Talented youth are valuable divine gifts for a nation: Ayatollah Khamenei

First of all, outstanding personalities and youth – particularly, outstanding youth – are valuable divine gifts for a people and a country. Not all countries have such gifts in such large volumes, with such extensiveness and in such large numbers. One of the characteristics of our country is that there are numerous human talents with good quality and quantity. This is one of the unique characteristics of our country. This is a divine gift, a very valuable and precious one.

The result is that the officials of the country should appreciate the value of these trusts and they should preserve them. This is because these gifts are a trust in officials’ hands.These gifts are a trust in their hands. Your precious trust should be attended to in a very careful way so that you can preserve it. And when that trust is able to grow and to duplicate, you should have a great sense of responsibility for growing and duplicating it...

I will tell you this: why do we attach so much significance to youth, to knowledge, to outstanding personalities and to outstanding talents? Why do we become pleased to meet them? Why do we make time for them – you should know that we really make time for them – and why do we make so much time for diligence and the like? Why do we do these things?

We do this because we have a bitter history in this regard. For a long time, they injected into us the gene of incapability, the gene of “we cannot” and the gene of dependence on others. In a long era – the era from Qajar to Pahlavi – that inner feeling of lack of capability and lack of power was generated in our people – these talented people. And they institutionalized that feeling into us, into Iranian society. We have this history. 

The result was that the identity of us as a nation, was defined under the category of the west. There are many points to raise in this regard – historical, social and analytical points – but this is not the time and the place to discuss such matters, nor have we gathered here for this reason. Westerners and Europeans adopted such an outlook towards other nations because of the science that they achieved sooner than others and because they managed to pull themselves up. One of the nations towards whom they adopted such an outlook was our nation. They humiliated nations with rich and deep cultures and with brilliant histories in a way that they were defined under the category of the west.

I have spoken about the phrase “the Middle East” once, twice in my public speeches [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on August 12, 2012, in meeting with university professors]. This West Asian region – which is the owner, the birthplace and the creator of the greatest and most ancient human civilizations and which has given rise to many ancient human races – and Asia, with such magnificence, have been divided into three parts. It has turned into three easts: one is the Far East. But far from where, from Europe! Another is the Middle East – the “middle” means not far and not near. Not far from and not near to which place? From Europe. And the third one is the Near East. Near to where? To Europe!

Notice that this culture and this literature have many interpretations, one being that the entire human history is defined under the category of the west. All these civilizations, races and cultures, all the sciences that have been produced in West Asia, India, China, Iran, Mesopotamia, ancient Babylonia and the like: all in different ways – and all those ancient civilizations have turned into regions whose naming has been determined according to their distance from Europe. And they have continued to refer to our region as “the Middle East” until today. Our region is “the Middle East”.

There is another region which is referred to as “the Far East”. Why is it far? It is because it is far from Europe. Notice that westerners have defined Asia like this. Western nations are like a person who has risen from rags to riches and who becomes arrogant afterwards. They became wealthy, but this wealth was not financial wealth, rather it was scientific wealth. After all, knowledge is transferred to everyone. Something happened and they achieved science. And after that, they constantly improved it and they piled it up. And this way, they managed to improve. As soon as they improved, they looked down on the entire humanity – even on those nations from whom they had received that science. Our country was one of those countries. Unfortunately in our country, our rulers and politicians helped create this humiliating situation. Both Qajar and Pahlavi – both the father and the son – defined us under their category. This was a very dangerous, big and important thing. 

When a country is defined under the category of another power, all its resources actually belong to that power, whether it likes it or not. He comes and uses its resources, its oil, its supplies, and its geographical and strategic location. In world wars, global powers fought against each other and it had nothing to do with us. However, because Russia in one part of our country and England in another part of our country had certain resources and bases, they turned Iran into a tool for moving weapons from one place to another and they did so of their own volition and without asking for anyone’s permission.

The Trans-Iranian Railway – it was referred to as “Trans-Iranian”, but it did not cover the entire country – was built serve the goals of westerners. From one side, it was linked to the Persian Gulf and from another side, it was linked to the north which belonged to Soviet Union. England and the Soviet Union should have been connected to each other – there are many things to say about these events – so that they could possess the resources and the market of the country. A country sat idle so that they would come and take away its copper, its iron, its various resources, its oil and its gas at a cheap price. And they sent whatever they built to our country because those products should have been sold anyway and they should have given those countries a yield. And they turned our country into a profitable market for their products without any tariffs, any customs and any obstacle and barrier. This is what happened in pre-revolutionary Iran. 

Oct 19, 2016