Thousands of people protested the USA and Israel in Iran – World ReadingS


TEHRAN: Thousands of protesters demonstrated across Iran on Saturday against the US and Israel and in support of Palestinians in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

Demonstrators gathered outside the former US embassy in Tehran chanting “Down with the USA” and “Down with Israel”, an AFP journalist reported.

They set fire to a statue of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as US and Israeli flags, in front of a flag-waving crowd.

Women dressed in black waved victory signs with hands painted with Palestinian flags.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have worsened since Oct. 7 attacks on close U.S. ally Israel by armed Hamas militants who Israeli officials said killed nearly 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and captured more than 240 hostages.

Since then, Israel has continuously bombed the Gaza Strip and sent ground troops. The health ministry said 9,488 people, nearly two-thirds of whom were women and children, were killed in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territories. Speaking on Saturday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bager Ghalibaf praised Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel as a “turning point” that “changed history.”

Galibaf added, “No matter what the United States and the Zionist regime (Israel) do, the situation after the Al-Aqsa Mosque Flood will not return to its previous state.”

The demonstrations coincide with the Islamic Republic’s “day of struggle against global arrogance”.

November 4 was the day the Iranians attacked the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.

Less than nine months after the overthrow of Iran’s US-backed Shah, students stormed the embassy to demand Washington hand over the ousted monarch after he was admitted to an American hospital.

Tehran described Israel’s bombardment of Gaza as “genocide” and harshly criticized Washington for its strong support for Israel.

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