Leader's Speech in Meeting with President Ahmadinejad and Cabinet Members

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on August 28, 2006 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with President Ahmadinejad and cabinet members. The meeting was held on the occasion of the third of Sha'ban.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

We have had a very good meeting with you dear friends and honorable officials so far. I listened carefully to the reports that the friends in this meeting delivered. They were clear and tangible reports.

I would like to congratulate all of you on the occasion of the third of Sha'ban which has thankfully coincided with our meeting with you honorable executive officials in this year. I commemorate the memory of the dear Shahid Rajai and Shahid Bahonar who became role models for us during their short term in office. With the great efforts that they made, with the difficulties that they endured and with their reliance on their beliefs and faith in practice, they made us mention their names when we want to define a model for ourselves. If we want to say it in a short sentence, we should say that their names are a book full of meaning for us. This is very valuable. May their memory be eternal.

On the issue of today's meeting, I should say that in my opinion, the president's report was a good and comprehensive report and it is necessary to publish this report exactly as it is. It is a comprehensive report. Although it is nonspecific, it should be published if it has not been published yet. It is good to publish it.

What I would like to say to you dear friends in this private and friendly meeting is that your term of responsibility is an exceptional and valuable opportunity. This term is really one of the terms that has had few equals since the Revolution until today. First, the slogans and well-defined goals of the administration and executive officials are completely compatible with the principles of the Revolution and the clear principles of our dear Imam (r.a.). Second, this discourse is visibly alive among our people.

The existence of this discourse among the people is the main factor behind their interest in this administration and the honorable president. The people are thirsty for justice. They are thirsty for combating corruption and for relying on the principles of the Revolution. When they witnessed that someone holds up and chants these slogans in an honest way, they gathered around him. It is a great blessing that this thought has turned into a discourse in society. It is continuing to develop and it has thankfully gained strength after the formation of this administration. This is the way things are.

The more and the better you stay committed to these principles and the more committed and attached you are to them, the deeper this faith will be in the hearts of the people and the more difficult it will be for foreign hands to change them. Therefore, the opportunity is really an important one. The people trust the administration. They consider it to be part of themselves and from themselves. Moreover, in terms of international reputation, the country enjoys a kind of dignity which has few or no equals.

The magnificence of the Islamic government, the greatness of the people of Iran and the clarity of the goals and purposes of the Islamic Republic in the world of Islam is more than ever. Even in the world of non-Muslims, the dignity and magnificence of our people is outstanding in the present time. This is confirmed by everyone and we understand this from the reactions and behavior of foreigners. In any case, the opportunity is a very important opportunity.

What I want to say on this occasion is that you and I - all of us and each and every one of us - should pay attention that we should not miss this opportunity. I read in the administration's report - which has been delivered to me on the occasion of these days - that the administration has not even missed one single day. This is good and correct. I want to stress that you should not allow even one single day to be wasted. You should make maximum use of all the days of the three years that is left of this administration's life. This opportunity is a very important opportunity.

If, God forbid, we fail to achieve what the people think about us, this will be a great loss and this process and orientation will definitely receive a blow. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said, "It seldom happens that a thing that lags behind comes forward" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 16]. The wave that goes away will not easily come back. We should go to great lengths and endure great difficulties to restore the favorable attention that exists today. So, this should not be missed.

Well, what is the result of this? The result is that both you and all sympathetic individuals in the country should help the administration so that it can act on the slogans that it has chanted. Everyone should help it without ulterior motives. Everyone who really cares about this country and this system should consider themselves to be responsible in this regard.

The next point is that this administration is known as a principlist administration. Its behavior, the efforts that it has made until today and its words and actions show this principlism. By Allah's favor, this will bring about certain blessings for the country and for you.

The characteristics of principlism are important characteristics. These characteristics should receive attention. I will refer to some of them. These characteristics exist in your statements and you constantly repeat them and include them in your plans. The implementation of these characteristics in the real sense of the word will introduce the administration as a principalist administration.

The first characteristic is seeking and administering justice. This is easy to say, but it is a very difficult task in practice and it has many requirements. A lot of work should be done so that justice is administered. Justice includes geographical justice, class justice, justice in the area of economic and cultural issues, justice in appointing people and giving them responsibilities and justice in our judgments - not only the judgment that a judge makes in a court of law, but also the judgment that we make about people and events. These are all justice and justice plays a role in all of them.

Seeking and administering justice means all of these. Of course, today, our country is thirsty - more than everything else - for economic justice. The reason is that we inherited a rift in the form of a flawed legacy from the past. This rift should have been patched up, but it has not been patched up until today. Of course, it should be patched up in a reasonable way. We want to patch it up the way Islam advises us and we do not want to make unreasonable, impossible and irrational statements. As Islam says, opportunities should be available to everyone and public resources should be used by all the people. Therefore, one characteristic is seeking and administering justice which is very broad in scope.

Combating corruption is another characteristic. The ideological and moral health of the officials of the country - particularly, high-ranking officials at the level of the administration, deputies and other such officials -is very important. This is another characteristic: officials should be healthy individuals in terms of ideological and moral attributes.

Being proud of Islam is another characteristic ofprinciplism. During the past 27 years, we saw some officials who were ashamed of speaking openly about an Islamic rule or orientation. This should not be the case. We have big claims in this regard. I have said many times that we should not answer to the west on the issue of women. Rather, it is the west that should answer to us.

It is we that pose questions. It is we that criticize the hypocritical and two-faced supporters of human rights. Therefore, you should feel proud of Islam. We should feel proud of what Islam has taught us if we have learnt it correctly and if we have not misunderstood it.

Living a simple life and attachment to the people is another characteristic that you thankfully enjoy.

Humility and refusal to get stuck in the vortex of arrogance is another characteristic and requirement of principlism. We are in danger of this arrogance. Notice that you dear ones hold important positions and are respected. People come to you and sing your praises - some out of belief and some without any belief - so that you like it.

We ourselves should take care not to believe what they say in our praise. We should look at ourselves: "Man will be evidence against himself" [The Holy Quran, 75: 14]. We should look at our shortcomings and faults and we should not be deceived. Being deceived makes one fall in the trap of arrogance. If we carry out a wrong evaluation about ourselves, we will not be saved.

Another characteristic is avoiding extravagance. This is among your good plans.

Another characteristic is reliance on wisdom and acumen in making decisions and taking action. This is one of the characteristics that you definitely need. All of us need this in our decisions and actions. Of course, later on, I will provide more explanation about these characteristics and I will expand on them.

Being responsible and responsive in any area that we are is another characteristic. We should be responsible towards the task that we have accepted. The people who work for us are our responsibility. So, we should be responsible for what they do. In every area, there are some well-defined responsibilities. We should be responsible towards them.

One of the important characteristics of principlism is paying attention to knowledge and scientific progress. Notice at which point after the emergence of Islam it was said, "Seeking knowledge is the responsibility of every male and female Muslim and every male and female believer" [Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 1, page 177]. The command to seek knowledge was issued simultaneous with the command to say prayers and pay zakat.

The command to "Seek knowledge even if it is in China" was issued as well. I have repeated many times that this is because society will not be able to achieve its ideals without knowledge. Imagine that we have a legitimate claim, but we do not have the tongue to say it. Lack of knowledge is like this.

Knowledge helps you to express the ideals and goals and the straight and bright path that is available to you. It helps you to guide more people towards this straight path. If you do not have knowledge, this will not be possible. Therefore, knowledge - which is a tool for national and human growth and for humanity to soar - is one of the necessary things which you should pay attention to.

Having patience and tolerating opposing views is a characteristic that is among the bases of principlism. Sometimes, we become upset and angry at what others say and sometimes, we complain to God, "Oh God, You see what the truth of the issue is and You see that the truth is significantly different from what they say".

Despite this, we should show tolerance. Tolerance means having the capacity to hear opposing voices. Of course, this - I may expand on this issue later on - does not mean that the administration should not defend its performance. This is not what I mean. The administration should definitely defend its performance.

Avoiding selfish desires - whether personal or collective desires - is another characteristic of principlismlism. Mr. President pointed this out and it is a very good point. Thankfully, executive officials are not dependent on any group, clique and orientation. This is a very important point. You should take care not to let your moves, statements and words be associated with a certain clique and group. If this happens, one's selfish desires cannot be separated from one another. Collective desires are like personal ones. They play the same role. Collective desires too make us wander here and there and they make us deviate from wisdom and the straight path. This characteristic is one of the requirements of principlism as well.

Meritocracy, exercising supervision over our affiliate organizations and making endless efforts on the path of public services is another characteristic. This is really visible in this administration. Everyone is really witness to these endless efforts. We are witness too. The diligent move that all executive officials - particularly, Mr. President - make is really valuable. Observing law and having courage and decisiveness in expressing and implementing the truth is one of the characteristics of this administration.

Establishing a close relationship with God and the Holy Quran and asking God for His help in a permanent way is another characteristic. This last characteristic of principlism guarantees all the things that I said. You should not forget about establishing a close relationship with God. We have said many times that the services that government officials render is greater than any act of worship. This is correct and it is not exaggerated. But you should know that these services will be services in the real sense of the word and they will remain pure and outstanding only when your hearts are close to God.

If our hearts ignore God, if they break off their relationship with dhikr, supplication and humility, then the service that is referred to as the greatest act of worship will be blemished. It will be completely blemished and impure. If jihad in the arena of war - which enjoys great significance - is not done with divine purposes and if it is not connected to God, it will turn into a thing of little or no value or it will turn into an anti-value.

Therefore, I place great emphasis on this matter particularly because it is the month of Sha'ban now. In the salawat of the month of Sha'ban - the one that is said at noon - we read, "Oh God, send Your greetings on Muhammad and his household who are the tree of prophethood and who hold the position of risalat". It goes on until it reaches this part: "This is the month of Your prophet - the Master of Your representatives. This is the month of Sha'ban which You have imbued with Your mercy and satisfaction".

This month is imbued with divine mercy and satisfaction. "The Holy Prophet (God's greetings be upon him and his household) fasted in this month. He used to keep a vigil at nights in order to show his humility and appreciate the value of this month. And he continued this until the time of his demise" [Iqbal al-A'maal, Volume 1, page 688]. This means that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) continued this until the time of his death. The month of Sha'ban was the month of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) fasting and qiam.

Qiam means waking up in the middle of the night and engaging in supplication, dhikr, humility and fasting. This is the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) month. Notice that despite his greatness and despite standing at the peak of immaculateness, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) did not stop - until his death -making the kind of effort that helped him get close to God.

The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) too achieved perfection on a daily basis. The Holy Prophet of the first year of be'that and the Holy Prophet of the 23rd year were not similar. The last year was the 23rd year that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) had moved towards approaching God. But even until the last year - when he had passed through such high stages of human values that no individual can imagine at all - he did not show negligence in establishing a close relationship with God, showing humility to Him and saying dhikr.

Now, consider the fact that we are far behind him and we need this very much. We need to get close to God more than that great personality did. However, we are not as determined as he was. In any case, you should not forget about getting close to the Holy Quran, saying prayers on time, reading the Holy Quran every day, engaging in dhikr, asking God for His assistance and relying on Him when the task becomes very difficult and the load becomes unbearable. These are very important.

Well, now I would like to raise a few points. Fortunately, the administration has begun its one-year self-evaluation. Mr. President himself took the initiative in this regard. This is a very good task. You should evaluate your strong and weak points and you should make a judgment without prejudice. You should definitely benefit from the viewpoints of sympathetic personalities on this issue.

Naturally, you should criticize - in different ways - those people who have a poor performance, but at the same time, you should reward and encourage the manager who has had a good performance. The piece of advice that I want to offer in this regard is that we witness the frown of the administration, the president, officials and other such people at the poor performance of certain officials, but encouraging and smiling at those who have a good performance should definitely exist alongside this. So, evaluation should be followed by an appropriate response to the performance of executive officials.

The next point is that the life of your administration is short and your resources are limited. Although the resources of the country are very enormous, needs and expectations - some of which have been collected from the past and some of which arise naturally - are very large in number as well. On the other hand, a religious person tries in a determined way to solve all these problems, but it is not clear whether realities allow all these problems to be resolved during the term of this administration.

Therefore, you should identify priorities. This does not mean that you should not attend to those matters which are not urgent. Rather, it means that you should identify those important areas - whether economic, cultural or other such areas - which can influence other areas and which are like a headline or an important crossing. You should constantly place an emphasis on these areas. If you have to choose between these important areas and other ones, you should choose them.

The next point is constant attention to the strategic plan. The strategic plan is an important issue. It should not be thought that this plan or these general policies have been formulated by certain people. This is not the case. Although it is true that this is a process and that it starts from a certain point, the person who works on, thinks and makes a decision about them is the Leader himself. These policies are the Leader's policies. These are polices that have been developed by considering all aspects so that this strategic plan can be formulated.

This plan has been announced on the basis of the general policies that have been developed recently. Therefore, it should be included in plans and it should not be violated. Of course, it is possible that a certain tactic is not seemingly compatible with policies, but when one takes a close look, one sees that the tactic is the same thing that exists in policies or in the strategic plan. We are not against such tactics.

Imagine that you are moving towards the east with your car. You see that the road twists. If someone takes a look, they see that the road is leading to the west, north or south. But this is the natural turn of the road and when we pass through this turn, we will return to our path. I have no problems with such moves, tactical maneuvers and short cuts, but the orientation should be in line with the strategic plan.

The next point is that you should accompany speed with precision. Speed is different from haste. Doing things in haste is bad. When speed is accompanied by precision, the task will be carried out in a reasonable and correct way. Speed without precision is haste. You should take care not to make decisions and carry out tasks in haste because this will make us restless.

Sometimes, making officials restless - sometimes, outstanding personalities, a number of people and those individuals who are involved make one restless - will keep them backward. When we become restless, we cannot even carry out the task that we can carry out in a specific period of time. That is to say, the task will be delayed. Besides, the task will be carried out in a wrong and futile way under such circumstances. I stress that the speed of action that is witnessed in the administration's behavior is a praiseworthy thing, but you should take care not to let this speed take the form of haste. Speed should always be accompanied by precision. Naturally, showing acumen and wisdom in making and implementing decisions is one of our general pieces of advice.

A point which I deem necessary to raise is that the people have pinned their hopes on your promises and these auspicious provincial trips. You should make an effort to fulfill these hopes. You should not do something to make people feel that they are not hopeful. This should not happen in any area.

Fortunately, the people are hopeful in the present time. We have gained this information from different ways and with different signs. I am not saying this by only looking at this group of people. We do not have lack of experience on these issues during the recent years. We know from different ways that the people are fortunately hopeful. This hope is a great investment and it should not be lost.

How can it be lost? If the people think that such and such a task is going to be carried out in such and such a way and area, but then they realize that it has not been carried out, the people's hope will be lost. Even if they forget this once, when it is repeated, they will not forget it. You should be careful about this.

They have said that there is a sector in charge of follow up in different deputies. This is a good thing. You should pursue this in a serious way. One of the ways to prevent the people's hopes from being lost is that we should say to the people from the very beginning, "We do not want to do this" or "We cannot do this". The people trust the president and the administration. If you say once that you cannot carry out such and such a task, they will accept it. Or you can say that the budget and resources of the country are not enough for the task at hand. If you adopt such a course of action in some cases, this is alright. As I said, this is one of the cases in which pressures should not make one restless and nervous.

Another important point is that long-term plans and measures should not be ignored because of the everyday problems that arise one after another. As we said, there are many problems from the past. These problems have arisen because there was some negligence or because they could not resolve them because of different reasons and now the people want them to be resolved. However, this should not make us ignore important, infrastructural and long-term tasks.

What I meant by the point I that raised about the people's hopes is that you should coordinate commitment with possibility. You should not give rise to impossible expectations. Of course, today, some people promote these expectations because of their opposition to the administration. These are visible and tangible and we can witness them. They say, "Why does the administration highlight these expectations?" This is while they themselves highlight them, chant irrational slogans and bring up impossible tasks.

You should make maximum use of the trust that the people have in you. When it is not possible and correct to carry out a certain task, you should say this to the people openly. You should say to them, "This task cannot be carried out and it is not compatible with the resources of the country". The people will accept this from you. On a particular issue, I said to Mr. President, "Say to the people that this is not possible". Even if a promise has been given to the people by your predecessors and if you see that it is not possible, you should say it to the people. The people will accept it.

The next point is the issue of expert-based work. I have said many times to previous administrations - perhaps, I have said this to a number of you friends in private and public meetings as well - that sometimes, expert opinions with ulterior motives are like melon skin under officials' feet [they only create problems for officials]. As experts, they put a piece of paper on officials' desk and this becomes a document that one should follow. But one does not know where it has come from. I have seen such cases.

However, this is one side of the coin. The other side is that all of us need expert work. A task which is not based on expert opinion is futile, infertile and useless. What I said should not make us ignore expert work. There are a number of honest and good experts in different organizations and in our great system of human capacities. You should definitely benefit from the expert opinions of these honest and religious people. Tasks should not be carried out without expert opinions.

The next point - which is very important - is the issue of cooperation with the other branches. After all, you, the Majlis and the judiciary branch form one single unit and you are a totality. You have no option other than cooperating with one another. It is not good for one branch to pin the blame on the other and vice versa. In general, when I - who am in charge of coordinating the activities of the three branches of the government according to the law - see this, I come to the conclusion that both branches share part of the blame.

When this happens, both branches should take one step forward to resolve the issue. Without cooperation with other branches, you cannot accomplish the task. You should definitely build up this cooperation, coordination and trust. One side's trust will lead to the other side's trust as well. Of course, it is evident and natural that when you want to cooperate with a group of people who have different opinions and viewpoints, you should not expect all these opinions and tongues to pay attention to your trust and good behavior.

Some voices may be raised against you in some corners. But the principle should be this: they should trust you and you should trust them. The yardstick of all of us is the Constitution and there are clearly defined responsibilities in the Constitution of the country. Certain tasks are entrusted to the Majlis - which it should carry out - and the administration should comply with them. And certain rights are granted to the administration. So, the Majlis and other branches do not have the right to interfere. Each branch has clearly defined limits and responsibilities and you should cooperate with one another on this basis. After all, the law, the Majlis and other such organizations are enormously significant.

The next point is the issue of cooperation with those outstanding personalities who are sincere and who share your views. Mr. President pointed out that there are many outstanding personalities throughout the country - both in Tehran and in other cities. We should interact with them. Of course, it is a good thing to interact with outstanding personalities during your trips, but this is not enough. It is necessary to interact with them more.

There are some individuals who share your views, who think like you, who are really outstanding personalities and who have excellent opinions. You should not at all deprive yourselves of cooperating with and benefiting from these individuals. Moreover, you should not ignore the managerial capacity of the country. During the past years, we have had many people who acquired competence in the managerial cycle of the country.

The competence of forces is a very valuable issue. This is a capacity and it should be benefitted from. At any level, you should benefit from those managers whom you trust because they are valuable. Of course, sometimes an individual intends to show hostility and create obstacles. Well, it is evident that this individual cannot be benefitted from. But sometimes, there is a competent and righteous manager who is interested in the country, the major goals of the Islamic Republic and the like. You should definitely benefit from this managerial capacity. These capacities have been collected gradually and they should not be easily lost.

Another point is the issue of purging the administration. This means removing detrimental elements. In my opinion, this is among very difficult tasks. One of the tasks which is very difficult according to our experience is purging this vast official and - as they say - bureaucratic system which exists in the country. If you can solve this problem in some ways, you have truly accomplished a great feat which is very valuable.

The next point which I deem necessary and valuable to discuss in this meeting is the issue of the administration's role in non-governmental responsibilities. This is one of the important issues. You should avoid, as much as you can, the administration's role in non-governmental responsibilities. You should allow affairs to be in the hands of the people.

On the issue of Article 44 of the Constitution - the bill that was presented as the interpretation and explanation of this article - Clause F is an area of contention. Mr. President referred to this issue in his speech, but Clause A and Clause B in our bill are very important. These clauses specify that the administration should avoid entering new investments and new responsibilities. This does not mean that we should completely cut off the hands of the administration, but certain limits have been specified in this bill. You should pay attention to this matter.

Another issue is the issue of decentralization which is one of the slogans of this administration and which is completely correct. However, you should determine how this decentralization is going to take place. It requires a clear model. Regional and ethnic characteristics should receive attention when we want to do this.

According to the issue of spatial planning, what tasks do you want to entrust to this particular area? On the basis of spatial planning, it is possible that carrying out this task is not wise in this area. The governor, the Friday prayer leader, the MPs and the people of this area may insist that this task should be carried out. Well, decentralization is meaningless in this area. That is to say, according to spatial planning, you should definitely pay attention to regional and ethnic characteristics when you want to engage in decentralization and entrusting responsibilities to these provinces as well as paying attention to the Constitution and other policies.

Another point is the good tasks that have been carried out in the area of economy such as distributing justice shares, continuing half-finished plans, administering justice in presenting bank facilities, opening Mehr-e Reza Account [for infants] and the like. You should properly explain the procedures of these tasks for the people so that it becomes clear that these tasks have been carried out. Of course, we have said many times that taking the podium and speaking in front of the camera is not enough. It is necessary to do planning and explain the issue in a skillfull way.

Another issue is combating corruption in a decisive way. Fortunately in the present time, Mr. President and the administration have adopted a condemnatory attitude towards those who have an inclination to corruption. However, if proper and real tasks are not carried out, this condemnatory attitude and feeling will gradually fade away. Inclination towards corruption exists in some places. You should confront corruption and tax frauds in a courageous way. Of course, as we said, acting in a quick, courageous and decisive way does not mean doing things in a foolish way. You should have these qualities together. Both sides of the scale should be seen.

An important issue is preserving national resources. Some of the friends in this meeting pointed to developments in big cities particularly Tehran. Since 15, 16 years ago, when developments in suburban areas of Tehran began in the form of a cancerous movement, we constantly addressed mayors - all the mayors that have held this position until today - and we repeatedly issued warnings.

Then, we came to the conclusion that the issue is not confined to municipalities. Officials in charge of natural resources committed grave violations. They constantly provided individuals, groups and officials - including seminarians, non-seminarians, revolutionary foundations and the like - with natural resources and they did this out of consideration for and friendship with such and such people. That is to say, they only considered short-term benefits and they did not consider long-term needs. When one goes to north of Tehran and mountainous areas, one is shocked. Whenever I go to some areas, I return home while I am deeply upset. This happens while such areas have been specified for sports activities and holidays.

Whenever I visit these areas, I witness that new projects have been carried out. This administration - including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry of Agriculture which is in charge of natural resources, and other organizations such as the Ministry of Interior and municipalities - is seriously responsible in this regard. You should not allow this to happen. It is happening everywhere. We can see this in different cities. Tehran is in front of us and I always witness this. The same is true of the other cities that we have visited. You should not allow them to waste national resources like this.

The issue of culture and cultural events is also very important. Because I witness your attention to cultural issues and because I thankfully feel that our ministers in charge of cultural issues pay attention to it, I do not want to stress it. Otherwise, one of the areas on which I placed great emphasis in my meetings with previous administrations was the issue of culture.

The significance of cultural work should not be underestimated. No hesitation and hiatus is allowed in cultural work. This is because most efforts of the enemies have been focused on our society, our people and our country. This is not an exaggeration. Their cultural efforts are larger - in number - and more influential than their political and security efforts.

The reason is that they know if they achieve victory in their cultural efforts against the Revolution, other affairs will become easy for them. This is why they have focused on it. We should not witness a pause in this area at all. We should move forward. No superficial outlook is allowed on this matter. No superficial and demagogic attitude is allowed in cultural work. Cultural work should be done in a wise, deep and patient way. It should be done by competent and really skilled individuals in all different branches of cultural work.

As well as cultural work, we should pay attention to the issue of research, science and technology. In the meeting that we held almost two weeks ago with heads of universities, I had a report which showed that our research budget had been cut and that this was contrary to what had been specified in the plan and to what we had thought.

Now, I have heard that some reports say, "We are working on research work". This is not the case. I said on the basis of that report that our research budget has reached 0.6 percent. Therefore, our research budget has been reduced. It should have reached 1.5 by now and it should reach 3 percent until the end of the plan. Not only did it not reach 1.5, but it also reached lower than one percent.

Another issue is the Elite Foundation. On that day, I complained about this and in my opinion, this complaint is important. You should attend to this issue. Another issue is researchers' fund. At our insistence during the previous administrations, this project and other such projects were launched. Therefore, they should not be cancelled because they are very necessary and important tasks.

Another example is the Office of Coordination Between Science and Industry. I discussed this with two honorable presidents during the past 15, 16 years and I placed great emphasis on it, but it was not established. You should establish this office. These important and fundamental tasks are intra-sectoral. They should certainly be carried out with the supervision of the President's Office. They cannot be under the supervision of the Ministry of Sciences, the Ministry of Education and other sectors. Such tasks should definitely be under the supervision of the President's Office and they should be carried out there.

On the matter of political issues too, many tasks have been carried out and the friends in this meeting pointed them out. We too stress that diplomatic moves should be purposeful, systematic, well-organized and influential. The more active we are in the area of diplomacy, the better it is. Foreign trips, good meetings and important phone conversations [with foreign diplomats and officials] are all necessary tasks for us in the present time. The more you improve these tasks in terms of quality and quantity, the better it will be. The issue of diplomacy is important.

Of course, as I said, diplomacy should be purposeful. We should know what we want and what we are after. Sometimes, one achieves a goal by carrying out 5, 6, 10 different tasks. On the face of it, none of these tasks may lead to our goal, but a collection of them will lead us to the goal. For example, such and such a regional or international achievement can be made with 5, 6, 10 tasks.

Diplomacy should be connected to global economics. One of our major weak points - during the two previous administrations - was that our economic organizations were not connected to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That is to say, each of them worked for itself. Sometimes, an official went to a ministry in a country and singed an important and noteworthy contract. This was while our ambassador in that country was not informed at all. Well, this is a very great shortcoming. You should not allow this to happen in this administration.

In any case, God assists you. What we witness and feel is this. Our feeling clearly shows this. Each of these steps is taken with divine support and assistance. International and regional conditions and the increasing weakness of the hostile enemy of the Islamic Republic - that is to say, America and Zionism - are issues which are among divine supports. We should appreciate the value of this and we should make use of this opportunity as much as we can.

We too pray for all of you. One of the prayers that we always say is that Mr. President, you and the officials of the country can, by Allah's favor, deliver this heavy load - which you have shouldered - to the destination in the best way possible and that you can help the country and the Revolution move one step forward.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings