Imam Khamenei

Why is Iran’s involvement in the region more important than ‘the most essential matters of the country’?

Answers to a number of questions, based on the statements of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution:

An analytical introduction by Dr. Mohammad Jamshidi

Imagine the U.S. had a military base in Lebanon, and Hezbollah resistance did not exist;
Imagine the U.S. had gained final victory in the 2003 war in Iraq, and the domestic resistance in Iraq hadn't been formed against the occupation;
Imagine the U.S. had overcome Syria in the seven-year war, and now a government allied with the West and the Zionist Regime ruled there, and the ISIS and other terrorist groups had the opportunity to be active and extend their territories.
Imagine the U.S. had won in Afghanistan and also in Yemen, with the help of the Saudis;

In that case, what would the situation of the Islamic Republic’s national security be like?
Wouldn't a direct war of the U.S. against Iran have been occurred already?
The mentioned situations were only some of the U.S.'s military plans for dominating the region, threatening the power, and then the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

If Iran or Iran's allies had not been active in these areas, the U.S. would, without the shadow of a doubt, have become the absolute military hegemon of our region. The casualties and the military retreat of the U.S. from Lebanon in 1984 while at the peak of the U.S.’s power during Reagan's administration, the U.S.'s military defeat and expulsion from Iraq during George Bush Jr.’s neo-conservative doctrine, and the failure in Syria during the presidencies of Obama and Trump were all the results of Iran’s power in the region. The U.S. gained victory in only one war, which was the Persian Gulf War in 1991 against Saddam. Saddam's military doctrine was confined to his own territory and collapsed with the first military action.

The U.S.’s strategic failures in the region was not an outcome of policies by Turkey or Russia; rather, it has been Iran and the axis of Resistance that afflicted the U.S. with defeat, while safeguarding Iran from any damage. The logic of these successes can be traced to the Islamic Republic's strategic doctrine whose defense policy is not limited to defending its own lands, but includes the development and expansion of a “trans-religious resistance identity” in the geopolitics of the region. The developments in the Middle East are increasingly preparing the grounds for establishing this identity. Hence, the strategic process of the current developments is in favor of the growing power of the Islamic Revolution. The U.S. and its allies have come to realize this fact and are thus trying to cultivate models to safeguard their own interests (examples include the unsuccessful plan of an Arabic NATO) or to disrupt these ties by imposing sanctions.


The statements made by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in the meeting with the IRGC commanders was a salient leap towards the consolidation of the Islamic Republic's deterrence power, which is undoubtedly regarded as the new deterrence doctrine of the Islamic Republic as defined within the framework of the Second Phase of the Revolution. “An extensive outlook of the geography of Resistance”; “extensive transboundary outlook”; “not limiting ourselves to our region”; and “the continuation of the strategic depth” are the strategic keywords recognized and understood by anyone who is even slightly familiar with international politics.

Iran's expanding defense features have so far been to the extent that has made Iran an active regional player. With that achieved, the enemy seeks to prevent the current status from consolidation and institutionalization. The implication of the new strategic doctrine of the Islamic Revolution is that, beyond consolidating this power in our region, it should seek to strengthen its role in creating the same successful model that has led the Islamic Revolution to this stage of power.



In light of this introduction, KHAMENEI.IR publishes excerpts from the statements of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution regarding the involvement of the Islamic Republic in the regional developments in the form of Q&A. The following three issues are discussed:


  1.  Reasons for the Islamic Republic's involvement in the region;
  2.  Achievements and upshots of this involvement; and
  3. Conspiracies and plots by enemies against it.



1) Why has the Islamic Republic of Iran been involved in the security and military affairs of the West Asian region, including Syria and Iraq?

"Confronting oppression" is a prerequisite of Tawhid [monotheism].

We defend the "territorial integrity of countries in the region."

'Supporting the oppressed nations' derives from the Islamic Republic's international justice-seeking feature

Our presence has been upon the request of the governments

"Defense from distance" and "strategic depth" are the components of our power

We confronted "the U.S. and Zionist agents"


1. "Confronting oppression" is a prerequisite of Tawhid [monotheism].

When we believe in monotheism we cannot accept coercion, we cannot accept oppression, we cannot but stand before oppressors: this is the nature of tawhid. The fact that the Islamic Republic declares that ‘wherever there is an oppressed populous in need of assistance, we will be present,’ is for the same reason. That we insist on helping Palestine, is for the same reason; because, tawhid bounds us to stand against the oppressor’s coercion waged on the oppressed. —This is the essence of tawhid[...]Our presence, besides groups of resistance in Western Asia, is for a good reason. Our presence in Syria, in opposition to US-supported terrorism, is not in vain. [Furthermore,] The claim that the Islamic Republic is seeking hegemony and wants to conquer a certain area is a nonsensical lie. We have no reason or desire for seeking hegemony over any part of the world. We do not need to, either. Thanks be to God, a big, flourishing, and affluent country is in the disposition of the Iranian nation. We got involved in the West-Asian region—in Syria—because there was, and there is, resistance against oppression. Apr 14, 2018

2. We defend the "territorial integrity of countries in the region."

Our policies in the region are the exact opposite of the Americans. The territorial integrity of regional countries is very important to us. The territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria is very important to us. On the contrary, they are after dismembering these countries. I have said before that the Americans are after dismembering Iraq[...] We will support the Resistance. We will support the territorial integrity of countries. We will support all those individuals who resist the divisive policies of America. We confront all those people who create discord. Aug 17, 2015

3. 'Supporting the oppressed nations' derives from the Islamic Republic's international justice-seeking feature

Another strong point of our country is the Islamic Republic's pursuit of international justice. This is a source of praise for the Islamic Republic. If the Islamic Republic advocates for oppressed nations, this is a basis for our keen reputation. The Islamic Republic of Iran's support for the Palestinian nation and other oppressed nations is a source of refinement for Iran. The Islamic Republic has strengthened resistance forces in the region that stand against the Zionist regime: this is while the enemies have created detrimental elements such as ISIS and Al-Nusrah fronts in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic Republic supported the resistance forces in the West Asian region. This pursuit of justice led us towards defending the Palestinian nation; defending the independence of regional countries; defending the territorial integrity of countries; therefore, it is a strong point.

Jun 4, 2018

4. Our presence has been upon the request of the governments

Wherever we facilitated, it was because governments and regional peoples asked us to help, and we have not behaved like bullies [while helping others]. We have not behaved in a tyrannical manner: we have not interfered in the affairs of other countries: they wanted our help and we helped them [other governments and nations]. And we offered help within a scope of reasonable and logical motives: everyone should come to know this. Everything that has been offered, aid in the realm of regional issues, was reasonable and in accordance with precise and wise calculations. It is not the case that someone has acted on a whim of feelings or emotions. We have thankfully succeeded, and this will be the case from now on. We do not intend to interfere in the affairs of other countries. Mar 21, 2018


5. "Defense from distance" and "strategic depth" are the components of our power

One element of power is our defensive capability: defence at a distance. Another element of power is our strategic depth. Presence in regional countries and support for the people of the region is the strategic depth of the Islamic Republic: the Islamic Republic cannot give this up. No wise government will give this up. May 23, 2018

“No people have been attacked in the hearts of their houses but that they suffered disgrace.” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 27] This is a hadith by one of the infallible Imams (greetings be upon him) saying that those who were sitting at home waiting for others to attack them became ruined and humiliated. We should not choose a small dwelling and then ignore the incidents and the threats that exist beyond the walls of this dwelling.

This extensive transboundary outlook and this expansion of our strategic depth is sometimes even more necessary than the most urgent issues in the country and we should pay attention to it! Of course, many people do not pay attention to it. Many people are unaware of its significance. Of course, some people are aware, but they speak to the advantage of the enemy, for example, they say “neither Gaza nor Lebanon” however, many people are not aware of its significance. Oct 2, 2019


6. We confronted "the U.S. and Zionist agents"

Our confrontation against takfiri forces was a confrontation against oppression and distortion of Islam. It was a fight against a savage group which knew nothing about Islamic morality and civility and about the truth of Islam. They used to burn and skin people alive and they used to take Muslim families captive. They were engulfed by all kinds of corruption including political, sexual, financial and practical corruption. They were the agents of the US and Zionism. And their cohorts and followers – wherever they are – are the agents of the US and Zionism as well. This is a reality. We stood up against them. 

Dec 6, 2017


2) What are the results and achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran's regional involvement?

The Islamic Republic was able to thwart the U.S.’s plan in the region

The people were saved from the "vice of the Takfiris"

Iran's security was assured


1. The Islamic Republic was able to thwart the U.S.’s plan in the region

The Islamic Republic managed to foil America’s plot in the region. What was this plot? The plot was to create malicious, oppressive, and thuggish groups like DAESH in order to divert the minds of nations away from the usurping Zionist regime. The U.S.A. and their allies wanted to occupy the peoples’ time with their own internal affairs, domestic wars, and other problems so that they would not gain even an opportunity to think about what the Zionist regime was doing in the region. It was U.S.A.’s plan to create DAESH. By Allah's favor and grace, we managed to foil this plot. Mar 21, 2018

The US President announced that they've spent seven trillion dollars in Western Asia! He himself says that the issue is not about millions and billions, rather it is about trillions: "We have spent seven trillion dollars" – seven trillion! – “in the region, but we have gained nothing in return!" He, himself, has claimed this, and this reeks of defeat. The US has been defeated in the region. Despite all those efforts, chasing of temptations, and his claims, the US – the Great Satan – has not managed to achieve his goals in the region. Jun 15, 2018

In the region, the Islamic Republic – in other words, you the youth – have managed to defeat arrogant America and bring it to its knees! All their efforts and plans were for the sake of making this region drift away from revolutionary and Islamic thinking. The purpose of all their endeavors was to destroy and bury the revolutionary and resistance-based thinking which has spread in the region, but the opposite has happened.

The event that occurred in Syria and Iraq - the cancerous tumor that the enemies had created in order to establish an orientation against the Resistance orientation in the region - was foiled and destroyed by you. It was the youth that managed to do so: the same pious youth. In fact, those who entered this arena of jihad with abundant enthusiasm and excitement and who brought the enemy to his knees benefitted from the feeling of being basijis and being a member of the Basij Force.

Nov 22, 2017


2. The people were saved from the "vice of the Takfiris"

The Islamic Republic played an important role in breaking the backs of takfiris (terrorists) throughout the region. It was the Islamic Republic [of Iran] that did so! The Islamic Republic managed to liberate the people from the malevolence of takfiris in an important part of the region, and it managed to ensure security. These are the tasks that the Islamic Republic has accomplished. Mar 21, 2018

3. Iran's security was assured

The martyrs [of defending the holy shrines] went to fight against the enemy who, had the not fought then, would have entered the country ... If the enemy had not been countered, we would have fought with them here in Kermanshah and Hamadan and other provinces. In fact, our dear martyrs sacrificed their lives for the sake of defending the country, the nation, the religion, the Islamic Revolution. January 25, 2016

3) What are the plans of the enemies against the regional involvement of the Islamic Republic?

They want to destroy our "element of national sovereignty" and "strategic depth"

They are pursuing a "regional negotiation" to impede Iran's involvement in the region


1. They want to destroy our "element of national sovereignty" and "strategic depth"

Today powers of arrogance fight us because our strength has engulfed the region. Such is the power of the Islamic Republic. What is considered as elements of national power in our opinion is seen as disturbing elements in the eyes of our enemies, and that is why they are fighting against those elements. They are opposed to the expansion of the Islamic Republic's power among and beyond regional nations. They are opposed to the country's defensive and military strength because this is an element of power and this is the strategic depth of the country. Our enemies are opposed to every means of power and every element of national strength. Oct 25, 2017

Another one of our means—I am mentioning these means for a specific reason because they keep speaking about this--is our presence in the region. The powerful presence of the Islamic Republic, within the region, is a crucial element of national power. It reveals that the people are just as powerful as they are. They [the enemies] want to destroy this. A certain European president [French President Emmanuel Macron] – the Americans do not dare speak about negotiations with us – declares that they want to discuss Iran's presence in the region. Well, actually, we should discuss your presence in the region! Why do you yourselves want to be present in this region? This is a means of national power; they want to take it away from the Islamic Republic. Jan 9, 2018

2. They are pursuing a "regional negotiation" to impede Iran's involvement in the region

They very much like to sit and cooperate with Iran on issues related to the West Asia region – a region comprised of countries like Syria, Lebanon and other such countries – and they have said this openly. But we do not wish to do so. Their problem is Iran’s presence. They want to negotiate with the purpose of putting an end to Iran’s presence. So, what should we negotiate about? They say that Iran should not be present in this region at all. This is their problem and they want to solve it. Why should we help them resolve that problem? On the contrary, we do not want America to be present in that region. Therefore, this is what reason dictates. Jul 2, 2016

There are many tumultuous and chaotic situations in the region of West Asia – the same region that westerners refer to as the Middle East– in the present time. This is a problem for the whole region and if you want your country to be freed from these problems, you should try to act in a way that these upheavals will be settled. What should we do to that end? [They say] we should cooperate, hold meetings and negotiate with America, we should think in the same way that the Americans do and should we choose a model according to the wishes of the Americans or according to America’s agreement. This is an issue.

Another issue is that we have many problems and differences of opinion with America. We should resolve these differences. They should come to an end. Now, if in the process of resolving these differences, the people of Iran have to abandon, for example, their principles and their red lines, they should do it. The other side will not abandon its principles and values but if it is necessary, we should abandon our principles so that we can resolve the existing problems and so that the country can consequently benefit from its capacities and turn into, for example, an outstanding economy. This is what they say.

An agreement was made on the nuclear issue and we called it the JCPOA. However [they say], there should be another JCPOA in the case of regional events and yet another on the issue of the Constitution of the country. There should be JCPOA 2, 3, 4 and other JCPOAs as well so that we can “live comfortably”. This is a logic that they are trying to promote among the outstanding personalities of society and among public opinion in society through outstanding personalities. Mar 20, 2016


  • Iran
  • Iran's presence in the region
  • Iraq
  • Syria