Leader's Address to People of Chalous and Noshahr

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all sentient beings, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

I am grateful to Allah the Exalted who finally gave me the opportunity to be in the company of the warmhearted people of Chalous and Noshahr and enjoy the sincere and kind emotions expressed on this rainy day. On my previous trip to this region, I did not find the opportunity to meet with the people of Chalous in person. There was a heavy rain then. The meeting was unfortunately rained off. Although it is raining today as well, I hope I will be able to spend a short hour with you.

During the Sacred Defense, the soldiers from of Mazandaran and Gilan provinces who were going to fight against injustice in the battlefields used to pass through the city of Chalous. Chalous was the city where tens of thousands of soldiers frequently set out for the battlefields. In fact, this place was the passageway of more than twenty one thousand martyrs from Mazandaran and Gilan provinces. These are what I always associate Chalous with.

To be fair, I believe the people of Mazandaran were particularly outstanding in different religious and revolutionary issues. That is because before the Revolution the enemies of Islam and morality invested more efforts in this region than any other place. Those who were bedazzled by the pleasant climate, the beautiful and outstanding scenery, the sea, and the forests of this region and desired to appropriate them did not want the people of this strategic province to be committed to religious faith and morality. That was because they knew religion and morality were the greatest obstacle in the way of their encroachment and oppression. The amount of investment that the oppressive Pahlavi regime made in Mazandaran and Gilan in order to purge it of religious faith was rarely made in the case of other parts of Iran. All the same, Mazandaran has been a pioneer after the Revolution. What kind of religious faith, what kind of sincere piety was it that made the people of this region prove themselves as soldiers of Islam in spite of all that [cultural] sabotage? That was the case during the Revolution, during the imposed war, and during the events that have taken place after the war. Whenever it was a matter of defending religious faith, the Revolution, and the Islamic Republic, the people of Mazandaran were among the fervent supports of the camp of justice. The dear people of Chalous and Noshahr offered nearly one thousand martyrs to the Revolution.

These have been registered in the spiritual, demographic, and religious record of these people. These are among the beacons that specify the path of a nation, a community. And today your expression of emotions in this rain and your enthusiastic gathering in this place is indicative of your enlightened hearts. I should not keep you in the rain. I would like to take this meeting as an opportunity to say something about Mazandaran province. I would also like to say some things about the general issues of the country and the Revolution.

The forests and the sea in Mazandaran are two great natural resources and two great opportunities for this province. These resources are two great sources of wealth for the people of this province as well as the people of our country. These two great sources of wealth and these two great opportunities have to be preserved and used in an appropriate way. That is my advice to government officials of the country. These forests and this sea belong to our nation, and government officials are responsible for facilitating national affairs. They have to be very careful. It is their duty to ensure optimal, economic, and appropriate exploitation of forests and to prevent misuse of our forests and seas. Our forests are misused more than our seas. Greedy people and those who are seeking to advance their personal interests must not be allowed to channel these national sources of wealth into their own pockets under different pretexts. This is not acceptable. This region, this city, and the beautiful lands of this region with their pleasant climate are all divine blessings. These blessings have to be utilized, but in an appropriate way. We must benefit from these blessings, but within divine limits. We must exploit these resources, but we must also respect the values, religious beliefs, and moral values of the people of this region, the values that they have preserved in difficult conditions over long years.

You people of Mazandaran should know that during the early centuries of Islam the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates could never subjugate the northern parts of our country. The same Umayyad and Abbasid armies that had conquered other parts of our country as well as Rome could not conquer Mazandaran. The Alborz mountain range acted like a strong barrier, enabling the people of this region resist against the Muslim troops of Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. They could not conquer Mazandaran. Mazandaran was conquered by the oppressed descendants of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The oppressed and displaced children of Imam Sajjad (a.s.), Imam Baqir (a.s.), and Imam Sadiq (a.s.), who had escaped the clutches of bloodthirsty caliphs, somehow managed to make it to this region. When they arrived, the people of Mazandaran welcomed them with open arms. The people of Mazandaran embraced the descendants of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and converted to Islam. Therefore, the northern part of our country started as Shia Muslims and as the followers of the Commander of the Faithful. That is the historical background of this region. The people of this region have constantly supported Islamic values, jihad for the sake of Allah, and standard-bearers of fighting oppression. They have remained the same in this regard. We must respect these values, this religious faith, and this strong morality preserved over long centuries.

Government officials must take care not to let exploiting the forests and the sea as well as the beautiful scenery of this region negatively affect religious faith and morality of the people of this region. These resources must be exploited in a way that poverty is eradicated from this region. This is a duty. Of course your cooperation is necessary as well. The people of this region, especially those living in the areas that are very close to the sea and the forests, should urge governmental organizations to further their interests. They must urge governmental organizations to protect their faith, morality, and interests. There is a need for a strong bond and close cooperation between the government and the people of this region.

Now I would like to say something about the general issues of the country and the Revolution. Dear brothers and sisters, when the Holy Prophet was living in those difficult conditions in Mecca, Allah the Exalted told His messenger, "Say: This is my way. I call to Allah, with insight [basirat] - I and those who follow me." [The Holy Quran, 12: 108] The Holy Prophet acted on the basis of insight as do his followers and those who support his thoughts. This verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet was in Mecca. Insight was necessary at that time even when there was no government, no centralized society, and no large-scale management. The same was true of the time when the Holy Prophet was living Medina. The reason I have been emphasizing the need for insight over the past years is that an insightful nation and young generation that make wise decisions along the way will make the swords of the enemies dull. If you do not know how to find your way and how to read a map on a battlefield, if you do not have a compass on the battlefield, you will suddenly realize that you are besieged by the enemy and that you have chosen the wrong direction. The enemy will then take control of the situation. Insight is analogous to a compass on the battlefield.

Without insight, it is not possible to move along in today's complex societies. The youth must think and increase their insight. Clergymen and the committed members of our society - including those involved in educational and cultural issues, academics, and seminarians - must pay attention to the issue of insight when setting goals, determining the necessary means, identifying the enemy, detecting the obstacles, and determining the methods to remove the obstacles. These are different types of insight that are necessary. When there is insight, you will know who you should deal with and you will equip yourself with the necessary means. Sometimes you decide to take a walk in the street. You may put on ordinary clothes and a pair of slippers for the walk. But when you decide to go climbing, you need special equipment. Insight is the knowledge of what you need and what you should take along.

The Islamic Republic introduced something new to the political arena of the world. After the passage of thirty years, this novel message is still considered new and interesting. Therefore, as you can see, world nations are interested in the Islamic Republic. When we hold an election with a turnout rate of 85 percent, people living in different parts of the world and in different countries become cheerful. Those who sympathize with the Islamic Republic become cheerful and shout slogans. We learn about their happiness from different sources. World nations become worried when the enemy resorts to spreading rumors and slanders and to causing riots in different corners of the country in order to ruin the impressive turnout and the great political victory. World nations become concerned in such cases. We can see that people - in Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world where there are devout Muslims and Shia - get concerned about the situation of our country. That shows the active presence of the Islamic Republic's thoughts in the world of Islam.

The Islamic Republic has two aspects. It is republican in the sense that it represents ordinary people. It is also Islamic - that is to say, it is based on divine and religious values.

The Islamic Republic is populist. That is to say, the people have played a role in establishing the Islamic Republic and electing its government officials. Therefore, the people feel responsible. The people do not just stand by and watch. The Islamic Republic is populist in the sense that government officials should be from among ordinary people, should not avoid the people, should not behave like aristocrats, and should not ignore or humiliate the people. Our nation has experienced for many consecutive centuries aristocratic and autocratic behavior of the illegitimate rulers of this country, and era of the Islamic Republic cannot be like previous eras. The era of the Islamic Republic is characterized by the rule of those who are from among the people, those who support the people, those who are elected by the people, and those who behave like the people. That is what republican means. The Islamic Republic is republican - that is to say, the beliefs, identity, personality, and sense of self-worth of the people should be treated with respect. The reputation of the people must be preserved. These are the factors that make our government republican.

The Islamic Republic is Islamic. That is to say, all the factors I discussed have spiritual support. Secular democracies or democracies that are opposed to religion are therefore out of the question. The Islamic Republic is Islamic in the sense that the efforts made by the people are in fact for a divine cause. Those who are working for the betterment of society, those who are working to strengthen the establishment, and those who are making efforts to promote the thoughts of this nation and the Islamic Republic are in fact working for the sake of God. The Islamic Republic is divine, which is very valuable. The Islamic Republic is a new paradigm, a paradigm that the world has not witnessed since the time of prophets and since the early years of Islam. That is not something insignificant. This paradigm has its opponents. The dictators throughout the world are the enemies of our government. Domineering powers and those who trample on world nations' rights are opposed to the Islamic Republic. Enmity should be expected. But our nation has proven that such enmity has no effect on its resistance. It is thirty years now that enemies have been opposing us and the nation has been resisting. The result of this confrontation was the incredible progress for the Islamic nation, and this progress will continue in the future. [The audience chanting, "Oh, our free-spirited leader, we are ready, we are ready."] I cannot keep you in the rain any longer. [The audience continues chanting slogans.] That is very kind of you. There is no doubt about that. The problem is I am sitting under a roof here, but you are sitting in the rain. That makes me uncomfortable.

Let me just add one more point. I am addressing all people, especially the youth. I am addressing all people of the country, especially the people of this strategic region. Dear youth, make as many efforts as you possibly can to increase and deepen your insight, and do not let the enemies take advantage of our lack of insight. Do not let the enemy disguise itself as a friend. Do not let falsities masquerade as realities, and vice versa. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) referred to this as one of the most important problems of society in one of his sermons. "All sedition [fitna] is started by following twisted desires and fabricated rules, rules that are contradictory to Allah's Book. And contrary to the truth, a group of people rise up in its support. If the truth was clearly distinguished from falsehood and was not hidden from those who seek the truth, and if the truth was purified of all falsehood, the enemies of the truth would not be able to say a word to contradict it." Similarly, if falsehood was clearly revealed to people, no one would go after falsehood. "But they take part of the truth and part of falsehood and mix them together." Those who want to mislead people do not resort to pure falsities. As a result, "Satan overcomes its followers, and only those who were blessed by Allah are saved." The truth can be disguised even from those who seek it. That is why gaining insight is our primary duty. We must not let the truth be disguised as falsehood, and vice versa.

Today the Islamic Republic, which is currently the peak of promoting Islam in the world, is confronted with the ranks of its enemies. The global arrogance and the Zionist regime are the core of those enemy ranks. To put it bluntly, these two are the deadly enemies of Islam, and they are therefore the deadly enemies of the Islamic Republic. That is a criterion. If we make a move or do something that benefits these enemies, we must come to our senses and realize that we are moving in the wrong direction. If we make a move and see that it makes the enemy furious, we must realize that we are heading in the right direction. The enemy gets furious at the Iranian nation's progress and achievements and at the Islamic Republic's strength. You should see which of our actions make the enemy furious. The actions that infuriate the enemy are the landmarks of the right path. The enemy tries to put emphasis on what makes it cheerful in its propaganda and policies. That shows the wrong path, the path that diverges from the path we should tread. You must keep these criteria in mind. These criteria will shed light on the truth. In many cases, these criteria can help us rectify the mistakes we have made.

We must rely on Allah the Exalted. We must trust Him. Allah the Exalted has promised to "help those who help Him" [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]. Those who actively promote Allah's religion will be assisted by Allah along the way. Yes, if we are among the supporters of Allah's religion, but laze about in our homes, there will be no divine assistance. But when we actively promote Allah's religion, we may have to pay the price, but we will definitely benefit from divine assistance. The Iranian nation is a case in point. Iran has been constantly successful in different challenges it has faced since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. That is an instance of divine assistance. During the eight-year imposed war, almost all the well-known powers of the time joined hands with our enemy and fought with us. America, the U.S.S.R., NATO, and our unfair neighbors helped it. They provided our enemy with financial assistance and different facilities. They all stood up to the Islamic Republic with the intention of breaking up our country. They wanted to separate Khuzestan province from the rest of Iran. They wanted to occupy our lands in order to accuse the Islamic Republic of incompetence and overthrow it. But Allah the Exalted gave them a kick in the mouth. Through its resistance, patience, and insight, the Iranian nation delivered such a blow to the enemies that they were forced to retreat. You will always be able to benefit from divine assistance.

Dear God, shower all of us with Your grace, blessings, and guidance the way You showered us with rain today. Oh God, make us live with Islam and the Quran. Oh God, increase the dignity and power of the Iranian nation on a daily basis. Dear God, bestow Your grace and blessings on all those who sympathetically make efforts for this nation and render services for it. Withhold Your grace and blessings from those who try to harm this nation, those who treat Iran unfairly, and those undermine its unity. Oh God, make us Your righteous servants and true soldiers of Islam. Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age pleased with us. Make the immaculate souls of our magnanimous Imam and martyrs pleased with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings