The November 22, 2017 Sochi conference gave Iran a diplomatic opportunity to celebrate the triumph of the Iran-led resistance axis over the Islamic State (ISIS), as well as over the Western forces headed by the Global Arrogance – the U.S. – and over Zionism, against which Iran has been waging a massive propaganda campaign, accusing them of establishing and supporting ISIS.
These victory celebrations included celebratory speeches by senior officials, among them: Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei; Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad Ali Jafari and his deputy Hossein Salami; intellectuals close to the regime; and many others. In these triumphant speeches, the Iranian leadership laid out its perception of the dramatic events in the Islamic world since the Arab Spring, in late 2010, and even prior to that; Iran's regional and global status; and its vision for the Middle East's future. This vision is the implementation of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's blueprint for the Islamic Revolution – exporting the revolution. By force of this vision, the Iranian regime has succeeded in transforming Iran into a regional power, and even a world power, that in the past few years has expanded its reach to four capitals – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sana'a – and three seas – the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean, and it is not yet finished.
The essence of this vision, as validated anew by the "war on ISIS," is establishing Islamic popular militias based on the model of the Iranian Basij in various countries, where they assume responsibility for the Islamic Revolution. The next declared aim of these pro-Iran Shi'ite militias is Zionism; expressing this as an aim helps the Iranian regime obscure the fact that its main struggle is with the Sunni Arab world.
The Iranian-Shi'ite victory over ISIS is a victory over Iran's rivals in the Sunni world, that is, Saudi Arabia and its allies, and even over Turkey, which Iran had marginalized in Syria to the point that it retains influence only in northern Syria.
It should be noted that the celebrations in Tehran are happening at a critical stage, when there is still the appearance of an alliance between elements of the Iran/Russia/Turkey coalition, which could be undermined due to the conflicting interests of its member states. The celebrations in Tehran are aimed primarily at justifying Iran's political and military demands in Syria, based on its claim that it itself was the major contributor to the victory – a version of events which Tehran is marketing to the rest of the world.
The following are highlights from the victory statements of the Iranian leadership:
Khamenei: "The Islamic Regime In Iran, That Wants To Fully Implement The Islamic Shari'a, Will Be The Instrument That Triumphs Over The Enemies Of Islam... The Cancerous Growth Israel Must Be Fought"
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in his November 23, 2017 speech at a Supporters of Ahl Al-Bayt Conference in Tehran: "Iran stands, and will stand, against the plots of the front of the arrogance and of Zionism, that seek to create a war and an [internal] struggle among the Muslims. With God's help, we will triumph in this war, as the criminal tree ISIS has been uprooted in Iraq and Syria.
"The Islamic world today can stand against unbelief and arrogance. The Islamic regime in Iran, that wants to fully implement the Islamic Shari'a, will be the instrument that triumphs over the enemies of Islam.
"For some 40 years, there have been plots, pressure, and sanctions on the Islamic Regime, on the part of America and Zionism. Despite all these pressures, Iran has progressed tremendously, and it is standing against the arrogance front with all its might. I say explicitly that Iran will assist wherever there is a need for its presence in order to fight unbelief and the arrogance. In this matter, we will take no one into account.
"The issue of Palestine is top priority for the Islamic world. The issue of Palestine is the key to victory over the enemies of Islam, because the front of unbelief, arrogance, and Zionism has conquered the Islamic state Palestine, and turned it into a base for creating insecurity in the countries of the region. The cancerous growth Israel must be fought...
"I hope that the day will come when the Palestinian people will be masters of their own land. That day will be a holiday for the Islamic world.
"The day that Palestine is restored to the Palestinian people, the real blow will fall on the back of the arrogance, and we are trying to get to that day."
IRGC Commander Jafari: "Our Business Is With The Great Satan Itself... America And Israel; Therefore, We Are Showing Restraint Vis-À-Vis Saudi Arabia And Do Not Want To Fight It Directly... According To The Koran, Our Enemies Are Stupid And Cannot Understand The Essence Of The Revolution And The Capability Of The Revolution And Of The Resistance Front, And Cannot Fight Them"
On November 23, IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari told a press conference: "I welcome the recent and great victories of the Islamic Revolution front against the front of lies and the destruction of the accursed regime of ISIS... It is the presence and support of the people, that is, the Basij, that are behind the great victories of the Iranian nation, both during the era of the revolution and during the Sacred Defense [i.e. the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-88] and against all the security plots and crises.
"The Basij embodies the resistance of the Iranian people and the Muslim peoples in the region... Over one third of the [Iranian] people are members in it... The Basij was formed in Iran on the orders of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini]. This popular resistance and the eight years of the Sacred Defense have caused the other peoples to take them as a role model.
"Today it is clear that Hizbullah is protecting its country from Israel, and it is a Basij. Without the popular Basij in Syria, it would have been divided into several parts, and today the Syrian state would not exist. The same goes for Iraq. ISIS wanted to establish a regime in order to fight [Iran's] Islamic Revolution...
"This victory is not the complete destruction of ISIS. It is just the destruction of the ISIS regime, and there is a difference between the two. ISIS is in various countries, such as Afghanistan, as guerilla groups and underground groups, and these [groups] constitute a threat to Islam. Therefore, we have a plan for fighting their plots. We are well-prepared against these threats, and it is already proven in fact that the resistance front is effective...
"Saudi Arabia is taking a hostile approach to Iran and to Hizbullah. The Iranian revolution has principles and goals that naturally contradict the interests of some, including America, Israel, and those subject to them in the region... Anyone in the front of the arrogance is fighting the front of the Islamic Revolution and the resistance. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia is one of these. It was appointed by the arrogance and it has been proven many times that it has a security and intelligence relationship with Israel. It is natural that the Saudis see themselves on the front that opposes the Islamic Revolution.
"We have no business with those who were appointed by the arrogance. Our business is with the Great Satan itself, and with the main element – that is, America and Israel. Therefore, we are showing restraint vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia and do not want to fight it directly. I recommend [that the Saudis] stop these matters, and if they do not, they will be facing the front of the revolution and will be harmed by the shrapnel...
"The main and determining role in the fight against ISIS was [played by] the popular forces, and these popular forces required leadership and command. The popular and revolutionary command was shown in Syria and in Iraq by my dear brother, [The IRGC Qods Force commander] Gen. [Qassem] Soleimani, and other dear ones.
"When we look at some of the martyrs in the holy places, we see that they were former IRGC [members] who came to the fronts in order to use their experience [accumulated] in the Sacred Defense.
"In every place, we will support the Muslim peoples who are oppressed. Our assistance is different in different countries, particularly Yemen. Our assistance must be at the request of the regime. There, the regime is in the hands of Ansar Allah, and our assistance is on the level of military and, mostly, spiritual advising.
"Today, they say that every new war will cause the eradication of the Zionist regime. This claim is proven. They [the Zionists] have seen [just] part of our capability on the resistance front, in the July 2006 Israel-Hizbullah war and the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war. Today, there is already a massive front of resistance, and this matter [i.e. that the Zionist regime will be wiped out in a new war] is proven.
"The fate of the resistance front [members] is interconnected, and all are united. If Israel attacks part [of the resistance front], all the rest will arrive to help...
"The essence of Hizbullah is in its weapons. The essence of Hizbullah is that it is armed and equipped against the sworn enemy of the Lebanese people – that is, Israel – since Lebanon is the Israelis' primary target. It is natural that Hizbullah is armed with the best weapons, for security reasons. This issue is nonnegotiable. The entire Lebanese people, [except for] several small groups appointed by [the arrogance], supports the weapons of Hizbullah.
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"Like the Hashd Al-Sha'bi in Iraq, today in Syria popular forces have been formed to play an effective role in fighting terrorism. Now, the Syrian government and parliament must officially recognize these popular forces in their laws. Of course, Bashar Al-Assad appreciates these forces and will certainly recognize them legally so that they will be prepared for future threats...
"The [Iranian] people and the IRGC are ready to rebuild Syria. I held some meetings with the [Syrian] government and we saw that the IRGC can play a role in this matter, better than anyone else. At this point, it depends on the will of the Syrian government. We have held talks in this matter, and are now making preparations [for it].
"Thanks to the revolution, our chief of staff, who had many successes in the Sacred Defense, is now the general commander guiding the fronts [of fighting] in Iraq, Syria, and the region, and there too he has had many successes.
"According to the Koran, our enemies are stupid and cannot understand the essence of the revolution and the capability of the revolution and of the resistance front, and cannot fight them. Therefore, any future threat will be defeated. They would be better off abandoning their aggressive and arrogant nature. For example in Yemen, the end will certainly be the humiliating defeat of Saudi Arabia."
IRGC Commander Jafari: "The IRGC Fatehin Brigades... Were The First Forces With A Mass Presence In The Operations Around Aleppo... In Syria, Nearly 100,000 Popular Forces Were Formed... In Iraq, The Hashd Al-Sha'bi Were Formed... Today, The Global Basij Of The Front Of Islam Has Already Been Formed"
IRGC commander Ali Jafari said at a November 26, 2017 Basij conference: "With regard to the crucial role of the Basij in the victories of the resistance front, in the operations that took place around Aleppo, at first the IRGC's Fatehin Brigades from Tehran participated, and then the Fatehin Battalion was formed in Tehran. They were the first forces with a mass presence in the operations around Aleppo, alongside the professional [Iranian] teams from the era of the Sacred Defense [the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s]. The victories of today are the result of the presence of Iranian forces and popular forces from other countries, as well as of the effective presence of Iranian commanders.
"Today, Hizbullah in Lebanon is the product of the transfer of Basij experience to other countries. Likewise, in Syria, nearly 100,000 popular forces were formed in order to defend their country, and they are ready to do so. In Iraq, the Hashd Al-Sha'bi were formed, and for this reason America and the treacherous Saudi Arabia have not managed to actualize their goal to destabilize this country.
"The transfer of the [Iranian] Basij experience to other countries has achieved good results. Today, the global Basij of the front of Islam has already been formed. The nuclei of the resistance that were created in the countries in the region and in many countries in the world, and in the future, we witness the good results [produced by this development].
"One dimension of the war on the takfiri terrorists in Syria was ideology. The war on the takfiri ISIS in Syria has caused all those who loved Islam and the Islamic Revolution to volunteer willingly and avidly to dash to the battle front against the terrorists.
"Wherever there is a crisis or a big problem, the popular forces have organized out of faith and will, and removed the problem or the crisis.
"The war that took place in the region was a great world war; the superpowers came to the arena of the fighting and played a role in it."
Deputy IRGC Commander Salami: "The Influence Of The Islamic Revolution Has Expanded"
Deputy IRGC commander Hossein Salami said at a November 22, 2017 conference in memory of the martyrs: "America, England, the Zionist regime, and their allies in the region thought that they would be able to limit the area of influence of the Islamic Revolution, and to prevent the process of its spread. But they achieved the opposite result, and the influence of the Islamic Revolution has expanded. The threats have become opportunities and the energies that were scattered across the Islamic world have joined together in order to create the first nuclei of the unity of the Islamic jihad...
"Thanks to the leader [Khamenei] and to the command of Gen.[Qassem] Soleimani, the Islamic world has managed to create a broad level of defensive might.
"The enemy has come to create safe margins for the Zionist regime, but [we] see that the glowing banners of the resistance have surrounded occupied Palestine and that every new war means wiping Israel off the geography of the world."
IRGC-Affiliated Commentator: "The Resistance Axis And Its Partners Are Drafting The New Regional Order"
Commentator Hadi Mohammadi, who is affiliated with the IRGC, wrote in a November 22, 2017 article for the IRGC-affiliated news agency Javan: "America, the Zionist regime, and the Wahhabi Saudis must agree with the rules of the new security and political game [that is being formulated] in Sochi.
"The warmongering and terrorism were meant to create security for Israel and to actualize the colonialist interests of America and the West. But despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent, they have not only failed, but the resistance axis and its regional influence have grown stronger, along with Russia, which is the main player defining the new rules of the game...
"In the decade following 9/11, Russia was the passive power. Now, it has chosen Qassem Soleimani as a strategic partner. The diplomatic and security efforts of the Zionists, Aal Saud [i.e. Saudi Arabia], and America have had no effect on this cooperation. Russia is striving to be a global power by strategic partnership with Iran...
"[The] post-ISIS [era] means a Middle East without America, without the Zionist regime, and without Wahhabi terrorism. The resistance axis and its partners are drafting the region's new order, establishing it and defining its principles."
Kayhan: "The Might Of The Resistance Axis Forces Begins In Iraq, Syria, And Lebanon And Ends In Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, And, Inshallah, Also Saudi Arabia"
In its November 26, 2017 editorial, Kayhan, the mouthpiece of the ideological camp, wrote: "The shadow of the might of the resistance axis forces begins in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and ends in Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, and, inshallah, also Saudi Arabia. Now, at the negotiating table [in Sochi], there should be no expectation that we will concede – the opposite [should be expected]. Now, the ground has been prepared for demanding great concessions, including the withdrawal of the American and Western forces from the region. The resistance axis and its allies must prepare a document portfolio of financial, logistical, [and] arms [support], advisory, policy, and media [activities] [incriminating] the supporters of the takfiri terrorism, and submit it to the Security Council and the [International] Court [of Justice] at the Hague and to place America, Saudi Arabia, and the Western countries in the defendants' dock on charges of perpetrating war crimes against humanity...
"Ahmad Ramadan, Chairman of the Media and Public Relations Bureau of the Saudi-supported opposition named the National Syrian Coalition, told Al-Arabiya in an interview: 'The delegation comprises 11 opponents [of Assad] who are holding talks with the aim of removing Bashar Al-Assad. We will make efforts so that the track in Geneva will block the Sochi track.' It appears that behind the scenes, the young and inexperienced Saudi prince [Muhammad bin Salman] is still incapable of internalizing reality and the new developments in the region... The other plans and conferences, such as the Geneva conference, are marginal and fated for defeat.
"The Sochi conference, attended by Iran, Russia, and Turkey, was not a simple conference. It drafted the future West Asia region [i.e. the Middle East in Iranian terminology] according to the doctrine and discourse of the resistance axis, and without America and Europe present and playing a role – which happened for the first time, a century after the Sykes-Picot agreement.
"What increases the importance of this conference and guarantees the decisions made there is the presence of the chiefs of staff of the three countries, along with their presidents, particularly the presence of [Iranian chief of staff ] Gen. Baqeri along with [Iranian President Hassan] Rohani. The three chiefs of staff held a conference prior to the presidential conference, and this shows that every discussion held with [military] might in the background, yields results. From now on, it will be impossible to imagine decision making for the region only at the diplomatic table. Before the implementation [of the decision] it must be sealed with the stamp of might ...
"In the past, [in the Iran-Iraq war,] God's promise of success was fulfilled and Khorramshahr was liberated. Today, God's promise is fulfilled and we have liberated Damascus and Baghdad. The regional front of revolution [that is based on] this faith and based on the resistance doctrine will declare in the future, 'Dear Jerusalem has also been liberated.' This is because, according to the order of the great leader of the revolution [Khamenei], 'Iran stands with all its might against the arrogance front and takes no one into consideration. The day Palestine is restored to the Palestinian people will be a holiday in the Islamic world, and we are investing efforts to reach that day.' The resistance continues."
Javan: "We Must Wait For The Day When The Basij Dries Up The Roots Of The Zionist Corruption And Of The Tyranny Of The Arrogant"
The November 27, 2017 editorial in the Javan daily, which is affiliated with the ideological stream, stated: "Again, the Basij has entered the arena of regional developments and is the main player in it. The young mujahideen who long to be martyrs, from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and so on, acquire a model for emulation from this memento of the Imam Khomeini [i.e. the Basij] and are entering the combat arena with a minimum of means but a maximum of faith, and thus they are creating innovation.
"We must not forget that the Hashd Al-Sha'bi, the victor of the takfir combat arena, has acquired a model for emulation from the Basij, and thanks to it we are seeing that in every street and every corner in Iraq flows a culture that demands martyrdom. This is the culture and thought of the Basij which drew the young people from every point across the Islamic world in order to fight the counterfeit American Islam and to defend the holy places. The culture and thought of the Basij are the memento that we retain from the Sacred Defense.
"Today, our people celebrate the victory over the takfiri terrorism, fully joyful and fully tranquil. They know that they owe their security to the martyrdom of the Basij and its members. It is the Basij method that finishes the saga of terrorism and takfir in the region We must await the day when the Basij dries up the roots of the Zionist corruption and the tyranny of the arrogant."
Afghan Shi'ite Pro-Iran Fatemiyoun Division In Letter Of Appreciation To Qods Force Commander Soleimani: "We Are Ready To [Continue] To Obey Dear Leader Khamenei And To Aid The Oppressed Under Your Command In Every Corner Of The World"
In a November 21, 2017 communiqué, soldiers of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Division congratulated Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Gen. Soleimani on the occasion of the eradication of ISIS. The following are the main points of the communiqué:
"Dear and brave commander of the resistance, general with head held high, Hajj Qassem Soleimani,
"Now, after six years, we have reached the end of the extremist terrorist group, thanks to your tireless presence in the arena of fighting and command, and thanks to the resistance of people from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Now, the world has been cleansed of the filth of this bloodthirsty [ISIS], that enjoyed the support of Global Arrogance.
"For these six years, the Fatemiyoun Division has obeyed the Leader [Khamenei] under your command. It was in the various arenas of the fighting and fought the takfiri terror elements as a brother in arms of the brave people of the resistance axis. We were present in the harshest arenas of this sacred fighting, and therefore we see ourselves obligated to congratulate the leader, you, and the oppressed Muslim people everywhere in the world on the occasion of this sweet victory and enormous success...
"Thanks to the command of the Leader and your excellent insight, the men of Afghanistan have entered the arena of the resistance, and they are sworn together with their dear commander not to stop their activity until global Zionism is destroyed.
"Now, after Syria has been completely purged of the pollution of the takfiri terror elements... we are ready to [continue] to obey dear Leader Khamenei and [to be] under your command and to aid the oppressed in every corner of the world and every place the voice of any oppressed is heard.
"Signed, the commanders and soldiers of the Fatemiyoun Division."
 See MEMRI TV Clip No. 4530, Iranian Analyst Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini: Saudi Arabia Is On The Verge Of Extinction; We Are The New Sultans Of The Mediterranean, The Gulf, And The Red Sea, September 24, 2014; MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1155, Iran's Support For The Houthi Rebellion In Yemen: 'Without Iran There Would Be No War In Syria And Ansar Allah Would Have Never Emerged', April 20, 2015.
 See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 286, The Regional Vision Of Iran's Islamic Regime And Its Military-Political Implementation, Part I – The Ideological Doctrine: Exporting The Revolution; Iran As 'Umm Al-Qura', December 7, 2016.
 Farsi.khamenei.ir, November 23, 2017.
 Farsnews.com, November 23, 2017.
 Tasnim (Iran), November 26, 2017.
 Tasnim (Iran), November 22, 2017.
 Javanonline.ir, November 22, 2017.
 Kayhan (Iran), November 26, 2017.
 Javan (Iran), November 28, 2017.
 Tasnim (Iran), November 21, 2017.