Younesi described Iran’s role as “protecting the interests of all the people in the region – because they are all Iran’s people …We must try to once again spread the banner of Islamic-Iranian unity and peace in the region.
In the short term, its core goals include maintaining its domination of the space between the Iran-Iraq border and the Mediterranean as well as deterring the United States while simultaneously intimidating the Gulf states.
While the Iranians may hope eventually to isolate Saudi Arabia and cause the Gulf states to abandon their links with the United States and to come instead under Iranian protection, this moment is far away in terms of the current balance of power because of Iran’s limited military capacities.
At present, therefore, the Iranians aim to frustrate any efforts of the Gulf states or United States to carry out operations in the Gulf or into Iranian territory by building up their deterrent capacity.
Were Syria to fall, the hope of a chain of pro-Iranian states to the Mediterranean would be gone.
So would the land link to Hizballah and the conflict with Israel.
But his much-noted speech is a fair summary of the wide ambitions of Iran.