• The ritualistic rally-cries of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" -- and the burning in effigy of the leaders of Israel, America, and Saudi Arabia -- underscore the basic lie that underpins Quds Day: the Iranian regime is focused on Iran's revolutionary extremist agenda, not on the welfare of Palestinian Arabs.

  • Quds Day has become a day in which Iran and protestors in other societies attack the legitimacy of the state of Israel ("The Little Satan") and continue to threaten the United States ("The Big Satan").

  • "Another advantage of Al Quds Day 2015 was that it coincided with the final hours of Iran's nuclear talks because these talks are in fact the confrontation between the Islamic Revolution of Iran and world arrogant powers." — Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, Secretary General of the World Forum of Islamic Schools of Thought.

Tehran staged its traditional Quds Day[1] rallies on July 10 in 770 cities across Iran. Quds Day was established by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the late Imam Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, ostensibly to unify the Muslim world to "liberate" the Palestinian people from the "Zionist Entity's" disputed "occupation."

However, in reality, Quds Day has become a day in which Iran and protestors in other societies attack the legitimacy of the state of Israel ("The Little Satan") and threaten the United States ("The Big Satan").

In the lead-up to Quds Day, the former President of Iran, Al Akbar Rafsanjani, mused in an interview about the eventual disappearance of Israel from history. [2]

The chants at this year's rallies were familiar: "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

Reportedly, President Hassan Rouhani attended a rally in Tehran and was treated to posters of Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama, and King Salman of Saudi Arabia being burned. He did not protest.

Participants in Tehran's Quds Day rally burn U.S. and Israeli flags, on July 10, 2015. (Image source: ISNA)

Also in attendance in the Tehran rally were Sadeq Larijani, Chief of the Judiciary; Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President and former Chairman of Iran's Parliament; Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; and Masood Khamenei, son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

General Safavi, now the chief military advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei, hinted at Iran's continued military support for anti-Israeli violence: "Muslims' unity and continuation of armed jihad and the Islamic resistance of the Palestinian nation constitute the only strategy for saving and liberating the Holy Quds."

Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, Secretary-General of the World Forum of Islamic Schools of Thought, drew a direct connection between the Quds Day events and the nuclear talks in Vienna. Araki was quoted as saying, "Another advantage of Al Quds Day 2015 was that it coincided with the final hours of Iran's nuclear talks because these talks are in fact the confrontation between the Islamic Revolution of Iran and world arrogant powers."

The themes of this year's rallies were also are familiar, such as labeling Israel as a "Zionist Usurper Regime" and an "imperialist tool of the West designed to destroy Arab solidarity."

Hardliners in the Islamic Republic who oppose any agreement with the P5+1 powers over Iran's nuclear programs, used Quds Day as an opportunity publicly to demonstrate their continued influence in the regime, as well as their ideological loyalty to the country's 1979 revolution.

The ritualistic rally-cries of death to America and Israel, and the burning in effigy of the leaders of Israel, America, and Saudi Arabia underscore the basic lie that underpins Quds Day: the Iranian regime is focused on Iran's revolutionary extremist agenda, not on the welfare of Palestinian Arabs.

Ironically, it is largely the Islamic Republic's support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas that has kept Israel feeling justifiably threatened, and that has contributed to the inability of Israelis and Palestinians to reach an equitable peace agreement -- apart from the sobering fear of all Palestinian leaders of being killed as a traitor, like Egypt's President, Anwar Sadat.

If Iran is allowed to complete its nuclear weapons program, it is just a matter of time before the U.S. and Europe will feel threatened, too.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.


[1] "Quds" is Arabic for "the holy", a reference to Jerusalem ("al-Quds").

[2] Interview with Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, Al-Ahd news website, 6 July 2015.

© 2016 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Related Topics:  Iran
Recent Articles by
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list.

en

Comment on this item

Name
Email Address
Title of Comments
Comments:

Note: Gatestone Institute greatly appreciates your comments. The editors reserve the right, however, not to publish comments containing: incitement to violence, profanity, or any broad-brush slurring of any race, ethnic group or religion. Gatestone also reserves the right to edit comments for length, clarity and grammar. All thoughtful suggestions and analyses will be gratefully considered. Commenters' email addresses will not be displayed publicly. Gatestone regrets that, because of the increasingly great volume of traffic, we are not able to publish them all.