IRGC chief commander Hossein Salami - File Photo

IRGC Chief Says Tehran Has Been Able to Impose its Power

Wednesday, 06/19/2024

Iran has been able “to impose” its power “on the enemy,” Hossein Salami, commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guard said in a public gathering with educators on Wednesday.

Salami reiterated the official rhetoric that Islamic Republic’s enemies have been at work for 45 years to undermine and weaken “the revolution” using a wide variety of means and tactics. However, he insisted that the Islamic Republic has defied all the odds has not been deterred.

“We have been able to absorb and neutralize all these different pressures and impose the magnificent power of a nation on an arrayed world of enemies,” the IRGC chief commander said.

Iran’s rulers use the term ‘enemy’ to refer mainly to the United States and sometimes to Israel and European powers.

Claiming that the Islamic Republic has become the focus of the enemy, he stated, “The enemy is simultaneously targeting all pillars of the system [regime] and the revolution, converging all vectors of threat at a single point. This synergy and maximum pressure from the enemy have placed us in an exceptional position.”

Salami also told his audience that sanctions against Iran have not been effective, even though annual inflation has been hovering at above 40% for the past five years and the government has faced repeated rounds of popular protests. Despite harsh sanction during the Trump administration and some pressure since 2021, Iran has avoided a possible costly military confrontation with Israel and the United States. Its leaders insist that although the country has been enduring economic challenges, instead it enjoys security.

“If you see that you have security at the height of confrontation, it means you possess power,” Salami proclaimed. “If the enemy realizes that you can overcome their sanctions, they will try to encircle you. And if you see that sanctions have become ineffective in this country, it is because you possess power,” he added.

When the United States withdrew from the JCPOA nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed oil export sanctions, Iran lost almost 90% of revenues from selling around two million barrels per day. However, after the Biden administration took office, oil exports began to increase, with China buying almost all the shipments. After three years, Tehran is now selling over 1.3 million barrels per day to China with an estimated annual income of around $37 billion.

At the same time, it has continued expanding its nuclear program and has continued to support an array of armed proxy groups in the region that attack Israel and occasionally US forces. Critics of the Biden administration insist that deterrence should be re-established.

"They seized our ships, so we seized theirs. They wanted to capture our oil tankers en route to Venezuela, but as soon as we conducted a drill in front of their eyes, they backed off. They attacked some of our ships at sea, but when their ships were attacked, they realized that they couldn't engage with this country," Salami boasted.

He also made a veiled reference to Iran’s potential ability to disrupt oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. "Today, your exports and imports are conducted with complete security due to your power,” Salami told his audience, adding, “and in this matter, there is no difference between Trump and Biden. During Trump's time, we attacked Ain al-Asad and shot down the Global Hawk. They realized that if they wanted to stand against Iran, Iran, with its influence on the global economy, could impact the world through its actions."

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