim News Agency (CC BY 4.0)