TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlighted the country’s major influence and power in the Middle East region and said what has made the Islamic Republic powerful is only its people.

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“Iran is a powerful and influential country, and we have always been influential geographically and historically and will remain so…,” Zarif said, addressing a political gathering on Friday.

He further pointed to power elements of regional countries, such as their defense budgets and military weapons and said despite the fact that Iran’s defense budget is low compared to its neighboring countries, the Islamic Republish is a regional power.

“Therefore, what has made us powerful in the region is the (Iranian) people,” the foreign minister noted.

Zari also referred to US Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent remarks that Saudi Arabia’s military cannot confront Iran, saying, “I’m proud that the Islamic Republic has such a power.”  

South Carolina Republican Sen. Graham told Fox News on Sunday that Saudi Arabia's military "can't fight out of a paper bag" when confronted with Mideast challenges including Iran.

"If it weren't for the United States they’d be speaking Farsi in about a week in Saudi Arabia,” he said.