Tens of thousands joined pro-Palestinian rallies in Tehran on Friday, as theannual Quds Day protests take on broader meaning for a region mired in bitter disputes and war.
Israel and its perceived supporters in the United States and Britain are still the main bogeymen of the Quds (Jerusalem) Day protests, which saw thousands more rally across Iran and in allied countries.
But the focus has also turned to the deepening rivalry with Saudi Arabia and jihadists such as ISIS.
Sajad Saber, a 24-year-old student, said it was the first time he had attended the rally in Tehran — triggered by the death of a friend who had gone to fight in Syria.
“(He) was my buddy and lived in our neighborhood. He was killed by Daesh recently in Aleppo,” said Saber, using the Arabic name for ISIS.
Iran is fighting ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria as part of its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Huge groups of protesters converged on Tehran University under a blistering summer sun.