Hassan Nasrallah, the Iran-backed leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah party, delivered an annual speech Friday calling Iran “the only hope left for liberating Palestine and Jerusalem,” Ynetnews reported. The speech was given on Quds Day, a day declared by Iran in 1979 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to celebrate their struggle for control over Jerusalem. Quds is the Arabic and Persian word for the city of Jerusalem.

The day has often given way to harsh anti-Israel rhetoric in countries across the Middle East. In Iran's capital, hard-liners marched and chanted anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans as negotiations in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program pushed passed their third deadline.

“Today, I am here to punch Israel in the mouth,” a 61-year-old English teacher, Fatemeh Hossieni, told NBC News at a Tehran protest. "Israel will be destroyed, America will be destroyed — so will ISIS and England.” 




This year, as sectarian tensions in Syria and Yemen drive further the wedge between Iran and regional Sunni states, Saudi Arabia also was the target of anger. Protesters reportedly chanted “the Saudi family will fall,” the Times of Israel reported, taking aim at Iran’s longtime regional opponent, which has recently held secret meetings with Israel in hopes of thwarting an Iran nuclear deal. 

In recent years, sectarian tensions have soured relations between Iran and the Palestinians, who generally oppose the embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad, strongly supported by Iran. Differences on Syria led to a significant rift between the Palestinian Hamas government and Tehran. In recent months, Iran has managed to rekindle its relationship.

Quds Day is celebrated in a number of countries throughout the world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian territories. The largest marches are often held in countries with groups supported by Iran, like Yemen and Lebanon. Several militant and political factions reportedly came together in Gaza City on Friday for a Quds Day march, Palestinian outlets reported.




In Iran, the government sponsors and helps organize parades and mass marches that attract tens of thousands of people. In the past, senior officials were known to give fiery speeches against Israel; this year, however, much of the Iranian establishment has remained quiet, as negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continued in Vienna. President Hassan Rouhani reportedly attended, though he did not speak at the Tehran rally.