|Questions and Answers|
|Supreme Leader's Speech to Air Force Commanders and Personnel|
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 7, 2013 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The meeting was held on the occasion of the historic pledge of allegiance of Air Force officers to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) on the 19th of Bahman of 1357.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I am very happy to meet you - once more at our annual meeting - brothers and dear youth from the glorious Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. I welcome all of you. As for the song which was performed, the lyrics were good, the melody was good, the content was good and it was performed well. By Allah's favor, our hearts will always be imbued with the scent of mercy and divine guidance which is the most important source of support.
If we take a look at the history of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army over the past years, we will discover a number of important facts. There was one day when we could not and were not allowed to fix the plane parts that we had bought. Today, you build training planes, fighters and flight simulators. You carry out a lot of important radar-related work and you produce complex components. This great movement towards blossoming of talents, love, innovation, self-confidence and self-sufficiency - which has been established in the Air Force, in the entire Islamic Republic of Iran Army, in the Armed Forces and throughout the country - is such a movement that cannot be denied even by the opponents and the enemies of the Islamic Republic.
Dominant powers tried to take control of all nations and countries throughout the world by using force, money and weapons and by launching military attacks. They tried to make nations believe that they cannot find the path towards greatness, identity and independence without relying on superpowers and on those who have money and power - Zionist and non-Zionist companies have lined up behind them. You shattered their hopes.
Compare the Iranian nation, today, with nations who have been under the domination of American power. See where you are and where they are. With their movement, independence, self-confidence and reliance on God, the Iranian people proved that one can and should stand up against the domination of foreigners and those who seek domination. The Iranian nation has proved this. Thirty years ago, what was the position of the Iranian nation in science, civilization, progress, technology and political influence? What position does it enjoy today? It achieved such a position by putting up a resistance, relying on God and bringing all its capacities into the arena. This is an experience for both the Iranian nation and future generations. It is also an experience for other nations. The Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army is one of the examples of this resistance and this movement which has been based on self-confidence. We should continue this. We Iranian people should continue this path. This path is full of blessings.
For more than thirty years, the enemies of the Iranian nation have done everything in their power to harm the Iranian nation. There is not a thing which they have not used against the Iranian nation. They provoked conflicts, waged wars, supported the enemy of the Islamic Republic with all their power and they waged hard and soft wars. They fought the people of Iran as hard as they could, but our people stood up against them and they resisted. Not only could they not bring our people to their knees and destroy them, but they also failed to prevent them from making progress. Our nation has made progress. They made use of everything they could. They hatched plots, launched coup d'états, provoked military conflicts, shot down passenger airliners, imposed heavy sanctions and increased them on a daily basis. They did these things in the hope that our people would lose their hope, disappear from the scene and lose their trust in Islam and the Islamic Republic. But they failed. This is the record of the Islamic Republic.
These days, referred to as ten-day Fajr celebrations, are good opportunities for our intellectuals, our youth and all the people of Iran to spend some time evaluating their actions during the past thirty-something years and see their achievements, see their successful efforts, see the divine assistance and see the weakness of the enemies' plots. "And they (the unbelievers) planned, and Allah planned, and Allah is the best of planners" [The Holy Quran, 3: 54]. This is the general guideline for us, to see how we should choose our future path. You the people in the Air Force should move forward according to this outlook and orientation. Different sectors of the country, all the people and the officials of the country should move forward according to this outlook.
Of course, the enemy inflicts harm, but it cannot do anything except for causing slight annoyance. I mentioned a few days ago that Allah the Exalted said, "They shall by no means harm you but with a slight evil" [The Holy Quran, 3: 111]. Their job is to harm you. But, they cannot create obstacles for you and block your path. Over the past 30 years, the Americans have been ranting and raving against the Iranian nation. They said and did whatever they could. They broadcast negative propaganda and they established an evil media empire against the Iranian nation. But the result is this: today, by Allah's favor, the Iranian nation has become happier, more determined and more active than ever and it is witnessing more blossoming in different areas.
They have been trying to separate the people from the Islamic Republic and the Revolution. Each year on the 22nd of Bahman, the Iranian people frustrate the enemy with their presence in the national and revolutionary rallies. They are trying to separate the people from one another. The previous inexperienced American secretary of state said openly that they are imposing sanctions in order to pit the people of Iran against the Islamic Republic. The people of Iran have always responded to such statements through their rallies and their actions. You will see that on the 22nd of Bahman, the Iranian people will, once more, frustrate their efforts with a crushing move [Audience shout "Allahu Akbar"].
The good thing is that the people are wise and vigilant. They know the purpose of the enemy's plot, they predict the enemy's moves, they understand why the enemy has adopted a certain policy and they move in the opposite direction. They rely on their own achievements and they will show their presence in this great arena of national dignity. They will show themselves and they will prove their presence. This is the good thing. In the face of the negative propaganda by the enemy - particularly, the Americans and the Zionists - the people do not take the wrong path because of their communal wisdom and they do not make the mistake which the enemy is waiting for. This is the good thing about large-scale issues of our country.
Now the Americans have raised the issue of negotiations again. They repeat that America is prepared to directly negotiate with Iran. This is not new. The Americans have repeatedly raised the issue of negotiations at every juncture. Now their newly appointed politicians repeat that we should negotiate. And they say that the ball is in Iran's court. The ball is in your court. It is you who should explain the meaning of negotiations that are accompanied by pressure and threats. Negotiations are for the sake of proving one's goodwill. You commit tens of acts which show lack of goodwill and then you speak about negotiations. Do you expect the Iranian nation to believe that you have goodwill? Of course, we understand why the Americans repeatedly raise the issue of negotiations and why they speak about it in different ways. We know what the reason is. As the Americans themselves say, their Middle East policies have failed. They need to play their trump card. Their trump card is dragging the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is based on the people, to the negotiating table. They need this. They want to say to the world that they have goodwill. No, we do not see any goodwill.
Four years ago - during the early days of the current American administration - when they were saying the same words, I announced that we will not prejudge and we will wait to see what action they will take and then we will judge. Now after four years, how should the Iranian nation judge their actions? They supported the fitna in Iran, they helped those who started the fitna, they sent their troops to Afghanistan under the claim that they were fighting terrorism, they trampled on so many people and they destroyed them. They are also supporting and cooperating with the same terrorists in Syria and they used the same terrorists wherever they could in Iran. Their agents, their allies and Zionist spies openly killed the scientists of the Islamic Republic. They did not even condemn these terrorist activities. [On the contrary] They supported them. This is their record. They imposed sanctions - which they wanted to be crippling - on the Iranian nation. They openly said, crippling. Who do you want to cripple? Did you want to cripple the Iranian nation? Do you have goodwill?
Negotiations are meaningful when the two sides negotiate with good intentions and without planning to deceive one another. Negotiations should be on equal terms. Negotiations for the sake of negotiations, tactical negotiations and offer of negotiations as a superpower gesture, are deceptive moves. They are not honest moves.
I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary. I speak openly and honestly. A diplomat says something, but he actually means something else. We speak openly and honestly. We speak clearly and decisively. Negotiations are meaningful when the two sides show their good intentions. [Negotiations are not meaningful] when one side does not show his good intentions. You yourselves refer to this as pressures and negotiations. These two things are not compatible. You want to point the gun at the people of Iran and say, negotiate or we will shoot. You say these things to intimidate the Iranian nation. You should know that the Iranian nation is not intimidated by these things [Audience shout "Allahu Akbar"].
A number of people become happy about the American offer of negotiations and they say, come and negotiate with us. This is expressed by a number of people who are either simple-minded or who have some ulterior motives. One cannot make definitive judgments about people. But what a simple-minded person does is no different, in essence, from what a person who has ulterior motives does. Negotiations with America will not solve any problems. When did they keep their promises? Over the past 60 years, since the coup d'état of the 28th of Mordad of 1332 until today, the officials of our country have been harmed whenever they trusted the Americans. One day Mosaddeq trusted the Americans, relied on them and considered them as his friends. Then the coup d'état of the 28th of Mordad occurred and the Americans found the opportunity to launch a coup d'état. The agent responsible for launching the coup d'état came to Tehran with a briefcase full of money and he divided it among thugs and vandals so that they launch the coup d'état. The agent was American. They admitted what the purpose of their plot was. After that, they helped the oppressive Pahlavi regime achieve domination over our country. They established SAVAK and chained and tortured political activists. These are the things they did at that time.
During a certain period after the Revolution, the officials of the country trusted them. But the politicians of the American government labeled Iran as "axis of evil". It is you who are the embodiment of evil. It is you who are doing evil deeds in the world. You wage wars, loot nations and support the Zionist regime. On the issue of Islamic Awakening, you suppress the nations who have risen in revolt as much as you can and you weaken them and pit them against one another. You are evil. Evil is part of your character. They accused the Iranian nation of doing evil acts. This is a big insult. Whenever people trusted them, they made such moves. They should show their good intentions. Negotiations and offer of negotiations are not compatible with pressures. Negotiations and pressures are two different paths. It is not possible for the Iranian nation to accept negotiations under pressures and threats, with those who make threats. What should we negotiate for?
Today, the Iranian nation is vigilant. The true face of America has been revealed not only in Iran, but also in the region. Nations distrust America and there are many reasons for this distrust. The Iranian nation has also accurately read the Americans' moves. It understands what their purpose is. Our nation is vigilant. Today, if certain people want to help America re-establish its domination and act against our national interests, against the progress of the country and against the path of independence, they will be held responsible by the people and even if I act against this public demand, the people will complain. It is obvious. All the officials are responsible for safeguarding national interests and preserving national independence. They should preserve the dignity of the Iranian nation.
We have negotiated, signed contracts and established relations with countries which have not plotted against Iran. The Iranian nation is peace-loving. The Iranian nation is patient. The unity of the Iranian nation is in line with promoting the interests of humanity. Today, what the Iranian nation does is for the sake of its interests and the interests of the Islamic Ummah and humanity. And undoubtedly, divine assistance is behind the Iranian nation. By Allah's favor, the people of Iran will be able to help not only themselves but also the Islamic Ummah to reach the peak of glory with their wisdom, with their firm determination and with the resistance that they have shown on this bright path, the path that they will continue following in the future as well. The way to reach this glory is to preserve this wisdom. The way to do this is to preserve our unity. The way to do this is for the officials to safeguard the interests of the country. This improper conduct which is witnessed in certain areas from certain government officials - they should end this. By Allah's favor, I will address this issue in the future and I will speak to the people. Our nation is unified, determined and active. Even if there are differences of opinion between the people over different issues, all the officials and all the people join hands against the enemy, global arrogance and those who have prepared themselves to destroy the roots of the people and the Islamic Republic. There is no disagreement among the people over this issue.
By Allah's favor and grace, on the 22nd of Bahman the people will show, once more, that they are present on the scene, that they are prepared, that they are united, that they are moving in the same direction. And undoubtedly, divine blessings will be bestowed on them.
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
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