Iran’s first vice president said Sunday that the Islamic Republic has become so powerful no regional or world power can make a decision without Tehran.

Mohammad Mokhber claimed that before the 1979 revolution, Iran was not a player in the regional balance of forces, while now “the Islamic Republic has the first and the last word.”

Before 1979, Iran had the most modern army after Israel in the Middle East and was considered the gendarme of the region. After the fall of monarchy, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 and Iraq attacked Iran in September 1980, in what was seen as the result of a serious power vacuum in the region.

Mokhber once again claimed that the IRGC navy seized a Vietnamese-flagged tanker taken by the US Navy in October. The United States had dismissed Iran’s claim and said its navy only observed Iranian forces seizing the tanker in the Sea of Oman.

In other remarks, Mokhber appeared to concede that the centralized economic model of the Islamic Republic has been a failure. “We did not give control of the economy to the people, and we got into trouble,” but he insisted that the Revolutionary Guard’s paramilitary force Basij is the best vehicle to transfer control to the people.

Economics Daily

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