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Iran vows to keep forces in Arab countries

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier General Hossein Salami [File photo]
Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami [Twitter]

Iran has vowed to keep its forces in Arab countries in a bid to maintain its influence in the region.

Deputy Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said that Iran will not withdraw its troops from the region and rejects US calls for it to curb its regional influence.

"The enemy cannot ask us to leave. They [the US] must leave. We will help any Muslim anywhere in the world," IRNA news agency reported Salami as saying during a rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

For his part, IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif said that Iran has reached a level at which it can protect its borders with effective military capabilities and "will severely punish any aggressor".

Sharif added that since the 1980s war between Iran and Iraq, Iranian "defence power has been strengthened and we have the ability to punish the enemy".

On Monday rallies were held in Iranian capital Tehran and across the country to mark the 40th anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution.

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