0947 GMT May 13, 2021
Iran has no plan to stage any form of public demonstrations across the country to mark this year’s International Al-Quds Day (which falls on May 7) due to concerns over the coronavirus spread, said an official.
In comments on Tuesday, the vice president of Iran’s Islamic Propagation Coordination Council, Nosratollah Lotfi, added that this year the focus will be on marking the occasion through holding other ceremonies and functions, Mehr News Agency reported.
The International Al-Quds Day is an annual event during which demonstrators express their solidarity with the Palestinian people and opposition to the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Zionist regime of Israel.
The day is seen as the legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, who officially declared the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as International Al-Quds Day back in 1979, following the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
Lotfi said as Imam Khomeini’s precious legacy, the International Al-Quds Day is based on Islam and the Islamic Revolution.
He said the International Al-Quds Day is the manifestation of the unity of the world’s freedom-seekers in defense of Palestine’s innocent people.
Over the past 40 years, the great figures of Iran’s Islamic establishment have always stressed the importance of marking this day, Lotfi added, regretting that, however, since February 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Iran, the holding of the ceremony in its previous usual form has been overshadowed by the spread of the virus.
Lotfi emphasized that the occasion is of special importance to Iran as the flag-bearer of garnering support for the Palestinians’ cause.
“We are required to both fulfill our religious responsibility by commemorating the International Al-Quds Day and protect people’s health, as these days, over 400 patients die each day of COVID-19 in the country.”
Since 1967, Israel has occupied the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Al-Quds, according to Press TV.
It has also been erecting illegal settlements across the land in a move seen as de facto annexation of the territory.