Ayatollah Khamenei

If possible, we would provide Yemen with a 100 missiles instead of one

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 8, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The meeting was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on the occasion of the historic pledge of allegiance of Air Force officers to Imam Khomeini on the 19th of Bahman of 1357.



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, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

You are very welcome dear brothers, dear youth, very dear children of the Islamic Republic of Iran who are busy working and rendering services in one of the most sensitive and important positions of power in the country and in the Islamic Republic. I hope that by Allah's favor, all of you will be successful, that you will benefit from divine kindness and that the future of all of you will be much better than your present-day conditions.

I would like to thank the honorable commander for his very good and comprehensive speech and also those dear youths who performed a song. Both the poem and the performance were very good. I hope that by Allah's favor, all of you will be successful.

I would like to use this opportunity to discuss a few points with you dear ones. Well, the 19th of Bahman is an important day for the country and it is an important source of honor for the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. This holds true about this day. That is why both you and us commemorate this day every year and discuss it among ourselves. However, the important point is that the 19th of Bahman is not just a sweet and glorious memory. Of course, it is such a memory but beyond this, the 19th of Bahman is an increase in the provisions of the Revolution and it is an investment for the Revolution.

All days of Allah are like this. The same is true of the 22nd of Bahman. When each of these days of Allah – these memorable days, days in which reflections of greatness, human values and self-sacrifice shine bright – is repeated every year and when they are given attention, the provisions of the Revolution increase and the foundations of the Revolution are strengthened. The 19th of Bahman is such a day.

I will tell you that the Revolution is a living entity. I have certain points in this regard which I will raise later on God willing. Of course, I will not raise them today, rather by Allah's favor, I will raise them in the near future and on a certain occasion. The Revolution is a living entity. Those who think that the Revolution was a spark which died out at a certain time are a long distance away from understanding the truth of the Revolution. This is not the case. The Revolution is a living truth and a living entity which is born, which grows, which enjoys sustainability and which lives a long life under certain circumstances, and which becomes ill, dies and falls to ruin under other circumstances. The Revolution is this, just like every other living entity.

Because the Revolution is a living entity, it develops, it grows, and it has continuity and perfection. The Holy Quran says, "And their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem" [The Holy Quran, 48: 29]. This ayah means that the Holy Prophet's companions and the Islamic community – in other words, revolutionaries – are like a plant which emerges from the ground. It then grows gradually and its stems become firm and it grows tall after some time. It gradually turns into a thriving, blessed and astonishing entity. Where does its astonishing nature stem from? The ayah continues to say, "Filling the sowers with wonder and delight." This is astonishing to the person who has sown the seeds: "As a result, it fills the unbelievers with rage at them." And it enrages the enemy as well. The Revolution is like this. It can grow and achieve perfection on a daily basis. 

Well, most of you youth – who form the majority of the participants of this meeting, who are my dear ones and whom I considered as my children – have not seen those days. You have not seen early revolutionary days, let alone the days before the Revolution. Those days were enthusiastic and full of valorous events, but today, the Revolution is even more sustainable and powerful than those days. Today, those revolutionaries whose hearts have been filled with faith in the Revolution are steadier, wiser and more determined and more well-informed in taking their path and in considering the results of their work and the goals that they pursue. Today, this is the case. The Revolution has moved forward and achieved perfection.

That is why I have said many times that change and transformation is part of the nature of humanity's life. So, it is part of the nature of the Revolution as well. But what kind of change and transformation? A change and transformation in which principles enjoy strict stability: "See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? - A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens" [The Holy Quran, 14: 24].

The principles are stable, the root is fixed and the branches are strong and powerful. The results, the yields and the details become newer on a daily basis and they show themselves in life and in the living environment of humans and of society and they present new and fresh fruits. This is the characteristic of the Revolution. Our Revolution has enjoyed this characteristic.

If you look at the history of revolutions in the world, you will see that none of them had the characteristic that exists in our Revolution: in our Revolution the principles are steady and stable and fresh fruits emerge from this strong and firm-rooted tree and they are at the disposal of the people and society. Of course, I am speaking about recent centuries during which many revolutions were carried out. We are not well-informed about centuries before that, nor do we want to speak about them. I am speaking about the past two, three centuries during which many revolutions have been carried out in the world: for example, the independence of the United States from the English, the Great French Revolution, the October Revolution of the Soviet Union and the like. Thirty-nine years have passed from the Revolution and we are on the verge of the 40th year. This is a very important event. These statements were about the Revolution.

Of course, the enemy is opposed to this. Whom do we mean by "the enemy"? The enemy is he who has been hurt by the Revolution. The enemy is comprised of those who had an installed and docile government in this very important area which was obedient and everything in that government belonged to them: both its politics, and its economy and income. They have lost this and they have suffered a loss. They are headed by the US and some other European countries like England and the like. These people comprise the enemy. The enemy's goal is to prevent this continuity and resistance. They are making all sorts of efforts to that end. And they use every tool at their disposal.

For example, they use quasi-intellectuals. There are some people who look like intellectuals. They sit down and present thoughts about opposition towards the foundations of the Revolution. You may sometimes see their articles and writings in some newspapers, electronic media and the like. They use these people. They give them money and say to them, "You should sit down and produce thoughts against the Revolution and against the foundations of the Revolution." They also use fake thinkers who produce theories – fake theoreticians. They also use mercenary newspapers and writers, the resources of cyberspace and clowns. They do their best and they use every person available in order to increase their audience. All these tasks are being done. All these exist in the present time.

Of course, they have not come into being in the present time. They have existed from the beginning of the Revolution – since 39 years ago. All these tasks have been carried out, but they have become more intensified on a daily basis. Today, there are some instruments which did not exist in those days. They are using all these instruments. You have heard that during the fitna [sedition] of the year 1388, one of these active Internet networks was supposed to proceed with its annual update. They said to that network that it should delay this procedure so that it could provide them with its services. They did not want its services to the CIA and other political organizations in the US to stop. They use all these instruments.  

Well, they make all these efforts, but all of a sudden, a 22nd of Bahman looms large for them. Well, they have counted on their audience, but the 22nd of Bahman comes and you see that a flood of people in Tehran, in provincial cities and in all areas of the country – people from eastern, western, northern and southern areas of the country – walk the streets and chant unanimous slogans in cold winter, on ice and under heavy snow and rain.

Another example is the 9th of Dey. If events like the 9th of Dey of 1388 or the 9th of Dey of this year occur, everyone will participate. You witnessed that in this year's 9th of Dey, the people took to the streets in a very enthusiastic and exciting manner because they had felt the presence of the enemy. This is the characteristic of a living entity. When a living entity feels the presence of the enemy, it becomes more sensitive and more active. On the 9th of Dey, the people showed their presence throughout the country. Later on, from the 13th to the 18th, there were voluntary rallies in different cities lasting for four, five days in a row.

On the 19th of Dey, I presented a brief report of this presence to the dear people who had gathered in this Hussainiyah. Notice that "living" means this. Growing means this. All those efforts and all those activities did not pay off.  And their efforts were not confined to cyberspace and the like. Sanctions are an example of these efforts. Sanctions have an impact on the people's lives. They create economic problems and all the people are involved with such problems. Nonetheless, the love of the Revolution, the interest in the Revolution and the bond with the Revolution and the Islamic government produce such a response.

So, we should consider these days of Allah as a source of strength and continuity. I will tell you that by Allah's favor and grace, this year's 22nd of Bahman rally will be a spectacular one. This is because with the nonsensical statements that some American politicians and others made, the people feel that the enemy is busy setting up an ambush and becoming ready for an invasion – not necessarily a military invasion, rather this means the intention to show enmity. When the people feel this, they enter the arena. By Allah's favor and grace, this year, the people's presence will be warmer and more enthusiastic than ever. By Allah's favor, everyone will participate. This is one issue.

Another issue is about the fundamental matters of the Islamic Republic. Of course, as I said earlier, I have certain statements in this regard. By Allah's favor, I will make these statements in the near future. Today, I will make these statements briefly. Well, the system that was created on the basis of the Revolution formulated some fundamental policies for itself. The Islamic Revolution proposed and implemented a political and social system. And certain principles came into being for the Islamic Republic on the basis of the Revolution. For example, independence – economic, cultural, political and security-related independence – was one of those principles which did not exist before. Before the victory of the Revolution, none of these principles existed. Well, we have made great progress in this regard. Of course, we have a great deal of work to do in some of these areas. So, independence exists. Freedom exists.

The progress of the country is one of the fundamental principles of the Revolution. This holds true in different areas: the country should make progress in the area of science, in the area of technology, in the area of morality, in worldly and otherworldly areas and in various other areas. Good achievements have been made in these areas. Of course, there is some distance between what we want and what should exist, and what has been achieved until today. Therefore, we should cover this distance.

Another principle is justice – social justice and destroying the wide gap between the various classes of society. Of course, we have shirked our responsibilities in this regard. We suffer from backwardness in this area. What should have been done has not been done properly and satisfactorily. We should purse this seriously and you should know that by Allah's favor, we are pursuing this and we will not forget about this matter. This is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic.

Of course, the way to do so is to fight against oppression and corruption. Justice has a vast meaning and it is very wide in scope. It is significant at the level of society and at an international level. It is significant in both economic and political areas. In all these areas, justice is a very important matter. Moreover, justice is an absolute value. Other values are all relative in one sense, but justice is an absolute value. It is necessary in every sense and it should be pursued.

Corruption should be combated. Injustice should be combated. Of course, this is very difficult. A few years ago, I said that corruption is like the seven-headed dragon in fairytales. In fairytales, when you cut off one head of the seven-headed dragon, it moves forward with the other six heads. Destroying it is not easy. Corruption is like this. Confronting and wrestling with those who benefit from corruption in society is a very difficult task. It is really a difficult task, but it is one of those difficult tasks which should definitely be accomplished. It is one of those tasks which should certainly be carried out. Almost the entire rule of the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) – who is our leader and example– was spent addressing this important matter. Of course, the issue did not come to an end at that time.

If, God forbid, government officials behave in an unjust and corrupt manner, confrontation towards them should be more serious and it should be done with more intensity. All various organizations, all the managers of the country and all of us throughout the country should pay attention to this and we should not abandon this matter. We should not forget about oppression.

The same is true at an international level. The oppression of arrogance should be clarified. Today, the cruelest and the most oppressive system in the world is the US government. It is more oppressive than everyone else. You witnessed how bad, oppressive and savage DAESH was. The US government is even worse than them. The US government is the same apparatus which created the likes of DAESH – not just DAESH itself. It facilitated the tasks for them. It acted as the cause.

This is not just our claim, rather they themselves have acknowledged this. The person who is the US President in the present time used to constantly highlight the fact, in his electoral campaign, that the creation of DAESH was a measure adopted by the Democrats - the opposite party. He would repeat this over and over again and he was right. There was evidence and proof for this claim. In the present time too, there is such evidence. It was they who created DAESH. It was they who strengthened it. It was they who offered DAESH their weapons and their financial support and the like. Most probably, it was they who taught certain methods to them.

Those savage American organizations which are dependent on the US administration – such as Blackwater and the like – are carrying out the same tasks as well. They know these methods to perfection. They are experts at these savage acts against humanity. Most probably, it was they who have taught such methods to DAESH. Otherwise, how does such and such a poor creature from the Caucasus know how to torture an individual, how to drown people by torturing them gradually and how to burn them little by little? Probably, it was they who taught them these methods.

Despite the fact that the US is the cruelest and most merciless government in the world, it is an advocate of human rights in its propaganda! It is an advocate of the rights of the oppressed, it is an advocate of animal rights! Well, they should be disgraced. These things should be said. These things should be promoted at an international level. Notice what oppression they have committed against Palestine. In the present time, the Palestinians are subject to oppression and cruelty on a daily basis. It is one, two, ten, twenty, seventy years now that this oppression has been continuing and the Americans have been behind it. In the present time, they are behind it as well. Well, this should be explained.

Another example is their oppression against the Yemenis. In the present time, Yemen is being bombarded on a daily basis. The people are being bombarded, various places are being bombarded, markets are being bombarded, the infrastructure of the country is being bombarded. By whom? By the US allies who are approved by the Americans. It is the Americans who provide them with weapons. It is they who help them. They watch the scene delightfully and they do not raise the slightest objection and do not show the slightest frown on their faces. Of course, there are some people among them – for example, writers – who make some objections, but the US administration does not pay any attention to them at all. That is while they go and display some pieces of scrap iron with complete shamelessness and say that these pieces come from the missile given to the Yemeni fighters by Iran!

They make a groundless claim. Yemeni fighters and mujahids are under siege. It is not possible to give them anything. If it was possible, we would give them a hundred missiles – not one! But it is not possible to give them anything. They are oppressed: "Be an enemy of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 47]. If you can help the oppressed, you should do so. We are standing firm. On the issue of the Resistance, the Americans decided to uproot the Resistance in West Asia and they were confident that they would accomplish this task. We are standing firm and we have said that we would not allow them to do so. Today, it is proven to everyone in the world that they wanted to do so, but that they failed and what we wanted to do so and we succeeded. Everyone in the world has understood this. Injustice should be confronted. This was about foreign injustice, but the same is true of domestic injustice and it is perhaps of higher priority because of a number of reasons.

Another point which should be raised is the issue of the people. One of the biggest advantages of the Islamic Republic is that it is a people-based system. One of the biggest advantages is that this Revolution is based on the people and on religion. The Islamic Revolution was religious and it was involved with the people's beliefs. And the government which was created was a religious and popular government. Because the people believed in Islam, they entered the arena.

That is why you witnessed that their children and their dear ones joined the front lines and fought until they were killed. The hearts of their parents began to burn with pain, but they showed patience, they thanked God and they did not complain. That was because those things were done in the way of God and in the way of Imam Hussein. This is one of the characteristics of the Revolution. The Revolution is a popular revolution. Therefore, the people should be given the highest priority in all plans.

Well, “the people” keep being mentioned. One hears this frequently. It is good for the officials of the country to rely on the people and the name of the people. It is very good that they rely on this title. However, they should know the people. All of us should know the people. Notice that during the time of taghut – you do not remember that time, but we spent our entire youth and the entire era of our activity and endeavor living in those times – there were a type of intellectuals who were active. We were in touch with many of them at that time. They used to keep mentioning the people on every occasion. As soon as there was a discussion, they would speak about the people and the defense of the people. They used to say such things. That was while they were wrong. It cannot be said that all of them were lying, but they were confused about this matter. They did not know the people, nor did the people know them. They did not understand the people, nor did the people understand them.

They used to write so many intellectual essays in magazines and newspapers. The taghuti regime knew that the people would not be influenced by those statements because the people did not understand what they were saying in any way. They were only fabricating certain things. So, the taghuti regime would not adopt strict measures towards those intellectuals. I witnessed in Mashhad that clearly Communist books were easily being sold in bookstores, but an Islamic book about such and such an Islamic issue, about Palestine and about other such matters would be treated with all sorts of pressure.

The reason was that the things which those intellectuals were writing and the ideas that they were putting forward were not believable to the people in any way. Neither they nor the people had any understanding about one another. When Imam entered the arena of struggle in the year 1341, he understood the people and the people understood his statements as well. They understood and followed him and that was how the Revolution came into being. So, the people should be understood.

Who are the people? The people are those who create the 22nd of Bahman epic. The people are such individuals. If you want to understand what the people say, you should listen to them. The people are those individuals who step aside as soon as they see that a group of vandals enter the arena. They step aside even if they have some objections because they see the slogans that those vandals chant. Later on, on the 9th of Dey, they enter the arena and chant their own slogans. The people are such individuals. They should not mistake others for the people.

They should know the people through their slogans and statements and they should work for the people: "Sincerely for God and His Exalted Being" [Speaking in Arabic]. Working for the people does not contradict working for God. It is not the case that when we say that officials should work for the people, this means that they should not work for God. This is not the case. God has said that you should work for the people. God has asked us officials to be at the service of the people, to be their servants and to work for them.

The people should be listened to. The people are complaining about corruption and discrimination. This is what the people are saying. The people endure many problems. Of course, they do not like corruption and discrimination. They have certain complaints and they put them forward. The people's complaint is about corruption and discrimination and therefore, officials – including executive, judiciary and legislative officials – should pursue this matter seriously.

As for the Armed Forces, my last word is that the Armed Forces should add to their construction on a daily basis. The construction of what? The construction of their own personalities and their own selves. They should edify themselves. They should build themselves as first-rate Islamic individuals and as first-rate Islamic militaries. First-rate Islamic militaries are pious, courageous, self-sacrificing and intelligent. They stand against the enemy with complete power, but they do not show any arrogance and hubris in the face of friends. This is the characteristic of Islamic militaries.

An example in this regard is Malik al-Ashtar. He used to treat the enemy in one way and an impolite boy in Kufa –whose story is well-known – in quite another way. A boy in Kufa did not know Malik al-Ashtar. So, he insulted him, but when he recognized him later on, he became nervous. He ran after him and found him in the mosque saying daily prayers. The boy apologized. Malik said, "I have come to the mosque to pray for you." That military commander – who is known as Malik al-Ashtar and who participated in the Battle of Siffin and accomplished those great feats – behaved towards a young impolite boy in such a way! This means self-edification.

And another matter is about building equipment. The honorable commander in the meeting was correct when he said that the Air Force was the first division in the army which embarked on building equipment and which engaged in self-sufficiency jihad. And the Air Force was very good and active. The Air Force has carried out many tasks. There are many stories about the Air Force. And this is one of them. You started the process of construction. In your force, the determined individuals who existed in those days began this process. In the present time, they are thankfully present as well. You are present and you can carry out this task.

You should both repair and build equipment. You should build because you can. You youth have very good capabilities. Once I said that a particular country only has money. It has nothing except for money. It does not have religion, morality, wisdom, capability and skill. It only has money. Some countries are like this. You may not have a lot of money at your disposal, but you have everything else: you have talent, you have mental capability and you have the power to innovate and to build. You can build. So, you should work hard in building yourselves – your own selves which is the most important – in building equipment and in building your organization. You should develop your organization as much as you can.

And you should know that by Allah's favor, victory belongs to you. By Allah's favor, in all the events that have taken place in recent years, revolutionary forces have snatched victory. In the future too, victory will belong to you and to the resistant people of Iran despite the foolish desires of the enemy. 

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings


  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Islamic Revolution
  • Yemen