Leader’s Speech to People of Gilan-e Gharb

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on October 15, 2011 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with the people of Gilan-e Gharb in Kermanshah province.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Muhammad, and upon his immaculate, pure, chosen, guided and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

I am thankful to Allah the Exalted who gave me another opportunity to visit this resisting city and its proud and honorable people. During the Sacred Defense Era, this city passed its test successfully. The esteemed youth who currently live in Gilan-e Gharb county should be proud of themselves because their parents and grandparents showed such greatness in a very difficult era. At that time, I visited Gilan-e Gharb several times. Both inside the city and in the mountains around the city - where we had deployed our military forces - I saw with my own eyes the hardships tolerated by our resisting forces in this region. However, in spite of all the hardships, the signs of their valor were clearly visible. The city was faced with the threat of aerial bombardment and it was also faced with the threat of land attacks, yet it managed to stand firm and its people did not leave. This is a great memory from those difficult times. The people of this region should really feel proud.

Some of you dear youth had not yet been born when our country was at war and some of you were young children at that time. I do not just want to say that our youth should feel proud of their fathers and grandfathers although such sense of pride is completely justified and appropriate. My point is that today's youth should know they were raised in such an atmosphere and region and by such parents.

It is true that today we do not have to defend our geographic borders. Military defense of the country is not an issue today. But we still have to defend the borders of our national identity and this kind of defense is still an issue. We still need to defend the borders of our religious and Islamic identity. We still need to defend our ideological borders. All of us are responsible in this regard. Today's youth might not have been present during the war to stand up against the enemy and defend their homes and cities, but today they can play a glorious role in the arena of defending our national identity, our national dignity and our firm Islamic beliefs. Our young boys and girls and our faithful men and women can play a role in this sensitive arena. It is necessary to preserve this spirit. Government officials of this region should pay attention that there are such valuable human and spiritual capacities in this region and there are also material capacities.

As I said in the city of Kermanshah, this region has a lot of potential in terms of its water resources, in terms of its soil and in terms of its climatic conditions. There are different capacities that have not been utilized yet. And as was rightly pointed out by your esteemed Friday prayer leader, the rate of unemployment is high. Moreover, the consequences of unemployment, such as addiction, have revealed themselves in this region. I like it when Friday prayer leaders are aware of the needs of the local people and follow up the issues.

Now I would like to discuss the things that I expect from the youth. Dear youth, fight addiction in your society and do not let it spread. Do not let corrupting cultures infiltrate your society. Today you are responsible for defending the borders of our beliefs and social behaviors, just as all Iranian people are responsible for defending our national identity.

And our government officials must be alert. I learnt a lot of things on this trip and by Allah's favor, I will discuss them with our government officials in future meetings. Our government officials will definitely try as much as they can to provide you with the necessary services.

One of the things that can play a significant role in safeguarding the borders of our national identity is to safeguard the memories of those sacred and glorious times. You should keep alive the memory of the faithful and courageous ladies who managed to capture or kill enemy soldiers. Your city has managed to stand up against the enemies' attacks in the most difficult conditions and this is a fact that you must safeguard. Of course, it is necessary for Gilan-e Gharb to keep alive the memories of the Sacred Defense Era. It is also necessary for the people of Ghasr-e Shirin and West Eslamabad to do the same. There were resisting and combatant men and women in Ghasr-e Shirin and West Eslamabad who made efforts with all their heart and stood up against the enemy. Safeguarding the Islamic identity of the Iranian nation is so important that our great men, our great scholars, our great mujahids and our outstanding personalities should feel a sense of responsibility to step into the arena.

Notice that today the arrogant powers of the world have joined hands in order to deny this identity and isolate the Islamic identity of the resisting and brave people of Iran. Today everybody should pay attention to international policies and games and see that America, Europe and the countries that depend on them are doing everything in their power in order to break the resistance of the Iranian nation. They are doing whatever they can in the hope that they will manage to force the Iranian nation to retreat. They are well aware of the significance of the people's insistence on the revolutionary ideals and values.

Every now and then, their so-called policy-makers and planners sit down together in their think tanks and design a plot against the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation, but Allah the Exalted foils their plots. In the past few days, they created uproar in America through their printed press and their audiovisual media - which are affiliated with the international Zionist network - and they leveled a meaningless and absurd allegation against a few Iranians so that they can use it to claim that the Islamic Republic is a supporter of terrorism. Their plan did not work and it never will. Such plots are constantly designed by them, but they are futile and ineffective.

They say that they want to isolate Iran, but it is they themselves who have been isolated. Today among nations of the world, there is no government that is hated more than America. Today America is the most hated government in the eyes of the people of the regional countries. Not only are you isolated but you are also hatred.

Two years ago, the US President travelled to Egypt to praise Islam and flatter Muslims a little in the hope that he would manage to attract the attention of the world of Islam. What was the result? A small minority - namely the ruling group, headed by Hosni Mubarak who was subsequently removed from power - supported him, but the majority of the people of Egypt and the majority of the people of the regional countries did not fall for his hypocritical gesture. Today you see that the same countries are shouting anti-America slogans.

The US President travels to Afghanistan - which has been occupied by more than tens of thousands of American and NATO troops - but he does not dare step out of Bagram Airfield, which is an American military base. He did not arrange any meetings with any Afghan statesmen in Kabul or other places. He stayed in the military base and did not step out of it until it was time to return. You are afraid of the majority of the people. You are afraid of the majority of the people of nations. Today you are even afraid of the majority of your own people in America. One proof is the Wall Street movement, which will not be limited to New York. In different other cities of America, the people are expressing their hatred. Therefore, you are isolated.

In order to isolate the Islamic Republic, they promote Iranophobia and they constantly back up their statements with other statements. No, Iran is a supporter of the people. Iran is a supporter of the oppressed. The Islamic Republic is opposed to oppression. The Islamic Republic will continue fighting oppressors. It will stand up against the bullying and greed of the arrogant powers and oppressors with all its power and it will not back down. This is why wherever the people of nations are familiar with the Islamic Republic, they love it. They support the Islamic Republic. They love the slogans of the Islamic Republic. In contrast, you leaders of the United States of America are hated in Iraq. You are hated in Afghanistan. You are hated in Egypt. You are hated in post-revolution Tunisia. You are hated in Libya, where your forces are carrying out military operations. You are hated even in Europe.

A few years ago, a small number of people sat down together in a European country and decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the current US president. They were just a small number of people whose decision was heavily influenced by political motives and relationships. Later on, when the American President traveled to Europe to collect the prize, the people of that country protested against him. You are supported by the privileged few. You are the 1 percent. The vast majority of the people are opposed to you and the opposite is true of the orientation and movement of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, in their battle against the Iranian nation, the enemies will not achieve any results no matter how hard they try. And the resistance of our youth to preserve their national and Islamic identity will overcome all the efforts by the enemies. I ask you dear youth to appreciate this situation and to prepare yourselves on a daily basis for a glorious future.

Fortunately the arena of science is open to you. The arena of technological advances is open to you. Government officials of the country should open up economic arenas as well so that our youth can step into different arenas with self-confidence. The country belongs to you. Over the past decades, our generation has done whatever it could. Today the country belongs to you dear youth. Our youth should stay prepared in different areas. You dear youth should confront the cultural influence and infiltration of the enemies. You should confront the factors that the enemies promote in order to instill despair into our society. You should consider Islam as the source of material and spiritual deliverance.

By Allah's favor, the flag of Islam will save the entire region. Today we see that the Islamic movement is spreading throughout the Middle East region on a daily basis. The enemy is being pushed into isolation. The enemy is retreating and the Islamic movement is spreading in spite of the efforts that the enemy makes to stop it.

I have no doubts that the future belongs to Islam and by Allah's favor, you dear youth will see the day when the flag of Islam is raised in all these regions and a unified and powerful Islamic front emerges.

Once again I would like to express how happy I am for being present among you dear people of Gilan-e Gharb as well as the people of Eslamabad and Ghasr-e Shirin who took the trouble to come and attend this meeting. I also apologize for failing to visit the other cities of your county. I have a lot of love and respect for the people of all parts of Kermanshah, but our time and resources are limited.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, make us successful in rendering sincere services to this nation. Dear God, crush the enemies of this nation. Dear God, help our nation achieve its great wishes and lofty ideals. Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) satisfied and happy with us. Make the pure souls of our martyrs and the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) satisfied with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings