Imam Khamenei

Ayatollah Khamenei’s warning to Iran's academia regarding the vicious Stanford Iran 2040 project

Well, [our] academic achievements are impressive in the real sense of the word. This should not be ignored. The reason why I am stressing this matter is the movement that has been launched, not only in Iran but all over the world, to play down and to belittle the great scientific movement of the country and to portray it as worthless. In the present time, they are working on this in the world. They spend money and devise various plans on this.

An example is the Standford University Iran 2040 Project – which you are possibly aware of or you will be aware of it later on – which is about Iran in 2040 and about questioning the scientific achievements of the country and the important academic projects of the country. Inside the country too, there are some individuals who echo the same words. In order to help them score a goal, they give them assists. The same course of action is being adopted inside the country.

I insist on emphasizing that this move, which is a mixture of malevolence and treason, is not a correct move in any way. Universities have made many breakthroughs in the true sense of the word. A great feat has been accomplished in the country. If we want to compare these achievements with those of the pre-revolutionary era, there is a world of difference. Before the Revolution, there were universities, but they were weak and ineffectual on the matters related to the world. In the area of international science, our universities in those days were anonymous and they were dependent on others. Most of the time, they would use westerners to address educational and scientific needs.

So, the two are not comparable at all, but our universities today are even radically different from the ones that existed 20, 25, 30 years ago. Today, universities have made progress in the real sense of the word. International centers in charge of world rankings have acknowledged that a large number of our universities are among the outstanding universities in the world. Today, we have 14 million academic graduates in the country. Fourteen million is a very high number. Just in the present time, five – or slightly more – percent of the overall population of the country is comprised of students who are busy pursuing their studies in universities. This is a high number.

I do not know if you are aware of this or not, but you are probably aware of it: they level accusations at our scientific achievements. For example, such and such a mercenary Saudi writer writes an essay about our advanced defense products, which scare wise individuals in the world, saying that those products are of no value and that they have been manufactured by others, not by the Iranians themselves. They say that they have not been produced by us! They know nothing about these products at all. They say such things and as for foreign writers – American and European – they accuse, with the help of some treasonous Iranian individuals, this large number of academic graduates of lack of depth and knowledge.

If they have no depth, then who managed to achieve the 20-percent uranium enrichment in the country? Who is pursuing achievements in the area of nanotechnology? Who is furthering achievements in the area of stem cells – which was also mentioned by one of the friends in the meeting – in the country? All these catches the attention of others, the attention of well-informed and knowledgeable individuals.

Therefore, universities have thankfully accomplished a great feat. Even those who appear as non-political but who are political in reality have no choice but to acknowledge in their speeches the scientific breakthroughs of the country. Therefore, this is a reality that exists and we should think, work and formulate plans on the basis of this reality.

May 29, 2019


  • Iranian scientists
  • Scientific movement
  • Scientific progress
  • Stanford Iran 2040 Project