Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday greeted graduating cadets of the Imam Hussain Military Academy, encouraging the graduates to further loyal and dedicated service while commending the strength and "dignity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)", according to the Mehr news agency.
"Today, the IRGC is dignified both inside and outside the country, thanks be to God. The enemies have contributed to creating this dignity. With violent, aggressive and hostile behavior, the Americans increased the dignity of the IRGC. The enemies of God show hostility to God’s servants, and this hostility makes God’s servants more reputable and estimable", Khamenei said.
Khamenei urged military graduates to follow the constant upgrade of military equipment and weapons.
"The military equipment of the IRGC must be advanced and up to date; you should invent and manufacture them yourselves", Khamenei stressed.
Earlier this year, as tensions between the United States and Iran flared following the Trump administration's unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, and following mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and later tit-for-tat accusations of downed spy drones, Washington chose to classify the IRGC and its affiliated financial institutions as terrorist organisations.
Tehran, as a reciprocal measure, also blacklisted the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization.
The situation remained tense as the Pentagon received approval for a new US troop deployment to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to protect the kingdom from alleged Iran aggression.
Riyadh and Washington have repeatedly blamed Tehran for the suspension of the kingdom's oil production, caused by drone attacks on 14 September on Saudi Aramco's two largest oil facilities. Despite Yemeni Houthis repeated claims for responsibility in the attack, the US and the kingdom accuse Iran for the destruction. Tehran has repeatedly denied and involvement.