The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 10, 2011 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution to a group of cadets in a graduation ceremony at Imam Ali (a.s.) Military Academy.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I would like to extend my congratulations to all the dear graduates of the military academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all the dear youth who have received epaulets and joined the ranks of the mujahids of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army.
The fact that so many faithful and sincere youth – graduates and students – join the great Army and Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic is worthy of congratulating. In every one of my meetings with you faithful and pious youth, I thank Allah the Exalted from the bottom of my heart. You should also thank God for these great blessings.
Military academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are the centers of knowledge and jihad. The scent of spirituality and piety in these academies keeps getting stronger on a daily basis. This is a cause for joy and happiness. These academies are active in terms of scientific work and they enjoy active students, good teachers and commanders who are also outstanding scientific figures. Moreover, the atmosphere of mujahid-like and pious preparedness, the war games, undergoing military training in the hot weather of summer during the month of Ramadan, the large number of cadets who fast once or more every week – these are things that are unprecedented not only in the Armed Forces of our country but also in the armed forces of the world of Islam. These things are the result of the firm determination of a nation that has been making efforts to raise the flag of faith, Islam and piety. Members of the Armed Forces – who study, undergo training, make efforts and prepare themselves for the sake of God and divine ideals and who enter the arena selflessly whenever there is an opportunity for selfless struggle and defense – are a source of power for Islam and Muslims. They are a source of power for the country.
You are powerful for two reasons. First, you spend the valuable days of your youth on acquiring knowledge and engaging in jihad with sincere spirituality and faith. This is power. “And to Allah belongs the might and to His Messenger and to the believers.” [The Holy Quran, 63: 8] Power belongs to God, His Messenger and believers. So you are considered among believers.
The second reason is that you are a source of power for your country and your nation. A nation that can prove it is prepared to resist and defend itself in order to have independence, preserve its identity and fight for its ideals and existence – such a nation is powerful. The power of such a nation is secretly acknowledged even by its enemies although they might not be prepared to announce this publicly because of being stubborn. You spearhead our national defense and today your power is acknowledged even by your enemies. Many of your enemies even acknowledge your power publicly.
Allah the Exalted says, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah.” [The Holy Quran, 8: 60] Your preparedness makes the enemy fearful: not fearful of your invasion because you are not aggressive, but fearful of your resistance and of attacking you. In a world in which reliance on the power of bayonets and weapons can unfortunately play a determining role in the relations between nations and countries, in a world in which there are bullies who decide to take control of the destiny of other nations with iron fists, in a world that is materialistic, only a nation that proves to be prepared for defense will be secure from harm. Our Armed Forces and the Army of the Islamic Republic proved this. This is power. This is a source of power for a country. It is necessary to preserve this preparedness. You should preserve all your material and spiritual assets. During your service and throughout your life, you should safeguard your piety, faith, motivation and spiritual purity as well as your firm determination to defend the country.
We are not a nation that attacks other countries and nations. We will never start a bloody war. The Iranian nation has proven this. But we are a nation that responds to all kinds of attack and even all kinds of threats with full force and determination. We are not a nation that stands by and watches the fragile materialist powers – which have been eaten by worms and termites from within – threaten the steadfast and powerful Iranian nation. We will answer threats with threats. Anybody who thinks of attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran should be prepared to receive strong slaps and iron fists from the Armed Forces, from the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps and from Basij: all supported by the great Iranian nation. And America, its regional puppets and its guard dog – the Zionist regime – should know that the response of the Iranian nation to any kind of aggression, attacks or even threats will be a response that will make them collapse from within.
Continue your preparedness to maintain this national and international power. We should all be ready. Everybody should remain prepared to preserve the high values which will be permanent throughout history. Everybody should remain prepared in the arena of knowledge, work, industry, management and politics. And the Armed Forces spearhead our national defense in the military arena.
We are confident that the greatest kind of deterrence is the firm structure of the Islamic Republic, our national unity and the closeness of the hearts of the Iranian people to each other. Everybody is responsible to preserve and strengthen this firm structure.
I pray to Allah the Exalted to bestow success, good fortune, dignity and glory on all you dear youth, your teachers, your commanders and all those who have played a role in creating this beautiful and glorious reality.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings