Leader’s Friday Prayer Address

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 5, 2011 by Ayatollah Khamenei during Friday prayers in Tehran on the occasion of Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha's (a.s.) martyrdom anniversary.

First Sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, Whom we praise, from Whom we seek help, Whom we trust, from Whom we seek grace, and to Whom we repent, and peace and greetings be upon His beloved and noble one, His best among creation, guardian of the Secrets, disseminator of His message, harbinger of His mercy, and admonisher of divine wrath, 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. And greetings be upon the Imams of Muslims, supporters of the oppressed, and those who guide the faithful.
I urge the servants of God and myself to fear God.

I would like to urge all you dear brothers and sisters, the honorable worshippers and myself to observe piety. Today is the martyrdom anniversary of Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha (a.s.). And a few days ago our people commemorated the demise anniversary of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (s.w.a.), and the tragic martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba. I would like to extend my condolences on these painful events and great tragedies of history to you faithful people, to the entire Iranian nation, to all Shia Muslims and to all Muslims across the world. Allah the Exalted tells His Messenger, "O Prophet, be pious to God". [The Holy Quran, 33: 1] Piety - the necessity of piety, observing piety - is even addressed to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). We should keep God in mind. We should watch our actions, behavior, words and even our thoughts. This is the meaning of piety. If piety is observed, all paths will be opened up, and Allah the Exalted will support a nation that observes piety.

This year's ten-day Fajr ceremonies and this 22nd of Bahman are different because after years of selfless efforts the people see today that the echoes of their yell - their oppressed and powerful yell - can be heard clearly in other parts of the world of Islam.

The events that are happening in North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia and certain other countries have a different meaning for our nation. They have a special meaning. This is what has always been called the occurrence of Islamic Awakening due to the victory of the great Islamic Revolution of the Iranian nation. This is becoming clear today. Therefore, this year's ten-day Fajr ceremonies are important.

Today I will mention a point about our Revolution in the first sermon, and in the second sermon I will briefly discuss the events of Egypt and Tunisia. Then, with the permission of you dear worshippers and by Allah's favor, I will address all Arab Muslims of the region in Arabic.

What I will say about our Revolution, about the great event caused by the Iranian nation - which holds lessons for us - is primarily a picture of the realities of the world so that we can see what the arrogant powers, the colonialists, the global bullies and the hegemonic powers wanted and what really happened, so that we can see what they were looking for and what happened in reality. Then I will point out two characteristics of our Revolution which are related to our times.

Regarding the first part - which is about presenting a picture of the current situation and comparing it to what the global bullies were looking for - I would like to say that the victors of the First and Second World Wars, mainly consisting of a few European countries and America, had a pre-determined policy for the important Middle East region. This was because the Middle East is important in terms of its geopolitical position as a region that connects Asia, Europe and Africa together. It is also important in that its oil fields are among the biggest sources of oil in the world. Oil is vital for all industrial powers that have dominated the world. Moreover, in terms of its population, the Middle East region is home to ancient and deep-rooted nations. Therefore, they adopted a certain policy for this region. According to the policy, there has to be countries and political units in the Middle East region that enjoy five characteristics. First, they have to be weak. Second, they have to be hostile to one another, and they should not be able to unite - as a result, you saw that they followed the policy of strengthening Arab nationalism, Turkish nationalism and Iranian nationalism for many years. Third, their rulers have to be politically obedient and give in to the western powers. Fourth, they have to be consumers from the economic point of view - that is to say, they have to spend on imports and consumerism the money that they earn from selling their oil at a very low price so that western companies can boost their business. Fifth, they have to be scientifically backward, and they should not be given the permission to make scientific progress. These are just general points. It would really take a book to explain them. How did they used to prevent scientific progress in our country and certain other countries? They wanted the nations of this region to blindly imitate the Europeans in cultural areas. They wanted the nations of the region to be completely superficial and settle for a kind of religion that is personal and possibly ceremonial. This was the picture that they had in mind, and they prepared policies to achieve this goal. Maybe western strategists spent thousands of hours to study this issue. Maybe they spent thousands of hours to think about it and make plans. They deployed their agents in Middle Eastern countries and used them to do what they wanted to do. This analysis can help us to appropriately understand Reza Shah's behavior, Mohammad Reza Shah's behavior and the behavior of Turkey's Mustafa Kemal and many others.

This was their plan, and they were successful. Until before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, they were successful except in certain eras in the case of certain issues. They were unsuccessful only for short periods of time - for example, a populist government came to power in Egypt for a few years, and the same thing happened in Iran and other places in one form or another. However, generally speaking, they absolutely made progress in all these areas until before the Revolution. But suddenly a great event, a great explosion took place which completely ruined their situation. A scholarly, prominent, wise, mujahid, courageous and risk-taking man, a charismatic religious scholar called Imam Khomeini (r.a.), emerged among the people of Iran, and the emergence and presence of this great man was indeed an act of God. This event had been pre-ordained by God. And the people of Iran were prepared. They welcomed the event and willingly accepted the dangers. They stepped into the arena. They laid down their lives and gave up their wealth. They emerged victorious out of the divine test. As a result, the Islamic Revolution took place. All these calculations were ruined. The Islamic Revolution started strong in Iran and continued the same way. That is to say, it was not the case that an excitement was created in the first few years and then it blew over. No, the Revolution continued. There are a few points regarding this permanence that I will discuss later on.

The Imam stood firm like a mountain, and the nation supported him firmly. The camp of the enemy - it was not just one enemy: the enemy was a camp - tried as hard as it could. It did whatever it could: from street fighting, to ethnic conflicts, to military coups, to the eight-year imposed war, to economic sanctions, to starting the impressive machine of psychological warfare over the past 32 years. It is 32 years now that psychological warfare has been going on against the Iranian nation, against the Revolution and against the Imam. They lied. They leveled allegations. They spread rumors. They tried to foment discord. They tried to divert our people from their paths.

The primary goal that they were pursuing was to crush the Revolution and overthrow the Islamic Republic. The first goal was to overthrow the government. The next goal was to transform the Revolution in case they failed in their attempt to overthrow the Islamic Republic. That is to say, the goal was to destroy the nature and the spirit of the Revolution, but let it keep its surface form. They made a lot of efforts in this regard. The fitna of the year 1388 was the latest scenario that they played out. In fact it was another attempt. Some people inside the country fell for this plot because of their passions and their love for power and other such spiritual maladies which are caused by human passions. I have repeatedly pointed out that the designers and the masterminds were and still are outside our borders. Some people cooperated with them inside the country - some knowingly and some unknowingly. This was the second goal.

The third goal that they have been pursuing is to make the Islamic Republic use weak and vulnerable elements who can be influenced - that is, if the Islamic Republic stays in power. They want to put such people in charge of the country's affairs and only deal with them. Ultimately, they want to create and keep in power a government that is weak and obedient, a government that does not have enough power, a government that would not stand up against America. These are the goals.

All these measures and all these courses of action have failed so far. They have been unsuccessful so far. Of course they have made a lot of efforts. They have adopted various courses of action, and I will mention some of them in my speech today. They did not spare any effort, but they were not successful because the people were vigilant. We have good elites in our society. We have good people. We have good government officials. Thankfully the enemy has not been able to realize its goals so far. The Revolution has continued its path and has moved forward.

What happened during the Revolution? Notice that these are important points. The Revolution that took place in Iran caused some changes which are fundamental in terms of their depth. It is on the basis of such changes that one can push society forward and make far-reaching changes. These essential pillars were firmly built.

I would like to mention a few of the changes that were made. Of course everybody knows these things. We all know them. They are right in front of our eyes. But Allah the Exalted points out the existence of the sun in the Holy Quran. "I swear by the sun and its brilliance." [The Holy Quran, 91: 1] The sun is in front of our eyes, but Allah the Exalted swears by the sun in order to attract our attention to this obvious and huge entity. In the same way, we have to pay attention to the great phenomena that surround us. Therefore, the purpose of pointing out these things is to turn our attention to them.

First of all, before the Revolution the government which was ruling our country was deeply opposed to Islam. They were not very strict about Islamic appearances, but they were after destroying the roots and essence of Islamic faith of the people. In this regards I have many examples, proofs and memories in mind, but there is not enough time to mention them. The Revolution turned around the system of government and made Islam the pivot of managing the country. The Revolution made Islam the pivot of management. Islamic rules are the criteria for rejecting or accepting the laws of the country and the standard for judging the performance of the executive officials of the country.

The country was politically dependent before the Revolution. That is to say, the government - both Mohammad Reza Shah and different governmental organizations - obeyed America. They were just waiting for America to make a move. Again, there is overwhelming evidence in this regard. Dr. Amini traveled from Iran to America in order to convince the Americans to let him be the prime minister of Iran. When he came back, he became prime minister! After a couple of years the Shah - who was opposed to Dr. Amini - made a trip to America and convinced the Americans to remove him. The Shah came back and removed him! This was the situation of our country. In order to install a prime minister, the Shah who was the head of the country needed the agreement and approval of America. In the case of many issues the Shah used to invite the American and English ambassadors to his palace in order to discuss his decision with them. If they did not agree, the decision was not implemented. This is what political dependence means. They obeyed America, and before America they obeyed England. It was the English who brought Reza Khan to power. When they realized that he was no longer useful to them, they fired him. They forced him out of the country and put his son in power. This was our situation before the Revolution.

The Revolution came and brought full political independence for the country. That is to say, today in this vast world there is not even a single power among the superpowers which can claim its will has the slightest effect on the will of the government officials or the Iranian nation. In particular, this issue - namely, resistance, independence, political dignity - is the most attractive thing for nations. When you notice that nations feel respect for the Iranian nation, [you should pay attention to the fact that] a major portion of this respect is related our political independence.

Monarchy was the system of government before the Revolution. Democracy is the opposite of monarchy. In a monarchy the people do not have any role in government. In a democracy the people are in charge of everything. Government was hereditary before the Revolution. Rulers used to determine their successors before they died. That is to say, the people had no role in government. Whether they liked it or not, they had no choice but to accept their government. Thanks to the Revolution, the people can now choose their government. The taste and will of the people play a determining role. Before the Revolution the system of government was security-based dictatorship - harsh and dark dictatorship. I remember that a friend of mine came to Mashhad from Pakistan to see me. He had entered the country illegally. He said that once he was sitting in a park with his friends and that they were reading a political leaflet in the park. I was surprised. Reading a political leaflet in a park? Is such a thing possible? I could not imagine that somebody could walk in the street with a political leaflet in his pocket, a leaflet which contains a few criticisms of the government. This was how the security-based dictatorship of that time was like. The Revolution came and created a free atmosphere for criticism and reform. This has been the case throughout the past 32 years, even during the early years after the victory of the Revolution.

Before the Revolution the country totally depended on the west in science and technology. I have said this on many occasions before. Some parts of our military planes had been used up and had to be fixed, but they did not allow the engineers of the Air Force to take it apart and see what it was, let alone think of fixing it. They used to send that part to America by plane and bring another one instead. Or if the part was supposed to be fixed, they used to fix it in America. There was no industry. Our industry was limited to simple assemblage, without any innovations. After the Revolution scientific and national self-confidence was created in the country. We witnessed the emergence of so many scientists - prominent and great scientists - in different fields. Today there are very good scientists inside the country who have few equals in the world. Our scientists moved forward, and they were mostly young.

Iran had no influence over global or even regional issues before the Revolution. It had been humiliated. It did not have the slightest effect on different issues. After the Revolution the glory and greatness of this nation in the eyes of other nations across the world and its influence on regional issues have astonished the enemies. The enemies have been forced to admit this. Today on foreign news websites they are constantly speaking about Iran's influence and domination and its presence in regional issues. They admit this, though with hostile motives.

Before the Revolution we simply imitated [the west] in cultural areas. But after the Revolution cultural invasion was recognized as a danger. There are many such topics. These are essential points. When such foundations are established in a country, then the nation can be hopeful that it can build a new and great civilization on these foundations. Well, each of these characteristics attracts the attention of the nations across the world in one way or another. Other nations watch, they get fascinated and they praise [us]. Of course the issue of political independence and resistance against the bullying of the enemies is the most important issue.

I would like to quote a comment by a western official. I do not usually quote these western politicians and prominent western figures, but this particular comment is interesting. He says that there are two things that will violate and break down all western red lines - namely, western absolutist and universalist principles - if these two are passed from one Muslim to another and if Muslim nations become aware of them. What are these two things? This western intellectual says that one is the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, which presents an advanced, modern, populist and at the same time religious form of government to Muslims across the world. This Constitution shows that it is possible to have a government that is modern, advanced and completely religious. The Constitution describes such a government. You admit that such a thing is possible: this is the first point. The second point is the Islamic Republic's record of scientific, economic and political achievements. And if this Muslims find out about this, they will see that what was possible has already happened. He says that if Muslim nations find out about this possibility - which is both practical and has partially happened in Islamic Iran - then it will not be possible to prevent revolutions from happening.

Today this has already happened. Of course it is not a recent development - this has been going on for 30 years. A concept occurs to nations, and it gradually spreads and takes root among them. Later on this concept manifests itself in the form [of events] happening in North Africa and other parts of the world.

Of course westerners themselves made some political mistakes. These political mistakes helped the Islamic Republic. Notice that westerners made a mistake in the case of the nuclear issue. In order to confront Iran's nuclear activities, they magnified the nuclear issue. They created uproar. They pressured the Islamic Republic to back down in the case of the nuclear issue. It is seven years now that they have been trying. Well, two issues became clear to people of the world during the past seven years. The first issue is that Iran has managed to achieve unexpected advances in nuclear technology. The second issue is that Iran has stood firm in spite of all this pressure, and it will not retreat. This was in the interest of the Iranian nation. Now the entire world knows that America, Europe and their subordinates and followers did not manage to overwhelm the Islamic Republic in spite all the pressure they exerted on it. The entire world knows that they did not manage to force the Islamic Republic to retreat. This characteristic was propagated by the enemies of the Iranian nation. That is to say, they helped introduce the Iranian nation to the world.

The same is true of other issues as well. They created uproar and said that they were planning to impose sanctions on gas so that we could not import it. Well, we used to import gas and we still do. They said they were planning to prevent Iran from importing gas. They created uproar in this regard. Their analysts predicted that it would cause public turmoil in our country. This caused our government officials to start thinking of producing more gas. According to the report I have received, by Allah's favor, the country will be completely self-sufficient in gas by the 22nd of Bahman this year. According to the report, after that we will even be able to export gas, and the necessary orders have already been announced in this regard. The uproar they created ended up benefitting the Iranian nation. And international observers saw this. The same is true of all issues. It was true of the arms embargo they imposed on us during the war. It was also true of their efforts to create parallel and radical Islamic movements. They came and created a radical Islamic movement in a neighboring country in order to challenge the Islamic Republic. Now the same movement has turned into a plague for them. They cannot stop it. They do not know how to set things right. The same is true of creating religious conflicts. It is true of the fitna of the year 1388. They created uproar and said that the Islamic Republic was finished. They said that the Islamic Republic was plunged into internal conflicts. They made many such statements. Then they saw the Iranian nation overcome the problems. Last year the 9th of Dey and the 22nd of Bahman were truly among "the Days of God". God has full control over hearts. Allah the Exalted made hearts step into the arena, and the Iranian nation showed its greatness. Whatever they do ends up harming themselves, and it will be the same in the future as well. This is a fact of the modern world. They wanted something, but what happened was completely different.

Now I would like to speak about the second issue that I mentioned in the beginning. If we want to determine the importance of a phenomenon and its success, we should see how successful it has been in setting a model, how much it has resisted, how stable it has proven to be and how steadfast it has been. The same is true of revolutions. If a revolution is determined to influence the minds and actions of others and become a model, it must have certain characteristics. Stability and resistance are among the most important characteristics. If a revolution enjoys these characteristics, it will become a model for others. Otherwise, the events that spark in a certain place and then die out will not be very successful in setting models and inspiring others to follow their example. Our Revolution has not been like this. Our Revolution has managed to be inspirational and has set a model. And this is because of the stability and resistance of our Revolution and its adherence to the main principles and foundations that were introduced by the Imam (r.a.).

Our Revolution was steadfast. I would like to mention a few examples in this regard. One example is the Islamic qualities of the Revolution. The Imam said at the beginning that our Revolution is Islamic and that it is based on Islam. They stepped up their efforts to create uproar about this in the world. They said that being Islamic was inconsistent with being democratic. They said that being Islamic was the same as being reactionary. They said that being Islamic equaled regression. They said that Islamic rules cannot be implemented. They made many such comments. And some people echoed their voice inside the country. They wrote books and articles and they spread rumor in order to force the Islamic Republic to retreat from adherence to Islam. The Islamic Republic stood firm and did not surrender in the face of disinformation. Yes, we are Islamic. We are proud of this, and we will prove that this is the way to save humanity. The Islamic Republic yelled this out to the entire world.

Thirty two years have passed since the Revolution. Take a look at our society. The behaviors are at least as Islamic - if not more - as they used to be during the early days of the Revolution. The youth did not see the Imam, they did not experience the war and they do not remember anything about the victory of the Revolution, yet their commitment to Islamic principles is stronger than some of their elders. Our government officials are proud of being Islamic. Of course the enemies have made a lot of efforts during the past 32 years. There were even some people in the government who tried to twist and turn the paths and to divert them away from the goals, but they did not succeed. The Islamic Republic firmly adhered to its principles. It firmly adhered to its Islamic foundations. This is one example.

The issue of democracy is another example. The Imam announced at the beginning that the people should have a say in the election of the Islamic Republic, in the formulation of the Constitution, in the law that had been approved in the Assembly of Experts and in presidential and parliamentary elections. The Imam stood firm. Notice that 32 years have passed since the Revolution. Considering the elections that have been held, we have had 32 occasions for public presence - that is to say, one election a year on the average. The people went to the ballot boxes and voted for their candidates. What people want is very important. Tehran was being bombed during the war, but the elections were not canceled. During the war the elections were not canceled even in the cities that were being targeted with missiles by Saddam Hussein's regime. In one of the parliamentary elections they tried to delay the election because of certain political motives, but they did not succeed. Until today the elections held by the Islamic Republic have not been delayed even a single day. This is democracy. The Imam demanded democracy on the first day, and the Islamic Republic insisted on this democracy. It refused to give up democracy. Today our government officials are elected by the people - from members of the Assembly of Experts who are responsible for electing and removing the Leader, to the President, to members of the Majlis, to members of different councils. People with different political tendencies have been voted into office. It was not the case that only people from one particular movement have been elected so far. No, since the beginning up until today, the presidents that have been voted into office differed in terms of their political orientations in one way or another. But they were all elected by the people.

Social justice is the next example. The Imam announced that at the beginning. I would say that social justice is more difficult than all other things. Establishing social justice is more difficult than preserving democracy and the other things that the Islamic Republic has done so far. It is a very difficult task. I do not want to say that we have been able to establish social justice in a perfect way. No, there is still a long way to go. The kind of justice that Islam has demanded from us is very different from what we have today in our society. But the movement towards social justice did not stop. It continued, and it has gained momentum on a daily basis. Today the movement towards social justice is continuing with even more force than previous eras. One of the important examples of social justice is creating equal opportunities for everyone in the country. In political systems that are unaware of the essence of social justice, they only focus on a particular social class or particular parts of the country. But after the passage of 32 years since the victory of the Revolution, we see that in the Islamic Republic as we move along, this concept is highlighted more. Villages are taken care of. Distant towns are taken care of. All these houses that are built in villages, all these roads that connect villages and distant cities of the country to one another, all these means of transportation, the electricity, the drinking water, the telephone lines, the facilities for daily life - all these things have been distributed all over the country.

As for the trips that our government officials make to different provinces and cities of the country, the people of some of these distant cities could not even imagine that one day they would see even a junior government official. Now they see that top government officials of the country travel to their cities. These are essential issues. These things are very valuable. When a government official goes to a particular place, he sees the problems and is motivated to eliminate them. And this is establishment of social justice. We are moving towards social justice.

One can see across the world that government officials live an aristocratic life. When somebody gains power, becomes president or achieves a high position in the government, his life takes a U-turn. This is not the case in our country. Of course people like me must adjust our life to the living conditions of the poorest classes of society. We have been unsuccessful in this regard. We were not lucky enough. This has not happened yet. But thankfully our government officials are living an ordinary life, and sometimes their living conditions are worse than those of ordinary citizens. These are very valuable.

Distributing money among the poor, building houses for villagers and the subsidy redistribution law are great achievements. If the government officials manage to implement the law well, it will prove to be very important. Regarding the subsidies that the government used to provide for electricity, there are people who use big chandeliers and there are people who use only one or two light bulbs in their homes. Are these two groups of people comparable? Rich people used to benefit more from the subsidies. That was a kind of oppression. They want to prevent this oppression. The same is true of the issue of bread, gas and other things. We stood firm. The system firmly adhered to the slogan of social justice.

The next point is the fight against the arrogant powers - not surrendering to the pressure exerted on us. We are standing firm in this area as well. This was a difficult task, but the Islamic Republic managed to do that successfully. After the victory of the Revolution there were many people who used say, "Now that the Revolution has achieved victory, let us go and settle our issues with the Americans!" This meant that we had to criticize the anti-oppression slogans of the Revolution. They used to encourage this. There were some people in the past that were after this. That is to say, they wanted us to join America. They wanted us to let our archenemy take us under its wing. They wanted us to ask our archenemy for shelter, which meant we had to keep silent about the issue of Palestine. It meant that we had to ignore America's crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and other such places. It meant that we had to turn a blind eye to all the oppression by America against the nations of the world. It meant that we had to keep silent and not protest against these issues. Normalizing relations means that the Iranian nation and its officials will not be able to protest explicitly and express their opinion. Even worse, it means that the Iranian nation and government officials will gradually be forced to accept what they say. A lot of effort went into this stability and resistance, but it was auspicious and it attracted divine blessings and the attention of other nations. The insistence of you Iranian people on the main slogans of the Revolution during the past 32 years led to a great blessing: the world of Islam holds you in high regard. When your government officials travel to different countries, they are warmly welcomed. When estimating the popularity of political figures, your government officials are placed at the top of the list. What the Iranian nation did became a model, and today you can see the signs. This great blessing and this characteristic were among the things that could not have been proven except through the passage of time.

Today your voice is being echoed in Egypt. The US President whose term overlapped with our Revolution had been interviewed a few days ago. He had said that the voices which he hears in Egypt are familiar to him. That is to say, what is currently heard in Cairo used to be heard in Tehran when he was president. The world sits in judgment over these things. Therefore, this year's ten-day Fajr ceremonies are important, sensitive and lively. By Allah's favor, you dear people's rallies on the 22nd of Bahman will be added to all these achievements.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

"Surely We have given you Kauthar [abundance]. Therefore, pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice. Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity." [The Holy Quran, 108: 1-3]

Second sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Two worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household, especially upon the Commander of the Faithful, Seddiqat al-Tahera, Hassan, Hussein, Ali ibn al-Hussein, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ja'far ibn Muhammad, Musa ibn Ja'far, Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ali ibn Muhammad, Hassan ibn Ali and Hujjat al-Qaem al-Mahdi. And greetings be upon the Imams of Muslims, supporters of the oppressed, and those who guide the faithful. And I ask God to bestow forgiveness on you and myself.
I urge the servants of God and myself to fear God.

Once again I would like to urge all you dear brothers and sisters and myself to observe piety. I will briefly discuss a few points about the events that are happening in Egypt and Tunisia. These events are very important. They are a real earthquake. If, by Allah's grace and favor, the Egyptian nation manages to continue its movement, they will cause an irreparable failure for the American policies in the region. Today the Israelis are probably more concerned about these events than the fugitive Egyptian or Tunisian officials. The Israelis and the Zionist enemies are concerned more than anybody else. They know what a great event will happen in this region if Egypt ends its alliance with them and goes back to its genuine position - the prophecies of our magnanimous Imam will be realized. Therefore, the events are extremely important. In global analyses they try to divert attention from the main cause of these uprisings. They point to economic and non-economic issues, which of course had a role. But the main cause of this impressive movement by the people - first in Tunisia and then in Egypt where this movement reached its peak - is the feeling of humiliation that has been created among the people due to the situation of their leaders. The people were humiliated. They felt that they had been insulted. This Mubarak of Egypt humiliated the Egyptian nation.

First, I would like to mention a point about Tunisia. The fugitive Tunisian president, Ben Ali, was totally dependent on America. I have even received reports according to which he was connected with the CIA - the American intelligence agency. Just notice how difficult it is for a nation to accept that its leader is officially a servant of American organizations. And Ben Ali was extremely arrogant. He brutally ruled the people of Tunisia for years. He acted against the interests of the people and against religion. Tunisia is a Muslim country with a long Islamic record, and it has offered luminaries to Islamic culture. When the people wanted to go to the mosque during the reign of Ben Ali, they had to have a special card. The government used to issue special cards for entering mosques, and not everybody got one of those cards. The government did not allow the people to go to the mosque. Even individual prayers were banned in mosques, let alone congregational prayers. It was prohibited to pray in public. Hijab was officially banned. Well, Islam would understandably be one of the important motives of these people. Therefore, you saw that as soon as this traitor left the country, the situation totally changed. Female students went to university wearing hijab. This is indicative of a deep-rooted Islamic tendency. Western analysts want to deny this. They want to hide this.

Dependence on America was another cause, which is very important. The Americans do not like to hear that dependence is the cause of the uprising of the people first in Tunisia and then in Egypt - where the uprising reached its peak. This is the truth of the situation. Of course only a superficial change took place in Tunisia. Ben Ali fled from the country, but his system is still in power. I hope the people of Tunisia have an appropriate understanding of their situation. God forbid that the enemy should manage to deceive them.

Now I would like to speak about Egypt. Egypt is a very important country. I will briefly discuss a few points in this regard. Egypt was the first Islamic country that became familiar with western culture. It was in the late 18th century that Egypt started to become familiar with western culture before all other [Muslim] countries. Egypt was the first country among Muslims countries that became familiar with European culture, and it was the first Islamic country that stood up against that European and western culture. It was the first Islamic country to realize the flaws of this culture and stand up against it. Egypt was the best place that Sayyid Jamal ad-Din - that great and courageous man who fought for Islam - could find for his activities. Later on his students, including Muhammad Abduh and others, continued his activities in Egypt. The movement for Islam enjoys such a record in Egypt. The Egyptians have great political and cultural figures - all of them freedom fighters. Egypt became the leader of the Arab world in intellectual and political areas. Arab countries used to follow the lead of Egypt for a long period of time. Egypt became the leader of the Arab world. That country is overflowing with the desire for independence and freedom. Of course the Egyptian people were not provided with good opportunities, except for short periods of time.

Egypt was the first or the biggest country that entered into a war, together with Syria, for the sake of the Palestinian issue. Other Islamic countries did not participate in the few wars that they have fought against Israel. Egypt deployed its soldiers, its army, its people and its sources of support once in 1967 and another time in 1973. Of course they were not successful. Egypt is such a country. It was considered a refuge for the Palestinians. It was even a refuge for many revolutionaries from other countries. For thirty years such a country has fallen into the hands of somebody who is not only not a freedom fighter, but is also an enemy of seeking freedom. He is not only not an anti-Zionist, but he is also the companion, collaborator and confidant of the Zionists and their servant, in a sense. A country whose flag of anti-Zionism used to inspire the entire Arab world one day was trapped in such a situation that the Israelis and the Zionist enemies started to rely on Mubarak's assistance in all their activities against the Palestinians. He helped them. If Hosni Mubarak had not helped the Israelis on the issue of Gaza, they could not have besieged Gaza. The Palestinians were besieged in Gaza - and they have been under siege for four years now. During the 22-day war Palestinian men, women and children were burnt to death by the Israelis, and their homes were destroyed. But they did not let aid convoys help these people. Not only the people of Egypt but also people from other countries - including people from our country -wanted to help them through Egypt, but Hosni Mubarak did not let them.

This was the situation of Egypt, which frustrated the people. The people of Egypt feel humiliated because the current Egyptian regime supports Israel and blindly obeys America. This is the main cause of the movement. The Egyptians are Muslims. Their movement starts from Friday prayer venues. Their movement starts from mosques. Their slogan is "Allahu Akbar". The people are shouting religious slogans. The strongest opposition movement in Egypt is an Islamic movement. The people of Egypt want to get rid of this feeling of humiliation. This is the main cause. Westerners do not let this analysis be promoted among nations and affect global public opinion. They always refer to economic issues. Of course it is a fact that the services of somebody like Hosni Mubarak to America did not help Egypt move even one step closer to blossoming [and development]. The population of Egypt is more than 70 million, and forty percent of this population is below the poverty line. According to the reports I have received, in the city of Cairo alone there are several hundred thousand people who live in cemeteries. Of course I have also heard that there are 2-3 million such people, but definitely there are several hundred thousand people in Cairo who live in cemeteries. Homeless people take refuge in cemeteries. The people are living in difficult conditions. This means that the Americans did not even reward Mubarak for his unquestioning services, and they are not rewarding him today either. Whenever - by Allah's favor - he flees from Egypt, he can be sure that the first gates that will be closed to him will be gates of America. They will not let him in - just as they did not let in Ben Ali, just as they did not let in Mohammad Reza [Pahlavi]. This is how they behave. Those who are enthusiastic about being friends with America and obeying it should pay attention to these examples. They are like Satan. There is a dua in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya which says when Satan deceives me, he laughs at me as he turns away - he turns his back on me and ignores me. The Americans act in the same way. They try to promote their own interests by using such weak and wretched people.

Of course the Americans are utterly confused. The Israelis are confused even more. In the case of Egypt, they are looking for a remedy, and they will not succeed in finding a remedy. They are deceiving people. They claim to support the people. The Americans told him [Mubarak] that he must step down and leave. This depends on how the people of Egypt will act and what decision they will make.

I have written down a sermon [in Arabic] for the Arab brothers, and I would like to read it.

Arabic sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon the members of the Islamic Ummah, wherever they are. Today a great, impressive and historic event is happening in the world of Islam - an event that can transform all the equations of the arrogant powers in the region in favor of Islam and the peoples, an event that can restore dignity and glory to Arab nations and the Islamic Ummah, an event that can wipe off the dust of decades of oppressive and humiliating treatment of these ancient and deep-rooted nations at the hands of America and the west.

This miraculous event was started by the Tunisian people, and the great and brave Egyptian nation has made this event reach its peak. The Arab world and the world of Islam are waiting with bated breath - each for a different reason - to see what Egypt will do, the Egypt that has been home to the geniuses of the past century, the Egypt of Muhammad Abduh and Sayyid Jamal, the Egypt of Saad Zaghloul and Ahmad Shawqi, the Egypt of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Sheikh Hasan al-Banna, the Egypt of 1967 and 1973. They are waiting with bated breath to see how long Egypt will hold up the flag of its determination. If, God forbid, this flag is pulled down, a dark and gloomy era will follow. And if it is carried to the peak and waved there, it will reach the sky.

The Tunisian nation managed to force out its treacherous and anti-religion ruler who was loyal to America. But it is a mistake to think that this is the desired end result. It is not possible to overthrow a dependent system by forcing out the visible pawns. If those pawns are replaced with other pawns, nothing will change and the net of deception will be cast before the nation. During the Islamic Revolution they tried several times to trap our nation in this net, but our vigilant nation and its great and divine Leader detected and foiled the plots of the enemy, and they continued their path to the end.

As for Egypt, the issue of Egypt is a unique case because Egypt is a unique country in the Arab world. Egypt was the first country in the world of Islam that became familiar with European culture. It was the first country in the world of Islam that recognized the threats posed by this culture and adopted a position against it. It was the first Arab country that established an independent government after the Second World War and defended its national interests when nationalizing the Suez Canal. Egypt was the first country that rushed to the aid of Palestine with all its power and was recognized throughout the world of Islam as a refuge for the Palestinians. Sayyid Jamal ad-Din was not an Egyptian, but he had no hope that his great concerns would be understood in any Muslim country other than Egypt. The Egyptian people proved their worth in the arena of religious and political activities, and this went down in history. Muhammad Abduh and his students, Saad Zaghloul and his supporters, were not reactionary and inexperienced individuals. They were great, brave and vigilant geniuses, and educating one such individual is enough to make a nation feel proud of its worth. With this cultural, religious and political depth, Egypt rightfully achieved a position to lead the Arab world.

The great crime of the current Egyptian regime was that it reduced Egypt from that high position to the position of a pawn in its political games in the region. The popular uprising of the great Egyptian nation is a response to the great treachery which the dependent dictator committed against his people.

Today the uprising of the Egyptian nation is hotly debated and different analyses are being churned out. Everybody says something different, but anybody who is familiar with Egypt clearly knows that Egypt is defending its dignity and honor. The Egyptian nation has collared the traitors who have destroyed its honor, the traitors who have allowed the honor of this nation - which used to be at the peak of its glory - to be trampled upon by the arrogance of its enemies. The position of Egypt on the Palestinian issue is a clear example. Palestine has been the most crucial issue of this region since decades ago, and the regional issues are so complex that no nation can imagine disentangling its fate from the issue of Palestine. And there are no more than two camps: there are those who support Palestine and its righteous activities, and there are those who join the opposing camp.

The peoples of the region have clarified their position since the beginning. Therefore, when a government supports Palestine, it wins the support of its people as well as the support of Arab and Muslim peoples. Egypt experienced this in 1960s and 1970s. But when a government switches allegiances and supports the opposing camp, the people turn their back on the government. This chasm between the people and the government of Egypt appeared after the disgraceful Camp David Accords. The Egyptian people - who had rushed to the aid of Palestine in 1967 and 1973 and laid down their lives and sacrificed their wealth for the cause - gradually realized that their rulers had adopted such an extreme position on supporting and obeying America that Egypt had turned into a loyal allay of the usurping Zionist enemies. America's domination over the rulers of Egypt ruined the past efforts of the Egyptian people to support Palestine, and Egypt turned into the biggest enemy of Palestine and the biggest supporter of the Zionists.

This was while Syria - Egypt's allay in the wars of 1967 and 1973 - managed to maintain its independent positions in spite of different kinds of pressure exerted by America. The situation of the dependent Egyptian system became so bad that the Egyptian people saw for the first time in their history that during the Israeli war against their brothers in Gaza their government was in the camp of Israel. They realized that not only their government was refusing to help the Palestinians, but it was also extremely active in the enemy's camp. History will never forget that Hosni Mubarak was a confidant and a collaborator of Israel and America during the appalling siege imposed on the people of Gaza and during the 22-day war when the women, men and children of Gaza were being killed. Just imagine how much the people of Egypt must have suffered during those days. National TV once showed footage from the strong feelings expressed by the people of Egypt. They were speaking with tears in their eyes about their situation and how they are prevented from helping their Palestinian brothers. How long could the faithful people of Egypt tolerate this? What we see today in Cairo and in other cities of Egypt is the explosion of the holy anger and the eruption of unexpressed emotions that had accumulated over many years in the hearts of liberated Egyptian men and women due to the behavior of the non-Muslim, treacherous and puppet regime.

The uprising of the people of Egypt is an Islamic movement and a movement for freedom. In the name of the revolutionary people and government of Iran, I salute you Egyptian and Tunisian people, and I pray to God to bestow a perfect victory on you. I am proud of you and your uprising. There is no doubt that depending on the geographical, historical, political and cultural features, popular uprisings in different countries have their own idiosyncratic characteristics. And it is not reasonable to expect that what happened during the great Islamic Revolution in Iran 30 years ago will happen again in Egypt, Tunisia or any other Islamic country. But there are certain things in common that may make the experiences of one nation useful to another nation. The experiences that may prove useful today are as follows:

1. In any popular uprising the real war is between wills. Either side that is more determined and tolerates the hardships will definitely win. The Holy Quran teaches us, "(As for) those who say ‘our Lord is Allah' and then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised." [The Holy Quran, 41: 30] God tells His Messenger, "To this then go on inviting, and go on steadfastly on the right way as you are commanded, and do not follow their low desires." [The Holy Quran, 42: 15] The enemy is trying to undermine your determination through coercion and deception. Take care not to let your determination be undermined.

2. Your enemy tries to make you disappointed in achieving your goals. This is while the divine promise says, "And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs." [The Holy Quran, 28: 5] Have faith in the repeated and unquestionable promise of God who says, "And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause. Most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty." [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]

3. Your enemy mobilizes its security mercenaries and sends them to confront you so that they may frustrate the people by causing insecurity and turmoil. Do not be afraid of them. You are more powerful than the mercenaries. You are at a stage where God told the Messenger and his companions, "O Prophet, urge the believers to war. If there are twenty patient ones of you, they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you, they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve because they are a people who do not understand." [The Holy Quran 8: 65] By relying on God and trusting your motivated youth, you can overcome any kind of insecurity and turmoil.

4. Unity and solidarity is an important weapon that nations can use when confronted with superpowers and mercenary rulers. Your enemy tries to undermine your solidarity with different kinds of machinations. Discussing the points of disagreement, pointing out misleading slogans, putting forward unreliable figures and figures with bad records as a successor to the treacherous president - these are among the efforts to generate motivation for discord. Preserve your unity around the pivot of religion and around the pivot of saving your country from the enemy's mercenaries. "And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited." [The Holy Quran, 3: 103]

5. Do not trust the political and hypocritical gestures of America and the west. They were supporting the corrupt regime until a few days ago. But now that they have despaired of keeping it in power, they are claiming to support the rights of the people. Using this cover, they are trying to replace the pawns with other pawns. And by bringing in new faces, they are trying to help those who are connected with them dominate you once again. This is an insult to the intelligence of nations. Do not tolerate them, and do not settle for anything less than the establishment of a totally independent and populist system that is faithful to Islam.

6. Religious scholars and the honorable scholars of al-Azhar - which is famous for its brilliant record - should play a very prominent role. The people who start their uprising from mosques and Friday prayer venues and chant "Allahu Akbar" as their slogan - these people have higher expectations of religious scholars, and their expectations are legitimate.

7. The Egyptian army - which enjoys the honor of fighting at least two wars against the Zionist enemy - is faced with a great and historic test at this stage. The enemy wants to use the army to suppress the people. If, God forbid, such a thing happens, the loss that will follow will be irreparable for the army. It is the Zionists who should be afraid of the Egyptian army, not the people of Egypt. Of course members of the Egyptian army who are from among the people will finally join the people, and this sweet memory will be revived in Egypt once again.

8. Finally, America, which has supported the mercenary rulers against the will of the Egyptian nation for 30 years, is not in a position to enter into the Egyptian issue as a mediator. In this regard, view all kinds of advice and action by the Americans with suspicion, and do not trust them.

Dear brothers and sisters, these are what we have experienced. I discussed them with you as your religious brother and out of my religious commitment. The enemy's propaganda outlets will continue shouting that Iran wants to interfere, that Iran wants to convert the Egyptians to Shia Islam, that Iran wants to export Vilayat-e Faqih to Egypt and other such accusations. They have been telling such lies for thirty years in order to keep Muslim nations isolated from one another and deprive them of each other's help. And their mercenaries repeat their lies. "And some of them inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. If your Lord willed, they would not do so. Therefore, leave them alone with their devising." These machinations will never cause us to give up the responsibilities that Islam has placed on our shoulders. "And God knows my intention". And may God forgive me and you.