Meeting with Members of Assembly of Experts

Devilish global policies seek to wage a war between Shia and Sunni: Leader



The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 10, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the chairman and members of the Assembly of Experts. The meeting was held on the occasion of the 18th Congress of the Assembly of Experts.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his immaculate household, and may God curse all their enemies

Welcome you honorable gentlemen. First, I would like to express my condolences – on the occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Siddiqat al-Tahirah (God’s greetings be upon her) – to all you dear brothers who are the students of that school.

I want to raise a point in this regard: attention should be paid that in the Fatimiyyah days, matters that bring about discord should not be brought up with the excuse of speaking about the virtues of that great personality. Today, the terrifying and devilish global policies are seriously after waging a war between Shia and Sunni. Today, there are some wars going on in the region, but I will tell you that none of these wars are religious wars, rather they are political wars that are waged with different political, tribal and other such motives and they have nothing to do with religion. However, the enemy – the U.S., Zionism and Britain – is trying to turn these quarrels and differences into religious differences because as you know, religious differences do not come to an end easily. We should not help this aim.

Today, we have Sunni brothers who are fighting with us and by our side in defending the holy shrines of the Ahlul Bayt (the progeny of the Prophet) and their dear ones are being killed and martyred. A number of families of those martyrs, who were martyred defending the holy shrines of the Ahlul Bayt, have paid a visit to me among which there were some Sunni families. Well, a Sunni brother sends his youth to the front lines so that he will defend the holy shrines of Hazrat Zaynab (pbuh) the Commander of the Faithful (pbuh) and the Master of Martyrs (pbuh) and when he meets with us, instead of expressing regret and sorrow and instead of grieving and complaining, he says that he is proud that his son has been martyred on this path.

So, should we annoy and irritate such individuals? Should we do something to make them drift away from us? These are important points, these are fundamental points. Today, one of the main priorities of the society of seminarians is that they should not allow the plot that is being hatched with difficulty by America, by the Zionists, be hatched with our own hands and with complete ease.

You should pay attention to this. In Sistan and Baluchistan, Sunni scholars encouraged the people to participate in elections. In the present time, takfiri groups are threatening them because of facilitating these elections and encouraging the people to participate. Takfiri groups are not the enemies of Shias only, rather they are the enemies of the Islamic government as well. They are the enemies of anyone who helps the Islamic government. These points should receive attention. Of course, we have said many times that narrating history by observing the traditions, tact and important principles is fine. However, preventing discord and grudges is one of the things that should receive attention in a very serious way in the present time.

Today’s congress is the last congress of an Assembly of Experts whose term was the longest term. During these years – that lasted about nine years as Mr. Yazdi pointed out – this assembly held certain congresses, carried out certain tasks, raised important matters and achieved some results. And some individuals passed away in the process. I think that – according to the report that I have received – about 17 members of this assembly passed away in the course of these years. Of course, this will be the case with the next assembly as well. This is the way of the world. Some people are at the end of the line and movement towards the eternal world is a continuous movement that will be taken by all humans. This is divine power and divine destiny. We should be vigilant and we should ask God to bestow His forgiveness on those dear deceased who worked in the previous term, who made great efforts and who presented themselves well.

In particular, I would like to speak about the late Mr. Tabasi- may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him- and the late Mr. Khazali- may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him. These two good brothers were among those who preserved their expert status in the true sense of the word and who really emerged victorious out of their test.

As for the late Mr. Tabasi- God’s mercy be upon him- his revolutionary activities during the era of suppression and later on, his services in the Astan Quds Razavi and on all other revolutionary matters are clear to most of you. However, there are some outstanding points that cannot be ignored by anyone. God’s mercy be upon this great man and this dear brother of ours. In the most sensitive times, he showed, persevered, highlighted and persisted in his revolutionary position.

During the fitna of the year 1388, the lat e Mr. Tabasi forgot about all considerations and he entered into the middle of the arena. He let go of friendships, considerations and the like. We witnessed this in him in most circumstances. He was an outspoken, pious and determined individual. These are things that will become eternal in preserving the character of individuals and in the history of their lives. And they will be taken into consideration in the divine calculation as well. The life of this pious and great man did not change throughout his term of responsibility.

He passed away in the same house that we had visited many times before the Revolution. He passed away in the same house and with the same furniture. The day when we did not know how to sit on a sofa, he had a sofa in his house. Today, the same sofa that was there 40, 45 years ago exists in his house. Throughout all this time, he used the same sofa. He did not add luxuries to his life and he did not live an aristocratic lifestyle. Well, such things influence the people. You witnessed how the people of Mashhad bade farewell to this individual despite the fact that great propaganda campaigns had been launched against him.

The burial ceremony of the late Mr. Tabasi and the occasion in which prayers were said for him were like the greatest rallies that we had seen in Mashhad. That magnificent courtyard [of the Razavi shrine] was filled with crowds of people and all of them were formed of the people of Mashhad. It was not the season of pilgrimage so much so that we say that it was pilgrims, not the people of Mashhad, who participated in his burial ceremony. The people of Mashhad came and appreciated the value of that individual. God’s mercy be upon our dear late one.

The late Mr. Khazali- may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him- also passed a test, one that was of a different kind and one that was very difficult. He stood by his principles. He stood by the Revolution. When the issue was about his relatives and friends, he stood with complete outspokenness and courage. He used to raise certain points with me over and over again and all these points have been recorded in my heart and in my writings, but he discussed many issues in public as well and other people have heard them. This man stood by the Revolution. It is these things that give value to humans and that give meaning to the revolutionary movement of individuals. God’s mercy be upon such individuals.

I hope that Allah the Exalted will welcome them with His paradise and His mercy: “Oh God, it seems as though I was standing before you with all my existence, while my trust in you had covered me and you giving me what I deserve and blanketing me with Your forgiveness” [from Dua Sha’baniyyah]. I hope that Allah the Exalted will help them benefit from this part of Dua Sha’baniyyah [His Eminence sheds tears while saying these things].


This year’s elections were very meaningful and important elections. Despite the fact that many efforts had been made and many courses of action had been adopted in order to question and undermine its value, 34 million participated in these two elections. This means that about 70 million ballots were actually cast into ballot boxes by the people of Iran. This is very valuable. This is very significant. The people really shone brightly and performed brilliantly. Sixty two percent of eligible individuals is a high percentage if it is compared with most, not just some, countries. According to the report that I have received, in America, the number of participants in different elections – whether parliamentary or presidential elections – never reached 40 percent in the last 10 years. This presence of the people is very significant and meaningful. The people displayed and proved their trust – in practice - in the Islamic Republic in the real sense of the word. This was an important point.


Of course, in all elections, some people are elected and some are not and there are various reasons for this. I deem it necessary to use this opportunity to thank all those individuals who were present in the previous nine-year term and who made great efforts although they will not be present in the next term.

Of course, there are some great personalities among us whose success and failure in being elected inflicts no harm – whatsoever – on their character. It is not the case that they benefit from being present in the Assembly of Experts, rather it is the Assembly of Experts that benefits from the presence of some personalities.

The likes of Mr. Yazdi or Mr. Misbah are individuals who give weight to the Assembly of Experts when they are present in it. Their absence in the Assembly of Experts does no harm to them whatsoever. But, their absence is a loss for the Assembly of Experts. The prominence of some people’s personality lies in their spirituality, their spiritual gains and their spiritual resources. I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow success on those who are new in the Assembly of Experts and the entire Assembly of Experts, God willing.

Elections in our country – including the recent one – have certain characteristics. I would like to mention those that are important from my viewpoint. One is that the people have the freedom to participate or not to participate in these elections and in other elections in our country. In some countries, this is obligatory. Even in western – European and non-European –countries, there is some force. In other words, refusal to participate in elections will prove costly for them. In our country, however, if the people do not participate, there is no price. The people participate freely and with motivation and willingness. They have an idea and they follow it through elections. This is very valuable.

The second point that has been witnessed in most of our elections and that was witnessed in the recent elections in a very clear way is the competitiveness of elections. There were certain efforts to say that the elections were not competitive, but this was wrong because it was competitive. Different individuals with different banners, different names, different slogans and different orientations participated and expressed their viewpoints. The IRIB was at the disposal of the candidates for the Assembly of Experts elections. And the candidates for the Islamic Consultative Majlis elections launched their campaigns and did whatever they could. Therefore, the elections were completely competitive and what has been achieved is the result of a complete competition.


Another characteristic that is important and noteworthy - for which we should really thank God - is the security and tranquility that existed in the environment of elections, even in those environments where there was grounds for the existence of some disagreements such as in the case of the disagreements and competition between tribes in two cities. We have such cases in the country. However, no bitter incident occurred in any place. It is clear that in large cities such things did not happen, but this was the case with small cities of the country as well. An incident that could make the environment of elections bitter and that – God forbid – could threaten the lives of individuals did not happen.

Take a look at the environment of our surrounding countries in the present time. Countries to our east, west, north and south suffer from insecurity. Not only can they not hold peaceful and healthy elections, but they also cannot have peaceful and healthy lives as well. When an individual goes out of his house, the does not know whether he will return home or not. The security condition in our surrounding countries is almost the same. Thankfully, in our country, an election with such magnificence and with such a large turnout is held. The people in Tehran voted from 8 o’clock in the morning until 2 o’clock after midnight. It was reported to me that in some election centers in Tehran, the people came until 2 o’clock, not 12 o’clock, after midnight in order to vote and they left with complete peace and security.

This is a very important thing. This is an asset for the country. It is a great divine blessing for a country. We should appreciate the value of this. We should really thank those individuals who managed to provide security for us – ranging from the Ministry of the Interior to the Police Force, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Basij and other organizations that played a role in this.

Another characteristic of these elections – like other elections of ours – was their health and reliability. In other words, the elections were held in a healthy manner. This is the exact opposite of what our enemies have constantly been promoting in the course of these years. During the time of elections, such propaganda is repeated. They say, “They have acted in a treacherous manner. They do something to pull some people’s names out of ballot boxes.” You have heard such statements. Some individuals from outside the country have been constantly saying such things and some people have repeated them inside the country. Despite this, the elections were thankfully healthy- as they have always been so. This showed the invalidity of the statements and actions of those people who once considered an election like the election of the year 1388 to be invalid and who created that detrimental and dreadful fitna for the country by accusing the country of holding unhealthy elections.

However, the elections were healthy. Both the recent elections and the elections in previous terms have been healthy. The elections in both the year 1388 and the year 1384 were healthy. Those elections enjoyed health. Such a thing has never been done. It is possible that 10, 20, 100 votes are changed in a small corner either out of negligence or on purpose, but there has never been an organized movement to change the result of elections. Such a thing did and does not exist in our country and from now on too, I hope that it will not exist in our country, God willing.

Another point that became clear in these elections again and that showed itself in a very transparent manner was the completely honorable behavior of those who were not elected. If those who were not elected had decided to protest, fight, complain and nag in public minbars, the condition would not have remained peaceful and chaos would have naturally been brought about.

Mr. Yazdi- may God lengthen his existence- himself expressed his joy and satisfaction – both at the beginning of your current meeting and in previous meetings - at the election of the new members. He congratulated the people who have been elected. These things are very important and magnificent. These are values and they should be appreciated.

This was quite the opposite of the dishonorable behavior of some individuals in the year 1388. Just because they were not elected, they started a fight, they drew the people to the streets, they brought about quarrels, they created unnecessary costs for the country, they emboldened the enemy and they ignited his greed. Such things were done then. However, Allah the Exalted extinguished that fitna, otherwise the fitna that they had instigated was not a small one. Well, this was another characteristic of our elections.

When speaking about those who had an active participation in ensuring the security of elections, I left out the name of the Ministry of Intelligence- my apologizies to them. Their presence was an extremely and remarkably efficient presence in ensuring security and in preventing some of the incidents that could have occurred.

In concluding this part, what I want to say is that in these elections, the people proved their trust in the Islamic government and they proved their compliance with it. They showed that they follow the Islamic Republic, that they believe in the laws of the Islamic Republic and that they behave and act on the basis of them. This is very valuable. This is the exact opposite of what our enemies are pursuing. They want to create a polarization between the government and the system on the one hand and the people on the other hand. Instead of talking, the people showed in the arena that this is not the case. Of course, before that event, there were the 22nd of Bahman rallies with that magnificence, enthusiasm and excitement. The people are really like this. This was why the enemy’s effort to invalidate elections did not fortunately produce results and the elections were held with complete validity.

There is one point here which is: some people attribute the existence of some problems to the Guardian Council. It should be said that they say this in compliance with the enemy although they do so unintentionally and unknowingly. I am really upset with such individuals. The Guardian Council did its job with seriousness and with great diligence and endeavor. If you yourselves had been in Guardian Council’s shoes, you would not have acted differently!

As Mr. Shahroudi pointed out today, the Guardian Council had to review 12,000 cases. Well, the problem is with the law. If this legal problem is eliminated, the problem that follows it will be eliminated as well. Why should we attribute this problem to the Guardian Council?

Those gentlemen speak about the Guardian Council’s act of approving and disqualifying individuals. I am surprised why some people say this. Well, all of you are scholars and knowledgeable personalities. Is it possible to approve a person without making sure that they have the necessary qualifications for that specific responsibility? Can you approve him without making sure that they have the necessary legal qualifications for that responsibility? Can you answer for this before Allah the Exalted? You cannot. If you yourselves are in Guardian Council’s place, you will not be able to act otherwise. If the Guardian Council cannot do the vetting process, it has to say this. And when it cannot do so, that person will naturally be disqualified.

Well, this is not a problem for which one can blame the Guardian Council. If you want the Guardian Council to have the opportunity to do the vetting process, you should amend the law. The law should be amended. We have said this repeatedly before. Now, individuals are thinking about it and I hope that by Allah’s favor, they will be able to do so. Of course, we specified the general policies for elections and we sent it to the Expediency Council and they reviewed it there. If a correct course of action is adopted on the basis of those proposals, there will be no further discussion, but with the current laws, the condition is like this and the Guardian Council has no other options. It cannot approve a person without making sure of their eligibility. It should make sure.

You say that the law has specified four sources [the Ministry of Intelligence, the judiciary branch, the Identification Bureau of the Police Force and Civil Registration Organization]. Of course, these four sources are a source of contention in themselves. Very well, let us assume that the law has specified these sources for gathering information. If you who are officials find out somehow that a person does not have the necessary qualifications, can you approve him? You cannot do so and you will not be able to answer for this before Allah the Exalted. Why is the Guardian Council thrashed so heavily?

Of course, when some people are disqualified by the Guardian Council, they become dismayed. Such dismay is understandable and normal. I myself might become dismayed if they say to me that I do not have the necessary qualifications, but should we create uproar when we become dismayed. If we become upset and if there is a legal way, we should pursue it. I wonder why some people write against the Guardian Council in newspapers and in other writings, complaining why they were disqualified because they were competent and eligible. Well, let us assume that you are competent. If the Guardian Council has made a mistake, you should refer to it and they should carry out the duties that the law has entrusted them with.

If this does not happen, then the Guardian Council should not be damaged. Everyone should pay attention that the Guardian Council is one of the main centers that the enemy has been trying to destroy since the beginning of the Revolution. One of the few important centers that the satanic propaganda apparatus of the Zionists and the Americans has been trying to destroy is the Guardian Council. We should not help him by destroying the Guardian Council because of this issue. Of course, we might have a complaint or another problem might exist in this regard. Under such circumstances, we should say what the problem is, but we should not damage the Guardian Council. We should not damage this fundamental legal center. Mudslinging against the Guardian Council is really un-Islamic, contrary to sharia, illegal and an un-revolutionary course of action. 

The people really performed brilliantly. They did what they were expected to do. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is the Assembly of Expert’s turn to carry out its duties. Now, it is the Islamic Consultative Majlis’s turn to carry out its duties. Now, it is the honorable administration’s turn to carry out its duties. We have certain duties. The people came to the arena and elected their representatives.

In my opinion, the Assembly of Experts is the most important place when it comes to the necessity of being aware of one’s duties. If I want to say in a sentence what its duty is, I would say that it should remain revolutionary and it should think and act in a revolutionary manner. This is the summary of what it should do.

Many things can be said in interpreting this sentence. One is that in choosing the future leader, you should think of God. The probability that the new term – that will begin shortly – will be subject to this test is not low. When the new leader is to be elected, they should put aside different considerations, they should think of God and they should take the needs of the country into consideration. The new leader should be elected on the basis of this. In my opinion, this is the most important duty. They should be vigilant. If negligence is shown at this stage and in the case of this great responsibility, there will be a huge problem in the essence of the work. This is the most important issue that should receive attention.  

Of course, the Assembly of Experts has other responsibilities apart from this. As the gentlemen in the meeting pointed out, the Assembly of Experts is comprised of great personalities, scholars and distinguished figures from the provinces. They can influence. They can listen to the people’s demands and highlight them in the assembly. The Assembly of Experts should become an intermediary between the people’s demands, and the honorable executive and judiciary officials. This is one of the tasks.

Another task is that they should clarify realities and important matters for the people according to their expert position and their real personality. They can do so whether in Friday prayers in other places. It is clear what the point that Mr. Yazdi raised at the end of his statements means. Our main responsibility is to clarify. We should clarify. This clarification might be carried out in different forms. The form through which fitnas and quarrels are created is not an ideal form. The form through which the people’s awareness is raised and different solutions are recommended to officials is an ideal form.

And there is nothing wrong with this. They can preserve their legal position. It is good to announce one’s position. Of course, we said before that announcing one’s position is possible in two ways. One is that it causes and generates corruption. This should not be the case. Expressing the truth in a way that the people’s and officials’ awareness is raised and officials feel grateful is the ideal form. Sometimes, you say something in a critical tone, but officials come and thank you. This has frequently happened to me. Officials come to me and say that the point that I had raised once has made their job easy and that they can pursue their duties more easily. So, they might thank you for that. This is another point. Therefore, the point that I want to raise in the case of the Assembly of Experts is that personal benefits and considerations should be sidelined. We should only think of the truth and the responsibility for which we will have to answer to Allah the Exalted. We should think about God’s questioning.

As for the Islamic Consultative Majlis, I have said what is necessary before. In the course of many years in different majlises and administrations, I have always encouraged the Majlis to help and cooperate with the administration. In the present time too, I believe that the Majlis should help the administration and smooth the path for executive work. This is because executive work is not easy, rather it is difficult. Of course, legislation is an important task, but executive work means going through difficult grounds and eliminating and passing through obstacles. This is not an easy job. Therefore, everyone should help them.

However, this does not mean that the Majlis should forget about its legal duties. The legal duties of the Majlis should be completely observed. They should completely observe the rules that have been clearly specified in the law and the things that define the duties of the Majlis according to the law – mainly the Constitution and secondly, ordinary law – and they should not forget about these duties. However, their intention should be to help and to cooperate and work with the administration. These two things do not contradict each other. 

I have one recommendation for executive officials as well. Fortunately, our honorable President is present here. Of course in private meetings, we discuss with him the recommendations that we deem necessary. This meeting is a good opportunity as well. The administration should take the priorities of the country into consideration. We have certain priorities. Of course, our needs are many. The arena of the needs of the country is a vast arena and it might not be possible to count the needs of the country. However, reason dictates that we take priorities, urgencies and fundamental matters into consideration.

In my opinion, there are three matters that are more important than others in terms of priority, deep-rootedness and solution of other problems. One is the issue of the economy of resistance. The country will not grow and its problems will not be solved without the economy of resistance. Its problems will increase on a daily basis if we do not act on the economy of resistance. I have asked our dear brothers in the administration to form a base for the economy of resistance and to appoint a commander for it. In any case, this is a war. An economic war is a war. There are no cannons, bullets and guns in it, but there are more dangerous weapons than cannons and guns. This is a war and therefore, it requires a base and a commander.

We put this forward and they accepted it. Certain tasks are being carried out, but these tasks should be tangible and they should be seen. It should become clear in which part of the economy of resistance executive activities – for example, such and such a deal that is arranged somewhere – are positioned. I have said to our dear officials that when you are buying such and such a thing and arranging such and such a deal, it should become clear in which part of this great matrix – the scene of the economy of resistance – that deal exists. In other words, the great and comprehensive project of the economy of resistance should be the basis of all of our economic tasks and activities. It was not only I who highlighted the economy of resistance. This project has been prepared with a collective decision. Later on, everyone – without any exception, including those who agreed or disagreed with it in the beginning – approved of this project and they said that the only way to save the country is the economy of resistance. So, this is one of the three most important priorities.

The second priority is our scientific leap. We should not allow our scientific leap to stop. If the country attends to and develops knowledge, it will become a master. “Knowledge is power” [quoting from a famous tradition speaking in Arabic]. This is really the case. If we want power and dignity and if we want to become a reference point for countries and administrations – rather than letting them become a reference point for us – we should strengthen knowledge. And this is possible and practical.

About 14, 15 years ago, I brought up the issue of knowledge, crossing the borders of knowledge and scientific innovation. However, some people said that this is not possible. Some people appeared on TV and said that this is not possible. Today, you can witness that this has happened. Everyone is acknowledging that this has happened.

The rate of the scientific progress of the country was several times higher than that of the world. Of course, because we are backward to a great extent, this rate of progress should continue for many years until we reach the front lines. However, this rate of progress was higher a few years ago, but it has decreased now. I issued warnings about this decrease as well, but some people protested. Today or yesterday, I read in news that the Minister of Science has said that the rate of our scientific progress has decreased. Notice that I pointed this out in my speeches about six, seven months ago. Some people did not like it and they protested. In the present time, however, the Minister of Science is saying that the rate of scientific progress has decreased. We should not allow it to decrease. Scientific progress should be pursued with complete seriousness. If we pursue scientific progress, then knowledge-based economy – that requires little investment, but that yields many results – will become accessible.

The third priority is cultural immunization. I should provide an introductory explanation about cultural immunization. Later on, I will expand on it. My speech will become a little long, but I hope that you will be patient. We should immunize the country, the people and the youth in terms of culture. This requires planning. First, we should accept and believe in this goal. After we believe in it, we should go and plan for it. This is not a task that can be accomplished on its own and it will not be achieved with a few speeches and by writing a few books. This requires cultural immunization. It requires planning.

If we carry out these tasks, the product will be the progress of the country. Primarily, if the country takes these three priorities into consideration – there are other tasks that should be carried out as well, but primarily, it should attend to these three priorities – it will make progress.

By “progress”, I do not mean artificial and superficial progress, rather I mean real progress. Superficial progress is that we pep the economy up in an artificial manner by importing some products and giving it a flashy appearance. This is superficial progress. However, this is of no value. It might please the people for a while, but it will ultimately be to the disadvantage of the country. Progress should be real, deep and reliant on firm domestic bases and foundations. This becomes progress. Real progress is this.

Yesterday, I heard that an honorable commander in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps spoke on TV about missiles and other such issues. He said that even if they build a wall around the entire country so that nothing comes in and nothing goes out, we will not face any problem in building these missiles. This means progress! You should move forward in a way that your progress will not stop even if they impose sanctions and exert pressures. It should be the enemy that should feel he needs to step forward. If we want this real progress to be achieved, we should preserve our revolutionary characteristics, our jihadi movement and our national dignity and identity. We should not be digested. We should not be digested in the dangerous stomach of global culture and economy. If we observe these things, this will be resolved. 

Before the elections, I brought up the issue of infiltration. Gentlemen, infiltration is a very important issue. It is an important issue. When I say this, this is not because the possibility that they might infiltrate has suddenly sprung to my mind. This is not the case. We are aware of many things. We are informed about many events that take place in the country, events that most people or even most special and outstanding personalities are not aware of. I am saying based on certain information that the plan to infiltrate the country is a serious plan that is being pursued by arrogance. This is a serious plan that is being pursued by the Americans. They are after infiltrating the country.

This should not be misunderstood. The purpose of this infiltration is not to launch a coup d’état from somewhere. They know that in Iran and in the Islamic Republic, launching a coup d’état is meaningless considering the fabric of the Islamic Republic. In certain places, they infiltrate such and such an armed force in order to launch a coup d’état and oust someone and install someone else. However, the purpose of this infiltration is not to launch a coup d’état, rather it has two different targets. One of the targets of this infiltration is officials. And the second target is the people.

Officials are one of the targets of this infiltration, but why? What is the goal? The goal is to change and alter the calculations of officials. That is to say, they want the officials of the Islamic Republic to reach the conclusion and feel – after considering the costs and the benefits – that they should adopt and not adopt such and such a measure. The purpose of this infiltration is to make them reach the conclusion that they should cut off such and such a relation and start another one. The purpose of this infiltration is to change these calculations in the minds of officials. When the result is that the thoughts and willpower of officials are in the fists of the enemy, then he will not need to interfere directly because the officials of the country will make the same decisions that he wants. When the calculations of this humble person are changed, he will then make a decision that the enemy wants. I will do what he wants for free, sometimes without knowing that I am doing so – most of the times, I myself am not aware that I am doing so. This is why they are trying to change officials’ calculations. So, officials are the first target.    

The people are the second target. From their viewpoint, the people’s beliefs should change: their belief in Islam, in the Revolution, in Islamic Islam and the belief that apart from personal tasks, Islam has certain public responsibilities, that it has a government, and that it should build a society and a civilization. They want to make the people believe in the opposite of these things. These beliefs should be erased from the minds of the people and the opposite beliefs should replace them.

They want to change [our] belief in independence. Of course, some people behave naively on this matter. I sometimes see that in some newspapers, they openly consider the independence of the country as an outmoded thing and as something of the past. They say that today, the independence of countries is not significant anymore. What does this imply? It implies that there is a power in the map of global geography that makes all the decisions and others act according them- like some central heat source. That power produces something and others consume it. They are promoting this. Infiltration means this. This is something that is being done.

One of the things with which they infiltrate into the beliefs of the people is that they want the people to forget the treacheries of the west. Gentlemen, we have been harmed by the west. In global propaganda, they stress this: they complain why some people in the Islamic Republic – sometimes, they mention my name in particular - are opposed to the west and to America. We should not forget what the west has done to us. I am not an advocate of cutting off relations with the west – I will enlarge on this matter later on – and everyone knows this. I was the president for eight years and I have had meetings with these countries and with their presidents. In the present time, this is the same. Today too, one of the items of Mr. President’s guests is to meet with me. And when we speak, we do not swear at each other. We speak and we reach agreements. I am not opposed to establishing relations with the west, but the issue is that we should know who we are dealing with and who the other side is.

Since the Qajar era, the west and western countries began their activities against us. The weakness of Qajar rulers helped them to win concessions, exert pressures, narrow the scope of our lives and hamper our achievements in a continuous manner. Later on, they reached the conclusion that they should install someone of their own and they did so. Reza Khan was one of them. In the present time, some people are questioning this by saying that it was not the English who brought Reza Khan to power. They themselves are acknowledging this. The English themselves have repeatedly said this. The officials of the taghuti government themselves said this repeatedly, but these people are denying something that is so clear. The truth of the matter is that they brought Reza Khan to power and later on, when they felt that he might not swing in their hands the way they want, they ousted and replaced him with his son.

And later on, when a movement began inside the country under the name the national movement, they suppressed it and launched the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad. After the 28th of Mordad, they created the hellish apparatus of SAVAK. These things were done by westerners. These things were done by the English. After the English, it was the Americans’ turn. They destroyed the country’s agriculture, they stopped the country’s scientific progress, they stole our active brains or prevented them from pursuing their activities and they drew the young generation to decadence, self-indulgence, addiction, drinking and the like. These are things that the west has done in our country.

I am not saying that we ourselves were not to blame for this, but it was they who had the affairs in their hands and who carried out these measures. We are to blame because we did not try to find a remedy and to resist. Today too, if we do not resist, there will be the same broth and the same bowl to eat from [a common Persian saying meaning that the situation will be the same]. The same situation will continue to exist.

Later on, the Islamic Revolution was accomplished. Since the first day when the Islamic Revolution was accomplished, the west began to oppose us. Not only did it show opposition, but it also showed hostility. They helped Saddam. They helped anti-revolutionary elements in border areas of the country. They gave them money and weapons and they helped them with policies and with thoughts and ideas. It was they who engaged in slander and mudslinging and who showed hostility against the Revolution, the revolutionary system, the late Imam- may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him- and revolutionary officials.

During the war, they helped Saddam as much as they could. The bombardment of our cities was conducted by Saddam, but it was done with their support. If it had not been for them, Saddam would not have been able to do this. It was they who gave chemical weapons, missiles and the Mirage to them. It was they who formulated war plans for him. Iraq’s war tactics were masterminded by them. It was the Americans who gave the aerial photographs of the movement of our soldiers to Iraq and to Saddam. They behaved towards us like this. And when the war ended, they imposed sanctions on us. We did not oppose and show hostility towards them. We laid a foundation and we said that we are loyal to it. Just because we laid this foundation – which is independent from them and which does not comply with them – they began showing enmity towards us. What should we do? 

I see that some of our brothers sometimes say that we should have relations with the whole world. Well, yes, we should have relations with the whole world minus America and the Zionist regime. We have no problems with this. First of all, the whole world is not confined to Europe and the west. Was a congress not held in Tehran about four years ago in which more than 130, 140 countries participated? About 40 – or even more – presidents and heads of countries participated in it. Individuals from everywhere came here and participated in the Summit of Non-Aligned Movement. We have no problems with them. The world is not only Europe. The world is very vast in scope. Powers too have spread throughout the world in the present time. Today, the eastern part of the world –Asia – is the center of a great power. We have relations with them and we have no problems with this.

We have no problems with Europe either. It was the Europeans who clashed with us. I said to a European president, who had recently come to our country, that Europe should liberate itself from following America for its policies. The Europeans have followed American policies. He imposed sanctions on us and they followed him. He did propaganda activities against us and they followed him. Well, what should we do?

In different events, it was the Europeans who began enmity. On the issue of the Mykonos restaurant, they made an accusation against the Iranian president of the time and they wanted to put him on trial in a court of law. They mentioned his name as a culprit in a court of law! Well, what should we do with them? Should we go and beg them? Should we go to them and ask them to treat us better? We did nothing to them. It is they who show enmity. If we do not stand up against the enmity of our enemies with courage and with power, they will eat and swallow us. When I say “we”, I mean the country and the people. Otherwise, I and people like me are not important. They will swallow the country. We are responsible for the country, for the people and for history! We should not allow them to do so. So, they behaved towards us like this.

In the present time too, they have begun planning for infiltration. They have used all sorts of methods. I did a calculation and I saw that they have perhaps found ten important ways for infiltrating the country and they are implementing them. They are implementing them right now. One of these methods is the scientific method. They send intelligence agents by establishing relations with universities, scientists, university professors and students. They hold seemingly scientific congresses, but their purpose is, in fact, to infiltrate. This is one of the methods.

Another method is the cultural and artistic method. They appoint an agent who is directly connected to intelligence services as an artistic personality so that they can send him to, for example, a music festival. Of course, our Ministry of Intelligence fortunately found out about and prevented this quickly. They choose someone who is a hundred percent political and security agent under the pretext of presence in a music festival. They send such agents to our country as artistic personalities. Well, what do they send them for?  Economic infiltration is another method. They have all sorts of methods to infiltrate. We should be careful and vigilant.

The correct thing to do is to strengthen ourselves from the inside and to become self-reliant. The world respects a country that is self-reliant and strong. It has to respect such a country. If Islamic Iran is strong and self-reliant, the very same people who are challenging us today in a thuggish manner come and stand behind our gates in order to seek favors from us. Of course, this has not happened until today. The comings and goings that exist in the present time have not brought anything positive for us yet, but in the future, this might have positive results. I do not know, but the comings and goings that have taken place have not produced any results yet.

I said this to one of the heads of countries that had come here recently – Dr. Rouhani was also present at the meeting. I said to him that the results should be clear on the ground. On paper, it is of no use to negotiate and to reach agreements about things that might not be achieved in reality. I said to him that they should not make things contingent on the agreement of such and such a place and organization. It should be clear on the ground what is happening and what is being done. This has not happened yet.

Of course, I hope that by Allah’s favor and with the follow-up of the gentlemen in the administration, this will happen. The 37-year experience of the Islamic Republic shows that we should build up and strengthen ourselves. We should strengthen ourselves in intellectual, political, economic, cultural and scientific areas. When we become strong, we will naturally achieve dignity. Today, the dignity of a people in the world depends on such things.

I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows success on everyone, God willing. I would like to thank the officials of the country for their great diligence. I see that different organizations are working and trying hard. I hope that by Allah’s favor, they will pursue the correct and the straight path and the correct procedure with seriousness, and Allah the Exalted will help them, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings




  • No measure of subversive techniques and pernicious policies by predators can succeed in enlarging the shia-sunni schisms if the Muslims themselves don't permit it. If Muslims rise to bridge these schisms, what can Machiavelli and hectoring hegemons ever do? The fault is within the Muslims first, that give opportunities to the primacy instinct of predators to prey upon the weak. See: Thank you, Zahir Ebrahim, California
  • 2016-03-23 05:01
    This is an interesting speech from Ayatollah Khamenei. I hope that Iran continues to seek good relations with the West. I myself am a descendant of Iranian Jews from Mashad and appreciate and respect the Iranian culture and philosophy, and the principles of Islam. May Allah bless all the world's leaders with goodness, wisdom, understanding and trust, so that dialogue may be initiated and maintained between peoples and cultures who are very different.