Leader's Speech on Students Day

The following is the abridged text of the statements made by Grand Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, in a meeting with students on November 4, 2002 on the occasion of the Students Day and the National Day of Struggle against the Global Arrogance.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

First, I would like to express my warm welcome to all the dear youngsters and the esteemed audience.

It is worthy of mention that November 4 is regarded by the Iranian people as a national day, rather than a festival. The day that a nation regards as its national day is reminiscent of certain memories, and it also conveys a certain concept and meaning. The deeper this meaning is, the greater is the significance of the national day and the higher is its symbolic value.

Considering this, November 4 is a very important day for the Iranian nation. The day has been named the National Day of Struggle against the Global Arrogance. Here, we are dealing with the concept of arrogance, not a specific regime or government. However, today, it is the United States that is the embodiment of arrogance in every ugly and repugnant sense.

The point at issue is not hostility to a certain race, nation or country. Rather, the point is that any nation has self-esteem and dignity, and that no nation would like to see its honor and dignity disregarded by others. No nation would like to have its wealth and natural resources plundered by other countries.

Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran was part of U.S. empire in this region. The former regime was quite loyal to the United States and implemented all the policies that were dictated to it by Washington. The national wealth of the Iranian people was at U.S. disposal, and the three government branches were controlled by the United States.

Consequently, as a result of U.S. domination and plunder of our national wealth and natural resources, Iran took no step toward scientific, economic or industrial development under the former regime.

This country was only a market for all types of products that were imported from the United States and some other counties. In other words, Iran was a totally dependent country and a mere consumer of industrial, agricultural and other imported products.

When the Islamic movement was launched in this country by Imam Khomeini in 1962, U.S. intelligence services were the first ones that felt the threat emanating from this movement. Consequently, on November 4, 1964, the former regime exiled the late Imam by the order of Washington to a neighboring country, which was also under U.S. domination and influence and where pro-U.S. generals were in power.

Therefore, the first thing that November 4 calls to mind is U.S. opposition to the Islamic movement and the Islamic awakening. The reason for this opposition was that U.S. officials had predicted that in case of an Islamic revival in Iran, It would not remain confined to this country, and that it would affect the whole Islamic world. This was what happened in Palestine, Lebanon and many other Arab and Islamic countries following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

As some years passed, the Islamic movement in this country approached its climax. On November 4, 1978, just a few months before the victory of the revolution, the former regime massacred a group of students. This brutal massacre, which had been ordered by U.S. intelligence services and which once again revealed the savage nature of the former regime, was aimed at crushing the Islamic movement.

During those days, the president of the United States and their affiliated media called Iran the island of stability, bragging about their puppet regime in this country! In other words, despite all the human rights violations and crimes that were being committed by the former regime against the Iranian nation, there was no objection to these crimes on the part of U.S. officials. However, today, they repeatedly claim that they advocate human rights in the world!

Despite all U.S. support for the former regime, the Islamic movement culminated in victory, thanks to the strong resistance of the Iranian nation and the wise leadership of Imam Khomeini. Therefore, U.S. plots and machinations against the Iranian nation assumed wider proportions following the victory of the revolution.

For instance, the United States turned its embassy in Tehran into a center of sabotage and espionage. Besides, U.S. spies also tried to bribe some influential figures in different government organs. There are always weak individuals of shaky faith everywhere who can be bribed. If you refer to the documents that were obtained from U.S. espionage den in Tehran and which were later published in the form of books in some sixty or seventy volumes, you will see evidence of such treacheries.

What U.S. spies were doing in this country elicited reactions from the Iranian nation. The bravery and vigilance of the Iranian nation manifested itself in the students, but in those students who were followers of the Imam's Line, not the students who were affiliated to certain political groups or parties or who had no religious beliefs.

The faithful students who were followers of the Imam's Line seized U.S. embassy on November 4, 1979 and obtained some documents that revealed the subversive measures of U.S. spies in this country.

Thus, the main point that November 4 calls to mind is the struggle against intrigue, bullying and arrogance.

Arrogance means aggressive conceit, a lack of respect for the values of other nations and considering oneself entitled to interfere in the affairs of other countries. It is the same thing that is currently being displayed by the words of U.S. officials. They talk about interfering in Iraq or any other country in such a tone as if they owned the world! This kind of attitude is what is meant by arrogance.

The United States has used every pressure lever against the Islamic Republic, but to no avail. The great hue and cry that is currently being raised by Washington and its show of force are part of the nature of all arrogant powers, which are in the habit of threatening and intimidating other nations.

In fact, the arrogant powers derive most of their strength from threats and intimidation. First, they demoralize other nations by terrorizing and intimidating them, and then they impose their demands on them.

The U.S. does not have the power to attack other countries without suffering heavy losses and without paying a high price for its military aggression. Therefore, before Washington decides to attack other countries, the White House officials will make sure that their military aggression will prove successful, and that they will not receive a slap on the face. In other words, the U.S. would never risk attacking a country where it is likely to face a strong resistance.

As far as the Islamic Republic is concerned, the United States has already tried all its options against the brave and steadfast Iranian nation, but it has never succeeded in fulfilling its goals. However, U.S. officials are still seeking to achieve certain objectives with regard to our country and our faithful people.

Their first objective is to weaken the strong determination of our government officials by fomenting discord and division among them in order to prevent the Iranian government, which has raised the banner of Islam in this country, from solving the problems of the people and fulfilling their needs. In other words, they intend to make the Iranian people disappointed with the Islamic system in order to prepare the ground for restoring their domination of this country. Presently, they are making the most of their media and propaganda machine to achieve this objective.

The second goal being pursued by the United States is to undermine the motives, aspirations and beliefs of the Iranian people, which are the major factors contributing to their solidarity and their resistance against the enemies. The U.S. is also making every effort to portray the future of this nation as bleak and gloomy. Again, Washington is using the international media to accomplish this goal.

It is worthy of mention that the international media and means of mass communication, including the news agencies, radios, televisions and mass-circulation dailies and magazines, are mostly owned and controlled by capitalists and multinational conglomerates, namely the main pillars of the global arrogance. These media play a major role in manipulating world public opinion and in furthering the interests of their owners. The reports published or aired by these media are usually prepared in such a way as to pose no harm to the interests of the global arrogance.

Above all, the United States is trying to weaken unity in this country, both our national unity and the unity among our government officials. In order to undermine our national unity, Washington is seeking to create political, religious and ethnic walls between different groups and levels of the Iranian society. The Islamic Revolution demolished all these walls, which existed in society under the former regime, and brought about national unity, but the U.S. is trying to build the same walls again in our society.

Furthermore, by bringing up and giving prominence to trivial and diversionary issues through its propaganda machine, the United States aims to foment discord and weaken unity among our government officials. The U.S. administration claims to support certain officials or political groups of the Islamic Republic, while the fact is that it is opposed to the Islamic system as a whole.

Despite all this, U.S. officials know very well themselves that their plots and hostilities against our country and against our nation are not likely to yield any results. Indeed, as long as we remain vigilant, and as long as we face up to our responsibilities, all of the enemy's plots are doomed to fail.

Presently, some daunted and dispirited elements, influenced by the negative propaganda of the global arrogance, are trying to insinuate that the Iranian people have lost their hopes and aspirations. These elements are publishing rigged opinion polls in order to convey this false notion.

On the contrary, the Iranian nation, which has the largest young population compared with other nations in the world, does not seem disheartened at all, and our youngsters are all full of hope, energy and motivation.

Two major mobilizations are necessary in our country. The first once concerns our youngsters, who should try to increase their scientific knowledge, purify themselves morally and spiritually and keep themselves in good shape through physical training.

They should also preserve their high spirits and be prepared to defend their country and safeguard the honor and dignity of their nation. Besides, they should make every effort to keep the flag of Islam hoisted in this country, since all problems could be solved by enforcing the Islamic law in society.

Fortunately, our young generation have great talent and potential and, contrary to the wishes of our enemies, they are ready to defend their country, their Islamic system and their national honor and dignity whenever it is necessary to do so.

The second mobilization concerns our government officials. They should mobilize all their resources to serve the people in the best possible manner and solve their problems. In particular, they should focus their attention on the issues of unemployment and economic and financial corruption, and they should take effective measures to resolve these issues.

This is what the people rightly expect from the government officials. All the three government branches, namely the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature, shoulder heavy responsibilities in this regard.

The government officials have enough facilities at their disposal. But what is mostly needed is paying more attention to the main problems that the people are facing. The officials should not allow minor and trivial issues to overshadow major problems. Political wrangling, bringing up minor issues and aggrandizing trivial matters, which will lead to neglecting major issues, are harmful to the national interests.

The major issues of the country include the economic issue and the need to raise the scientific standards of our universities, that is the need to launch an educational movement in the country. We have often brought up this issue during our visits to the universities and in our meetings with the academics.

Another important and necessary measure that should be taken is to promote the religious and spiritual culture and values among the youth.

Therefore, the government officials should launch an all-out campaign in the scientific, educational, cultural and economic areas and take firm action against financial corruption. They should also set aside their disputes and differences, since political disputes are harmful to the national interests and will undermine the nation's resistance against the enemy.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic has clearly delineated our country's political structure. It has also clearly defined the duties and responsibilities of all the senior officials of the Islamic system. Thus, all officials should face up to their responsibilities, set aside their disputes and political wrangling and preserve national unity. Above all, they should not be disheartened by the negative propaganda and hue and cry of the enemy.

Thank God, the senior and high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic do not seem daunted, since they have a strong faith in Almighty Allah and always invoke His assistance, and since they count on the power of the faithful Iranian nation. They also know that the enemy is not able to pose a threat to our country. But of course, some individuals here and there may be disheartened by the hue and cry of the enemy.

Everybody should bear in mind that the great power displayed by the Iranian people in the course of the grand Islamic Revolution which amazed and astonished the global arrogance is still possessed by this nation. Thus, the officials of the Islamic Republic should highly value and rely on this power, maintain their trust in Almighty Allah and do their utmost to bring about more progress and development for this country.

By the grace of Allah and through the efforts and endeavors of our officials and our great nation, Islam will surely attain its due status in the world, and it will certainly reflect great credit and honor on the whole Muslim ummah.

I pray to Almighty Allah to assist all of us in serving the interests of Islam, in accomplishing the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, and in bringing further honor and dignity to this country.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings