Marking this year's 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution, in February and March 2019 senior Iranian regime officials, and especially commanders of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have underlined the achievements of the revolution and the regime, particularly in the region, and their goals for the years to come. These goals include primarily strengthening Shi'ite Islam in the region to the point where an Islamic civilization is attained. The speakers also extolled the culture of martyrdom and the spirit of martyrdom and jihad. This report will review several of these statements.
IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh: We Have Implemented Two Of The Five Stages In Establishing The New Islamic Civilization
On February 19, 2019, IRGC Aerospace Force commander Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh spoke at a memorial ceremony in Hamedan for the martyrs of Brigade 155 of the Division of Ansar Al-Hossein. The following are excerpts from his speech:
"We have implemented two stages in establishing the Islamic regime, out of the five stages set out by the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini [father of the Islamic regime in Iran] for the Islamic Revolution. The remaining three stages must be realized quickly through the revolutionary steps of the youth [of the nation].
"We are still far from the stage of the new Islamic civilization – the stage that is considered Iran's goal. Luckily, the infrastructure and requirements [which will enable us] to advance in the second stage of the Islamic Revolution were established during the first stage. In the previous decade, the enemy wanted to impose sanctions on Iran's weapons. But today, in the fourth decade of the revolution, [the enemy] wants to prevent Iran's weapons from reaching the resistance axis.
"[To the young people:] We must embark on Stage two [of the revolution], with revolutionary force and according to the recommendations enumerated by [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei. Know that the second stage will be easier than the first, because we have experience... We must advance and continue to move forward, in order to maintain the Islamic Revolution and its achievements. Know that on this path, victory will be yours, just as in the last 40 years the world that mobilized against us failed to carry out its mission...
"In the first decade of the revolution, the enemies expressed concern about the doctrine of the Basij [popular militia] and the revolution. But now, their problem is that this doctrine is expanding to the farthest corners of the world, and in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. At one time the enemies attacked and we were on the defense. But today we attack and they are on the defense...
"We managed to control the American spy planes which flew above Syria and Iraq. They wanted to start a 30-year war against us by starting a war in Iraq and in Syria, but we managed dispel their plans by infiltrating the American military, command and control, espionage, and other systems. We managed to acquire information about ISIS and its capabilities by infiltrating the American spy planes. We turned that data into a map and handed it to groups such as the Popular Mobilization Units [in Iraq] – which is how they managed to take several large cities, such as Al-Fallujah, with a minimum of martyrs. Today, fearlessly and in the spirit of the revolution, we must advance the plan outlined by [Supreme Leader] Khamenei in the second stage [of the revolution]..."
IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami: "Today, Iran Shines Throughout The World As The Power Of Islam"
At a February 24, 2019 event in Kerman honoring fighters and prisoners in the Sacred Defense, i.e. the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami said: "The 41st Tharallah Division was a divine division that broke through every line it attacked and excelled at sending the enemy fleeing. The division's commander, the courageous and famous Qassem Soleimani [today IRGC Qods Force commander] shines, today as well, like a star in the firmament of bold Iran and of the world... The death of our martyrs not only failed to dim the strength of the IRGC. Rather, a new spirit prevails in the Muslim ummah. The culture of the martyrs has created strength, and the world powers, which seem great, have been defeated by our martyrs... A nation which exchanges life for death in the path of God will neither lose nor fear any power, great as it may be, and will not surrender to the enemy...
"Today, Iran shines throughout the world as the power of Islam. We live with the martyrs, and they are the code to our everlasting life. We must conclude the war with the enemy and then move to a political campaign...
IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami (Source: ISNA, Iran, February 24, 2019)
"The enemy weakened each time it was confronted with our will. The great lesson [learned] from the martyrs is not to fear the enemy. We will resist the enemy starting today until we attain the final victory in the future. Forty years of the revolution have shown us that with resistance we can be victorious sooner [and] at less cost – so if you do not want to play on the enemy's soil, fear not, because God is with us, and the promise-breakers are not the decision-makers – for God's promise is the triumph of Islam.
"Resistance is leading us to a result, in which we will give the enemy no points. In every battle, we must give the enemy an answer within the battle... If the enemy chooses war, we will all be the attackers, and martyrdom will not mean that only we will be killed. Not one of us will be martyred until we kill dozens of the enemy...
"We are not at war with any country. We are not [one of the countries] that start wars – although if anyone wants to attack [us], we will not let him be. In war, the beginning may be in the enemy's favor, but there is no doubt that the end will be in our favor. We will show the enemy that he will fail any way he approaches the Iranian nation. The enemy's political domination will be removed from the Islamic lands, and we will destroy it."
Qods Force Commander Soleimani: "Death Is The Martyr's Graduation Ceremony; In Reality, God Is Awarding Him The Prize Of Martyrdom For His Efforts"
On February 21, Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani spoke in Babol, Mazandaran province, at a memorial ceremony for IRGC generals and martyrs. The following are the main points of his speech:
"The essence of the culture of sacrifice and martyrdom is wisdom, values, and sanctity. Many aware, insightful people insist on being present in this arena, and 100,000 from this province [Mazandaran] have signed up with the resistance axis to defend the holy sites.
"The dissemination of the culture of sacrifice and martyrdom plays an influential role and has a very positive impact on the dimensions of conduct, morality, and nationalism in Islamic society... The [idea of] defending the holy sites was born in the school of the Sacred Defense [i.e. the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war]... Death is the martyr's graduation ceremony. In reality, God is awarding him the prize of martyrdom for his efforts. The [Islamic] exegetes connect knowledge of God, which is the main knowledge, with martyrdom, and believe that anyone attaining martyrdom has reached the main knowledge and becomes a true believer...
Qods Force commander Soleimani speaks at Babol (Source: Tasnim, Iran, February 21, 2019)
"One of the important issues set out by Imam Khomeini is the issue of Palestine and the Wahhabi danger [from Saudi Arabia], and now the issue of Palestine has become the most [important] in Islamic society. When he founded the revolution, he stressed the Wahhabi danger on the part of the [Saudi] revolutionaries. He considered the Islam of capital, superstition, and cultural stagnation to be American Islam, and Wahhabism was proof of this. Wahhabism is the cause of conflict and schism, and of bloodshed, in the region. Today, the enemy's entanglement in Palestine [is the result] of Wahhabism and the cult of American Islam, [both of] which will undoubtedly soon be destroyed.
"Today, if the Islamic world feels that it has deterrence [capabilities] and significant power, and an enemy like the Zionist regime does not dare attack the Islamic state [of Iran], it is thanks to the existence of the Hizbullah stream in Lebanon and Islamic streams such as Hamas in Palestine. And they, as clarified by the great architect of the revolution [Khomeini], are an outcome of the Islamic Revolution...
"No decision by the regime is implemented anywhere without [serving our] national interests. Islam and support for Islam are part of the national interests, and without reliance on Islam we would not have had the strength to maintain the power of the resistance.
"Wahhabism had Jewish roots, and it created the [force of] destruction and ruin called ISIS. It caused over half a trillion [dollars] in damage to two Arab countries [Iraq and Syria], and killed hundreds of thousands of people by means of the foreigners [who came] to these countries, and over three thousand mosques were blown up. This Wahhabi phenomenon created great damage, and [Iran's] Islamic regime came to support both these countries, and succeeded in flattening this toxic storm before it reached Iran's borders.
"Had the toxic storm reached Iran's borders, it would have caused a great catastrophe. The action of the Islamic regime in the region made Iran secure, and a source of strength in the region, and [also made] Iran influential and the decisionmaker in all the Islamic streams. The operation of the revolution was very effective in strengthening Iran's defensive capability. The strength in Iran was created by the revolution, and there is nothing like it in the region...
"The main aim of the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.] is to efface [Iran's] identity, and to weaken and flatten Iran. The entire Iranian nation loves this regime..."
Qods Force Deputy Commander Qaani: "We Still Lack One Thing – A Global Army"
Qods Force deputy commander Esmail Qaani also spoke on February 21, 2019, in Qom. In his speech at the second international conference in memory of 140 clerics martyred in Syria, he told families of Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan martyrs:
"...In all the major Islamic and Shi'ite events, clerics were always the high-quality pioneers in the arena. [Ayatollah] Khomeini said: 'In every social movement based on truth, the clerics of Islam were the first whose martyred blood spilled from their foreheads.' He also said: 'Do you know of any social movement whose pioneers – its clerics and seminary scholars – did not take part and did not drown in their blood and become martyrs?' America and the usurping Zionists and their allies plan a new scheme every day to strike Iran's Islamic Revolution. We must not sit idly by; every second we must fight the enemy in the arena of the struggle. The clerics of Islam play a central role in the arena of the struggle against the lie. We, the soldiers of the Rule of the Jurisprudent always follow in the footsteps of the clerics, and in fact perpetuate the legitimacy of our deeds by means of the pioneering enterprise of the clerics, including Ayatollah [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei.
Qods Force deputy commander Esmail Qaani speaks at February 21, 2019. (Source: Fars, Iran, February 21, 2019)
"This Islamic Revolution has much to say and many plans [to carry out], both inside and outside the country. The constant presence of the people in the arena, the wise guidance of [Supreme Leader] Khamenei, and the martyrdom and efforts of those who maintain the security of this state make Iran unceasingly lead its plans, despite the enemies' hostility and obstacles... The reason for the failure of the [American] plans is Iran's mighty presence in the arena... Iran is working to obtain one important result in all the plans it carries out in the region – and that is to prepare people for the arena of battle. It is not possible to attain this result except by means of the pioneering of the clerics who teach the fighters belief in one God, religion, and recognition of God.
"Khomeini once said: 'If a global Basij of fighters of Islam is established, no one would dare to insult the [Prophet] Mohammad's spiritual children.' This sentence can be understood as follows: Although we achieved much in the Iran-Iraq war, we are still lacking one thing – a global army. In the Iran-Iraq war, on the battlefield, fighters from 30 Iranian provinces sat around every table. But today on the battlefield, brave men from 30 countries around the world sit at every table. And this is the art of the Islamic Revolution and the art of the cleric who leads the regime [i.e. Supreme Leader Khamenei], and it is the art of the regime that is based on the Rule of the Jurisprudent. We must always esteem the martyrs, because it is they who gave their lives to disseminate the school of the Imam Hossein and to establish the global rule of the Mahdi [i.e. the Shi'ite messiah]."
Rahim Safavi, Advisor To Iran's Chief Of Staff: "Without Building A Civilization, We Cannot Influence Developments In The World And In The Region"
On March 10, 2019, Rahim Safavi, aide and senior advisor to the Iranian Chief of Staff, spoke at the first conference on "Researching the Future and the Islamic World," saying:
"The first generation of the [Islamic] Revolution has succeeded in bringing the revolution to victory in the last 40 years, and also in bringing the Islamic regime to this point in the mission. Now it is the turn of the young people, who will take the next step of the revolution...
"The Imam [Khomeini] successfully melded the Islamic and Iranian civilizations... Today, the heart of Islamic culture and civilization beats in Iran, and Wahhabi Islam in Saudi Arabia and [the Islam of] Al-Azhar in Egypt cannot dominate the Islamic world.
"The aim [of ISIS leader] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was to remove the latent energy from the Islamic world and to destroy Syria and Iraq for the Zionists; meanwhile, Iran has triumphed in this battle.
Rahim Safavi, aide and advisor to Iranian Chief of Staff (Source: Tasnim, Iran, March 10, 2019)
"Islam is capable of building a civilization. This [capability] is hidden in the heart of the Quran, and in statements by the followers of the Imam Ali [i.e., the Shi'ites]. Without building a civilization, we cannot influence developments in the world and in the region. For this reason, the Americans fear not our strength but our capability of building a civilization.
"Today, a united Islamic army has been created in Syria. Today, we have succeeded in reaching the Mediterranean, by using our ideological strength."
Amir Abdallahian, Special Aide To Majlis Speaker: "Iran Will Present A Successful Example In All Arenas for Centuries [To Come] – Until The Coming Of The Imam Mahdi"
Amir Abdallahian, special aide to Iran's Majlis speaker, said on the occasion of the Persian New Year:
"The Islamic Revolution created a new political-security order in the region. Over the past seven years, 81 countries have tried to bring down the political regime in Iran, as in Syria, but without success. The new political order that is based on the resistance axis has managed to break ISIS's bones and force American to abandon its game in the region and in Syria because of its high cost...
"Today, [President] Trump does not dare enter Baghdad, and this is America's weakness. This is at a time when Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who is tracked by dozens of enemy security apparatuses, easily enters the most dangerous places in this region. All these are America's weak points, and Iran's strong points. Iran's friends and enemies know that the new political and security arrangements called the 'resistance axis' are playing a crucial role in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Amir Abdallahian, special aide to Majlis speaker (Source: Fars (Iran), March 19, 2019)
"When we speak about exporting the Islamic Revolution, some mistakenly think that we want to export our thought in order to overturn the situation in the region. They allege that the 'export of the Islamic Revolution' means exporting Iranian missiles to a particular region. [But] we are talking about exporting [revolutionary] values.
"The foreign media uses negative propaganda so that others will not see the achievements of the Islamic Revolution. The Iranian people and [Supreme Leader] Khamenei have made the Islamic Revolution advance. The plan to partition Syria and Iraq was meant to conclude with partitioning Iran. This matter was a common threat to all three countries – but at the moment of truth, Khamenei said that the Iranians must go to Syria and Iraq and do something to protect the security of Iran and the region. The result was that today we are witnessing the defeat of ISIS in Syria and in Iraq. Forty years after the revolution, Iran is not defending itself from within its borders – it is defending the country from hundreds of kilometers away...
"The Islamic Revolution has transformed the traditional hegemonic game of American in the world. The situation created for Trump in Iraq will undoubtedly happen to others as well. Iran will present a successful example in all arenas for centuries [to come], until the coming of the Imam Mahdi."
 See previous MEMRI reports in this series on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's goals for 'The Second Phase Of The Islamic Revolution' in Iran, as outlined at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution: MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7981, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Announces The Goals Of 'The Second Phase Of The Islamic Revolution' For The Next 40 Years – Part Two: 'You Must Preserve Your Revolution... And Bring It Ever Closer To Its Great Aspiration – The Creation Of A New Islamic Civilization, And Preparations For The Rise Of The Sun Of The Mahdi', April 3, 2019, and MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1441, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Announces The Goals Of 'The Second Phase Of The Islamic Revolution' For The Next 40 Years: 'The Challenge Is Mighty Iran's Presence At The Borders Of The Zionist Regime', February 13, 2019.
 Tasnim (Iran), February 19, 2019.
 ISNA (Iran), February 24, 2019.
 Tasnim (Iran), February 21, 2019.
 Fars (Iran), February 21, 2019.
 Tasnim (Iran) March 10, 2019.
 Fars (Iran), March 19, 2019.