Imam Khamenei

The New Rulers in the US Are Like Amateur Inexperienced Thugs Playing With Their Knives

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 18, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the families of martyrs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the Police Force, and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives guarding the borders and defending the holy shrines of the infallible Imams (a.s.). The meeting was held on the 23th day of the month of Ramadan.

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 and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household – who guide the guided - especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

It is a very sweet and interesting meeting in the sense that the scent of martyrdom has imbued the environment. Although not all families of martyrs are present in the meeting, a number of our dear families of martyrs – including the martyrs who lost their lives defending the Imams' (a.s.) shrines and guarding our borders, the martyrs of the Ground Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the martyrs of the Police Force and other martyrs – have gathered in this hussainiyah, infusing it with the scent of martyrs.

Martyrdom is an astonishing phenomenon. It is an astonishing and deep concept. Martyrdom means making a deal with God: a mutual and anxiety-free deal with Allah the Exalted. And the product and its price are clear. The product is one's life. One's life is the main resource for every individual in this material world. This is the product which you offer to God in your deal with Him. What do you receive in return? In return, you receive eternal bliss and eternal life in a world of the best divine blessings.

Well, the product that you offer in martyrdom is not a permanent product. It is like the lumps of ice that an ice seller presents in summer days. He says, "People, come and buy this product from me. Otherwise, it will be ruined and wasted." One's life is like this. Nowadays, people have ice at home, but in the past, we used to buy it from the market. The ice seller would put it in gunnysacks and the like so that it could be preserved and sold. What would happen if they did not buy it? What would happen if there was no customer for his ice? 

It would melt and it would be wasted. The customers who come and buy your disposable products are very valuable customers. The life that you and I have is like ice. It is wasting away bit by bit. Is it not like this? It is running out bit by bit. Every day that passes, we are getting closer and closer to the end. We are getting closer to the grave. Our life is being exhausted on a daily basis. How long does it take? For some people, this happens at the age of 40, for some, it happens at the age of 50 and for some others, it happens at the age of 80. But it will come to an end eventually. It might happen sooner or later, but it will definitely happen. Our lives are running out.

Now, for the product that will run out whether you sell or not sell, there is a customer who is willing to pay the highest price. What is that highest price? Paradise. Our dear qaari [Quranic reciter], who has a good voice, recited this ayah in the meeting: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods for theirs in return is the garden of paradise". They buy this product from you in return for paradise: "They fight in His cause, and slay and are slain" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111].

This means that when you fight in the way of God, it is not the case that you offer your life to the enemy and say, "Kill me." This is not the case. You hurt him as well. Our border guards who are martyred in border areas have delivered many blows to the enemy. They have prevented him from infiltrating, from hatching his plots and from implementing his corrupt measures. Before being martyred, our youth who are martyred in such and such a foreign country trying to stand up against DAESH and protect the Imams' (a.s.) shrines deliver a hundred blows to them. Before being martyred, they prevent them from advancing, they frustrate their goals and they create a disastrous situation for them: They "slay and are slain." They both kill and are killed: "A promise binding on Him in truth" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. This is a divine promise. God promises this to you. When He says that He buys this product in return for paradise, paradise means eternal bliss, one that does not melt every moment like ice. You live continuously there and you keep indulging in pleasure forever.

In return for this, they buy your perishable life. This is God's promise. This is a true promise that God has given you. This is not particular to your religion. God has given this promise in His former heavenly books as well: "A promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat [Torah] and the Injil [Gospel] and the Quran" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. Martyrdom is this. Later on, He says, "And who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah?" Who is more faithful to his promise than God? This promise will be fulfilled. So, martyrdom is such a concept.

When you look at it, you see that it has a bitter appearance. One's father, mother, spouse, children, brother and sister bereave the loss of their dear ones and they mourn. This is how it looks on the face of it. But what is its reality? In reality, this is selling a perishable, destructible and unsustainable product at an exorbitant price. In the past, whenever I spoke to my friends and whenever I delivered a speech, I said that martyrdom is businessman-like death. There is cleverness in it. Those who are martyred receive the most and the best blessings from Allah the Exalted. Martyrdom is this.  

You are families of martyrs. You definitely suffer from this. Your child, your brother, your father and your spouse are gone. You loved them dearly and it is clear that you suffer a great deal. There is no doubt about this. However, when you adopt such an outlook, you will see that you are a winner too. Why? Because they have transcended and achieved high positions. Therefore, they have the power to intercede. They can play their part in barzakh [a concept similar to Christian purgatory and limbo] and on Judgment Day.

In the present time too, some people establish a close relationship with martyrs. They seek their help in times of difficulty and martyrs answer their call. In the biographies that we read about martyrs, there are many such examples. When the spouse, father and mother of a martyr face a problem, they refer to him and say, "Your hands are open. Help us because you can." And he helps them. In barzakh, the same condition exists. You will leave this world one day. You will not stay here forever. Both you and I will go. We too have the arena of barzakh ahead of us. We will reach that point. When you go there, there are many difficulties for you. If you can find an interceder who can help you, this will be very precious. Martyrs will be your interceder there. 

I have many things to say about families of martyrs. I have also said many things before about families of martyrs. The issue about families of martyrs is not that they have merely lost a martyr on the path of the truth. Their patience has mountains of value. The fact that martyrs' father, mother, spouse and children endure the loss of their dear ones is a lofty value: a very lofty one: "They are those on whom are greetings and mercy from their Lord" [The Holy Quran, 2: 157].

Do you believe that God sends His greetings to you? God sends his greetings to you! When you who are families of martyrs endure this loss, thank God, show patience and consider this as God's work, your patience will cause God Almighty – Who is the Owner of this universe and the world of existence – to send His greetings to you. These are values. We should understand these values correctly. These concepts create astonishing powers in us. They prepare us for many great feats.

The enemies want to take these concepts away from us. Some mercenary writers who wish to win the love of foreigners instead of winning the love of God's saints write certain things and make certain statements in newspapers and in cyberspace. They do not understand what they are doing. The concept of martyrdom, the concept of fighting in the way of God and the concept of patience are great concepts. Such concepts influence the daily life of the Islamic community. Brothers, sisters, it is these concepts that have preserved the Revolution.

From the beginning, this Revolution and the government that it established has faced difficult enmities. You should not look at the fuss that the man who has recently come to hold office in the US kicks up. This fussy behavior is not new. These courses of action have existed from the beginning. Now, they only use newer words and speak in a newer tone. Such fuss has existed against the Islamic Republic from the beginning until today. It is almost 40 years that they have been doing so, but they have not managed to do a damn thing!

They could not uproot this sapling when it was a thin seedling. Today, it has turned into a strong tree. Can they uproot it now? The hell they can do so! They say that they want to change the Islamic Republic. Well, when was the time you did not have this dream? You have always wanted to do so, and you have always hit your head against the rocks and you have always been defeated. From now on too, it will be the same. They do not know the people of Iran! It is these concepts that have kept the Iranian nation alive.

The people who have recently come to power in the US are like the persons who have just entered the world of thuggish behavior. They are like amateur and inexperienced thugs who pull a knife wherever they go. They do not understand what they are doing until they receive a slap in the mouth. When they receive a slap in the mouth, they can figure out what's what! They do not know the Islamic Republic. They do not know the people of Iran. They do not know the officials of the Islamic Republic. The people of Iran are a people who have faced all sorts of plots and statements from the first day until today.

They wanted to slap the people of Iran across the face, but it is the people of Iran who have slapped them across the face. They wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic, but each and every one of them took that desire to the grave. Notice how many individuals desired to see the destruction of the Islamic Republic, but they took that desire to the depths of hell with regret and frustration. The Islamic Republic has stood with complete power. From now on too, this will be the case.

Everyone – including the enemy, sincere friends and those friends whose hearts sometimes tremble – should know that the Islamic Republic has stood firm. You should know that they will not be able to slap us across the face, rather it will be we who will slap them across the face. 

And this is not because of material resources. Material resources do not play a major and determining role. There are other factors involved, namely spiritual resources, firm determination and willpower, the intrinsic strength that exists in the hearts of each and every individual among the people, and the power to train those youths who have stood firm on the straight path amid this strange storm of corruption that is being sparked by the Zionists and the like. The Islamic Republic, the Islamic system and the Islamic government can train such youth, as they have done so in the present time. This is the power of the Islamic Republic. No material power can confront this power. And the soul of this power is formed by martyrdom.

Of course, besides these things, it should be clear what value our martyrs have. If it had not been for the martyrs who defended the Imams' (a.s.) shrines, we would be fighting with seditious and vicious elements - who are the enemies of Ahlul Bayt and Shia people – in cities of Iran now. This had existed in the enemy's plan. When they were working in a certain region in Iraq, they tried to push themselves towards the Islamic Republic's border areas. They wanted to reach the eastern areas – areas neighboring the Islamic Republic. They were trying to reach the provinces that have a border with us. However, they were prevented from doing so, they received a slap across the face and they were annihilated and destroyed. In the present time too, they are being swept away.

The same thing was done in Syria. If our valuable Sardars had not carried out this task, as our dear panegyrist said, we would be fighting them in our country. If they had not carried out this task, we would be fighting them in our own streets and cities. An important part of the security that you enjoy today comes from the defenders of the Imams' (a.s.) shrines. 

Another important part of security comes from our border guards, whether the border guards from the Police Force – who work in border areas – the border guards from the Ground Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps or other forces which are busy working and endeavoring in our borders. This originates from their endeavors. That is while those poor youngsters are not seen by us. You are sitting at home, what news do you have about border areas? You send your sons and daughters to school without any worry. You yourselves go to work and come back without any worry. You go and sit in the park without any worry. You participate in rallies without any worry. You are not worried about insecurity and you are living with security. What do you know about the individuals who work in border areas preventing the enemy from infiltrating? What do you know about the pains that they go through?

The people do not know about this. Those individuals are unrecognized. Our border martyrs – including those who work in southeastern borders such as Baluchistan, Kerman and the like, those working in northwestern borders such as Kurdistan and Kermanshah, and those working in other places and border areas which are faced with certain problems - are unrecognized. In all these areas, it is our border guards who are defending the country with all their power. If it were not for our border guards, they would be bringing into the country thousands of kilos of addictive drugs. Every kilo of such drugs can ruin hundreds of youths and create a disastrous situation for them. Who prevents them from doing so? Our border guards. It is these individuals who are sacrificing themselves and who are being martyred. These martyrs are very valuable. The individuals who are martyred defending the Imam's (a.s.) shrines do this in one way and the ones who guard our borders do this in another way.

Security and intelligence martyrs play their part as well. They search with their sharp eyes and find sabotage and terrorist teams who do not have a different appearance from the rest of the people. They have hellish hearts and they are not seen. With their experience, with their intelligence, with help from the people and with guidance from God, our security agents can find such teams. They find these teams and suddenly you hear that they have destroyed 20, 40 teams each of which could shed the blood of tens of individuals. And sometimes, one of these agents is martyred. These things are very valuable.

You who are families of martyrs have suffered a loss and you are involved in this. What I want to say is that – these statements will be broadcast so that the people know what services our martyrs are rendering to this country – serving is not only satisfying the people's material needs. Security is more important than material needs. These individuals are ensuring the security of the country! This is the case in all the borders of the country. The country is indebted to the individuals who work outside the country defending the Imams' (a.s.) shrines, the individuals who work in border areas and the ones who work in our cities and roads to ensure security. This is because they have guaranteed the people's lives.

We should appreciate the value of martyrs. We should appreciate the value of families of martyrs. Dear brothers, dear sisters, anyone who tries to consign the memory of martyrs to oblivion has betrayed the country! Anyone who tries to have a part in insulting, in ignoring and in verbally abusing the families of martyrs has betrayed this country! Here, the issue is not just about the Islamic Republic, rather the issue is about the country. Therefore, if they do so, they have betrayed the country.

Everyone should respect martyrs and appreciate their value. Everyone should respect families of martyrs and appreciate their value. They should consider themselves as indebted to martyrs. What does 'being indebted to martyrs' mean? It means being grateful to the spouse who allows her husband to go and be martyred in the arena of war. The people are indebted to martyrs' spouses as well. They are indebted to the parents who allow their children to go as well. They should be indebted to them as well and everyone should know this. It is these individuals who keep values alive in our country.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make the memory of martyrs in our country more alive on a daily basis.

Dear God, increase the dignity of our martyrs and their families in our country on a daily basis.

Dear God, do not extinguish the light of martyrdom and do not allow the environment of martyrdom and the desire and excitement for martyrdom - that exists in the hearts of people - to be destroyed. Help everyone who has this enthusiasm and excitement – in the real sense of the word – to achieve this virtue. Increase Your blessings on them. Associate martyrs with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and with the martyrs of Karbala.

Make the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam – who set martyrdom in motion – satisfied and pleased with us. Make the pure heart of the Imam of the Age satisfied and pleased with us. Make us get closer to gaining the satisfaction of those great personalities on a daily basis.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings