This clip is a compilation of episodes from an Iranian show in which IRGC General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, the IRGC's Deputy Commander-in-Chief for Coordination, speaks to Iranian analysts, legal experts, and members of the press. The episodes aired on Channel 3 (Iran) between September 22, 2020 and October 8, 2020. Among his statements, General Naghdi said that the American political establishment has conspired to conceal the truth about the casualties sustained during the Iranian attack on Ayn Al-Asad Airbase. Stating that not all IRGC Qods Force members are Iranian nationals, he said that Iran has a "popular army" of non-state supporters throughout the world, whom he argued are more valuable than national allies because they are more loyal and can operate undetected. Furthermore, General Naghdi suggested that the Qods Force is active in the West Bank, and he said that any Israeli or American reports about Iranian advisors being killed in Syria are lies and propaganda. He also said that the United States is rotten and crumbling and that American attempts to stop Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Iraqi PMU are futile.
In addition, General Naghdi said that Iran is ready for any type of aggression against it, that Israel will soon collapse, and that any Israeli action against Iran would result in Tel Aviv and Haifa being turned into dust. General Naghdi also discussed the JCPOA, the position of women in the IRGC and the Basij, and a suggestion that he had made for the creation of a computer game in which Basij forces liberate George Floyd from American police.
September 22, 2020
Alireza Mohammadalizadeh: "The enemy has stated many times that nothing happened at Ayn Al-Asad, and that the airbase that was attacked was empty. The IRGC has not presented any video of the attack, and has not shown who was hurt, how many Americans were killed, and what damage was caused to that American base. I'd like to ask: Isn't it in the IRGC's interest to act with transparency?"
Mohammad-Reza Naghdi: "First of all, the IRGC never escapes from transparency, [but] there are military issues. The American administration and Democratic and Republican parties, which are both cut from the same cloth, have sat together and decided to conceal this matter. They exercise the utmost secrecy so no information leaks about the cemetery where [the soldiers] were buried, or the hospitals to which the wounded were committed."
Mohammad-Amin Salimi: "We have had a presence in the region for years... For many years... And we have carried out operations in the resistance axis. For a long time, including in recent years, there was an effort in our country to conceal this, and to claim that there is no such presence [abroad]. But we have been present [abroad]. Everything about Hajj Qasem [Soleimani], about Qods Force, the fact that we were present on an advisory level, and the things that we were doing in Lebanon, in Syria, in Yemen, in Bahrain, in Bosnia and elsewhere... We were told about all this by the enemy. The IRGC did not speak to the public about these things.
"I think that is still is not clear to some members of the public what the IRGC is doing beyond Iran's border, or what is happening with the running of this country.
"You have the tools. You have news agencies, film producing organizations, publishing agencies, media, newspapers, culture production groups, the Basij, the popular Basij..."
Naghdi: "I believe it is appropriate for universities to research and publish about the role that armies in the world play in the economy of their countries. All armies take up a large chunk of the economy. This is the rule, not the exception.
"Look at our neighboring countries and how a huge part of their economy is held by their military. We are talking about the monopolies and the most profitable parts of the economy.
"Look at America itself. Who owns the Internet? Who established the Internet? The Pentagon.
"There is no doubt that [Iran] today has the most powerful armed forces in the region. Neither friends nor foes dispute that. Today, you have in your country one of the greatest armed forces in the world."
Mohammadalizadeh: "Compared to Israel as well?"
Naghdi: " Yes, compared to everybody."
Mohammadalizadeh: "So how come there are [Israeli] operations in Syria? The plundering Zionist regime carries out operations in Syria, and the foreign media announces that Iranian military advisors were killed. This is definitely a reference to the martyrdom of Qods Force personnel, yet the IRGC cannot find a way to respond."
Naghdi: "Because in most cases... All of this is propaganda. There are no such attacks. They said that the IRGC was attacked in order to improve their morale or to protect their shattered hegemony and respect. This is why they make such claims. Must we attack them with missiles just because they made some claim? On the one or two occasions this has happened, we reacted on the spot. Immediately. In most cases, this is nothing but propaganda. They attack some random place and say it was the IRGC. Where is it? Where are the casualties? What IRGC?"
Salimi: "We face a phenomenon called the JCPOA. This was meant to resolve our country's problems and be a diplomatic triumph. The President himself, as well as his deputies and the ministers, stated that one of the reasons that the JCPOA did not succeed was the way the IRGC behaved in the region, and all the missile launches."
Naghdi: "Negotiations are about give and take. Who takes more? Whoever has more power and is feared by the other side. Military drills that are being held at the same time as negotiations give strength to the negotiating team because they can say: If you don't get along with us, you will have to get along with them. Why would such a thing be a weak point?
"Wherever the Islamic Republic is present, it is done at the request of the local public or government, and on the scale they request. Nothing more.
"[This is done] according to the decisions of the Supreme National Security Council. They inspect our presence and our operations from the diplomatic and military aspects, as well as in the sense of their impact on our national security. Everything had been inspected before it was decided that the IRGC should go and have a presence somewhere. If the leaders of Yemen ask us to send military forces over, we will. But they have not. They said: 'We have the fighters and we know what to do.'"
Panelist: "What about the West Bank?"
Naghdi: "The day will come when what is happening in the West Bank will become known."
Salimi: "If the Islamic Republic cares so much about the oppressed, how is it that when it comes to the Muslims that are being treated the way they are treated by China, or when it comes to Kashmir and the India-Pakistan dispute, the IRGC's propaganda machine is weak, compared to its actions for the oppressed in the closer region, where it happens to have military interests?"
Naghdi: "When a certain place is stricken by crisis, I must extend help, even though I have my own problems. It is a logical mistake to think that no one should help no one, just because there are some poor people close by, and this nullifies the whole logic of providing assistance. This is a mistake. There is one point with regard to our presence [abroad]. As for the cost [of this presence], the results are far more important."
September 30, 2020
Panelist: "The issue of women and their status in the IRGC was raised here."
Naghdi: "Assigning manly work to women, and vice versa, would not bestow honor upon us. This is what the feminists are saying. This is why they bring women to wrestling and weight-lifting competitions. Guys, women are created delicate. The Lord has created women to preform certain roles in society. He entrusted the education of the human race to women.
"You cannot compare the maternal instinct to that of the man or the father. The characteristics of a woman are different from those of a man. It's like saying that a walnut has no value because it is small, whereas a watermelon is valuable because it is big. A watermelon is a watermelon and has its function, and a walnut has its own function. Each gender should reach its peak in the framework of its own characteristics.
Maryam Talebi: " With your permission..."
Naghdi: "Look, when it comes to war and military matters — with the exception of cases of defense — the Lord has lifted this duty off the women. In cases of defense, when the enemy has invaded and has taken part of the country, even an old woman should do something if she can.
"We have the women Basij. I think they number 12 million now.
"They have tens of thousands of bases, districts, and centers. All their commanders are women."
Talebi: "Rest assured that the women who educate you male commanders can go and fight if the need arises. Do not think that just because they are women, they cannot do it."
Naghdi: "Look, if there is a need... I said that if the need arises..."
Talebi: "Perhaps one day, the need will arise. Why don't you prepare the women?"
Naghdi: "Of course we do. Who says we don't? I'm telling you that we have millions of Basij women, who have undergone military training, know how to work a gun, know how to command [soldiers]. We have brigades of Basij women.
Talebi: "Do they also set out for war?"
Naghdi: "We have the Kowsar Brigades."
Talebi: "Have they fought on the front lines?"
Naghdi: "So long as... Look, it depends on the needs.
"We should expect a man to be manly. We expect a walnut to be a walnut, with its oily content, and we expect a watermelon to be sweet and juicy."
September 8, 2020
"What is the difference between a superpower and just any power? In strategic lingo, they talk about powers and superpowers. A [superpower] can force its will at any time and carry out any decision it makes. America is no longer a superpower.
"For 41 years, America has wanted the Islamic Republic to cease to exist, but it does exist. For 30 years, America has wanted Hizbullah in Lebanon to cease to exist, but it does exist. America says Hizbullah must disarm, but it continues to exist. For 20 years, America has been saying that Hamas must be destroyed, but it continues to exist. For nine years, it has been saying that Bashar Al-Asad should go, but he stays on. For five years, it has been saying that the PMU must be disarmed, but it continues to exist.
"Even though it wants these things and although it has formed huge armies, America cannot destroy them. It cannot destroy Hamas. How big is the Gaza Strip? The [Americans] are doomed. They are done for. What does 'futile' mean? What does 'futile effort' mean? When you slaughter an animal and slit its throat, it fidgets and kicks a lot, but this is a futile effort, because it is over, no matter how much it kicks. America's effort are futile. It will achieve nothing. It does not possess the capabilities.
"America is rotten and is crumbling from within. Their president reaches his positions using such slogans. As for the question whether the U.S. will go into war... It cannot even go into war against a power much smaller than the superpower that is the Islamic Republic. The U.S. knows what kind of blows it would receive all over the world. If it goes into a war, it cannot even calculate where in the world [it would be attacked], which of its ships would be sunk in which strait, on which military base in the continental United States missiles would rain down, or what would happen to the White House. It cannot anticipate any of these things.
"We are absolutely ready for any type of military aggression [against us]. We have held the necessary drills, and we know what to do in the first minutes, what to attack, who to capture... We have anticipated everything. We are talking about very beautiful operations. But we hope that just like in the conquest of Mecca, when the Prophet entered the city calmly, and just like Imam [Khomeini] entered Tehran in 1979, without war or bloodshed, Allah willing, soon... We have made similar arrangements to those and we will enter Jerusalem and implement that great victory. This is certain. We should have no doubt about it.
"It says on car mirrors: 'Cars in mirror are closer than they appear.' We are closer to the Zionists than it appears to you. We are right behind their ear. On the designated day, you shall see how everything on their side collapses all at once. The Americans in the region and the Zionists are besieged by Islam's mujahideen. The commotions they make stems from fear.
"If the Zionists decide to act officially against our national security, there will definitely be a response. Our Leader has already specified the response: Tel Aviv and Haifa will be turned into ashes. This will be our minimal response.
Panelist: "Are all members of the Qods Force Iranian nationals?"
"Today there are people in all the Islamic countries who would volunteer to join the Qods Force should there be an official call to arms. Iman [Khomeini] said that alongside an army of 20 million Iranians, there would be an army of 100 million [volunteers] from all over the Islamic world. This army has slowly materialized and is almost ready now, thank God. In any case, we are in good shape."
Panelist: "In case a war breaks out, do we have military allies?"
Naghdi: "We have quiet a few. All that I talked about right now. These are people in various places. These people are much more dangerous."
Panelist: "I meant whether we have countries [as allies]."
Naghdi: "These people are much more dangerous than a certain country's army. Someone who happens to be in a certain airport or seaport somewhere or near a certain strait, and he has a specific weapon... People who are scattered and cannot be detected by the enemy are much more dangerous than an allied country's army. That army may or may not show up, but this popular army is much bigger, and it is undetectable. The enemy would not know where it is going to get hit, if it dares to do anything. It would not know where it is going to get hit, and it would get hit everywhere."
Panelist: "I would like you to talk about your recent comment regarding the building of a [computer] game in which the Basij forces liberate George Floyd. Where did this idea come from?"
Naghdi: "Every year we hold a competition for the building of [computer] games. We give them the assignment by surprise, and they don't have time to prepare, and they have a specific amount of time to build that game. This is where I came up with the idea. If we want to have a global message, we Iranians should free that oppressed American from under the feet of the police. I proposed this to the game designers. I believe it has the potential to become a global success.
"The Americans are at a point where they are just waiting for someone to come and give them a push [over the cliff]."