For the February 11, 2023 celebrations in Iran marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, along with his deputy Ali Fadavi and IRGC Coordination Department head Mohammad Reza Naqdi, gave speeches praising the revolution and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. They also praised the continuation of martyrdom until the attainment of the vision of the revolution – to establish Islamic rule worldwide.
The following are translations of the statements by Salami, Fadavi, and Naqdi.
IRGC Commander Salami: "We Have Succeeded In Basing Our Presence In The Region And Expanding Our Defensive Power – And Today Dear Iran Is Strong In All Aspects
At the February 1, 2023 ceremony concluding the annual Basij conference, on February 1, 2023 – the date of the opening of the 10-day Fajr ("Dawn") celebrations marked by the regime, which in 1979 preceded the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to Iran – IRGC commander Hossein Salami praised the Islamic Revolution. He said that with its success, the revolution had created a new identity in the Islamic world, with Iran at its center. The following is a translation of his statements:
"Several moments in history continue forever, and they are the living continuation of the truth. These events transcend time, history cannot obliterate them. Today is one of these divine days; [it is the day] the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution] returned home after 15 years of exile [and] the comprehensive plan of the world's most glorious revolution was actualized.
"Iran, that has a history and an ancient and mighty civilization in the chronicles of humanity, was considered an important part of [U.S. President Richard] Nixon's 'twin pillars' policy – that is, Iran was the axis around which American policy revolved. Iran was able to be a tool for American policy because of its special strategic status and superior economic power. Iran's political geography was part of America's political geography, and they did not want Iran to have an independent political identity.
"But with the victory of the revolution, they [the Americans] did not believe that one of their strategic backbones against the Soviet Union had been removed from America's political sphere of influence. The Imam [Khomeini's] artistry was to challenge the global balance of power and to restore the plundered identity of the Iranian nation.
"With the victory of the revolution, a new identity was created in the Islamic world, with Iran at its center. But this was not the end of the story, and because in addition to the global power [the U.S.], a new power [Iran] appeared, and America could not tolerate losing its biggest asset in the region. Therefore, they [the Americans] did not remain indifferent to this phenomenon. From the victory of the revolution to this day, the global arrogance [the U.S.] has invested all its efforts in renewing [its influence on] the history of this country [Iran]. They could not accept Iran as a great power. [Thus, they began scheming against] the Iranian people, starting with the military revolution and culminating with separatist plans and a great world war, but all these [efforts] were met with the triumph of the Iranian nation.
"Even this was not the end of the story. The war expanded to other dimensions and [the U.S.] changed the geography [of the conflict], moving from the military arena to the cultural, political, and economic arena, entering the area of science and technology and assassinating our scientists.
"With economic sanctions, they [the Americans] tried to deter our people from the revolution and to show that a religious regime cannot stand against the arrogance [the U.S.]. After the death of the Imam [Khomeini], the nation was entrusted to a worthy successor [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei], the [task of being the] representative of the Hidden Imam was entrusted to a man who has been the lifeboat of this nation in global crises for over three decades.
"The artistry of this great man [Khamenei], whose soldiers we are, was that he did not allow the country to retreat in any way. He responded to the enemy's media attack and psychological operations, and no one left the arena. The pressure built, and the young people entered the arena and turned the sanctions into an opportunity to build Iran's economic strength.
"They [the Americans] deviated beyond this and spread the fitna [civil strife] of the infidels in the Islamic world [referring to Iran's claim that the U.S. created ISIS] in order to destroy our regional influence. But again, Islam flourished, thanks to the management of the arena [of struggle] by the great commander [of the IRGC Qods Force], the martyr [Qassem] Soleimani [who was responsible for Iran's spread in the region and was killed by the U.S. in January 2020]. This fitna too was neutralized, so that we could breathe in the vital space of the Islamic world. America's space of political mobility in the region shrank, and all its plans failed. But our young people were present on this great battlefield and showed that they could, and were able to, meet the needs of the country without [the involvement of] foreigners.
"We have succeeded in basing our presence in the region and expanding our defensive power – and today dear Iran is strong in all aspects. The main strength is its faith and its will, and this strength is found in the hearts of the young people of this land. Today, there is no longer any fear of the superpowers, and the Westerners are not always first. The world has already abandoned these cliches.
"[You, Basij members,] have succeeded in proving that we can achieve everything we plan to. All these threats faced the Iranian nation, and we are at the heart of this battle today, but we do not fear the enemies, and we know them. Today, the Iranian nation… has almost neutralized most of the threats. Today, you young people are inheriting these great achievements.
"When the enemy America wrote its national security strategy for the 21st century, the first thing they [the Americans] declared in it was that they sought a world in which everyone would be citizens of a small [global] village. They wanted everyone to believe in American values so that the religions would be destroyed. Additionally, they wanted all the narratives to be told by [themselves] – the enemy – and, about everything that happened, they wanted to transfer into [everyone's] minds information that originated in the West. After this, they said that everyone had to use the same products so that everyone would have the same way of life.
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"The current era is [characterized by] the West's theft of the cultural riches of [the world's] societies. The enemy must not be allowed to become stronger in this area. This is like the Iran-Iraq war and today's Khorramshahrs are in cyberspace. Today's war goes beyond the borders of land and sea. Today's war is in cyberspace. Today, the enemy has no [battle]field in which to triumph. Therefore, do not be silent, because they are telling lies. The world is a world of struggle between truth and falsehood, but we [are on the side of] truth and we speak honestly with the world."
IRGC commander Hossein Salami (Source: Tasnim, Iran, February 1, 2023)
IRGC Deputy Commander Ali Fadavi: "Our Nation Supported The Islamic Regime And Revolution, Doing A Great Good For God, Because God Promised That Victory Belonged To His Party; The Main Manifestation Of This Great Honor [Martyrdom]... Is In The Hereafter, Where God Rewards His Servants Who Followed His Directives; This Reward Is Determined [By God], This Is Paradise Everlasting"
On February 7, 2023, during a drill held at the Azadi Freedom Stadium in Tehran, IRGC deputy commander Ali Fadavi delivered a speech commenting on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. He said:
"These are the 10 days of Fajr, the blessed days, which for 44 years have echoed the blessing of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Five days from now, [this year's] celebration of these blessed days will be the greatest to be held for many a year. We must be grateful for God's mercy, especially for the numerous victories achieved during these many years – and particularly for the most recent, when a great conspiracy and fitna against the Islamic revolution were created [i.e. the antiregime protests].
"In recent months, the enemy launched an all-out war, but it again miscalculated and again failed, although it had entered the arena in full force. God's promise is that the evil party and Satan will never win. The party of God always wins, and for 44 years, the entire [Iranian] people, Basij members, and IRGC members have always made sure to be part of God's party, because God's party always wins... During these 44 years, we made sure we were in God's party, and knew that being in it would have a good ending, but that [there is also the possibility that we would be] martyrs, and we walked that path with pride.
"Over 100,000 Basij fighters were murdered in these past 44 years, and this is a great honor. It means that our nation supported the [Islamic] regime and Revolution, doing a great good for God, because God promised that victory belongs to his party. The Great Satan, America, and all the little Satans that support it have not achieved a single victory against us in the last 44 years. If they had, they would have deafened the ears of the nation with their means and the media they wield. God promised us that the enemies would miscalculate, and come to the field, and indeed they repeated their mistakes for 44 years, only to face failure.
"During the recent rebellion [anti-regime youth protests], the enemies did their best to confront us but failed, because God clearly said that the Axis of Lies and Satan's party would never win, and this pride belongs to members of the Basij, who were victorious in the arena. The main manifestation of this great honor [martyrdom], which is truly great, is in the Hereafter, where Got rewards his servants who followed his directives. This reward is determined [by God] — Paradise everlasting. This world is but for a short time, but the good deed performed in this world [martyrdom] leads to a special, everlasting reward from God, and thanks to God, we have been taking action for 44 years.
"This Revolution was founded by Imam Khomeini with the blessing of Imam Hossein, and we hope that the last son of Imam Hossein [the Mahdi, Shi'a's Hidden Imam] will come, and that all of God's promises will be fulfilled. God said that even if only one day was left in the life of this world, that day will be so long that the final proof [of His existence] will arrive, and that all the people in the world shall taste the sweetness of Islamic rule.
"We have dominated the arena during these 44 years because we always adhered to our beliefs; to the belief we should have in God and the imams – which we indeed had — and we deepened our faith every day, and we are believers. The Islamic Revolution and members of the Basij also followed this trend.
"Those who hid behind a 'mask' of others [i.e. supporters of the West], hiding their nature, have in recent days shown their ineffectual [true] nature [likely referring to anti-regime youth protests] — and you saw who they are. Joy to those who stood firm. The Satanic fitnas are the great fitnas, and can fill eyes and minds [with nonsense] but the hearts of the overwhelming majority of the nation stand firm and strong, because they are certain that only God rules their hearts. These trusting hearts will lead them to Paradise. No matter what the enemies do, we shall defeat them. We have triumphed over America for 44 years, and will continue to do so."
Ali Fadavi (Mashreghnews.ir/news, February 7, 2023)
IRGC Coordination Head Mohammad Reza Naqdi: "Rebellions Begin When People Obey Their Selfish Desires, And Instead of Turning To Divine Commands, They Consider Non-Divine Commands"
In a speech on February 10, 2023 at Chaharmandan mosque in Qom, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, who heads the IRGC's Coordination Department, underlined what he described as the Iranian people's uncompromising support for Supreme Leader Khamenei. He added that not even the first leaders of Islam had had such support. Stating that rebellions are a necessary part of the life of a nation and of a revolution which raises the banner of justice and seeks to stand against the world powers, he argued that the narrative of Jina Mahsa Amini's death in custody of the authorities is an enemy lie, and that the U.S. is collapsing economically, militarily, and psychologically. Echoing Supreme Leader Khamenei, he stressed the need for an informational jihad for the people, in order to counter the enemy plots. He said:
"The Islamic Revolution attained victory and progress thanks to the blood of the martyrs. Progress and development cannot be achieved without suffering. Every society must work hard to progress. Every society must strive to progress. Before the [Islamic] Revolution, military advisors and officials from [foreign] countries would come to Iran from elsewhere. A nation that wants to be free of these foreign hands must face difficulties and suffer hardship. A country that is ranked 53rd in the world in the field of science must work hard to make it to the top; there is no consolation or ease on this path. We must always face the enemy.
"There is no end to the enemy's hostility. The enemy will never abandon its hostility toward Iran. Islamic Iran today has made great progress in the field of science, and many of the most important [research] papers in the world cite Iranian papers. Within a period of 10 years, the revolution of the Prophet Muhammad faced 26 [jihad] wars [against unbelievers] – a testament that when a revolution is about to grow, demons hold it back; they do not want divine movements to grow and progress. Imam Ali [sic; Emir of the Believers, the Shi'ite title for Ali, the first imam and Muhammad's son-in-law] also faced three major fitna [rebellions]. We must work hard to raise the banner of justice. These objectives are not easily achieved. The material world is a place of struggle, and we cannot seek complete consolation in it.
"Iran's victory in the recent war [the antiregime protests] attests to the uniqueness of the Iranian people. In this war, we saw how hundreds of media networks fought against Islamic Iran. They spend billions of dollars on lies and psychological warfare. In this last war, the Iranian nation faced this pressure, but never abandoned the Leader [Khamenei]. This is a sign of the singularity of the Iranian nation. No [Islamic] leader or [Shi'a] imam ever had a nation like this. Rebellions, challenges, and conflicts are necessary for progress. When we go to stand against the world powers, and not meet the demands that are important to them, we must accumulate strength and foresee the hostility of the enemy.
"Rebellions begin when people obey their own selfish desires, and instead of turning to divine commands, they consider non-divine commands. The method of such people, according to Imam Ali [Emir of the Believers], is to mix truth with lies, because without the guise of truth, the lie will be confronted by the people. However, when a lie wears the mantle of truth, the two are indistinguishable.
"The enemy's guise in the war against Iran is issues such as human rights, civil rights, men's rights, women's rights, election fraud, and cost of living. Many of these instigators influence others with these words... These people allowed falsehood to wear the garments of truth. It is true that it is not possible to operate without criticizing state and government institutions, but there must be no support for the global arrogance [the U.S.], no damage to national security, and no allowing the [Western] oppressors to damage the nation in the guise of freedom. Fair elections and the need to regulate them are necessary to us all, but in the words of one of the leaders of the incitement, 'deception' was code for 'chaos.'
Mohammad Reza Naqdi (Source: Mashregh, February 10, 2023)
"In the recent incident, the natural death of a sick woman [Jina Mahsa Amini] became a pretext for chaos. This woman required guidance from the morality police, and was not in an environment where she was treated inappropriately. But the enemy, in a grand lie, attributed the death of this woman to the police. It is true that civil rights must be respected, and that the police must protect peoples' lives – but in this case, the enemy sought to cover a lie in the garment of truth.
"An informational jihad is the only way to confront the enemy. In no other context has Supreme Leader [Khamenei] ever used the words 'unequivocal immediate imperative' that he used for the issue of informational jihad. America is in economic decline. America is blushing [in shame] before China's economy, and America's political kingmaking power in the region is over. For 25 years, it has been saying that Hamas must be destroyed, and for 30 years it has been saying that Hizbullah must be destroyed – but both of them are only growing stronger. America left 600,000 guns in Afghanistan, and abandoned that country in shame. It fled Afghanistan, and could not smuggle its own spies out of the country.
"America will not stand idly by against Iran's progress. The enemy's conspiracy and plan to confront Iran are certain. If we want to rise, we must overcome the rebellion – and the way to overcome the enemy's incitement is by informational jihad. The enemy became entangled in miscalculations, thinking it could confront a religious nation using nudity and irreligiousness against the revolution. Unfortunately [for it], America, with all its think tanks and analysts, has not yet understood that Iran is a religious country, and that a public movement cannot be incited using nudity..."
 Under U.S. President Richard Nixon (1969-1974), the U.S. turned to Saudi Arabia and Iran as "the twin pillars" of regional stability.
 The Iranian city of Khorramshahr became an Iranian national symbol after it was liberated in April 1982 after being taken by Iraq in 1980 in the Iran-Iraq war.
 Tasnim (Iran), February 1, 2023.
 Quran 5:56: "Whoever allies themselves with Allah, His Messenger, and fellow believers, then it is certainly Allah’s party that will prevail." Quran.com/al-maidah/56.
 Hossein ben Ali, the Third Imam in the Shi'a, was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE by the Sunni Caliph Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah.
 Mashreghnews (Iran), February 7, 2023
 Mashreghnews.ir/news, February 10, 2023.