IRGC General Mohammad Shirazi, the head of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's Military Office, said in a February 11, 2020 interview on Channel 1 (Iran) that the role of the IRGC's Qods Force is to assist foreign movements and to help oppressed people who are suffering injustice and Muslims in neighboring countries. He said that Qasem Soleimani had approached this role with wisdom. In addition, General Shirazi questioned the "source of this point of view" according to which, Iran should focus on defending its own borders and it should not be involved in conflicts in neighboring countries such as Syria and Iraq. He added that according to the tenets of the Islamic faith, Muslims have a duty and responsibility to help their neighbors. He elaborated that Iran would provide requested help to "anyone in the world who is oppressed and who suffers in justice."
General Mohammad Shirazi: "According to the law of the Islamic regime, one of the roles of the Qods Force is to assist [foreign] movements.
"Back in the day, this was done in keeping with the needs in the various arenas. When people anywhere in our neighboring Muslim countries needed help, they would ask, and the Islamic Republic would respond and provide support. This is one of the missions of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic. It is part of the mission statement of the IRGC. This mission was given to Hajj Qasem [Soleimani] and he approached it with wisdom.
"These are oppressed people who suffer injustice and they ask for help. This is how the Islamic Republic becomes involved in helping them."
Interviewer: "This is repeated often, but many critics say: 'What is this? What are we doing in Syria, Iraq, and such countries? We should stay inside our country and if there is anything we must defend – it is our own borders.' You hear this a lot from proponents of the opposing view."
General Mohammad Shirazi: "Yes, this is very nice. You call them 'proponents of the opposing view.' We should examine the source of this point of view and its goal.
"If we examine the higher goals of the Islamic Revolution and if we look at the tenets of faith in our Islamic religion, the missions defined for the Muslims are clear. A Muslim has a duty... Muslims are not confined to a certain place. Why do they say that you have to take care of your neighbor? You live in your own home. What business do you have with your neighbor? He lives his own life, as well. It is the Muslim's mission to know what's going on with his neighbor and to help him. The same is true for us. If our neighboring countries need help and ask for it, it is our duty to help them. Indeed, we provide help. We have no reservations about this. Anyone in the world who is oppressed and who suffers injustice will receive the help of the Islamic Republic if he asks for it."