TEHRAN, Nov. 23 (Press Shia Agency) – The government considers supporting armed forces and Basij, as well as preserving and bolstering national unity as its duty, said President Rouhani in a cabinet session on Wednesday.

“Today, bolstering morality, culture, economy, unity and national integrity are among out country’s top priorities and we should further strengthen these fields,” said President Rouhani during the Wed. cabinet session.

Rouhani maintained that based on Article 151 of the constitution, the government is tasked with facilitating and providing opportunities for military education of the people, adding “when our country’s population was 36 million, Imam Khomeini ordered formation of a 20-million army, which means everyone who was able to hold a weapon, was responsible to get military education and defend the Islamic Republic’s territorial integrity.”

“Without a doubt, if it were not for Basij, great victories in the 8-year Imposed War would be impossible,” he stressed.

President Rouhani went on to add, “popular forces support the armed forces in a sacred defense, but in Iran, Basij not only supports the armed forces, but also is at the forefront of defense line.”

“Solidarity between the people and the armed forces has been stated in the constitution in a way that during wars, people will stand by the armed forces and during peace, the armed forces will stand by the people,” he said.

Rouhani went on to note that Iran needs production and economic reform, adding “the armed forces should be at the forefront of this agenda and the government is responsible to ask them to do so during the time of peace.”

“As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasizes, economy is the most important issue of the country, but this year has been named the year of ‘Resistance Economy, Action and Implementation’ and as such, everybody should make attempts toward this goal,” he said.

Basij is not a faction, but the whole Iranian nation, said Rouhani adding “Article 151 of the constitution clearly stipulates that the needed groundwork for military education should be provide for all of the Iranian people.”

“Recently, the Leader announced the general policies of elections in which he emphasized that armed forces should not interfere in this field,” the President said.

He then went on to assert that Muslims in many countries are following the model of Basij, saying “in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and all other Islamic countries, when they encounter an issue, one of the very effective models that they follow to defend their countries is that of Basij which was founded by the Late Imam [Khomeini].”

“In his latest speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed Resistance Economy and that people should pay more attention to this issue, as well as science and technology, along with unity to create a more prosperous Iran, made all the more stronger against possible conspiracies,” he concluded. 

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