Urmia is a city in Western Iran. It sits only 18 miles (30 kilometers) from Turkey on the one hand and Iraq on the other. It is almost about as close as one can get to Syria from Iran's eastern border.
Yesterday in Urma, Brigadier General Hossein Salami spoke to a group of troops that fight for Tehran's ideologically intense Islamic Guard Revolutionary Corp, also known as the IRGC. Salami is the second in command over the IRGC.
Speaking in Persian, Salami's remarks made their way to Al Aribiya, a Saudi news agency. What did Salami have to say?
Mainly, he bragged about "the expansion of the Islamic Republic boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, vowing that the 'defenders of the holy shrines' forces would crash Tehran opponents anywhere in the world."
The reference of boundaries extending to the Mediterranean and Red Sea were a transparent comparision to the First Syrian Empire established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BCE.
At its greatest extent, the empire included the land masses of today's Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebonan, Jordan, parts of Egypt and Libya, as well as Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, along with pieces of Bulgaria and Greece.
In fact, it was only via Israel that the First Persian Empire was able to claim a border on the Red Sea. It was also the land bridge that connected the empire to its conquests in northeast Africa.
Notably, then, inasmuch as Salami was evoking the former glory of the First Persian Empire, it is a vision that explicitly includes the conquest of Israel.
Clarifying the religious nature of Iran's ambition today, he also told the troops, “You can see how our borders expanded reaching the Red Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, due to the sacrifice of our martyrs.”
In this context, martyrs appears to be a code word for Tehran's well-know puppet terrorist organizations, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.
Al Aribiya also note that Iran calls its forces fighting in Syria, "defenders of the holy shrines," a reference that explicitly includes the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, a place that Islam call Al Aqsa ...in such a time as this.