To mark Qods (Jerusalem) Day, which in 2018 fell on June 8, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) deputy commander Hossein Salami participated in a Qods Day march in the city of Mashhad, and gave a speech as part of the Friday sermon in which he explained the rationale for destroying the State of Israel in Islamic revolutionary thought and in the vision of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Revolution, and his successor Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
In his speech, he underlined Iran's problem with Israel's existence, and how it should be resolved – primarily by military means, using Hizbullah, the Iranian regime's creation, which he called "a mighty power" with an arsenal of over 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel. Salami also named "the Islamic army in Syria" aimed at operating from the Golan Heights against Israel and awaiting orders "to eradicate the evil regime." The Palestinians, he said, are also now armed with missiles against Israel, and all these forces are acting in the spirit of jihad established and led by the regime of the Islamic Revolution against Israel, the Americans, and their allies.
Using threatening language against the West, Salami noted that Iran controlled the shipping lanes for bringing energy to it, and the sources of that energy, and added that economic prosperity is enjoyed by the West by virtue of the security for commercial shipping that Iran permits. Thus, he said, the European countries must not pressure Iran to enter into negotiations with them to limit its missile might and its expansion in the Middle East, which Iran absolutely opposes.
Hossein Salami (Source: Tasnim, Iran, June 8, 2018)
The following is a translation of the main points of Salami's Qods Day speech:
"The Problems Of The Islamic World Stem From The Existence Of The False, Counterfeit, Historically Rootless, And Identity-Less Regime Named Israel"
"Seventy years have passed since the policy of England and America planted in the Islamic world an accursed and criminal tree [i.e. Israel]. For 70 years, this poisoned dagger has been embedded in the body of the Islamic ummah, and all the problems of the Islamic world stem from the existence of the false, counterfeit, historically rootless, and identity-less regime named Israel.
"Israel has caused the Palestinian nation to be stripped of a homeland and to roam here and there, and those remaining on its lands are arrested, fenced in, and subjected to serious aggression, and their children are buried day and night under the ruins. The children's right to see their fathers and mothers is taken away from them forever. This historic and ongoing crime is being carried out before the eyes of the world. This is the most obvious sign of the crimes of America, Israel, and England in human history.
"In addition to the threat to Palestine's existence, the Zionist regime constitutes a threat as well to the entire Islamic world. That is the philosophy of the establishment of this regime: America, thousands of miles away, and behind oceans, transferred its geographical, political, and security territory to an Islamic land, in order to create a secure political and military bridge and also to create an ammunition storehouse [for it]. [Israel] brings the range of America's missiles against the Islamic world 12,000 kilometers closer, and becomes a tool for imposing America's policy against the Islamic world..."
"The Islamic Revolution Created A Mighty Power Called Hizbullah... Today [It] Has Tremendous Might On The Ground That Can On Its Own Break The Zionist Regime"
"In 1948, 1956, 1973, and 1982, America supported this regime against the Arabs, who did not manage to triumph, and despair prevailed in the Arab world, until the light of pride appeared in the world and the Imam [Khomeini] transformed the heart of Iran with the great [Islamic] Revolution, [and set] a new power against the evil of the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.], against the supporters of the Zionist regime, and against this regime itself.
"The Imam [Khomeini] spread the rationale of eradicating Israel [from the world] as a new notion in the world's political discourse. Thus, Palestine renewed its soul and came alive. Since then, the Zionist regime is fearful, delusional, and worried. After [Khomeini], the leader Khamenei united the Islamic world, supported the jihad groups, and thus launched fear upon the occupied lands. Since then, the Zionists have not succeeded in triumphing over the Muslims in any war.
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"Iran did not allow the Zionist regime to spread politically in the Islamic world, and stood against the dangers of this regime. Thus, America suffered a great defeat in its Middle East scheme. The Islamic Revolution created a mighty power called Hizbullah, that today, as the Zionist regime itself acknowledges, has over 100,000 missiles ready for launch. Hizbullah today has tremendous might on the ground that can on its own break the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime has no strategic-defensive depth, and in some places, the breadth of this regime is barely 34 km, and in order to destroy it, it will take only one 'Jerusalem operation' to destroy it.
"Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan... Orders are awaited, so that the custom of God vis-à-vis the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.
"Once, the Palestinians fought with stones and slingshots, but today they are armed with missiles. Every regime site is today under fire from the missile launchers. The farther and more deeply [we look], the more we see that there is a politically and militarily powerful regime in the world that raises the flag of fighting evil. This regime is Iran."
"Iran Invites The Muslims To Jihad"
"Thanks to the wise and intelligent leader [Khamenei], who administers the Islamic world and deals with jihad according to the logic of the Quran, with the political aim of overcoming the infidels and the evil ones – Iran invites the Muslims to jihad, and the spirit of jihad today breathes in the body of the Muslim nations. The young Muslims who care are proud of fighting the Zionists, the Americans, and their allies, and becoming a martyr is an honor for them. This is our main might.
"The more time passes, the weaker this [Zionist] regime and its allies become. Look at the 2006 Lebanon war, the December 2008-January 2009 war in Gaza, and the November 2012 war in Gaza. The enemies of the Zionist regime became stronger and assembled the structure of might. They are equipped and armed, and they have a goal. Against them, the Zionists are paralyzed, and fear death. All [the Zionists] are greedy for life, and they would love to live 1,000 years. [But] even if they lived 1,000 years, they would not be saved from God's punishment. This is God's custom, and their fate is sealed.
"When the Zionists bombed the T-4 base in Syria and killed some young men, they thought that they would get no reaction. They thought that America's and England's support could frighten the resistance front. They thought that no one would respond. Everyone is witness to the fact that they said, 'If they respond, we will put an end to the Syrian regime.' But the response came in the Golan, and dozens of missiles were fired, along with the message 'If you respond, we will flatten the heart of Tel Aviv into dust.' They were silent, and did nothing further...
"I say to the Zionists that the Americans' coming to your rescue is like an ambulance coming after the patient has already died. You must submit to [your] sealed fate. They are now building concrete walls, meters high, around their occupied borders, and thus creating a barrier and a military base. They are setting up [barbed] wire fences, cameras, guards, and concrete walls – but still they have no tranquility.
"We have crossed the threshold of worry, and because of the enemy's [meager] strength, the enemy [is creating] a high volume of psychological warfare. With a single pinprick, the air will empty out of the enemy, and his body will shrink. When America wanted to attack Syria, the world thought it was destroyed, but half of the missiles that [America] launched deviated from their path and only one managed to harm three laborers.
"The enemy has shown us all his might, and he has nothing hidden. For 40 years, we have fought all America's, the West's, and their allies' institutions of might. We experienced [the Iran-Iraq] war for eight years, even though at that time we had not much might. During the war we became strong; the people came [to the arena of war], and the Imam [Khomeini] revived in the people the spirit of jihad, and becoming a martyr was the ideal for the people. We won the war, and America, the USSR, [Iraqi President] Saddam [Hussein], England, Germany, and all their allies were defeated.
"None of the current plots of America and its allies are any stronger than the old plots. They are weakened, and we are strengthened. They had direct military intervention in Iran, but they encountered a sandstorm and nothing remained for the American president [Obama, when the American RQ-170 Sentinel drone was downed over Iran in December 2011] but ashes and humiliated honor. We stopped their gunmen [i.e. the U.S. Navy command boats seized in January 2016 in the Gulf], and they became helpless, and then we released them ourselves. They besieged us and imposed sanctions on us, but again Iran advanced, reached space, and created what it needed. We created power stations, a refinery, and medicines, and they noticed this. They attacked us culturally, but our young people found shelter in the mosques, and the people stood fast..."
"Their Life's Vein Is In Our Hands; The Security Of Their Interests Is In Our Hands"
"Our engine is still not fully powered up. Does today's world know that [its] energy is under Iranian security control? They must know that if their industry flourishes thanks to Persian Gulf energy, they owe this to Iran, and they must not annoy Iran. Their life's vein is in our hands. The security of their interests is in our hands. So far, we have been modest, because we did not want to be a source of problems in the world. We want to be the problem solvers. But there is a limit to Iran's patience.
"They want us to weaken the foundations of our might [our ballistic missile program, our expansion in the Middle East, and so on]. They tell us 'Get out of the region.' This is their interest. But we will not disarm. They tell us 'Stop supporting Palestine and Yemen,' even though these are the foundations of the Islamic world. They tell us 'Give up your missiles,' even though they constitute our defensive might. They tell us 'Disarm,' and think that we will compromise with their demands. We are strong, and we will add to our strength. Today, we have changed the balance of might, but we will not settle for that. We need to have so much might that the enemy will not threaten us. This is our logic. If today we hold our head high and have security, it is thanks to our might. In today's global order, either you have might, and thus honor, or you must surrender.”
"We Have A Duty To Defend The Palestine Movement That Is Now Fighting... We Are Creating Might In Lebanon Because We Want To Fight Our Enemy From There With All Our Strength"
"The Iranian people, the wise leader [Khamenei], and the mighty Iranian nation have decided to continue on the path in a powerful and honorable way. We have a duty to defend the Palestine movement that is now fighting. This constitutes also support for the oppressed, [which] is included in our national security policy.
"We must squeeze the throats of the enemies from afar. We must give them no chance to come near us, or to focus on us. We are monitoring them from afar, and grabbing them by the throat in other places. We and the Islamic world are all in the same boat, and our security is interconnected. We are defending Syria because this is defense of the oppressed as well as defense of Iran.
"We are creating might in Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from there with all our strength. The enemy is spread throughout the Islamic world, and the uniform of jihad is an honor for Muslims. Do you know why today we enjoy the prestige and security and make our own decisions? Because we waged jihad. We have undergone the difficult moments of history. The enemy now thinks to cause [us] despair. If indeed you think that way, why are you begging us to put the missiles aside, to leave the region, and to give up our cyber might? If you sense a weakening of the Iranian nation’s [will], then why do you impose sanctions on us? Iran is strong, and this is psychological warfare that attempts to show [Iran's] weakness. For 40 years, we have been at the heart of the dangers, and we have never had security and stability like we do now...
"The same people who, [at Iranian anti-regime protests in late 2017], shouted together with [U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.] Nikki Haley 'Neither Gaza nor Lebanon' must know that they are the mouthpiece of America and Israel, and are not part of the Iranian people. The people who ignore Gaza's children and say 'Help Iran's children [instead]' are also not helping Iran's children. They will not stand against the enemy for a single hour, a single second. Only those who yesterday were on the sacred battlefront [i.e. the Iran-Iraq war] – only they stood fast. This is not the slogan of the Iranian people. The Iranian people pursues the enemy everywhere in the world, and does not allow this country to be in danger."