Iran Regime Pledges Annual ‘Quds Day’ Urging Israel’s Destruction Will Go Ahead, Despite Coronavirus
The Iranian regime’s annual day of rallies and demonstrations calling for the destruction of the State of Israel will go ahead this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Press TV — the Iranian regime’s English-language propaganda arm — “pro-Palestinian groups in London and elsewhere across Britain plan to replace street rallies with online events to commemorate the International Quds Day as a deadly coronavirus pandemic has restricted mass gatherings across the globe.”
In Iran itself, meanwhile, officials have indicated that physical demonstrations and rallies will be encouraged to proceed wherever possible.
“Quds” (Jerusalem) Day was launched as an annual event in 1979 by Iran’s Islamist leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — which falls this year on May 22.
Mass rallies urging Israel’s violent destruction are typically held in Tehran and other Iranian cities, with pro-Iranian groups in London, Berlin, Vienna and other international cities holding demonstrations that display the flag of the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah — now the subject of a comprehensive ban by the British, German and other European governments.
In Iran itself, regime officials have not entirely abandoned plans for physical demonstrations this year, despite the devastating impact of coronavirus across the country.
Official statistics have registered nearly 6,500 deaths out of more than 100,000 cases of Covid-19, but the real figure is believed to be much higher than Iran’s leaders are willing to concede; in just one of Iran’s 30 provinces, Khuzestan, doctors told an Iranian opposition news outlet on Thursday that the total number of cases was approaching 4,000 and still rising.
Despite the public health crisis in Iran, Nosratollah Lotfi — deputy chief of the Coordinating Council of Iran’s Islamic Propagation Organization — expressed hope that physical Quds Day rallies would go ahead on May 22, and would be “marked differently in the areas designated as white, yellow and red based on the number of Covid-19 infections and fatalities.”
Lotfi promised that if social-distancing regulations could not be observed, Quds Day demonstrators would be able to attend a “virtual rally” to witness the traditional burning of the US and Israeli flags.
In a sign of the importance that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attaches to Quds Day, its spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif, announced separately on Thursday that the Tehran regime’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would deliver a speech to mark the occasion.