Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says the designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group by the United States has led to its increased popularity in Iran and abroad.
Khamenei who was speaking during a graduation ceremony at the IRGC's Imam Hussain Academy in Tehran on Sunday October 13, did not elaborate on the designation, and referred to it as "America showing a hostile frowning face to the revolutionary guards."
Meanwhile, speaking about his assessment of the IRGC Academy's performance, he said: "I am proud of the academy's successes, but I am not satisfied with what it has achieved so far", insisting that he expects more.
Elsewhere in his speech on Sunday, Khamenei reiterated that the IRGC should have access to modern "defensive, operational and intelligence equipment as well as knowledge of cyberspace" to be ready for combat "on the ground, in the air, in the space, in the sea, at the borders and inside the country."
Khamenei claimed that before the 1979 revolution, Iran had a stockpile of U.S. made weapons at its disposal but was not allowed to use them or even master the skills required to use them. However, he contradicted himself by saying that Iran under the Shah, was tasked to suppress any opposition to the United States in the region.
"Today," he claimed, "things are the other way around and the nation makes decisions and acts based on its national interests."