The head of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force says his country has no choice but to destroy America in order to build an ideal society.
In a video broadcast to Basij members on Feb. 26, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi said the Islamic regime’s “independence and unhindered advance toward perfection is subject to removing the despotic powers and the Zionists,” referring to America and Israel.
“In every field in which the Islamic Republic of Iran tries to advance,” Naqdi said, “America is there to create obstacles for us. … When we want progress in science, they enforce sanctions and kill our scientists.”
The Basij force is a militia unit, established in 1979 by revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, best known as a security force responsible for reacting to protests and other assemblies of dissident groups. It is a subset of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Naqdi, who was born in Iraq, was a member of the Iranian Quds Force — another Guards subgroup — and involved in international terrorism before Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed him to command the Basij in 2009. He has previously threatened to assassinate American generals in retaliation for the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.
Last year, the U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on Naqdi for human rights abuses during the country’s 2009 pro-democracy uprising.
“As long as America exists, we will not rest,” Naqdi said. “In revealing the truth about America and the Zionists, we must raise public hate against the despotic powers and create the environment for the destruction of America.”
One week after Naqdi’s speech, during an event at the University of Tehran called “Quds [Jerusalem] Is Calling Us,” Iranian ideologue Hassan Rahimpour Azghodi said the Saudi monarchy also must be destroyed, since it would result in the destruction of Israel.
Azghodi emphasized that the Saudi regime is heavily dependent on America and is supporting Israel behind the scenes, making its destruction a priority.
The speed with which changes are taking place in the region, Azghodi said, is unprecedented and could result in major political changes at a historic pace.
“Some Zionists compare the current climate in the Middle East to the environment which existed in World War I and World War II when major geopolitics of the world changed,” Azghodi added.
“Currently some of the dependent regimes have fallen,” he said, referring to nations that are friendly to the United States, “and the Islamic movement is set to change the setting of the world.”
Azghodi descried what he said were two fronts in this global confrontation. “One front is clearly supporting the Zionists, and in reality the Zionists are considered as a family: America, Europe and the corrupt Arabic regimes who have for over 30 years opposed our Islamic revolution.”
“On the other side is the front that carries the flag of Islam, which has changed the geopolitics of the region.”
Khamenei, who holds absolute power in Iran despite the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a figurative president, has repeatedly called the uprisings in the region an “Islamic Awakening,” claiming that the region’s repeated uprisings are a “clear indication of the fact that Allah’s promises mentioned in the Holy Quran are definitely materialized.”
Azghodi ominously warned that events in the coming months will be hard for anyone to predict, but he promised that the downfall of Israel is closer than ever.
In a September 2011 speech broadcast on Iranian state television, Azghodi spoke of the presence of “fellow fighters” on five continents, and the need for Muslims to get ready for a global operation and an international jihad in preparation of the coming of the Imam Mahdi.
Mahdi is the Shiites’ 12th Imam, whose messianic return Shiites believe will accompany the killing of all infidels and the raising of Islam’s flag in all corners of the world.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the author of the award winning book, ”A Time to Betray.” He teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy.