Against the backdrop of the current protests in Iran's Khuzestan province due to power outages and water shortages, Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), clarified on July 26, 2021 that the IRGC would not allow anyone to harm the Islamic Revolution regime, no matter how dire the people's distress. Salami made the statements in a speech he delivered in Kermanshah in memory of the martyrs of Operation Mersad – an operation at the end of the Iran-Iraq war, in 1988, against Mujahideen Khalq, an opposition group that has carried out armed attacks on Iranian regime officials. Salami glorified the legacy of the martyrs and the ideal of martyrdom, and their decisive contribution to Iran's ability to stand firm against the West. Stating that the martyrs make a deal with God when they sacrifice their lives, he called to instill their message of sacrifice in the next generations, and stressed that jihad, war and resistance against the West and its values are the sources of honor, security and social strength. He highlighted the dichotomy between, on the one side, the supporters of the revolution and the members of the IRGC, virtuous fighters of God whose faith brings them victory, and, on the other side, the enemies of the revolution at home (i.e., Mujahideen Khalq) and abroad, which are forces of evil destined to be defeated
Salami declared, on behalf of the Iranian nation, that they will not give up the revolution and the Islamic regime. Despite the hardships that the West, headed by the U.S., is inflicting on the Iranian people in an attempt to make them hate their regime, he said, the sanctions will only lead to the victory of the Islamic Revolution over the West. He emphasized that the IRGC members are willing to sacrifice their lives for the people of Iran and for the ideals of the revolution.
The following are the main points of his speech:
IRGC Commander Salami: "The Martyrs Paved The Way To Liberating Muslims From Modern Slavery. Thanks To Them, The Entire Muslim World Has Now Become An Arena Of Jihad, And The Arrogant [Americans] Are Fleeing"
"The Islamic Revolution has fought Mujahedeen-Khalq many times during its blessed lifetime. After failing to integrate in the political circles in the first years after the revolution, [Mujahedeen-Khalq] carried out cowardly assassinations [against regime officials]. The glorious Operation Mersad disgraced Mujahedeen Khalq and exposed their hypocrisy and their hostility [to the Islamic Revolution] for all to see. Happily, they suffered a decisive defeat in this operation, thanks to the courage of the people and the fighters.
"No people can attain grace and power without jihad, war and resistance, and if the enemies are not resisted, society's honor, security and power are lost.
IRGC Commander Hossein Salami (Source: ISNA, Iran, July 26, 2021)
"Mujahideen [Khalq] are the ones who, [at the beginning of the revolution], found shelter among the bloodthirsty enemies of the Iranian nation and opposed us with the aim of toppling the Islamic regime, but the noble nation of Islamic Iran waged resistance and won with the meager means [it possessed at the time].
"In 1988 our fighters composed an ongoing epic and a great honor, leaving a golden page in the annals of the revolution for the following [generations to read]. Therefore, we must spare no effort in preserving the honor of these martyrs. Without these beloved [martyrs], we cannot be strong and independent. The martyrs paved the way to liberating the Muslims from modern slavery. Thanks to them, the entire Muslim world has now become an arena of jihad, and the arrogant [Americans] are fleeing. The martyrs illuminate our way like lights in the darkness.
"Lebanon and Hizbullah now stand strong and capable against the Zionists, and every time the enemy wants to make a move, Hizbullah nips it in the bud. America has brought the nations of the world nothing but poverty, backwardness, and the looting of their wealth. America has lost its credibility in Iran, and we sacrifice our lives for the Iranian nation.
"The martyrs are among the living and eternal assets of the nation and the regime. Their self-sacrifice, dedication and courage must be honored, so as to preserve the spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice as a lasting value of Iran's Islamic society. The courage, heroism and sacrifice of the martyrs and fighters of the Iran-Iraq war can be established and instilled in the future generations by commemorating the martyrs, who are immortal and alive. Holding a conference like this one is a divine success, for the martyrs live forever. Becoming a martyr is not an accident. It is a principle, a divine choice and a deal [with God], and these martyrs are no doubt more familiar to the dwellers of Paradise than they are on earth.
"All The Enemies Of Islam Came Together To Extinguish The Rising Sun Of Islam, But They Were Unable To Do So Because God Was With Us"; "We Can Only Defeat Our Enemies By Means Of Martyrdom"; "The Warriors And Our Ruling Jurisprudent [Khomeini] Presented A New Concept Of Power That Was Unknown To The Enemy – Namely [The Power Of] Faith"
"Now that the enemies have all realized that they are unable to defeat the Iranian nation in bitter warfare, they have hatched other plots, such as imposing economic sanctions, and seek to drive a wedge between the [Iranian] nation and regime by means of sanctions and economic pressure. But they must know that, although economic sanctions can [indeed] pressure the nation, they will [only] bring about the victory of Islamic Iran.
"From the first day of the [Islamic] Revolution, our enemies, chief of them America, showed their hostility towards us with all kinds of plots, assassinations, sanctions and threats, but our nation never stopped, [but rather] accelerated its pace.
"The heartless Mujahideen Khalq entered our country with the support of the enemies, [but] the heroism of the popular forces and the fighters, and the unseen hand of God, wiped them from the annals of history forever in the canyon of Chahar Zabar [in west Kermanshah, where Operation Mersad took place]. We can only defeat our enemies by means of martyrdom. They seemed much stronger [than us], but the martyrs, the freedom [fighters], the warriors and our ruling jurisprudent [Khomeini] presented a new concept of power that was unknown to the enemy – namely [the power of] faith.
"The eight years of the Iran-Iraq war were the greatest trial for the Iranian nation, for all the enemies of Islam came together to extinguish the rising sun of Islam, but they were unable to do so because God was with us. Jihad and martyrdom are our raiment of honor. Had we not fought, and had the martyrs' families not persevered, we would have been defeated by the enemies dozens of times, but God blocked [the enemies'] path and did not allow the infidels to defeat the believers.
"During the [Iran-Iraq] war, one of the sources of the Iranian nation's power of endurance was [its] obedience to the directives of Imam Khomeini, and today we must all obey the directives of Supreme Leader [Khamenei], so that the state is not harmed.
"The enemies must know that the Iranian nation will not give up Islam and the revolution because of power outages or a shortage of water. The enemies still mistake [the character of] the Iranian nation, and think that, if there is a one-hour power outage or if we face a shortage of water due to drought, the Iranian nation will give up Islam and the revolution. That is simply a delusion.
"The people of Iran have shown these days that they are loyal to the ideals of Islam and of the revolution, and that the delusions and dreams of the enemy will never deceive them [and cause them to be discouraged] by a one-hour power outage or water outage.
"Today We Are Dictating The Terms Under Which A Superpower Like America Will Return To The Nuclear Deal"; "As Long As We [IRGC Members] Live, We Will Not Let Anyone Even Glance Towards Iran"
"Today we are dictating the terms under which a superpower like America will return to the nuclear deal, and this indicates the [extent of] the authority wielded by Islamic Iran, authority that was gained thanks to the courage of the Islamic fighters in the period after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and at critical junctures, like Operation Mersad. If the enemies' dangerous and convoluted political strategies against us were directed at America [itself], it would have been crushed. Today we see America failing in its policy vis-à-vis Islamic Iran and [failing] to promote its goals…
"Islamic Iran builds itself up [despite] the problems and despite [the U.S. sanctions that] are meant to paralyze it. In fact, our progress is due to the sanctions, [for] we see that, in every area where sanctions are imposed on us, we shed the shackles of dependence on foreigners…
"Today America can no longer support anyone and does not call the shots in any matter of policy. The citizens of Iran are well acquainted with their enemies and will not be deceived.
"We members of the IRGC sacrifice our lives for the Iranian people, and as long as we live we will not let anyone even glance towards Iran. We will make Iran more beautiful with the support of the Iranian nation."
 ISNA (Iran), July 26, 2021.
 A reference to Quran 3:169: "Do not consider those who died for the sake of Allah as dead, but rather as living, by their Lord sustained."
 A reference to Quran 9:111: "Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties, [and in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed."