Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani underlined Iran’s peace-seeking nature, saying that the Islamic Republic has never been after adventurist policies in any country, particularly in Sunni Muslim states that have always been under Iran’s protection against terrorism and extremism.
“The Islamic Republic as a revolutionary country has certain principles which include a wider framework,” General Soleimani noted in an address to a Sunday gathering in the southern Iranian city of Kerman.
“In which country have we tried to convert our Sunni Muslim brothers into Shiite,” General Soleimani asked, adding that Iranians have always shielded their Sunni brothers.
The IRGC Quds Force Commander further pointed to Takfiris (extremists) and Takfirism (extremism), saying that humanity in the Sunni Muslim world is today more than any other place in the world under the attack of Takfiri groups.
Those who created Takfirism thought it would make the Islamic Republic and Shiites kneel down, while it is a fire in the house of Sunni brothers, General Soleimani noted.
“Is this an adventure that the Islamic Republic defends the properties and lives of Muslims? Is this a fault that the Islamic Republic stands against a group whose members buy and sell 2000 young women in a single region; a group that has inflicted a catastrophe on them,” he asked, defending Iran’s assistance to Iraq and Syria in the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism.
“Is this a big flaw that the Islamic Republic is standing against the anti-Muslim groups and preventing the destruction of Muslim people’s mosques and other holy places,” the IRGC general further asked.
“Since the Islamic Republic has gained a central position in the Muslim and Shiite world, the enmities have also increased,” he said, adding that the hostilities today differ from those in the past, and the weapons used are also different.
“Despite the claims made by our enemies, they are not hostile to Iran because of our adventurism, as we have never been looking for adventure against anyone anywhere in the world,” he noted.
No country in the world is more decent, peace-seeking, and tolerant toward its neighbors than Iran, General Soleimani said, adding that the Islamic Republic has never inflicted any harm on its neighboring countries.
“Although the world is full of tyranny, the Islamic Republic has not aggressed anywhere in the world,” he added.
Iran Never Sought Adventure against “Illegitimate” Saudi Regime
“Nowhere in the Islamic Revolution’s history have we sought any adventure against Saudis and their government, though they are illegitimate, and despite the fact that their people do not have any role in the ruling system and government, and that the government is controlled by a family,” General Soleimani added.
It is rather Saudi Arabia that has always looked for adventure against Islam and Iran, he stressed.
He pointed to the ongoing war waged by Riyadh last March against the innocent people in Yemen, saying, “When an apparently Muslim state bombs the Muslim people in Yemen day and night for one year without any Islamic, legal, and humanitarian consideration, and when it brutally devastates men and women, what does it mean?”
General Soleimani also deplored a recent move by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) and the Arab League to label the Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, as a terrorist group.
“Lebanon’s Hezbollah as an Arab and Islamic party has not started any adventure against Saudi Arabia; it has just done on its own what all Arab armies could not do from 1947 to the end of the 1960s in defending the Arabs. Hezbollah defeated the enemy of Muslims, and that was not an adventure,” he went on to say.
General Soleimani Says Iran’s Independence Is Exemplary
The full independence and democracy in Iran has made it distinguished from other countries, General Soleimani noted, adding that such a difference is not a negative one, but an exemplary distinction.
He went on to say that the Islamic Republic is independent in different fields including its economy, armed forces, and decision-making bodies.
Significance of Velayat-e Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist)
A prominent feature of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was his revival of Velayat-e Faqih as a hidden necessity in the Muslim world, he noted, adding that the need for establishing an Islamic ruling system was emphasized by Imam Khomeini.
“Today, it is not possible that someone protects Islam without defending the Jurist,” the Iranian commander added, reiterating that if one wants to protect Islam and the Muslim world, that would be impossible without Velayat-e Faqih.
The peace in Iran is a result of Velayat-e Faqih, the Iranian general went on to say.
“In Iraq, it was made clear that if it was not for the Islamic Republic and Velayat-e Faqih, the holy shrines would be threatened in the first week (of war),” he added.
Iran has served the Iraqi nation in recent years and sacrificed the lives of its nationals to protect the Iraqi people’s dignity, General Soleimani said.
Iran Now Needs Multidimensional Preparedness
“Today is much more important than yesterday; being prepared today is much more important and difficult than it was in the Sacred Defense (eight-year war with Iraq) era, because preparedness in that era was one-dimensional, while it should be multidimensional today,” IRGC commander said.
“In those days, the enemy was just in one front; now, it is in several fronts, and preparedness against the enemy needs multidimensional preparedness,” he added.
Prerequisites for Martyrdom
The Iranian commander, who was speaking in a conference on Iranian martyrs, also referred to the culture of martyrdom in Iran, saying that a prerequisite to martyrdom is “being a martyr”.
“If someone is a martyr, he would achieve martyrdom, and if someone does not smell like a martyr, he would not be a martyr even if he is killed (in the war),” he added.
“A martyr is someone that when you see him, listen to him or hang out with him, you smell martyrdom from him,” General Soleimani went on to say.
He further noted that abandoning one’s earthly belongings is one of the pillars of being a martyr.
Staying loyal to one’s commitments is also a major condition for being a martyr, the IRGC Quds Force Commander added.
Today, one can say if someone is not committed to defending the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution, he or she is not committed to religion, he added.
“Today, protecting the Shiite Islam, the basis of religion and its principles, protecting Islam and Islamic principles is different from the past, because major changes have been made in the world,” General Soleimani noted.