Iran’s IRGC Quds Force head threatens Israel

Qaani reveals important details about Hezbollah and Iran's role in Iraq and Yemen; praises recent attacks on Israel.

Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, speaks during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, speaks during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Iran’s head of the IRGC Quds Force Esmail Qaani gave a recent speech in which he praised the late Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi, a key IRGC figure; and slammed Israel.

He praised “Palestinian martyrs” in his speech. “We are in the middle of the battlefield. The Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of the scene against global arrogance and international Zionism, and we will continue on the path of their honor and greatness, thanks to the martyrs,” he said. He hinted at Hejazi’s key role in Iran’s threats against Israel in the past.  

"He has served in serious responsibilities with the approval of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, and the peak of high responsibilities in the ranks is much lower than that, and he tries with the utmost prudence,” the Quds Force head said.  

The commander of the Resistance Front said: "One of the steps of Martyr Hejazi to achieve martyrdom was his sincerity, and although he was the deputy commander of the IRGC, he came and became the deputy commander of the Quds Force and did his job with seriousness and effort."

Qaani does not give long public speeches often so this one is of great interest to understand his mindset.  

Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, attends a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, attends a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Ostensibly the speech was about Hejazi but it is also about what Iran’s “Resistance Front” is doing today in the region. This refers to the IRGC, Hezbollah, Houthis in Yemen and Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria.  

"You look at Lebanon today, what is its situation,” said Qaani. He referenced the Iranian war against Iraq in the 1980s and also the role of Hezbollah fighting Israel in areas around Beirut and southern Lebanon.

“The Zionists committed crimes that are unprecedented in history. This Sabra and Shatila that you have heard in the poems is one of these crimes,” said the IRGC commander.

"Lebanon once had such a situation [with Israel’s occupation of the south], but today the heroes of the resistance in Lebanon, led by Hassan Nasrallah, have gained so much control over this field and region that the regime that dreamed of the Nile to the Euphrates, today builds concrete walls with a height of more than six meters so that no one can penetrate into this [underground bunkers of Hezbollah], and in some places up to 30 meters of steel columns sink into the ground.” This reveals the extent of Hezbollah’s tunnels and bunkers," he added.

He then references the attacks on Israel in recent weeks, praising them as “manifestations of their helplessness [of Israel] and the strength of the Resistance Front, which, thank God, is growing every day thanks to the blood of the great martyrs.” He said it was important these attacks take place during the “holy month of Ramadan and on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.” 

"We have announced that we support all the struggles against Israel and the occupying regime…we ourselves are not closed-minded and we take action wherever necessary.

 Israeli police officers and rescue forces are seen at the scene of a shooting attack in Bnei Brak, March 29, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) Israeli police officers and rescue forces are seen at the scene of a shooting attack in Bnei Brak, March 29, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

In the recent period when this criminal regime [Israel] wanted to show its emergence, the Islamic regime announced to them that if the interests of this regime are attacked anywhere in the world, we will answer you wherever we find you. Of course, we know well where you are, an example of which was in Erbil.”

This is a reference to the use of missiles to attack areas around Erbil in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Iran has claimed that it targeted a Mossad facility in northern Iraq.  

This shows how the IRGC wants to back Palestinian attacks, as well as use missiles against places in the Gulf and Iraq. He also praised the IRGC for backing the Houthis against Saudi Arabia.

"Today, the heroes of Yemen and the new sons of the revolution are building the major weapons they use inside their country…they build missiles with a range of over 1,000 kilometers and drones with a range of over 1,500 kilometers, and all of these operations are carried out using tools and facilities in tunnels and basements, under enemy bombardment,” he said

“If it is rational, Saudi Arabia should end this war as soon as possible, Yemen has nothing to lose; The water system of hospitals has been bombed as well as their most urgent points. These criminals who are the children of crime and get help from other criminals in the world such as the Zionist regime.” In this he accused Saudi Arabia of being backed by Israel. He claimed that Israel is in decline and that Iran is rising in the region.