Iran has turned into great power in SW Asia: Top commander

Press TV – Iran’s top military commander says the country has turned into a major power in Southwestern Asia, 40 years into its Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime.

Speaking at Shahid Sattari University of Aeronautical Engineering in Tehran on Tuesday, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said the 1979 Islamic Revolution was a “divine miracle” for a country with “maximum reliance on the US.”

The Revolution, he added, led to major developments in the region and the entire world, and brought about independence and freedom for the Iranian nation.

The comments come as Iran has started 10-day celebrations in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on February 11.

“At any juncture in the history, enemies of the Revolution did whatever they had at their disposal,” but in vain, Baqeri said. “It is a great honor for the Iranian nation that it has today turned into a major power in Southwestern Asia after experiencing two centuries of humiliation.”

The Iranian nation had no share in decision-makings during the “black era” under the Pahlavi regime, but it currently makes its own decisions and implements them in all areas, he noted.

The commander also hailed the achievements of the Armed Forces in rebuilding Iran following the Islamic Revolution and providing the country with security.

“In the world’s most insecure region, our country, thank God, enjoys stability, and our government and the [entire] establishment, are easily performing their job.”

Baqeri further stressed that Iran’s Armed Forces shoulder the heavy responsibility of boosting the country’s deterrence power and countering aggressors.

Iran’s $7-8 billion defense expenditure is not comparable to the expenses of the country’s regional enemies, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which he said spend some $100 billion annually in their military sectors.

Baqeri also said that Iran produces almost over 90 percent of its required defense hardware domestically, while its regional enemies spend huge funds on purchasing military equipment that they cannot even put to use.