Iran’s national anti-Israel day led to a fresh wave of flag burning demonstrations in Tehran today to support of the "Palestinian resistance to the Israeli regime".
International Al-Quds Day, which has been annually staged since the 1979 Islamic revolution, encouraged citizens to stage mass demonstrations in support of the destruction of Israel.
The event, held on the last day of Ramadan, was broadcast by state television as crowds marched with Palestinian flags and shouted “Death to Israel”.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the Jewish state and said: “The very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to humanity.
“Today, countering the Zionist entity defends human dignity and paves the way to save humankind from arrogance, poverty and misery.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the support of Palestinians a “religious duty.
“Israel is a bogus and fake Zionist outgrowth that will disappear,” he continued.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander commented: “It is deeply regrettable that, at a time when efforts should be made to deescalate tension in the Middle East, Iranian Leaders have in recent days made such dangerous offensive and inflammatory speeches.”
Al Quds day is named in support of the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem, as "Al Quds", translated from Arabic, refers to the capital city.
The event has significantly intensified Israel-Iran tensions surrounding Iran’s emerging nuclear programme.
Israeli ministers have not denied a potential military retaliation if diplomatic relations and international sanctions fail to prevent the Islamic republic developing atomic weapons.