Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday called on the nation’s Revolutionary Guards to build more “advanced and modern weapons” as the Islamic Republic faces rising tensions with the US and Arab nations in the region.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Guards cadets in Tehran, Khamenei said that prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, “We were dependent, backward and unknowledgeable in terms of military equipment.”
But now “the military equipment of the IRGC must be advanced and modern. You should invent and manufacture it yourselves.”
He added that “With violent, aggressive and hostile behavior, the Americans have increased the greatness of the IRGC. The enemies of God show hostility to God’s servants, and this hostility makes God’s servants more reputable and estimable.”
Tensions in the region have risen amid the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers following US President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord.
Recent months have seen further escalation after a spate of still unexplained attacks on oil tankers in and around the vital seaway to the Persian Gulf involving Iran and Western powers, as well as drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.
Washington accused Tehran of attacking the vessels with mines and to be behind the drone assault, something Iran has strongly denied.
In June Iran also shot down an American drone, a move to which Trump approved a response before deciding to hold back.
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