IRGC Touts Victory over US in Middle East

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Nov 3, 2016
IRGC Touts Victory over US in Middle East

Speaking at a rally marking the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran on November 3, a senior Iranian military official claimed America was in “sharp decline” and projected Iran as the most influential power in the region.

“Today, the [Islamic] revolution in Yemen has proven its inspirational presence to the Yemeni nation and [its] fortitude and resistance to the Saudi regime, which operates at the behest of American policies in the region. And this means the geography of our revolution has expanded to the north of Africa,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said.  “The Islamic resistance has reached the Eastern Mediterranean… On the other hand, the Americans’ strategies in Syria are mired in ambiguity. They’re in a quandary. There’s no graceful exit for them from this crisis…”

Describing Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun’s rise to presidency in Lebanon as Iran’s victory over the United States, Salami claimed that Iran had gained the upper hand in shaping the political and military developments in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He further suggested that America’s global power had “declined drastically” and it was no longer able to manage global affairs, especially in western Asia and the Islamic world. “Iran’s security is interlinked with that of the Islamic countries,” he warned. “We’re the captain of a ship. Today, if we don’t help the victory of Muslims in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, enemies will divide the Muslims and create a tragedy.” Salami also cautioned that Iran would “send to museum” the nuclear agreement if Washington failed to implement the terms of the deal.

It is however worth noting that unlike conservative and IRGC-affiliated media outlets, Iran’s centrist and reformist newspapers largely ignored hardliners’ anti-American propaganda and instead focused on domestic problems. A front-page story in reformist newspaper Asrar, for example, quoted Expediency Council Chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani as describing “people’s hopelessness” as the biggest concern for the regime’s survival. Afarinesh, another reformist paper, cited President Hassan Rouhani that “national solidarity” and “attention to public demands” are the best tools to fight the “Global Arrogance.”