|Questions and Answers|
|Supreme Leader’s Speech to Members of Assembly of Experts|
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 8, 2012 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with the chairman and members of the Assembly of Experts.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I would like to welcome the honorable gentlemen, the esteemed members of the Islamic Republic’s Assembly of Experts. I would also like to express my gratitude to the gentlemen who made certain points in this meeting, which shows that they are sensitive to the domestic issues and events and that they feel responsible towards the future of the country. I hope Allah the Exalted will bestow success on all of you. I hope Allah the Exalted will help all of us make efforts with pure intentions in order to fulfill the responsibilities that have been placed on our shoulders. Whether our efforts will be effective or not is up to God. Whether our efforts will be accepted or not depends on God’s mercy and generosity. However, all of us should make efforts – no matter where we work – to move things forward.
Before discussing the points I have written down, I deem it necessary to thank our honorable people for their timely and highly effective presence in the parliamentary elections. Our dear people did their best for the elections and they brought their power – which originates from their religious faith and insight – into the arena of confronting the camp of the enemies and opponents of our country and people. Anybody who knows what efforts the enemies made during the past few months in order to discourage the people from voting on the 12th of Esfand, anybody who knows how much money they spent, anybody who knows how many people they recruited, anybody who knows how many plots they designed, anybody who knows how hard they tried in their think tanks to influence our people’s thoughts and actions with their carefully prepared statements, should know how great the achievement of the people was and how great the popular movement was.
First, it is necessary to be thankful to God because these things are the result of God’s will, mercy and grace. Second, it is necessary to thank the people with all one’s heart and soul because divine blessings do not come to a particular country and its people without good reasons. We pray to God, “Dear God, I ask You for the requirements of Your mercy.”We should prepare the ground for divine blessings and then we will be showered with divine grace and blessings. Our people prepared the ground for divine blessings. The presence of the people on the scene, their resistance in the face of the enemies’ attacks, their insight and other such characteristics prepared the ground for divine blessings. Again, it is Allah the Exalted who gives people the opportunity to prepare the ground for His grace and blessings. We are thankful to Allah the Exalted for this opportunity and we prostrate before Him in gratitude. And we are truly grateful to our people and we hope that Allah the Exalted will fully reward them.
The first point that I would like to discuss is related to the issue of elections. Elections are not fleeting events: they are significant events. Therefore, we need to reflect on the issue of elections. First of all, elections are an important pillar of the Islamic system. Religious democracy is founded on elections. Without elections, there will be no democracy. Elections are the standard of relying on the people: a concrete, tangible and measurable standard. Therefore, anybody who firmly believes in the Islamic system considers taking part in the elections as his responsibility. Such a person takes part in the elections even though he might have objections about certain things, about a particular election or about a particular form of elections. This is a responsibility. Therefore, all those who entered the arena of elections throughout the country fulfilled this obligatory responsibility. They carried out their duty. They showed their accurate understanding. This accurate understanding shows that the issue of elections is about a pillar of the Islamic Republic. We cannot stop voting simply because we have objections to certain individuals or certain things. Such objections are not a good reason to stop voting. This is an essential point.
One outcome of this election was that it dispelled illusions: of course, elections often have this outcome. Elections are like an awakening slap across the face of the individuals who wallow in their illusions and fantasies. Elections are a slap across the face of those who cherish illusions about the future of the Islamic Republic, about the essence of the system, about the people, about the country, about the enemy. Elections put an end to their illusions and open their eyes to the truth.
Two days ago, I heard the American President has said that they are not thinking of going to war with Iran. This is very good. This is a good and wise statement. This is an exit from illusion. He has also said that they will bring the people of Iran to their knees with sanctions. This is an illusion. The exit from illusion in the case of not going to war is good, but remaining under an illusion regarding the sanctions will harm them. When a person builds his calculations on illusions rather than realities, it is obvious that he will fail in his plans that are based on these calculations. And this is what they are doing.
It is one year now that they have been imposing what they call “crippling sanctions”. Of course, we have been under sanctions for 33 years. They said the purpose of the so-called crippling sanctions was to separate the people from the Islamic system, but they saw that the people went to the ballot boxes and voted for the Islamic system. Every vote for any candidate is a vote for the Islamic system. The people proved this. I described elections as a slap: there are different kinds of slaps. One of kind of slap is awakening – it has an awakening effect. This parliamentary election was of this kind.
The second point – which I mentioned in passing earlier – is that elections show that the people trust the government. After the controversial and eventful elections of the year 1388, certain people predicted that the people would lose their trust in the government and that they would no longer go to the ballot boxes to vote. This election was a decisive and clear response to this wrong assumption and inference. The people showed their objection to such inferences. They showed that they are committed to the Islamic system. They showed that they trust the Islamic system. They showed that they will enter the arena and respond to the government’s call which invites them to determine the plans through the ballot boxes. As I said, every vote is in fact a vote for the Islamic Republic. The vast majority of the people who stepped into the arena gave rise to one of the highest turnout rates over the past 33 years. After the passage of 33 years, the people step into the arena like this, which is indicative of their full trust in the Islamic Republic.
The insight and intellectual level of the people were another obvious point about this election. The people entered the arena of elections after having analyzed the situation. They had their own analyses. You saw that whoever was asked why he or she had taken part in the election – including the youth who were voting for the first time as well as old men and women – he or she would present a reason and an analysis. They did not say, “It is an election and we have to come and vote.” No, they would explain why they were voting. They would say, “Because the enemy is lying in ambush, because the hungry wolves are lying in ambush.” By Allah’s favor, I will explain in another speech how the enemies lay in ambush in order to devour us, thinking that the Islamic Republic was a lamb that could be devoured. They do not know that the Islamic Republic is a lion and that it cannot be approached. The people saw the opposing camp. They saw the enmities. They saw the objectives of the spiteful enemy. As a result, they entered the arena with insight and clear analyses. This is a very important point.
Another point that is related to this election is that the Majlis that has emerged out of this election has a heavy responsibility to shoulder. This is always the case. Any elected government official at any level has a responsibility that is as important as the election through which they were elected. The Majlis that will be formed will have to shoulder a heavy responsibility considering current conditions, the uproar that the enemy has cause and the presence of the people in this arena. The brothers and sisters who will come together to form this Majlis in the near future – both the ones who have already been elected and the ones who will be elected during the second round – should know what a heavy responsibility has been placed on their shoulders. They should come and fulfill their responsibilities with wisdom and acumen.
The country is as important as the laws that are passed. In all areas, we need laws that can remove the obstacles. Members of the Majlis should look at the realities on the ground. They should identify the needs and on the basis of the needs they have identified, they should provide our government officials with the appropriate legal solutions. The laws that are passed should remove the obstacles. A law that creates obstacles and blocks the paths, a law that cannot be implemented, a law that creates many problems, a law that contradicts itself – such laws are useless. It is not enough to simply draft and pass legislation. We should know that laws should be drafted in a judicious way and that they should remove the obstacles.
Government officials should be aware who they are choosing – for which needs and purposes – and what their qualifications and characteristics are. They should both be careful and just. I do not advise them to be extremely careful at the cost of causing injustice in certain cases. They should be careful, but at the same time they should also observe justice. They should move forward in an intelligent and sincere way. Sincerity is indeed the basis. Mr. Mahdavi rightly pointed out in his statements that the weight and influence of Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) words and plans was mostly due to his sincerity. Yes, he was a truly sincere man. He was the embodiment of sincerity. If there is sincerity, our duties will be carried out successfully. The government officials in the judiciary and the Majlis, the clergy and those who are in the military or different other organizations should know that what is necessary is to identify our obligations and work hard to fulfill our obligations: we must not let other considerations affect our work.
Of course, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the officials in charge of the elections. Mr. Yazdi pointed out that the Guardian Council has been thanked for its efforts. When you see the volume, subtlety and difficulty of the work they are doing, you cannot help feeling appreciative in your heart. I told Mr. Jannati and certain other gentlemen that whenever I remember the work you are doing, my heart is filled with respect for you. I prayed many times to Allah the Exalted to give more strength to all those who are in charge the elections: members of Assembly of Experts, the government, the Ministry of Interior, the officials in charge of security matters who managed to ensure the security of the elections, the officials in charge of public relations, the IRIB and others. What they did was truly great and outstanding. They managed to carry out this great duty and this heavy and vital work in the best possible way.
Islamic democracy is our paradigm. In Islamic democracy, Islam is the essence and the soul. There must be no deviations from Islam. Currently, there are no deviations and by Allah’s favor, there will be no deviations in the future either. When drafting laws and when assigning individuals to different positions, our standard should be Islam. The framework and the method of management is democracy. That is to say, it is the people who step into the arena to make decisions, people who firmly believe in Islam. Although they might not appear to certain people to be committed to Islam and the Islamic system, they are truly committed and they truly love Islam.
The experience of the past 33 years has shown that Islam can bring about dignity for a country. It can make a nation feel proud. It can delineate good goals. It can smooth certain paths towards these goals. It can give rise to a scientific movement. It can give rise to a technological and industrial movement. It can give rise to a movement towards piety and ethics. It can make a nation feel proud in front of other nations. These things have already happened in our country. These are great achievements that have already been accomplished in the country thanks to Islam. Islam is still the essence and content of the movement of our system and democracy is the form and the framework. Islam and democracy are not separate from one another. That is to say, democracy itself originates from Islam.
It is wrong to say that we have learnt democracy from westerners. The exterior form is the same, but our democracy has its roots in a different kind of religious understanding and a different world view. We believe that there must be respect for human beings. We consider the votes of the people as valuable and we consider their presence as a tool to achieve divine goals, which is impossible in the absence of the people.
Westerners act in a different way. Of course, we have our own frameworks and they have their own frameworks, but their frameworks are oppressive. When a person expresses his objection to the myth of Holocaust and announced that he does not believe it, they throw him into prison. They sentence him to prison for denying a fictitious event. Even if we assume that the event is not fictitious, even if we assume that it is a true story, is it a crime to deny a true historical event? If a person is not convinced of the truth of the Holocaust and he denies the story or expresses doubt about it, he is thrown into prison. This is what they are doing in the European countries that claim to be civilized. If somebody protests the Holocaust, expresses doubt about it or denies it, European courts convict him in a court of law. However, when they openly insult the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), that prominent man of the entire history of mankind, when they insult what 1.5 billion Muslims hold sacred, nobody is allowed to protest against their actions. Notice how wrong and disgraceful their frameworks are. This is their framework: if somebody wears hijab to university or work, she becomes a criminal. It is still a framework, but it is wrong and twisted. It goes against human nature. It goes against correct human understanding. Our frameworks are divine frameworks. On the basis of what sharia and religion teach us, we are opposed to corruption. We are opposed to immorality. We are opposed to different kinds of human deviations. We believe that it is necessary to stand up against these deviations. We believe that it is necessary to learn the correct ways of life from Islam, the Holy Quran and divine revelations. This is our framework. This is religious democracy. This is our paradigm.
If Muslim nations are interested in what the Islamic Republic has to say and what its claims are, they should know that we will not abandon Islam. We believe that it is obligatory to observe divine command and sharia in all of our daily life affairs and our efforts are focused on achieving this goal. And religious democracy is our framework in this arena. The people should step in and vote. It is the people who should elect the law-makers who are supposed to pass legislation on the basis of these things. It is the people who should elect those who are supposed to implement the laws. Everything is decided by the people with honor and dignity.
I hope Allah the Exalted makes us successful in following this path and protecting ourselves against deviations. I hope Allah the Exalted enables us to achieve these lofty goals and helps us benefit from the prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake).
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings
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