May 18, 2022

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The head of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiyah Central Headquarters said in a recent interview that Iran had created six armies outside the country’s borders, in a “corridor” stretching from Iran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the Iran-Iraq war that aired on Iran’s IRINN television on Sept. 25, Maj. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid said that these armies, among them Hamas and Hezbollah, deterred the enemies of the Islamic Republic, in particular the United States and Israel.

Rashid, who previously served as the deputy chief of the Iranian armed forces’ General Staff, said that while in the 1980s Iran had lacked defense alliances with other countries, “We have changed this now by connecting with other nations and some governments, thus creating popular, religiously devout regional forces.”

According to Rashid, three months before being killed in Iraq by the United States, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, had attended a meeting of the Khatam al-Alanbiya HQ with the commanders of the armed forces.

At that meeting, said Rashid, Soleimani had told the commanders: “My dear [comrades], with the backing of the IRGC command, the army command, the general command of the armed forces and of the Defense Ministry, I have assembled for you six armies outside of Iran’s territory, and I have created a corridor, 1,500 kilometers [932 miles] long and 1,000 kilometers [621 miles] wide, all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.”

In this corridor, said Rashid, “there are six religiously devout and popular divisions. Any enemy that decides to fight against the Islamic Revolution, and against the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, will have to go through these six armies. It won’t be able to do so.”

One of these armies is in Lebanon, said Rashid, and is called Hezbollah.

“Another army is in Palestine, and it is called Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. One army is in Syria. Another army is in Iraq, and is called the PMU [Popular Mobilization Units], and another army is in Yemen, and is called Ansar Allah [the Houthis],” he added.

The anger of the United States and “the Zionist regime” with regard to Iran stemmed from their realization that the Islamic Republic possesses not only a “powerful” conventional armed force, prepared to defend the country from within, but also this “regional force” outside Iranian territory.

This is an edited version of an article first published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.