print
memri
May 13, 2016 No.
6429

Iranian Officials Tout Iran's Regional Supremacy

Future Cooperation Between Iran, Russia, Iraq And Lebanon Will Also Include Yemen; The Prospects For A Resistance Axis Victory Over The Zionist Regime Are Now Greater Than Ever

Supreme Leader Khamenei's Strategic Affairs Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati and Basij Commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi recently addressed geopolitical changes in the Middle East, particularly the role played by Iran, and claimed that Iran, which champions the values of the Islamic revolution and leads the Shi'ite Resistance Axis, has emerged victorious and has cemented its status as a regional superpower. Naqdi stressed Iranian supremacy vis-à-vis the "defeated" U.S. and Israel, while Velayati outlined the Shi'ite Iran's regional cooperation with Russia - the reemerging global power that has returned to the Middle East.

Following are excerpts from their statements:

Khamenei's Advisor Velayati: Russia, A Superpower With A UNSC Veto Power, Coordinates With Iran, The Major Regional Power

In a February 22, 2016 interview that he gave to the YJC website, which is identified with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ali Akbar Velayati, the top strategic affairs advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the head of the Center for Strategic Research, referred to the cooperation between Iran and Russia in the Middle East, claiming that it focuses primarily on Syria but also takes place in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and in the future will also include Yemen. Velayati attached special importance to the Putin-Khamenei summit [on November 23, 2015], which, he said, demonstrates the eastwards turn of Iranian foreign policy (as opposed to the US and Western orientation preferred by the Iranian pragmatic camp and the Iranian foreign ministry), and emphasized that Iran does not agree to military cooperation with the U.S. in Syria or in general. He claimed that Iran should maintain its presence in Syria and Iraq in order to repulse terror attacks on Iran's own borders:


Ali Akbar Velayati (image: YJC.ir, February 20, 2016)

"Russia and Iran see eye to eye on most Syria-related matters. Full coordination exists between the Bashar Al-Assad government, the Syrian army, the popular forces under the command of [Iranian] General Qassem Soleimani and Russia's air force. Without this [cooperation], the victories [in Syria] would not have been possible...

"It is worth noting that the other side constitutes a powerful array comprised of states from the world and the region: America, the Western countries, the indirect presence of NATO, the Zionists, countries in the region that obey America [i.e. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf states] and their activists, such as the Islamic State [ISIS] and Jabhat Al-Nusra. This vast array is present in a small state [Syria] with limited capabilities that for five years has been subject to attempts to topple its regime. But this country resists, thanks to the courage and wisdom of Bashar Al-Assad, [and thanks to] popular [Syrian] support and help from Iran...

"I met with President Putin and the latter expressed his opinion on a solution to the Syrian crisis, saying: 'I keep my promise regarding support for the Syrian people's government and regarding coordination with Iran.' An unprecedented development has taken place in the region: Russia, a military superpower with a veto power in the UN Security Council is coordinating with Iran, the major power in the region, on regional matters, not only on the Syrian issue. I believe that in the future, cooperation between Iran, Russia, Iraq and Lebanon will also encompass Yemen. There is [also] a plot against the defense of Central Asia and the Caucasus, and cooperation between Russian Iran exists on this matter [as well]. Such cooperation is unprecedented in the history of the region...

"We have no problem cooperating with the Russians on armaments. [This] cooperation between Iran and Russia has a glorious future..."

 The Putin-Khamenei Summit Proves The Depth And Importance Of The Bilateral Ties

"The private meeting between President Putin and the [Supreme] Leader Khamenei lasted two hours. This proves the depth and importance of the ties between Iran and Russia... The length of the meeting indicates its importance. I do not recall that the [Supreme] Leader ever met with a foreign party for two hours... This meeting was no doubt a turning point in the history of Iranian foreign policy, because our foreign policy has never known a meeting this important. This meeting determines the future of Iran's foreign policy and is considered proof of the leader's [Khamenei] eastward look...

"Aside from Russia and China, we have no strategic ties with any country, for the Leader determines the strategic ties according to the constitution..."

Had We Not Placed Our Defensive Walls Outside Our Boundaries We Would Have Had To Place Them Today In Hamedan And Kermonshah

"The ultimate objective is to exterminate ISIS. Generally speaking, it is impossible to make definite predictions about diplomatic and strategic matters, but it is [nevertheless] possible to say that there is a good chance that the resistance axis will vanquish the Zionists, who seek to expand and their occupation in Palestine. Today, the chance for a victory of the resistance axis is greater than ever before.

"They [the Western forces and their regional allies] want to conquer the fortresses one by one. As the Leader [Khamenei] said, had we not placed our defensive walls outside Iran's boundaries, today we would have had to position [the defensive walls] against the terrorist groups in Hamedan and Kermonshah [within Iran itself]...

"Iran will not talk with America about military cooperation in Syria even if America wants this. As far as I know, nothing like that is happening... This is an important and strategic decision in Iran's foreign policy. Iran will not agree to military cooperation with America."

Saudi Arabia Was Unsuccessful In Yemen; How Can It Succeed In Syria, Which Is Farther Away?

"[The matter of the] relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is up to the Saudis themselves... Iran has no problem with Saudi Arabia...

"Regarding the introduction of Saudi forces to Syria, Saudi Arabia cannot do more than it has done in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has 800 kilometers of border with Yemen, and they [the Saudis] used all their conventional and nonconventional resources [in Yemen], yet they did not succeed... What can Saudi Arabia do about its distance from Syria? If Saudi Arabia had any special capabilities [of its own], it would have used them in Yemen instead of [employing] Sudanese and Somali mercenaries... In Syria there are forces from more than 80 countries that are fighting the legitimate Syrian government. What hidden powers does Saudi Arabia possess that it can use [in Syria]?

"Anybody seeking to intervene in Syria must do so with the consent and approval of the legitimate Syrian government. The Syrian government itself invited Russia and Iran to help it. Additionally, a UN Security Council decision is needed if [anyone] wants to intervene. Even if America agrees to Saudi presence in Syria, Russia and China will veto it. Therefore it [Saudi Arabia] will not obtain the approval of the Security Council and will be unable to intervene in Syria."[1]

Basij Commander Naqdi: If We Continue On This Path, In 10 Years Muslims Will Control Temple Mount In Jerusalem

Basij Commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi said at a Basij conference on February 22, 2016: "...Leader [Khamenei] said that the main conflict for the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is between the arrogance [the U.S.] and Islam.


Mohammad Reza Naqdi (Image: Tasnim, Iran, February 23, 2016)

"I [once] said, in an interview with Palestine TV, that in 2015 Muslims will control Temple Mount [in Jerusalem]. [The interviewer] laughed and said: 'We don't [even] have baby formula in Gaza. This is impossible. It's a delusion.' I told him that before the Islamic Revolution [in 1979], the Americans controlled Iran, and what is the situation today? [Only] a few years ago, Iraq was under American occupation and today it is in the hands of the Shi'ites. In the past, Lebanon was held by the Israelis, but today it has expelled the Israelis. Gaza [also] resisted and expelled them. Yemen was a colony of Al-Sa'ud [the Saudi royal family], but now it is not. Today Israeli ships in the Mediterranean and Saudi ships in the Red Sea are being sunk by the Muslims. If we continue on this path, in 10 years Muslims will control Temple Mount.

"If We Survive This Sensitive Juncture And The Enemy Infiltration, We Will Be Confronting An Enemy That Has Been Disarmed, And The Career Of America And Israel Will Be Over"

"Four and a half years have passed since the sanctions [were imposed on Iran], and we see that they have had no effect. [The Westerners] themselves admitted that they thought starvation would drive people to take to the streets [to protest against the government] - but they [the West] suffered a defeat. After sanctions were imposed on Russia, Russian officials asked Iran: What did you do during the sanctions that you are still standing on your feet? Well, this is all thanks to the grace of God. Despite all the plots inside the country, we are still standing.

"Now, after America has admitted that Iran has defeated it, a new path has begun, whose final step is [a Western] infiltration [of Iran]. If we survive this sensitive juncture and the enemy invasion, we will be confronting an enemy that has been disarmed, and the career of America and Israel will be over."[2]

 

Endnotes:

[1] YJC.ir, February 20, 2016.

[2] Tasnim (Iran), Feb 23, 2016.