General Rahim Safavi, a top military advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the “freedom of Aleppo” a product of the alliance between Iran, Russia, Syria and Hezbollah.” Safavi said that today “the United States has found out very well that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the first power in the region and has more influence than the other countries in the area.” He continued that “the alliance between Iran, Russia, Syria and Hizballah led to the liberation of Aleppo, and we will also liberate Mosul soon.”

Comment: Rahim Safavi is long-time member of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). His ties to the Syrian regime are also long and deep. He was as a young political dissident in exile in Syria in the 1970s before the fall of the Shah. Meanwhile, as a former commander of the IRGC, he is also very close to Khamenei. The views he has expressed are inherently reflecting Khamenei’s insistence that Tehran maintain its military forces on the offensive from Aleppo to Mosul.