TEHRAN (Iran News) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei addressed a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues including the role of Iran’s elite Quds Force in the country’s foreign policy and the U.S. efforts to prevent some Arab states from improving ties with Iran.
In a televised speech on Sunday evening, the Leader highlighted the role of Iran’s elite Quds Force in helping Iran pursue active diplomacy in the West Asia region. Ayatollah Khamenei said the Quds Force has played a crucial role in strengthening Iran’s diplomatic hand in the region.
“The Quds Force is the biggest effective factor in preventing passive diplomacy in the West Asia region,” the Leader said, noting the Force has materialized Iran’s independent and dignified foreign policy in the region.
“The Quds Force has been able to put into action the independent policy of the Islamic Republic in the region, which is based on honor,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out that the Quds Force has protected Iran from being a subordinate to the West. “The Westerners insist that the country’s foreign policy be inclined toward them,” he noted.
The Leader stated that during the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties Iran was a subject state under the influence of the West. The Islamic Revolution brought Iran out of this Western domination, a move that prompted the Westerners to pursue policies aimed at subjugating Iran.
Ayatollah Khamenei underlined that the Quds Force carries out the policy of the Islamic Republic and it prevented the country from falling under the domination of the West.
He noted, “The Western countries persistently want the foreign policy of Iran to come under their flag. They have been wanting this for years. Iran was under Western domination both in later years of the Qajar dynasty and under the Pahlavi rule. The [Islamic] Revolution liberated Iran from their dominion and now they are trying to restore that dominion. Therefore, when the Islamic Republic establishes ties with China, they become upset, [and] when it establishes relations with Russia, they become upset.”
“Over the past 40 years, the Westerners, whether Americans or British, have sought to revive their past domination over Iran. That’s why they become angry when the Islamic Republic establishes relations with China,” the Leader continued.
According to the Leader, the West also puts pressure on Iran’s “hapless” Arab neighbors to prevent them from improving relations with Iran.
Ayatollah Khamenei said there were several occasions when some of Iran’s Arab neighbors wanted to improve relations with Iran but the American prevented them from doing so. In some cases, high-level Arab officials wanted to travel to Iran to improve relations but the Americans prevented them, the Leader noted.
“They oppose any of our diplomatic efforts. Thus, we cannot act passively in the face of their demands. We must act independently, proactively, and ably,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
The Leader also paid tribute to the late commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani, describing him as a devoted man who loved martyrdom.
General Soleimani was assassinated along with his longtime comrade Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the former deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). Top Iranian general was visiting Iraq at the invitation of Iraq’s leader to deliver an Iranian reply to a Saudi message through Iraq. He left Tehran for Baghdad on January 3, 2020, and arrived at midnight at Baghdad airport, where al-Mohandes was waiting to receive him. After a short exchange of greetings, the two men left the airport but as they moved out of the airport in their motorcade, they were targeted with a number of missiles launched by an American drone.
The Leader said Americans had already threatened General Soleimani that they would kill him. But he responded by telling close associates that he was looking for martyrdom.
“They threatened Martyr Soleimani that we would kill you. He had told his friends that they were threatening me with something I was looking for in the mountains and highs and lows,” the Leader pointed out.