Middle East

Iran will not withdraw forces from region: Commander

Second-in-command of Iran's Revolutionary Guards makes assertion on 40th anniversary of 1979 revolution

Ekip   | 11.02.2019
Iran will not withdraw forces from region: Commander Iranian President Hassan Rouhani makes a speech during a rally marking the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution at Azadi Square in Tehran, Iran on February 11, 2019.


By Suheir al-Kharraz


A top Iranian military official on Monday said his country would not withdraw its troops from the region, rebuking repeated calls by Washington to curb the country’s influence in the Middle East, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

“The enemy cannot ask us to leave the region,” IRNA quoted Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (RGC), as saying.

“They must leave the region,” he added, addressing a Monday rally held to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

In a related development, RGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif declared Monday that Iran was safeguarding its national borders with what he described as “effective military capabilities”, vowing to “aggressively punish any aggressor”.

Since Iran’s devastating eight-year war with Iraq (1980-1988), Sharif said his country’s defensive capabilities “have been greatly strengthened”.

On Monday, rallies were held in capital Tehran -- and across the country -- to mark the passage of four decades since the 1979 revolution, which ended the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.

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