Iran’s supreme leader called on the armed forces on Thursday to increase their capabilities in order to protect the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East and deter would-be attackers.

“The armed forces must urgently increase their readiness, so that the enemy dare not think of attacking,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by Iranian agencies in a meeting with army commanders.

Khamenei often invokes an unspecified “enemy” when talking about Western powers, particularly the United States and Israel, which he suspects of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic. […]