IRG general: ‘From Lebanon to Yemen, backing proxies safeguards Iran’s borders’

He claimed that by backing armed groups across the region, Iran had created a deterrence against attacks on their homeland 

Source:  The National

June 23, 2018

A senior officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has said that regional policies and the use of proxy forces from Lebanon to Yemen has allowed it to push the battlefield away from the country’s borders.

“We have pushed back in the enemy’s field to control the vast geographic areas and move the battlefields away [from Iran’s borders,]” Revolutionary Guard Corp Brig Gen Hossein Salami said Friday at a memorial ceremony at the Ferdowsi University in Mashhad city in north Iran.

According to the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), he said that while the country had once lacked the power to project militarily and despite a “massive war with global ranks”, waged against it, the Iranian government had been able to build up its power.

“From Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Yemen, with all that poverty you can still see the rise of a power called the Islamic Resistance,” Salami said.

Members of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, part of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary units, carry flags during a ceremony in Baghdad on June 21, 2018, commemorating fellow members who were killed in air raids 4 days earlier. The air strike that hit targets in eastern Syria near the frontier with Iraq where forces on the ground are battling Islamic State Group (IS) remnants, reportedly left more than 50 people dead, state media and a Britain-based monitor said. Both Damascus and the Iran backed-Hashed have blamed the US-led coalition for the raids, but the coalition and the Pentagon denied any involvement. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah is formed with a revolutionary identity and can now shift the political balance in the eastern Mediterranean and it is a safe deterrent against the revolution and the regime,” he said.

Salami talked of the diverse militias that Iran supported in Syria that had “voices from Pakistan, India, Yemen, Iran and Afghanistan.”

The 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran and the US and its European allies has been abandoned by President Donald Trump, who has called it a “horrible, one-sided” agreement which has done little to quell its efforts to destabilise its neighbours in the region.