Press TV – Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the Islamic Republic will keep its military advisory presence in Syria as long as Tehran finds it “effective and useful” and as long as the Arab country’s government demands it.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV, IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the Islamic Republic has been supporting Syria in accordance with international regulations since the beginning of the crisis in the country.
“This fabricated crisis has been led from abroad with the purpose of instigating insecurity in Syria and creating a safety margin for the Israeli regime,” he added.
Sharif reiterated that the legitimate Syrian government has called for Iran’s military advisory presence and said the Islamic Republic has made efforts to share its “useful” experience with the Syrian army and people to help them defend their country.
He added that resistance of the Syrian people and government has foiled a plot hatched by Israel and its allies aimed at partitioning the Arab country to create a safety margin for the Tel Aviv regime.
However, four or five years after the beginning of the crisis in Syria, they found out that that they had failed to overthrow the Arab country’s government and that they are facing with a “professional” Syrian army, the senior Iranian commander said.
He stressed that the outcome of the Syrian war marked a “big loss” for the Israeli regime.
Sharif further said during the eight-year war imposed on the Islamic Republic by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1980s, Syria was the only country that defended Iran’s legitimate rights and even provided military and advisory support to Tehran.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said in May that the legitimate governments of Iraq and Syria have called for Iran’s military advisory presence in their countries in order to help them fight terrorism.
“The ire of the US and this country’s allies, who were the main creators and sponsors of Takfiri terrorism and the final losers of this battlefield, is understandable,” the SNSC secretary added.
Iran, self-reliant military, defense power
The IRGC commander further said the Islamic Republic is a “self-reliant military and defense power” in the areas of training, planning and logistics.
However, the Americans seek to portray Iran’s significant power as a threat to regional countries, Sharif added.
The Islamic Republic has always made efforts to remind neighboring countries that its capabilities in defense and military sectors aim to promote peace and stability in the region and counter enemies of Islam and regional Muslim nations, he pointed out.
The IRGC spokesman also responded to a question about US President Donald Trump’s claim that Iran planned to take control of the Middle East in just “12 minutes.”
He said the US president is preparing the ground for milking Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and diverting their attention from the Israeli regime as the main enemy of Muslim nations.
Speaking to his supporters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on October 9, Trump said, “Look at Iran, before I got there (to the White House), Iran was going to take (control of) the Middle East in about 12 minutes, right?”
In a statement issued in August marking the anniversary of the National Defense Industry Day, the IRGC said the development of the country’s defense and deterrence capabilities is an indispensable strategy of the Iranian Armed Forces.
It added that four decades of sanctions against the country since the victory of the Islamic Revolution have proven ineffective as Iran is now “the anchor of defense power and deterrence in the region.”
Iranian nation’s security, Armed Forces red line
The senior commander further emphasized that the Iranian nation’s security remains the red line of the country’s Armed Forces, saying the IRGC has always taken practical measures to realize this aim.
Sharif said the IRGC always tries to boost surveillance of the activities of terrorist groups that have targeted the Iranian nation’s security and the IRGC would carry out necessary and required military operations in this regard.
He added that the IRGC has repeatedly announced that it would never submit to any bid seeking to create insecurity in the Islamic Republic and would give a “crushing response” in the shortest possible time to anybody seeking to disrupt the country’s security.
Saudi Arabia’s efforts to attribute its defeat to Iran
Elsewhere in the interview, Sharif dismissed “contradictory” claims that the Islamic Republic is dispatching weapons to Yemen and said Saudi Arabia is attributing its defeat in nearly a long war on the Yemeni people to Iran.
Such allegations are in contradiction to the fact that the Saudi-led coalition has imposed the toughest sea and land blockade on Yemen, he added.
The IRGC commander emphasized that Yemen has been a “missile power” in the region due to its ties in the past with the former Soviet Union.
Back in March, the IRGC rejected Saudi accusations that Iran is providing missiles to Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, saying such claims are aimed at diverting attention from Riyadh’s war crimes in Yemen.
IRGC’s Deputy Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani said that all routes to send weapons to Yemen are blocked as the country remains under a full Saudi blockade.
Saudi Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan, launched the brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has played a significant role, alongside the Yemeni army, in defending the nation.
Some 15,000 Yemenis have so far been killed and thousands more injured as a result of the bloody campaign which has also left a record 22.2 million Yemenis in a dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger, according to UN statistics.