Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Hossein Salami spoke about the declining US role in the Middle East at a funeral over the weekend. He reaffirmed Iran’s view of the US and Israel’s war against Hamas, claiming that Americans are leaving the region. Salami emphasized that investing in groups and people, like Hezbollah and the Houthis, is more effective than investing in equipment and money to win wars in the Middle East.
He questioned the US’s victories in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, highlighting the country’s failures and defeats. Salami then compared US policy in these countries with Israel’s war against Hamas, accusing Israel of fighting against civilians and harming hospitals, despite Iran-backed Hamas’s exploitation of civilians and use of hospitals as shields. Additionally, he claimed that the US was behind the war in Gaza and that it was further tarnishing its image in the region.
Furthermore, Salami stated that Iran is using the war in Gaza to increase its influence in the region, portraying the US and Israel as the main losers of the conflict and claiming that Muslim nations now have hatred for them. He expressed that the American authorities lack the courage to be present in any Islamic countries and mentioned the negative reactions of nations towards the US and Israel.
Ultimately, he revealed Iran’s goal of dragging Israel into a larger conflict, inflaming attacks by Hezbollah, the Houthis, and militias in Iraq and Syria, and then using these attacks to argue that the region opposes the US and Israel, despite Iran being behind the attacks and instability.