June 20, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11410

IRGC Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi, Senior Advisor to Khamenei: If America Attacks Iran, We Will Hunt Them Down All The Way Across The Ocean; We Must Deepen Our Strategic Defense To 5,000 KM; Thanks To The Inception Of Hizbullah's Resistance Front In Lebanon, We Are Present In The Mediterranean Sea, The Red Sea, And The Bab-el-Mandab Strait

June 20, 2024
Iran, Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 11410

IRGC General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a senior advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, delivered an address at a June 12, 2024 conference held by the National Movement for Commemorating the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Boasting of Iran's military power and its ability to have launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel on April 14, 2024, he said that this successful attack had forced the U.S. to send reinforcements to the region and that it proved the precision and power of Iran. Safavi warned: "If any power – like the United States – attacks us, we will hunt them down all the way across the ocean."

Safavi also reiterated his call of three months ago to increase Iran's "defensive" range to 5,000 kilometers – in other words, to increase the range of Iran's missiles, making the country capable of striking countries as far away as France. For more details, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1754, Gen. Yahyah Safavi, Senior Advisor To Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'We Must Increase Our Strategic Depth To 5,000 Kilometers'; 'The IRGC Navy And Air Force Must Focus On The Red Sea And Mediterranean Sea – Because Future Wars Will Be At Sea And In The Air', March 15, 2024.

He also boasted about Iran's success in reaching the Mediterranean Sea by means of its proxy in Lebanon, Hizbullah. Like in the days of the Persian Empire, he said, Iran is today present in the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandab Strait.

To view this clip of these statements by Safavi on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

IRGC General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, currently a senior advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Source: Tasnim News Agency (Iran), June 12,2024.

Below is a translation of Savafi's statements, as published by the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency (Iran):

"In Operation True Promise [Iran's April 14, 2024 attack against Israel involving hundreds of drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles], we fired one missile every second, and over 100 missiles were fired towards Israel within 100 seconds. America, Israel, and their arms in the region had not imagined that Iran could carry out such a precise and large operation.

"The Americans brought CENTCOM and EUROCOM forces to the Mediterranean Sea and prepared over 250 fighters and support aircraft, as well as warships equipped with anti-missile systems. In addition, they used all their radars and the radars of several countries in the region. Two days ago, the Pentagon published a report about Operation True Promise, mentioning clearly Iran's capabilities.

"Iran does not aim to conquer countries. However, if any power – like the United States – attacks us, we will hunt them down all the way across the ocean. As a geography teacher, I believe that we have to increase the depth of our strategic defense to 5,000 kilometers… Operation True Promise surprised the world, and also the enemies.

"Iran's relations with Russia are relatively good, but we must remember that Russia and China operate according to their own interests, and this must be taken into consideration with regard to our foreign policy. In addition, Iran also has ties with Europe and other countries."[1]

Below is a translation of another part of Safavi's statement that was omitted by Tasnim, but published by Tabnak News Agency:

"Three times in history, we Iranians have reached the Mediterranean Sea. Around 513 BC, Cyrus the Great went to Jerusalem, and liberated it and the Jews, and then he liberated Egypt. In 480 BC, King Xerxes led 600,000 troops from Iran to Anatolia – present day Turkey – and crossed the Dardanelles or Bosphorus Strait and took over Greece. In those two cases, we went there militarily. Now, it is the third time that our presence reached the Mediterranean Sea. With the inception of the resistance group of Hizbullah in Lebanon, we are indeed present at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

"Hizbullah of Lebanon is in line with the beliefs of the Islamic Revolution. Even Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, despite being Sunni organizations, are operating in line with the goals defined by the pure Islam of the Prophet Mohammad. This third time, we are not only present next to the Mediterranean Sea, but also by the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandab Strait."[2]


[1] Tasnim News Agency (Iran), June 12, 2024.

[2] Tabnak News Agency (Iran), June 12, 2024.

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