President Hassan Rouhani attempted to reassure his country’s neighbors that the Iranian armed forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards that were blacklisted by the United States as a terror entity, do not pose a threat to any regional country. During a military parade that marks Iran’s National Army Day, Rouhani insisted that contrary to Western allegations, the root of regional problems are the United States and Israel. According to Iranian President: “I want to tell the regional countries that the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against you and your national interests. They stand against invaders… The roots of our problems are the Zionist regime and American imperialism.”
Despite the comments that were directed toward Iran’s neighbors, an Iranian analyst told TV7 that Rouhani’s speech was instead directed at his own countrymen, as backing for the Ayatollah regime continues to diminish. The Tehran-based analyst, who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns, insisted that while the people of Iran have a strong sense of national pride, (they) are not fooled by the regime’s efforts to hide their expansionist aspirations. These aspirations are regarded across Iran as the core-cause for the faltering economy that tops the long-list of other domestic challenges. Neither the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, nor the U.S. State Department immediately responded to TV7’s request for comment.