February 12, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6304

IRGC Deputy-Commander Hossein Salami: 'Iran Has Built Great Capabilities In Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, And Yemen'

February 12, 2016
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 6304

In a December 16, 2015 speech at the second Basij Supreme Assembly in Mashhad, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) deputy commander Hossein Salami reviewed the geopolitical developments in the Middle East in the wake of the Russian intervention in Syria. Emphasizing that Iran has triumphed in the Middle East and that its "offspring," that is, its emissaries, are in the eastern Mediterranean, he said that Iran has built great capabilities in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Conversely, he said, Iran's enemies are floundering: Turkey wished to become a regional power but in reality it cannot make an impact "even 10 meters away" from its borders; Saudi Arabia's policies are failing in Yemen, Iraq and Syria; and America has lost much of its influence in the Middle East and has become nothing more than a "regular player." He also noted that the power of Iran and its allies "benefited the Iranian nuclear team at the negotiating table."

The following are excerpts from his statements: [1]  

Hossein Salami (Image:

Salami Criticizes Turkey, Saudi Arabia, And America

"Every time that Islam rose, all the polytheists and enemies of Islam launched a military expedition against God's religion - but despite all of these obstacles, Islam found its path of jihad, its arena of influence, and its range of impact.

"It was those who experienced economic sanctions during the Shaab Abi Taleb era and immigrated to Al-Madina from Mecca with Muhammad who spread Islam.[2] All the great global wars that have occurred in the region of the Islamic world were in order to change the destiny of Islam. Wars were even shaped in Europe to topple the Muslims.

"From the day the Islamic Revolution [in Iran] was victorious [in 1979], the U.S. and the Zionist regime attacked 14 Muslim countries, and the U.S. alone attacked seven Muslim countries - but with the grace of God and the blessing of the Jurisprudent [Iran's ruler], in the era of [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini and in the grand era of [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, Iran thwarted the focus of the enemy's strategy on the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was an artistic performance, and a divine wonder, that at the peak of the military blockade [against Iran] all of these focuses [on Iran] were thwarted. At one point, their artillery shells targeted Ahvaz, and our cities, in order to eliminate the concept called Islam from the political geography of the Islamic world. But Islam, and revolution, were able to change the battlefield.

"Look at the radius of our action today. Our offspring in the eastern Mediterranean are monitoring the developments. The order built by the great powers has completely collapsed. The Red Sea and the Mediterranean, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain [were once under] U.S. [influence, but] are no longer so. They [the Americans] have lost huge areas. Today, we are facing complicated developments. But when we study these developments, we realize this divine reality: Victory is in our hands.

"All our enemies have something in common: all of them faced a strategic dead end, and are wandering around, [not knowing how] to continue their policies. Look at Turkey. This country wanted to play the role of the great regional power - but it is incapable of making an impact even 10 meters away from it. [Turkey] felt that the atmosphere was ready for it to reclaim an expanded role. But after five years of financial, political, and economic efforts, it has not succeeded in any area. We consider Turkey strategically incapable, [even] with a fancy army. [All its] bluffing and threats [are based on] the support of the Americans. Turkey is incapable of expanding its power; it has a fancy army with stylish equipment, but it has never [even] fought the Kurds.

"Look at Saudi Arabia. It [too] is dependent on American power. Now, look at the power of Islamic Iran, which has rapidly expanded, and which has built huge capabilities beyond [Iran's] borders, in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Look at the geography of Iran's power vis-a-vis the deployment of the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.], and at how [Iran] has forced the U.S. to change [its] strategy.

"Saudi Arabia has halted the price of oil at $35/bbl, in order to fight Yemen. But it is stuck in the Yemeni arena too. The Yemeni arena has become to a deadly swamp for Saudi Arabia. [Saudi] policies have failed in Iraq and Syria as well, and this is a sorry end for the Saudis, who think they can have influence in the Islamic world in the proxy war with our holy regime. They live in glass palaces, and cannot confront us in tough arenas. The drop in oil prices has caused them the greatest of losses; their currency reserves have decreased dramatically.

"Look at America. ISIS's increased power has become a threat to America. It is interesting that [the Americans] attack ISIS - but that when we [attack ISIS], they support ISIS... [America's] strategy in Syria has become a problem for it, and [the Americans] do not know whether Bashar Al-Assad should stay or go. With regard to Iraq, America is [also] wondering whether to stay or go.

"America has become a [mere] regular player, and we are assessing its activity in the arena. Its ground forces are not that powerful. The balance [of forces] in the arena is beneficial to us. He who can take initiative can assert himself in the political arena, and we saw this initiative in the nuclear negotiations - the offspring of [Iran's Islamic] Revolution have created an exceptional capability in the resistance axis, which benefited the Iranian nuclear team at the negotiating table.

"The terrorists and their supporters need to know that the era during which it was possible for someone to slap the Prophet Zaynab[3] is over. We will cut their throats... cut off their fingers, and not allow such boldness."




[1], 16 December, 2015.

[2] Abu Talib - the Prophet Muhammad's uncle and the father of Ali, who, according to Shi'a tradition, is Muhammad's rightful successor - acted as Muhammad's guardian during his youth. When Muhammad began preaching Islam, the pagan members of the Quraysh tribe elicited the support of other tribes to boycott trading with Abi Talib and his clan.

Salami is drawing a historical parallel here, comparing the early Muslims, who suffered "economic sanctions" (with emphasis on Abi Talib, due to his importance to the Shi'a), to Shi'ite Iran, which is subjected to economic sanctions today. 

[3] Apparently a reference to the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib and granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, whose tomb near Damascus is an important Shi'ite site of pilgrimage.

Share this Report: