The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 16, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the people of Isfahan. The meeting was held on the anniversary of the burial of 370 martyrs who were martyred in Muharram Operation in 1982.
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, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth and may God’s curse be upon all their enemies.
I am very happy that I thankfully have another opportunity to meet with a group of dear and outstanding people from Isfahan in this Hussainiyah. There are many things to discuss with Isfahan and with Isfahani people, but this meeting has been organized on the occasion of the 25th of Aban. Therefore, I begin my statements with a word about this matter.
The 25th of Aban and the days leading to the end of Aban are days that not only Isfahan but also our entire country, history and teachings should not forget. On the 25th of Aban of the year 1361, the people of Isfahan buried about 360 martyrs in just one day. This is not a minor event. About 360 martyrs entered Isfahan in one day and were buried with the people’s hands. You youth were not born in those days. You did not witness those days. You did not see that epic and that enthusiasm. And a few days after that – when I speak about the days leading to the end of Aban, this is because the burial ceremony was probably held before the 30th of Aban – they brought another 250 to Isfahan. The people buried those martyrs too. They carried them on their hands and they showed endurance in a firm manner.
This requires great endurance. It requires a great capacity. Psychological capacity is more important than physical and social capacity. That the people of a city bury their children and youth – their best ones – with their own hands and not show any weakness is a very important issue. If these things were written in history and if they read it to us, we would not believe it so easily, but we witnessed this with our own eyes! How did they show such endurance?
On the same day that 360 martyrs were buried and the day after that, the youth formed a long lines in order to go to the front lines and they did so. The two armies of Qadr, which were located in Isfahan and the cities of Isfahan province – Imam Hussein (greetings be upon him) Army and Najaf Army – were filled again with pious and self-sacrificing youth. The parents did not prevent them, nor did the youth show any doubt. Those two front-smashing armies, which had suffered that heavy loss, were filled with soldiers again. During Muharram Operation, most martyrs were from Isfahan. This is Isfahan! You should not allow that event to be forgotten.
My dear ones, you should know that one of the main invasion zones for the enemies of our country and our Revolution is undermining these outstanding points. They are insisting on consigning these points to oblivion. They want them to be forgotten. You witness that if there is a martyr in such and such a western and European country – we have nothing to do with the manner that such individuals are martyred: let us say that they are killed on the path of a certain motivation – they do not allow his name to be erased from books. They do not let his name be erased from memories. So, why should we allow this great movement of the people of Isfahan to be forgotten? Isfahan is this.
Well, this year, these events have coincided with Arbaeen. Have you seen that gathering? Have you seen the great movement, comprised of millions of people, between Najaf and Karbala? Have you seen the movement between Najaf and Imam Hussein (a.s.)? Have you seen that excitement and enthusiasm? Have you seen that movement? When such movements are necessary to be launched even if some danger is involved, the same excitement and enthusiasm exists in our nation, in our people and in our youth. This should be preserved. This is what guarantees the survival of this country.
Mr. Tabatabai raised a few points about the fact that I have certain things to say about the characteristics of Isfahan and the people of Isfahan. He said that I have some opinions about Isfahan. This is the truth of the matter. Isfahan is the city of knowledge, religion, Wilayat, work, innovation, art, culture and martyrdom. It is the province of martyrdom. When I say “the city of Isfahan” I mean the entire Isfahan province centered around this old, ancient and glorious city.
Khomeini Shahr, which is one of the cities of Isfahan province, has more martyrs than some of the provinces of the country. Recently, there has been a memorial ceremony for 2,000-plus martyrs from that city. A city from Isfahan province has more martyrs than some provinces! These are meaningful events. Why are they martyred? Why did they go to the front lines? What is that motivation? What is that spirit? So, Isfahan is the city of leadership and pioneering.
Mr. Tabatabai pointed out to the moves that the people of Isfahan have made in the area of the economy of resistance. I have the same opinion. The people of Isfahan are so generous in infaq – giving away one’s money on the path of God – that they move ahead of others in this area, but they economize in their ordinary lives. In this area too, they move ahead of others. Both of these two approaches are good. When we economize money in our personal and ordinary lives, this is a characteristic of Isfahan. And when we are generous in spending money on divine and public ways, this is also a characteristic of Isfahan.
The donors in different parts of Isfahan are like this. Isfahan is also the city of refinement, art, and great and well-known martyrs. On the one hand, there are martyrs like Ayatollah Beheshti and on the other hand, there are martyrs like Shahid Kharrazi, Shahid Hemmat, Shahid Kazemi, Shahid Raddanipoor and other great and well-known personalities, each of whom can be a torch for opening and casting light on the path of a people. These are the characteristics of Isfahan. These are your identity. These are the identity of the people of Isfahan.
Another characteristic of Isfahan is resistance on the correct path. Isfahan is the city of the Revolution as well. Before the victory of the Revolution – in the pre-revolutionary era – the regime declared martial law in 10, 15 cities and it declared it in Isfahan a few months before other cities. In Isfahan, martial law was declared sooner than everywhere else! This is Isfahan. This is the identity of Isfahan: the city of the Revolution, the city of religion, the city of Wilayat, the city of service, the city of work, the city of knowledge and the city of building manpower.
In the other room, I was saying to some friends that the presence of trained Isfahani manpower in different areas is an outstanding, clear and shining presence. You should preserve these characteristics. You should preserve them.
All our dear youth should know that the enemies are not sitting idle. They are formulating plans. Our skill lies in identifying the enemy’s plans and plots and the areas that he targets. We should formulate plans and ideas and we should have motivation for confronting and standing up to him and for foiling his plots. Giving in to the enemy is the gate that leads to all those detriments that are imposed on a country.
We want to help our country reach the peaks in the shade of Islam. We want to help the people of Iran to reach a point where they can be role models the way it befits their status. We want them to be role models not only for the world of Islam and Muslim nations but also for the entire humanity. Well, this is a great task. This is a difficult and long path. The enemy of Islam does not want Islam to have such a magnificent and glorious name. The enemy of Shia does not want this either. That is why they sit and hatch plots. They sit and pursue their activities and devise plans. We should not ignore their plans.
What I consider as today’s need is primarily insistence on the principles of the Revolution. The principles of the Revolution are the same things that exist in Imam’s (r.a.) testament and statements. These are the foundations and pillars of the Revolution. I advise youth to read Imam’s (r.a.) testament. You did not see Imam (r.a.), but he is manifested in that testament. He is manifested in those statements and words. The content of Imam (r.a) – who managed to shake the whole world – is the same things that exist in that testament and in his statements. Imam (r.a.) cannot be distorted. He cannot be defined against what he was. His statements are available. So, insistence on the principles of the Revolution is necessary.
On that day, I said to a group of outstanding youth [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on October 19, 2016, in a meeting with outstanding youth], who had a meeting with me here, that this is not out of obstinacy, prejudice and jahiliyyah-like bias. This means that if our country wants to dust itself off after centuries of imposition, it should take this path. If we want the problems of our country to be solved, if we want it to have dignity and welfare, if we want it to become a country that is a model in terms of worldly, otherworldly, spiritual, moral and cultural affairs, we should continue the path of the Revolution. The Revolution was and still is the only cure for the problems of our country and it will be the same in the future as well.
Today, one of the things that is important in practical areas is the issue of the economy. The enemy has focused on the economy of our country. From the viewpoint of the enemy, the economy of the country is a weak point with which it can achieve his evil goals for our dear country and for the Islamic Republic. The economy should be worked on. I have said before that the economy of resistance is an economy that bubbles from the inside, that decreases our need for others, and that increases the strength of the country against foreign fluctuations. This is the meaning of the economy of resistance- the economy of resistance: action and implementation [the slogan of the year].
This action and implementation should be placed within the people’s sight. In other words, the people should see it. This is our expectation and our demand from officials. I speak to officials about this as well. I constantly discuss such matters with them and I speak to them. The standards for action and implementation should be displayed.
One of the things that is necessary today is political insight. Political insight! Notice that when insight exists, we can understand our surrounding environments and the environments that are near to and far from us. Insight means this. When insight does not exist, one becomes attracted to something that is really not attractive at all. Some people are infatuated with America, but this infatuation is false because America does not have any attraction. We used to speak about these matters, but you witnessed that in the recent elections, the most prominent personalities from that country said more things that we said. The things that they said were two or several times more than the things that we said!
The President who has been elected in America has said that, if we Americans had allocated the money that we spent on war in recent years on building America, we could have built America twice over and we would not have so many roads, bridges, dams and cities that need repair and we would not have so many poor people! Are those individuals who are attracted to that fantasy place prepared to understand these things? There is such destructions in that country, but its money is being spent on dishonorable affairs.
Were the wars that have cost several trillion dollars according to what he says – he says that they have spent several trillion dollars on those wars – honorable wars? There are two kinds of war. One is an honorable war during which one respects human laws. Well, imagine that an enemy attacks you. You have to fight against him. This war is an honorable war. But the war that America waged in the region in recent years was not an honorable war. They destroyed the people’s homes. They killed tens of thousands of civilians. They killed women and children and they dropped bombs! They bombarded funeral and wedding ceremonies and they destroyed the infrastructure of several countries. Notice what they did to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan!
Those several trillion dollars have been spent on such things. These are the things that we used to say all the time. Insight means knowing whom you are faced with. It means knowing what he thinks about you. It means knowing that if you close your eyes and stop thinking, you will receive a strike! This is insight. We expect political and non-political personalities of the country to have such insight. The people fortunately have this insight, surprisingly. Ordinary individuals and the masses of the people have this political insight, but some of our outstanding personalities do not have it because of insistence on their delusions!
I do not have any opinion about the election that has been held in America. America is America. Neither of the two existing parties in America did anything good for us whenever they held office. On the contrary, they only did bad things against us. One imposed sanctions and the other struck our airplane. One attacked our oil platforms, and the other helped our enemies. We do not have any concerns for either. By Allah’s favor, we are ready to face any possible incident. Some people in the world are mourning because of the results of the elections in that country and some people became happy and celebrated it. We do not do either of these things. We neither mourn nor celebrate because it does not make any difference to us!
We are only thinking about how to help the country pass through possible problems. The people should be thinking about this. The way to pass through all the problems that the country might have – whether in this term, or 10, 50 years from now – is to strengthen the country from the inside. You should see how strength is achieved. The domestic strength of the country – including political, economic and cultural strength and most importantly, the psychological and mental strength of individuals, particularly that of outstanding personalities and the high-ranking officials of the country - is the basis of the work. If this strength exists, then no danger will threaten the country.
The country is prepared to face all kinds of dangers. Our dear youth should continue this auspicious growth of developing a revolutionary spirit. Different discussions, uproars, peripheral matters and attendance to small and trivial things are not the main issue of the country. The main issue of the country is having a revolutionary spirit. The main issue of the country is adopting a revolutionary orientation. And in the area of science and planning, the main issue of the country is the economy. We have discussed this matter many times. The main issue of the country is scientific progress. We have discussed this many times too. The main issue of the country is the unity and solidarity of all the people. We have spoken about this issue many times as well. These are the main issues of the country.
Thankfully, the people of Isfahan have been successful and they have emerged victorious out of different tests in the recent and distant past. Difficult tests for Isfahan in the recent and distant past have proved to be constructive tests. A “test” means exercise. A “divine test” means exercise. It means maneuver. A maneuver shows our weak points to us and thus, we try to turn those weak points into strong points. This is what exists for the people of Iran.
Thankfully, Isfahan has a leading role in this area as well. I hope that this will be the case forever. My dear ones, you should know that the future of this country will be much better than its present-day condition. By Allah’s favor and grace and in the shade of the Revolution, divine signs, and reliance on our faith in the Holy Quran, in Islam and in the teachings of the Imams (greetings be upon them), this country will manage to overcome all problems and to move forward. I hope that this will be the case, God willing. I am very happy to have met with you dear brothers and sisters. Send our greetings to all brothers and sisters in Isfahan.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings