Senior military official says Revolutionary Guards will not stay within Iran’s borders
Although President Hassan Rouhani said few days ago while marking Iran’s Army Day that Iran wants brotherly and strong relations with neighboring countries and rejects interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and noted that “dialogue is the only means towards peace in the region,” the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has contradicted him by stating that it will not commit to staying within Iran’s borders.
In an interview with the Persian-speaking Jamaran website on Monday, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy, said the Revolutionary Guards’ activities “are not limited to Iran,” noting that the guards’ forces are currently fighting thousands of kilometers away from Iranian borders.
Fadavi added that this military apparatus’ actual name is the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps” refusing the appendage “Iranian.”
Commenting on why the Revolutionary Guards’ forces are present in other countries specifically in Syria and Iraq, Fadavi said: “Guarding the Islamic revolution does not only mean guarding one country and one government, i.e. Iran. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps does not have any appendage attached to it and these were the orders of Imam Khomeini.”
“Imam Khomeini named it as such because the Islamic Revolution is not limited to geography. And today, you can see how (people’s) passions follow the same context of the Islamic Revolution and how the Revolutionary Guards are present everywhere to protect it,” he added.
Relations between the Iranian regime and neighboring countries have been tense since 1979 as a result of raising slogans to export the revolution. The Iraqi-Iranian war, which lasted for eight years, was one of the most significant results of attempting to incite revolutions in neighboring countries.
Fadavi commended the presence of Iranian forces in Syria and Iraq and Tehran’s support of militias in Yemen and Lebanon and said this is “necessary” to defend the Islamic revolution.
On the Revolution Guards Corps Navy’s presence in international waters, he said: “We have been present in Gulf water and Sea of Oman for a long time, and in the future we will have presence in international waters.”
Praising the army
Fadavi also commented on Rouhani’s recent remarks in which he indirectly criticized the Revolutionary Guards and said: “All I can say is that the Revolutionary Guards is a stable apparatus while others come and go. The Revolutionary Guards act according to the goals of the revolution. It’s unfortunate that some friends in Iran sometimes repeat what the US, which is extremely hostile to the Revolutionary Guards, says.”
On April 18 while marking Army’s Day, Rouhani commended the army for not interfering in political affairs. Commentators said Rouhani was thus indirectly criticizing the Revolutionary Guards for interfering in the country’s domestic and foreign political affairs.
“Although the army understands politics well, it was not dragged into the political game and it remained committed to the imam’s will. We do not see the name of any army commander in corruption cases, and this confirms the purity of the Islamic Republic’s army,” Rouhani said. The Revolutionary Guards responded to Rouhani and said his remarks “destroyed unity, (incited) divisions and conveyed ingratitude.”
Fadavi concluded his interview by saying: “During the sacred (Iranian-Iraqi) war, we were fighting the enemy in the city of Khorramshahr and in the midst of our homes but today we are fighting the enemy thousands of kilometers away from our borders.”
This article is also available in Arabic.