The following is a MEMRI report published on April 20, 2014.
The commander of the Qods Force in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani, who is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, recently delivered several ideological speeches praising war, the Islamic Revolution, and Leader Khamenei, and attacking the U.S. and Sunni Muslim countries.
Praising the Islamic Revolution and its founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Soleimani claimed that the revolution had brought the Islamic world out of the crisis that it had been in since the fall of the Islamic regime in the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century. He added that Iran continues to export the revolution successfully, even to Saudi Arabia, which is the stronghold of the Sunni world. Only Iran, he said, and not Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, can lead the Muslim world, because it supports Islamic groups around the globe and defends Islam from attack.
Soleimani also said that the Shi'ite crescent in the Middle East was economic as well as political because it includes the oil-rich regions of eastern Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. He added that Iran was successfully thwarting the global attack on the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.
Following are excerpts from his statements:
"The War Completed The Islamic Revolution – And The Martyrs Live Forever; War Is A Grand School For Love, Morals, Loyalty, And Mysticism"
At an April 3, 2014 ceremony honoring martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war, in the city of Bam in southeast Iran, Soleimani said: "There is no greater [source] of pride in this world than martyrdom. The martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war had a highly influential personality, much like that of the Imam Khomeini. In our country, [this] war became a grand school for creating man. War has completed the Islamic revolution, and the martyrs live forever. War is a grand school for love, morals, loyalty, and mysticism.
"During the revolution, the Imam Khomeini spread the slogans 'We Can' and 'America Can Do No Harm [To Iran].' The enemy thought that Iran was [weak] like Afghanistan and Pakistan, but disregarded its ability to accomplish anything – even to destroy its enemies – by relying on [its] people's resolve. The Iranian nation's resolve against its enemies is like steel.
"The Imam [Khomeini] was like a bright sun in the hearts of the fighters, and he trained hundreds of influential figures... The Imam Khomeini changed the course of history, and distanced Islam from the regressive path [that it was on]. There are two things that fundamentally impact history: One is [ideological] movements, and the other [is] figures. Throughout history, ideological movements have been created, and figures influenced them. The beloved Prophet of Islam [Muhammad] had a fundamental and foundational influence on thought, philosophy, and the administration of mankind... The Imam Khomeini is one of the figures who changed the course of history... In creating the Islamic revolution, he placed the Islam of Mohammad in society. It was our imam who extricated the country from the path of regression.
"The Islamic Revolution has had substantial achievements... In the past 35 years, our Islamic Revolution has progressed 500 years, successfully changing the Islamic world."
The Islamic Revolution Reversed The Islamic World's Lengthy Decline
At a February 13, 2014 ceremony in Semnan marking the first anniversary of the assassination of IRGC official Hassan Shateri in Lebanon, Soleimani said: "The enemies of Islam and the [Islamic] Revolution have always tried to fight the Islamic regime, but they change only their tactics; they can never extinguish the eternal [Islamic] Revolution. The enemies insist on continuing their hostility towards the Islamic regime of Iran, and the continuation of the Islamic regime is tied to its might and influence in the world. The enemies have tried various tactics in their struggle against the Islamic regime of Iran, against its importance and its might, because they truly understand its essence and its greatness. Today we can clearly see the magnitude of the hostility of the opponents of the regime, because the power of the revolution and of the Islamic regime increase from day to day..."
Soleimani and Khamenei (source: Jamnews.ir, November 15, 2013)
No Revolution In The World Has Won Such Popular Support
Soleimani continued: "The people's indescribable love for the Islamic Revolution increases the enemies' hostility towards the regime from day to day. No revolution in the world has been so welcome or won such widespread public participation... In the decades of the Islamic Revolution, we have witnessed the people's love for the regime and its insistence on preserving the regime's values throughout the country, and this has always been accompanied by anger from the enemies. There has never been such steadfast defense of a regime by its people in any revolution in recent times.
"If we wish to look today at the might of the revolution, we can examine it in three areas: its might in the Islamic world, its influence on the Islamic world and the Muslims, and its might in the religious-Shi'ite world...
"During a long period in the history of Islam, we witnessed the path of regression and waning that the Islamic world was on. This true religion marched on a path of decline for many years. From the Andalus era [of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula] in 1492 and the five centuries that followed, the Islamic world marched down a steep slope. This era saw widespread change in the Islamic world, including the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled for 400 years – the [Ottoman] regime, which had controlled massive parts of the kingdom of Islam, crumbled. If we consider the conquest of Andalus the high point of events, and the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 the zero line in the decline of the Islamic world, then since that point, the Islamic world has been marching lower than zero. After the fall of Jerusalem, which is the second qibla [direction of prayer] for Muslims and Islam's second holiest place after Mecca, every move in the Islamic world has been below this zero line.
"In its decline and its grave circumstances, Islam suddenly saw the rise of the Islamic Revolution [in 1979], led by the divinely radiant and wise man named Imam Khomeini. The revolution was the result of the Imam's philosophy, and its everlasting percolation [throughout the world] has to date changed numerous global balances. Today we see that Shi'ites in Iraq have rightly taken power. No period in the history of Shi'ite struggles – or of the struggles of Shi'ite clerics – can match the era of the Islamic Revolution, which has gained global influence. The Imam established a regime relying not only on the religion but also on the demands of the people and on its maximal presence in the arena. Thanks to the revolution's victory in Iran, most of those in the world who sought freedom have sparked revolutions in their own countries...
"After a long period of decline, the Islamic world saw the victory of the Islamic Revolution. From that point on, Islam began to rise, and significant change began in the Islamic world. The regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran greatly influences this path of progress, and all defeats of the enemy came about because of the philosophy created by the Imam Khomeini."
Soleimani stands in the grave at the funeral of Mohammad Jamali, senior IRGC official killed in Syria (source: Mashregh, Iran, November 6, 2013)
Iran Currently Leads The Islamic World
"The Islamic Revolution has both religious and national benefits. Iran's role has improved, from the status of a country that was cut off from the world under the Shah to one that now leads the Islamic world. This is while some other Islamic countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan – have for years presumed to lead the Islamic world and continue to presume this today... No country but Iran can currently claim leadership of the Islamic world. Obeying the wise and intelligent [Iranian regime] leadership leads to the growth of the Islamic world, and today, Iran, as its leader, exclusively possesses two important attributes: supporting Islamic fighters and groups, and defending Muslims and Islam from attacks on them. These are the two important attributes that cement Iran's leadership in the world.
"Each of the revolutionary, popular, and administrative institutions that are subordinate [to the Rule of the Jurisprudent], and were established in Iran after the founding of the regime of the Islamic Revolution, has played a fundamental role in stabilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran, and each of their roles are important.
"We saw that in some countries there were rebellions that were carried out in the name of Islam but that had no continuation. For example, we we witnessed the attempts by the Taliban forces in Afghanistan to establish a regime based on Sunni law, which they called an 'Islamic Emirate.' This regime lasted for less than two years... The Imam Khomeini combined religion and democracy, and established an extraordinary regime. This regime is constantly growing and changing, and it continues on its path. The Islamic Revolution actually has an intangible, virtual, and constantly growing arena..."
"The Martyrs Are The Country's Strongest And Most Eternal Figures"
"The people sees the embodiment of the might of the Islamic Revolution in the conduct of other countries that have adopted Iran's model... The Islamic Revolution today is a unique model and example... We must pay attention to why it is that the Iran-Iraq war has become a school for the Iranian people, and why we still learn many lessons from it. That war is a model for us because it shows conduct that is true, that is religious, that is moral, and that is uniquely administrative...
"In the leadership aspect too, we see today that the country is run in the best possible way, and that Leader [Khamenei] has effectively thwarted the enemy's shameful plans. It is interesting to note that Leader [Khamenei], even though he is the jurisprudent ruler, a cleric, and a very wise man, insists on wearing at every meeting, official or unofficial, the same keffiyeh that he wore during the Iran-Iraq war. This shows how important these models are to us. The Iran-Iraq war is a worthy and successful model to which attention must always be given. We see today that the enemy gains nothing from its struggle against Iran, and that the exalted status of the Islamic Revolution has made the forces in the East [Russia] and the West [U.S. and Europe] powerless against Iran. The enemies have always plotted, and today are still plotting, in a number of ways, to confront the Islamic regime, but they still cannot achieve their goals...
"There is no doubt today that the martyrs are the country's strongest and most eternal figures, and the people live with these figures and their way, which they love. The models of the great martyrs of the revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, who are being imitated today, play the highest possible role in purifying society and exporting the Islamic Revolution. The aspiration for struggle and the attention to religious morals are the primary foundations of the crystallization of a revolutionary image..."
The Islamic Revolution In Iran Brought About The Shi'ite Revival; The Shi'ite Crescent Is Economic
In a February 16, 2014 speech in Kerman, Soleimani said: "Look at Saudi Arabia. They buy more weapons every year from the U.S. and other countries than they have people. The Imam [Khomeini] appeared and turned rocks into missiles. The Imam came and gave [the Islamic world] this courage. The missile that first hit Tel Aviv was – unlike in all the wars between Arabs and the Zionist regime – not an Arab missile. It was not Egyptian. It was not Ottoman-era Turkish. [This missile] was upgraded [from a stone] by the Imam [Khomeini]...
"The entire Islamic world owes a debt to the Imam. God knows that if the Imam had never existed, and that if this revolution and regime had never existed, then the divine appearance [of the regime created by the Islamic Revolution] would never have come. Who knows what condition the Islamic world would be in [if that had been the case] – and part of the Islamic world is still in [that condition].
"We are Shi'ites and the country's pride is that 92% of its population is Shi'ite... The Imam gave Iran the ability to become the Marjaiyya [i.e. the supreme source of Shi'ite political authority]... This is the same authority that successfully saved Iraq from the jaws of the U.S., and stabilized it. If not for the Marjaiyya, who could have done this? [Without the Marjaiyya], how could Iraqi Shi'ites rely on Iran? It is this foundation, this system, that succeeded in doing this.
"Reviving the Shi'a, with Iran's religious authority at its center, has made Iran a political, security, and economic power. It is wrong to say that the Shi'ite crescent is political. The Shi'ite crescent is economic, and the world's most important economic issue is oil. We know that the world's three most oil-rich countries are Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. Some 70% of the world's oil is in those three countries, and the entire 70% is in Shi'ite areas. Iraq's oil is [all] in Basra, Baghdad, and Kut, and 80% of Saudi Arabia's oil is in the Shi'ite areas of Dammam, Qatif..."
In Syria, Iran Is Fighting The Entire World
"In Syria itself, which is at the nexus of the political conflict, the entire world is on one side, and Iran is on the other. Several intellectuals claim that this man [Assad] is going to leave now and that he will be replaced by another. They also say he is probably dead because they do not know what's true here. Why have the U.S., the Zionist regime, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia been insisting for the past three years that this man must go? We can clearly see the Khawarij here...
"In addition to [the actions of] the infidels, the idolaters, and the Zionists [in Syria], we also see today beheadings [in Syria] to [chants] of 'Allah Akbar.' Someone came and told me that [Abu Mus'ab Al-]Zarqawi [sic; the Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader was killed in Iraq in 2006] reads the Koran [there] from morning until night, weeping, and then beheads 120 people simultaneously. It is Iran's philosophy and logic that have brought about victory in Syria, because this logic is solid. All this propaganda and violence have no influence, [because] today in the region [i.e. the Middle East] the [Iranian] model has emerged."
The Saudis Cannot Prevent The Islamic Revolution From Being Exported To Their Soil
"There are two important issues in the Saudi efforts [against the model of Iran's Islamic Republic]: First, they spend a lot of money; second, they sow the seeds of problems throughout the Islamic world using the Salafiyya. They do all this because they are afraid that the model of the Islamic Republic will have an influence on them – and this is actually happening... The most important principle of the Rule of the Jurisprudent, where a wise and God-fearing man rules, should be the red line for us all [that we must never relinquish]."