Skip to main content

Khamenei says world relies on Iran’s armed forces

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has encouraged young officers to "elevate Iran’s military organization" by taking advantage of the country’s scientific abilities, as "the world counts on" Iran's military.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.
Iranian Air Force soldiers march in formation during the Army Day military parade in Tehran April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Caren Firouz (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR2LCZL

At an Imam Ali University for Army Officers commencement ceremony, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told young officers to prepare themselves to further the Iranian military’s scientific progress.

According to, discussing the “spiritual capabilities, the scientific abilities, power of ingenuity and resolution” of Iran’s armed forces during the Iran-Iraq war, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The world counts on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces and takes it seriously because it knows that in any area of responsibility … the armed forces will do their best.”

He did not elaborate on any specifics, but encouraged the students to “elevate Iran’s military organization” by taking advantage of the country’s scientific abilities.

A number of Iranian officials have touted Iran’s military capabilities recently. Last week, Iran introduced its own version of the US RQ-170 drone that landed inside Iran in December 2011 while on a reconnaissance flight in eastern Iran.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, said during a televised interview, “From the time the American RQ-170 was taken to the time the Iranian RQ-170 took flight, less than three years passed, and during this time, dozens of projects were introduced and one of these projects was the building and reverse engineering of RQ-170.”

Hajizadeh said that there are plans to introduce at least four more of these drones by the end of the Iranian calendar year in March. He taunted the United States, saying that with the flight of the Iranian RQ-170, “The partial heart attack they had three years ago has been completed.”

When asked if he would respect President Barack Obama’s request to return the US drone, Hajizadeh said, “The American RQ-170 is a spoil [of war] and naturally, we cannot return that. But if the sanctions are removed, we will give them an Iranian version.”

He added that despite US claims that Iran would not be able to reverse engineer the RQ-170 or use the information stored in it, “Iranian experts and specialists were able to do all of this.”

Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan also praised Iran’s aerospace capabilities. He said that expectations are that Iran’s aerospace capabilities will become stronger every day and be able to defend the Islamic Republic in the international arena.

Raja News reported that the IRGC’s aerospace achievements are not recognized in the Iranian media even though the “air and missile industry have reached a milestone.”

The article quoted IRGC public relations head Gen. Ramazan Sharif, who said that projects late engineer Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam had been experimenting on three years ago are now coming to fruition. He said that Tehrani Moghaddam “made our remote enemies accessible.”

Tehrani Moghaddam, known as the father of Iran’s ballistic program, died in a November 2011 explosion along with 16 others. According to Raja News, one of Tehrani Moghaddam's main projects was a missile to send a satellite into orbit.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial