Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting on Sunday with a group of Army commanders, personnel and martyrs’ families, firmly recommended the Iranian Armed Forces maintain and bolster their insight, embrace religious and revolutionary orientations, improve defense and armament capabilities and boost their spirit.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never been and will never be a threat to the [Middle East] region and neighboring countries, but it will react with full strength against any aggression,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
During the meeting which was timed to coincide with national “Army and Ground Forces’ Valiance Day,” the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces extended congratulations on this day and said the designation of April 18 as the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Day was one of the greatest initiatives by the late Imam Khomeini during the first days of the 1979 victory of the Islamic Revolution in order to counter efforts by some groups to dismantle the Army.
“Thanks to the acumen of the great Imam (Peace Be Upon Him), the Army survived and preserved its strength and power, and as a revolutionary body made contributions in different arenas, including during the eight years of the Sacred Defense (the 1980-1988 Iraqi imposed war on Iran) and brought honor and epic upon the country.”
The supreme leader said April 18 on the Iranian calendar implies the Army’s loyalty to the Revolution and to serving people’s objectives, adding: “One of the characteristics of the Islamic Republic [of Iran’s] Army is its compliance with religious obligations and instructions.”
He pointed to the non-compliance of many armies in the world with international regulations and human criteria during victory or defea t and said: “A clear example of this issue is the behavior of world powers, particularly the US, which commit any kind of crime in defiance of international law and human criteria.”
He referred to the ongoing events in Yemen, the Gaza War last summer and the war on Lebanon as examples of non-compliance with international regulations, saying: “The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran always abide by Islamic obligations and regulations, and never do they rebel after victory, nor do they use proscribed tools and methods at times of danger.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s insistence [on the point] that it will never seek nuclear weapons lies within this very framework and is based on religious convictions,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on some propaganda and accusations that Iran is interfering in the affairs of regional countries and said: “These cha rges are untrue because Iran has not meddled in the affairs of [other] countries and it will never do so.”
“We abhor and resent those who attack civilians and women and children and we believe that they are unaware of Islam and [devoid of] human conscience, but we do not interfere in the affairs of countries. ¬¬¬
The supreme leader said the Iranian Armed Forces’ compliance with Islamic teachings and divine rules are the main reason behind their popularity among people, adding: “Another characteristic of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran is their day-to-day upgrading of defense readiness, [combat] equipment and armament, which is in line with the Quranic verse ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power.’ ”
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the military and defense achievements of the Iranian Armed Forces are among the best national scientific and technological breakthroughs. “These advancements and capabilities have been achieved under unprecedented pressure and sanctions and shortage of resources. That is extraordinary work and should continue full steam ahead.”
He referred to the discontent of ill-wishers of the Iranian nation with the defense achievements of the Armed Forces and efforts undertaken to block this process, saying: “That is why they concentrate their propaganda campaign on this subject, particularly on the progress in the missile and drone sector, but logic, backed by the Quranic verse, obligates us to continue on this path with strength.”
The supreme leader referred to the Americans’ impudent threats, saying: “After a [short] period of silence by the opposite side, one of their officials recently spoke once more of options on the table. One the one hand, they bluff this way and on the other, they say the Islamic Republic of Iran should stop its defense progress, which is an idiotic remark.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never accept this idiotic remark and the Iranian nation has proven that, if invaded, it will defend itself strongly and will stand up to the unreasonable invader like a clenched fist,” he said.
“All organs, including the Ministry of Defense, the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, should boost their military and defense preparedness as well as their combat readiness and spirit day by day and that is an official instruction,” said the supreme leader.
Noting that the Iranian Armed Forces, including the Army, enjoy high morale, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Despite upgrading its defense and military capabilities, the Islamic Republic of Iran will never pose a threat to regional and neighboring countries.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Americans, Europeans and some of their followers have fabricated the story that Iran seeks to acquire nuclear weapons, and that they portray the Islamic Republic as a threat. “Today, the biggest threats to the world and to the region are the US and the Zionist regime, which intervene in any spot they deem necessary and trigger killings, without any consideration and without conforming to religious and conscientious obligations and criteria,” he added.
He said the regrettable events in Yemen along with the US and West’s backing for the invader is an example of behavior which sparks insecurity in the world, adding: “The Islamic Republic of Iran, unlike unrestrained powers, views security as the biggest divine blessing and it resists in order to ensure the security of its own and of others.”
Ayatollah Khamenei wrapped up his remarks by saying, “Safeguarding the country’s security, borders and the lives of people is among the most impo rtant tasks assigned to military and police officials.”
Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks, Major General Ataollah Salehi, chief of the Army, said April 18 marks the valiance of the Army’s Ground Forces, adding that the “revolutionary Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran” is in “full readiness” to safeguard country’s borders and strategic national interests.
“Regardless of agreements or a lack of agreements in international equations, the Army knows no option but honor, and is ready to once again create lasting sagas under any circumstances,” General Salehi said.