Major Jewish human-rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to denounce marches in Iran marking the country’s aggressively anti-Zionist international Quds Day.
“The SWC is urging President Obama to denounce today’s al-Quds Day demonstrations in Iran where chants of ‘Death To America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ could be heard,” said the Wiesenthal Center.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center, said despite negotiating with Iran, the U.S. remained one of the country’s core enemies, along with Israel.
“The burning in effigies of President Obama and Israeli [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu along with the burning of U.S. and Israeli flags sends a crystal clear signal to the world, that whatever the outcome of nuclear talks, the U.S. and Israel remain the Ayatollah’s top enemies,” charged Cooper.
The American Jewish Committee meanwhile said the massive Quds Day rallies — millions of marchers, according to Iranian media — sent a “chilling reminder of Iran’s worldview.”
These “mass demonstrations across Iran against Israel and the U.S. [are] a stark reminder that Tehran remains implacably wedded to a hateful, fanatical ideology that threatens the region and the world,” said the AJC.
AJC President David Harris said the Quds Day demonstrations were a reminder why the U.S. could not afford to let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon.
Iranian officials and the military had called for massive representation for Friday’s rallies, where purported moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said demonstrators would declare their “hatred of Israel.” Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corp released a statement in the lead-up to Friday’s ceremonies saying the destruction of Israel was the Muslim World’s top priority.
Though the unabashedly anti-Israel Quds Day was started by Iran to show support for Palestinians in 1979, it is observed internationally on the last Friday of Ramadan in Muslim countries around the world.