Valorous Heroes Stand Firm in the Face of Calamities

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 20, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the earthquake-stricken people of Sarpol-e Zahab.

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 - those who guide the guided, and who are infallible - especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

Dear brothers, dear sisters, dear people of Sarpol-e Zahab and you who have come here from various areas, I would like to greet all of you! I very much liked to visit your city when your hearts are happy and when your lives are full of joy. I did not like to visit this dear city and meet with you kind and loyal people at a time when you are grief-stricken and faced with this calamity and disaster. This is very bitter for us. We share the grief that each and every mourning heart – whether in this city, in other cities or in villages throughout this province – is feeling. This incident is filling our hearts with sorrow and it has troubled our thoughts.

Dear brothers, dear sisters, you patient and kind people, this is not the first time that your city and your region has faced difficulty. During the imposed war and the Sacred Defense Era too, your city and the surrounding cities were faced with certain difficulties. At that time too, I came here and visited your city. I also visited the other cities of Kermanshah province up close. I witnessed their pains and their sufferings. However, the people of Kermanshah stood firm in the face of the problems arising out of the imposed war. You displayed your strength, your resistance and your valor during the imposed war. Today, you display these qualities as well.

Great and valorous heroes stand firm in the face of calamities and incidents – whether natural incidents or the incidents that are imposed on people. They vanquish such incidents. My dear ones, you pious and resistant youth, men and women of this province, this city and these villages, earthquake is a disaster and calamity. It is a problem as it makes us lose our dear ones and it leads to destruction, but it can also turn into a blessing with the resistance and steadfastness of the people and with their efforts to revive life, to renovate and to construct. We can stand firm against natural incidents and imposed calamities with resistance in the face of problems and by benefitting from the great capacities of our nation.

It is true that we have lost our dear ones and a number of dear individuals are gone. According to the statistics, around five hundred individuals from these cities and villages have joined God. This is pain, this is disaster, this is difficult! Houses were destroyed. I express my condolences to these families and to the bereaved. I sympathize with them and I share their grief, but my dear ones, you should notice how the incident that occurred to you moved the people of Iran. Throughout the country, the people of Iran feel that their hearts are with Kermanshah. They feel that they are indebted to Kermanshah and that they should fulfil their duties. As far as I know, many people have fulfilled their duties within the scope of their capability.

Officials too – particularly in certain divisions – had a bright performance in this incident. They worked and endeavored hard. Of course, I am not satisfied. I believe that officials in different branches and divisions should increase their efforts and endeavors as they did so in the first hours with the Army in the cities and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in villages rushing to help those who were trapped under the rubble. And their presence was efficient. If they had not come, our sufferings would have been much more and we would have had many more casualties. By Allah's favor, efforts should increase in continuing the path, and in continuing help and assistance to the earthquake-stricken regions. Officials should work hard.

The people and you yourselves should put your hopes on your own strength, effort and power and on the zeal and courage that Allah the Exalted has bestowed on the pious and hero-cultivating people of this province. You should rely on these things. And Allah the Exalted will help.

By Allah's favor, you will see better days. I hope that the people of Iran and particularly the people of Kermanshah province and western region of the country – the causalities of this earthquake – will benefit from divine kindness and divine mercy. I hope that by Allah's favor, our dear people emerge victorious out of this divine test and I hope that Allah the Exalted will give us another opportunity in another day and at another time to visit this city and the surrounding cities so much so that we can witness that the region has been reconstructed thanks to your determination and that it has been considerably improved compared to its prior conditions.

I hope that life will continue with joy and bliss, God willing, and that the families which have suffered from this incident will benefit from divine kindness. I hope that Allah the Exalted will solve their problems and that officials carry out their responsibilities on a daily basis, God willing.