Leader’s Friday Prayer Address

The  following is the full text of the Friday prayer sermons delivered on February  3, 2012 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

All praise belongs to  Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, Whom I praise, Whom I thank, from Whom I seek help, to  Whom I repent, on Whom I rely, and peace and greetings be upon His beloved and  noble one, the best among His servants, guardian of His secret, promoter of His  mission, harbinger of His mercy and wrath, our Master and Prophet and the love  of our hearts, Ab-al-Qassem Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and pure  household, chosen companions and those who follow them well until the Day of  Judgment. And greetings be upon the leaders of Muslims, supporters of the  oppressed, guiders of the believers, and upon the one remaining with Allah on  earth. I advise you servants of God to fear Allah and organize your affairs.
I would like to advise  all the dear brothers and sisters and myself to fear God. This is the principle  that guides the movement of a human being towards perfection and transcendence.  By Allah’s favor, if we manage to observe piety in personal and social areas  and in political and social work, all divine blessings will be bestowed on us.
The holy ten-day Fajr celebrations  have already started. During these celebrations, two things are necessary for us  and people like us. First, we need to be thankful to God. We bow to God with  complete humility for bestowing this blessing on the Iranian nation. This great  movement, this great achievement, this historic movement was carried out by the  Iranian nation under the leadership of our magnanimous Imam. The Islamic  Republic was established. The Iranian nation started its movement towards God,  towards divine goals, towards divine values. No other blessing is superior to  this blessing and it is necessary to thank God for this great blessing at all  times, particularly during the ten-day Fajr celebrations. Second, we need to be  grateful to the Iranian people. They remained loyal. They showed magnanimity.  They made sacrifices. They showed courage. They exhibited insight. They were  always present over the past 33 years so that this sapling grew stronger and produced  more fruits on a daily basis in spite of all the dangers and all the problems.  Today the immaculate tree “whose roots are firm and whose branches are in  heaven [The Holy Quran, 14: 24] has put down roots in human life and produces  fruits constantly.
This year is different,  particularly this year’s ten-day Fajr celebrations. Great achievements were  made this year and popular movements achieved victory in the atmosphere created  by the successful regional revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. This is  great news for the people of Iran. It is a pleasant and holy event. This year  we will celebrate the victory of the Islamic Revolution and we will hold the  ten-day Fajr celebrations in this atmosphere. I would say after the victory of  these revolutions, the Iranian nation is no longer alone and by Allah favor,  I will briefly discuss this issue in today sermons.

In this sermon, I will discuss three topics with the dear brothers and sisters and the people of Iran. In the second sermon, I will mainly address our Arab brothers. The first part is about our Revolution: the path we have followed over the past three decades, the achievements we have made and the future that awaits us. The second topic is a look at the regional and global issues. As the third topic, a few points will be raised about the upcoming parliamentary elections.

It would take many books to discuss the first topic. Here, I will only discuss a sketch of our Revolution in a few sentences because a detailed discussion would take a very long time. These characteristics existed in our Revolution. Our Revolution overthrew an anti-Islam regime and installed an Islamic government. It destroyed an autocratic and dictatorial regime and installed a democratic government in its place. It put an end to the long years of dependence “ which was at its worst during the rule of the Pahlavi family “ and brought about comprehensive independence for our nation. It put an end to the brutal suppression that had been imposed on our nation and brought about freedom for our people so that they could vote and express themselves freely. A free atmosphere was created. The Revolution put an end to the historical humiliation of our nation and brought about national dignity. Our nation was humiliated for decades. In spite of its historical background and its great cultural, scientific and historical legacy, this great nation was humiliated by bullying and corrupt rulers who were supported by colonialists and international hegemons. Our Revolution put an end to this and brought about national dignity. Today the Iranian nation feels dignified and proud. The Revolution destroyed the sense of inferiority among our people and replaced it with national self-confidence. We used to suffer from a sense of inferiority. We used to think that we were incapable of scientific work. We used to think that we were incapable of political work and great military achievements. We used to think that we were a weak nation. They had instilled this idea into our mind. The Revolution put an end to this idea and replaced it with national self-confidence. Today we have self-confidence in all areas. We know that we have the capability and we act on this capability. And by Allah’s favor, we always achieve our goals.

Our people had been isolated from political issues. Our people used to turn their backs on political issues. It used to ignore the events that happened in the country. The Revolution put an end to this and turned us into a politically aware nation. Today even in the most distant parts of the country, our teenagers are presenting political analyses. They understand political developments. They interpret every issue. This was not the case before the Revolution. Political understanding and tendencies were particular to a few people in the country. Generally, the people were not involved in the events that happened in the country. Governments would come and go. International agreements would be signed and great achievements would be made in the world without our people knowing. This is the general outline of our Revolution, which led to these events in the country. These principles have been institutionalized. They have been firmly established. These developments are not superficial. They are not short-term changes. Today the slogans of the Revolution are the same slogans that used to be shouted in the first days of the Revolution. This shows the health of the Revolution. Slogans are like arrows that point to the goals. They delineate the goals. When slogans are established in a system and a revolution, it means that the goals of that system have remained intact. It means that the goals have not changed and the officials and people of that country have not deviated from the original goals. Today the slogans of the Iranian nation are the same slogans that used to be shouted during the early days of the Revolution.

Over the past three decades, our life has been under the influence of these essential outlines. We have had certain advances. We have had weaknesses and problems. We need to be aware of our advances. We need to be aware of our weaknesses as well. If we hide our weaknesses, if we fail to identify our weaknesses, if we pretend that we have no weak points, these weaknesses will stay with us and they will be firmly established. It will not be possible to eliminate them. We need to be aware of all our weak points and strengths.

There have been both weaknesses and strengths. There have been ups and downs. But the movement has continued and this is the important point. Our dear youth should know that we have had certain weaknesses over the past 32, 33 years and that our movement has had its ups and downs. The movement has not always been steady. The speed has increased and decreased, but the movement has never stopped and we have moved forward in the original direction. And today we can see the outcome.

Now I would like to discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses that we have had during this time. Our most important strength over the past 32, 33 years is that we have overcome the challenges. This is very important. Our nation could not just move forward in its path and mind its own business without others creating problems for it. No, from the first day, the superpowers of the world and the hegemons would not leave us alone. They decided to create problems and obstacles for us. They imposed a war on us. They turned Saddam Hussein against us and created problems for eight years. They recruited terrorists and imposed sanctions. We have managed to overcome all these challenges so far. That is to say, none of these challenges has managed to discourage our nation and our Revolution. None of them has managed to bring our people and Revolution to their knees. Thankfully, we have continued our path in a powerful way. This is our most important strength.

Another strength that we have enjoyed during this time is that we have increased the quality and quantity of our services to the people. These services are not comparable with the recent past “ the era before the Revolution. Nor are they comparable with the distant past. The great material and spiritual services that are rendered throughout the country have improved both in terms of their quality and in terms of their quantity. This is an important strength.

Another strength is the scientific advances we have made. Dear people, do not underestimate these scientific advances. They are very important. Knowledge is the foundation of comprehensive progress in every country. Once I quoted this hadith: “Knowledge is power.” Anybody who enjoys this power can achieve all his goals. These arrogant powers of the world managed to bully the entire world relying on the knowledge they had acquired. Of course, we will never bully other countries, but knowledge is a necessity for us as part of our progress.

The advances we have made over the past three decades are amazing. It just happens that our advances in nuclear technology have become famous and everybody inside and outside the country has focused his attention on our nuclear technology, but our advances are not limited to nuclear technology. We have made advances in aerospace and medicine as well. Fortunately, today our country is working on critical and difficult medical areas and great medical work is being done in the country. We have also made advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology, which is among new sciences of the world.  We have made advances in stem cell research, which is one of the greatest areas in science. We have made advances in cloning, manufacturing supercomputers, introducing technologies related to new sources of energy and manufacturing important radiopharmaceuticals and antineoplastic medicine. And there are other items on the list.

I am not boasting: what I said has been confirmed by prestigious scientific centers of the world. They say in the past years, the fastest rate of scientific growth in the entire world belongs to Iran. According to the report presented in the year 2011, the fastest rate of scientific growth in the entire world has happened in Iran. According to the report, which has been prepared by prestigious scientific centers of the world, Iran ranks first in the region in terms of its scientific position. We had planned to achieve this position in the year 1404 and we are 14 years ahead of the schedule. In the year 2011, they said that Iran is first in terms of its scientific position in the region and that Iran’s global rank is seventeen. Our scientific rank is seventeen in the world. These are very important points. Therefore, scientific progress is one of our strengths.

Another strength that we enjoy is the advances we have made in creating technical and industrial infrastructure for the country. Whenever foreigners visited our country and observed our infrastructure, they praised us. These great achievements that have been made in the area of communications, telecommunications and different technical and industrial infrastructure, are a different story. I really become sad when I see that these clear and good reports are not presented to the people the way they should be in order to cheer them up and help them understand what is happening in the country.

Another strength that we have enjoyed during this time is that we have managed to transfer the revolutionary values to the second and third generations of the Revolution. Today when you take a look at our youth, you see that these revolutionary values have been handed down to them. Shahid Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, the scientist who was martyred recently and whose martyrdom filled our hearts with grief, or the youth who was martyred before him, Shahid Rezaeinejad: they were two young scientists who were only 32, 33 years old. They had not seen Imam Khomeini (r.a.). They had not experienced the war and the revolutionary era, but they studied with so much courage and achieved high levels of knowledge. They were aware that they were under threat, but they still decided to go ahead. This is very important. This is a value. These are revolutionary values among the third generation of the Revolution. Ahmadi-Roshan, Rezaeinejad and people like them are the third generation of the Revolution. After the martyrdom of Ahmadi-Roshan, these third-generation youth announced that they were prepared to come and work: this is very important. We must not underestimate these things. One of our strengths is that these values have been transferred to the second and third generations of the Revolution. Of course, there have been some people who turned their back on the Revolution, but the number of those who have been attracted to the Revolution has been larger. Certain original supporters fell by the wayside, but young and dynamic youth have stepped in and supported the Revolution.

Another strength that we have enjoyed during this time is our accelerated influence over the main regional and global issues. Today the Islamic Republic is an important country. Its “yes” and “no” affect regional and even global issues. This is very important for the country.

Another strength is that the country and the Islamic Republic enjoy a firm structure against enmity. We do not become anxious and apprehensive when we are faced with enmity. The structure of the country and the Islamic Republic is firm.

Another strength that we enjoy is the qualitative and quantitative improvement of our scientific centers, namely our universities and Islamic seminaries. Both our Islamic seminaries and our universities have improved qualitatively and quantitatively. These are our strengths, each of which requires detailed discussions and statistics. We enjoy numerous other strengths as well.

Regarding our strengths, I would like to add that all these scientific, social and technological advances have been made while the Iranian nation was under sanctions. This is a very important point. They closed the gates of science and technology to us. They closed off the roads. They refused to sell us the products we needed, yet we made progress. These things happened while we were under sanctions. This is why hopes are growing.

Of course, we have certain weaknesses as well and we need to eliminate them. Later on I will return to the issue of sanctions and the conditions that have been imposed on us and I will discuss them briefly. Our weaknesses are the dangers that lie on our path. We have suffered from these weaknesses during this time and we need to prevent them in the future. Our first weakness is the materialistic tendency and some of us fell into this trap. Some of our government officials suffered from this materialistic tendency. Wealth, extravagant lifestyles and aristocracy gradually lost their indecency in the eyes of some of our government officials. When this happens to government officials, it also happens to the people. Many human beings have a tendency towards aristocratic lifestyles, extravagance and accumulating wealth in an unlawful way. When we fail to control ourselves and suffer from these things, the problem starts to afflict the people as well.

Unfortunately, today we are suffering from extravagance and consumerism. I have said this many times before and I would like to repeat that this is a danger on our path. We need to alleviate consumerism. We need to diminish the greed for material products. As soon as a rumor is started about the scarcity of a certain product, the people rush to the market to buy and store as much of that product as they can, lest it becomes scarce. This is while the product might not even be among the necessities of life. Even if there is no shortage of that product, the rush makes it scarce. We do not pay attention to this point. This is one of our weaknesses and we need to eliminate it. 

Another weakness that we are suffering from is that compared to our progress in scientific areas, we have failed to make as much progress in moral and ethical areas. This is a kind of backwardness. Of course, today our situation is far better than before the Revolution. There is no doubt in this regard. But we should have made progress. We made progress in science. We made progress in politics. We should have made progress in spirituality and spiritual purification as well. In the Holy Quran, whenever God mentions spiritual purification and teaching, spiritual purification comes before teaching “ of course, teaching the Book and wisdom.  “Purifying them and teaching them the Book and the wisdom.” [The Holy Quran, 3: 164] Teaching comes before spiritual purification only in one part of the Holy Quran, when God quotes Prophet Ibrahim. Therefore, we have neglected ethical and spiritual purification.

Regarding social justice, we have not yet achieved the appropriate Islamic position, which has been my personal wish. This is another weakness that we are suffering from and we need to make up for it. These are weaknesses that we cannot ignore. Both government officials and the people must feel that they have a duty to eliminate these weaknesses. We should ask Allah the Exalted for help and try to eliminate these weaknesses. Of course it is possible to do so. There is no doubt that it is possible to eliminate these weaknesses.

Well, I believe one of the most important things that has to be done in order to eliminate these weaknesses is to have a look into the future and to have a sense of responsibility. All of us must feel responsible. Particularly, our government officials and those who serve the people must feel responsible. We must not blame others. For example, if it is noticed that there is a shortcoming somewhere, the Majlis and the executive branch should not blame each other or the judiciary. No, the lines have been clearly specified. The Constitution has specified the lines. Everybody has specific responsibilities. The Leadership has certain responsibilities. The executive branch has certain other responsibilities. The Majlis has its own particular responsibilities. The judiciary has to shoulder certain other responsibilities. The Armed Forces have to fulfill their own particular duties. Executive organs of the country also have their own responsibilities to fulfill. We must not blame each other. If there is a problem that falls within the responsibility of the Leader, he should humbly accept that it is his duty to address the problem and he should address it. This is one of the most essential things to do.

Another essential thing to do is to focus our attention on the main values. We must not become busy with secondary issues and ignore the main issues, which is topic that requires a detailed discussion.

Preserving unity and solidarity is another responsibility that we must shoulder. I have pointed out on many occasions that there should be unity and solidarity among our government officials. The three branches of government and others should be unified, coordinated and cooperative although they have differences of opinion in certain areas. Nothing is wrong with differences of opinion, but the people and government officials should support each other and they should cooperate and move forward when it comes to the main orientations of the Islamic Republic and the Revolution. This unity and solidarity is definitely the solution to the problems that exist in the country.

We must not fall for the false promises of the opposing camp and this is one of the essential things that all of us should try to do and pay attention to. And we have gained experience over the past 30 years. Sometimes they smiled at us. In the beginning, some of us used to believe them, but we gradually realized what was going on. We must not fall for the smile and false promises of the enemy. The camp of materialistic powers that has dominated the world today easily breaks its promises. They break their promises without having any concerns. They go back on their word. They are neither ashamed of God nor ashamed of the people, nor ashamed of the side they negotiate with. They lie easily. I have living proof in this regard, but this is not a good occasion to present the proof. Maybe I will present the proof when necessary. Take the claims made by the Americans and the US President, the letter he wrote to us, our reply to the letter and their subsequent response and action on the basis of the content of those letters. One day, when necessary, these things will be made available to global public opinion. They will see what these people are like. They will see the significance and value of their word. They will see the value of their promises. Therefore, one of the essential things is that we must not fall for the smile and false promises of these people.

Another essential thing is that we must avoid laziness. Laziness and avoiding work ruins human beings, families and nations. Everybody must work and make selfless struggle. When I named this year “The Year of Economic Jihad”, I meant economic activities should be like jihad. This is all I wanted to say about the issues related to the Revolution. There are many other things to say, but there is not enough time and I should speak about other issues as well.

Now I would like to speak about the issues of the region and the world. The people of the region managed to overthrow four taghuti governments over the past year. This is very important. A nation needs to make a lot of efforts in order to overthrow a taghuti government. Over the past year, four evil and dangerous taghuti governments were overthrown. This is a very important event.

Another important event is that the people voted for Islam in Tunisia and Egypt. In Egypt, around 75 percent of the people went to the ballot boxes and voted for Islamic groups. A similar event happened in Tunisia. This is very important. The meaning of these events is all the efforts of the Americans, westerners, western propaganda machines, Hollywood and others to promote Islamophobia and fear of Islamic government have been sent down the drain. The people support Islam.

One of the results of these movements is the weakness and isolation of the Zionist regime, which is very important. This is because the Zionist regime is truly a cancerous tumor in this region and it must be, and will be, cut out. Therefore, these movements resulted in further isolation and weakness of the Zionist regime. Palestinian youth become more dynamic and hopeful. They became more hopeful about their battle and their future. The people of nations became hopeful.

Of course, among these nations the people of Bahrain have been the most oppressed. This is because there has been a news blackout in the world on the issues of Bahrain. According to no human and global logic is their demand illegitimate. Their demand is legitimate, but they have been oppressed. They have been totally ignored by the media and they have even been the target of constant negative propaganda. Of course, this propaganda is futile and by Allah’s favor, the Bahraini people will achieve victory as well.

I would like to take this opportunity to announce something. The rulers of Bahrain claimed that Iran is involved in the events of Bahrain. This is a lie. No, we are not involved. Whenever we are involved, we explicitly declare it. We were involved in the anti-Israel events, which resulted in victories in the 33-day and 22-day wars. And from now on, wherever a nation or a group fights and confronts the Zionist regime, we will support and help it, and we are not at all afraid of saying this. This is a fact. But it is wrong to claim that Iran is involved in the events of Bahrain. This claim by the rulers of Bahrain goes against the truth. If we had interfered, the conditions would have been different in Bahrain.

The world is in an extraordinary situation. America is suffering from weakness “ both economic and financial weakness, and political weakness. This is also a fact. America was defeated in its Middle East policy. It was defeated in the case of Palestine. It was defeated in the case of Iraq. The Americans wanted to take management of Iraq into their own hands, but they failed. The Iraqi nation stood up against them and did not let this happen. The Americans wanted to install a puppet government in Iraq, but they failed. They wanted to stay in Iraq by obtaining capitulation rights, but the people and government of Iraq did not let them do so. Today the Iraqi government is a populist government and the Iraqi people are vibrant and vigilant. This caused the Americans to leave Iraq without having accomplished any achievements. Of course, they still interfere in oil and security issues and the people and government of Iraq will definitely do something about it in the future.

The Americans are suffering from weakness regarding their domestic issues as well, but they are trying to hide this. They do not want to admit that they are suffering from weakness. A few days ago, in his address to the US Congress, Obama did not even mention the fact that the people of America have been in the streets for more than four months. In this cold weather, so many people come together in the streets in different states of America and they stand up against the pressure and persecution by the police. Was this not worth mentioning? He did not at all mention this issue. They want to hide this. And this is their so-called human rights. The same is true of Europe. Europe is suffering from weakness as well. Apart from economic, financial and monetary issues “ which are big problems that have infuriated the people “ Europe is suffering from weakness on the political front as well.

I would like to give you an example. During the time of General de Gaulle, who was President of France, the French government did not allow England to become a member of the European Union. Why? They said that England was affiliated with America and that the kind of relations between England and America would undermine independence of the European Union. General de Gaulle did not let England become a member of the European Union because it had relations with America and was dependent on it. This was what France did at that time. The gentleman who is currently leading France is simply saying what the Americans want to say. He has become a disciple of America. Well, this is weakness. This is the current situation of Europe. This is the situation of France and the same is true of other Europeans countries as well. This shows the weakness of these systems.

Today westerners are suffering from weakness in economic matters. They are suffering from weakness in political matters. They are suffering from weakness in international decisions, including the decision to impose sanctions on us. In fact, they wanted to punish the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation for being committed to Islam. They made threats: they repeatedly spoke about crippling and painful sanctions. These sanctions will benefit us for two reasons. First of all, when they impose sanctions on us, we turn to our domestic capacities and make progress, which has been the case over the past 30 years. Regarding the sanctions on weapons, if they had not imposed these sanctions, we would not have achieved these amazing advances. Regarding nuclear technology, if they had built the Bushehr nuclear power plant with their own hands, we would not have made progress in uranium enrichment. If they had not shut the doors of science to us, we would not have achieved this position in stem cell research, aerospace and launching satellites into space. Therefore, the more sanctions they impose on us, the more we become aware of our domestic capacities and the more we turn to these capacities. And these domestic capacities blossom on a daily basis. Therefore, these sanctions are to our advantage.

The second reason why these sanctions will benefit us is that they are constantly saying in their propaganda that they want to impose a certain set of sanctions on Iran in order to force us to back down in the case of the nuclear issue, for example. So the entire world knows that these sanctions are imposed on Iran in order to force it to back down in the case of the nuclear issue or other issues. What will happen if we do not back down? The purpose of these sanctions is to force Iran to back down, but Iran will not back down. The result is that the credibility of the west and its threats will be undermined in the eyes of the regional nations and the dignity and power of the Iranian nation will increase in their eyes. And this is to our advantage. Therefore, the purpose of these sanctions is to harm our nation, but these sanctions are in fact a kind of service to us because of the two reasons I mentioned.

This is the situation of Europe. Europe is suffering from insoluble economic problems. The people are angry in Europe. They protest against the economic issues. I have pointed out before that the day European nations realize that the weakness they are suffering from is due to the interference of America and the global network of Zionism, these economically-motivated protests will turn into a great social movement. Then it will be time to wait for a new world. And a new world will be formed.

I would like to make a point about these threats by America. They constantly threaten us, saying that all options are on the table “ that is to say, even a military attack. This is in fact a military threat which is expressed in this way. This military threat is harmful to America and an actual war would be ten times more harmful to America. Why are these threats harmful to America? Because they show that America is unable to confront Iran in a logical way. They do not have a discourse against the discourse of the Islamic Republic. They cannot gain an advantage in the arena of intellectual and logical confrontation, so they are forced to resort to coercion. This means that coercion is America’s only logic. Except for bloodshed, America does not have any means to advance its position. This will further undermine America’s credibility in the eyes of the people of the world as well as the people of America. This is what determines the fate of governments. It is clear what will happen to a government whose credibility is undermined in the eyes of its own people, like the Soviet Union. As it happens, certain western intellectuals said a few days ago that today the situation of America and the west is like the situation of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, which resulted in its collapse. That is to say, when a government falls from favor among its own people in terms of its logic and discourse, it will have no chance for survival. Therefore, the more they threaten, the more they will be harmed. Of course, the Americans and others should, and do, know that we have our own threats to confront the military threats and oil sanctions and when necessary, we will make use of them at the right time.

I would like to mention a few points about elections as well. Dear brothers and sisters, dear Iranian people, elections bring about immunity for the country. The presence of the people is the factor that preserves the awe of this nation, the factor that shows its spiritual power to the enemies, the factor that frightens them and warns them against aggression. And elections are one manifestation of this presence. Another manifestation is the rallies on the 22nd of Bahman, which is upon us. The more the presence of the people in the rallies, the more our national credibility will be. The same is true of elections. The more the voter turnout, the more the credibility and immunity of the nation will be. Participation of the people can guarantee the future of the country. A good, healthy and powerful Majlis can affect the performance of all organizations in the country. It can affect the performance of the executive branch, the judiciary and even the Armed Forces. A powerful, good and healthy Majlis can play such a role. Who other than the people can establish such a Majlis? The enemy does not want this to happen. It is two, three months now that the propaganda machines of the enemy are trying to disappoint and discourage the people so that they do not take part in the elections. And unfortunately some people inside the country say the same things as the enemy, without knowing what they are doing. Those enemies are spiteful and these people are unaware.

Small issues should not be magnified. We should not create a feeling that there is a crisis. They use a thousand tools to prove that there is a crisis in Iran. What crisis? Which crisis? The country is peaceful and the nation is powerful and dynamic. So many things are being done in the country by different organizations and the people. By Allah’s favor, there is complete security. Our organizations should cooperate with each other. If they cooperate, the conditions will be even better than this. The enemy does not want this.

What is needed in the elections is healthy competition without slandering and allegations. The elections should be held in a healthy atmosphere. If the people are familiar with the candidates, they should act on the basis of their personal judgment and if they do not know the candidates, they should consult insightful and pious individuals before voting. The officials in charge of the elections should take extra care to hold the election in an appropriate way. These are the things that can bring about good elections for the country. Fortunately, all of the elections that we have held over the past 32, 33 years have been healthy. Of course, in all these elections, there were certain people who had complaints. The complaints have been addressed and there might have been certain electoral offenses, but the elections have never been unhealthy. And this should be the case in the future as well.

I would like to say a few things about the issue of vetting. The Guardian Council approves certain individuals and disqualifies certain others. There are four points that I would like to mention in this regard. The first point is that according to the law, the Guardian Council is responsible for the process of vetting. It should make sure candidates have the necessary qualifications. Of course, I have always advised them that they should not raise their standards so much that only a few people are approved as qualified. They should be lenient about the standards.  

The second point is that some people are opposed to this supervision by the Guardian Council. Their objections might be legitimate and valid, but we should pay attention to the fact that when a trustworthy governmental organization makes a decision, we should accept it. All of us should abide by the decision. For example, imagine that the Majlis passes a law. I might have problems with the law. I might say it is flawed. But it is a law and I must observe it. When a trustworthy governmental organization “ such as the Guardian Council “ makes a decision, we must accept the decision and abide by it.

The third point is that those who are disqualified are not necessarily unqualified. It is wrong to assume that simply because a certain person has been disqualified in the elections, he is completely unqualified. No, according to the law, being disqualified simply means that he cannot run for the elections. It is possible that the official who has disqualified him has made a mistake. Similarly, the person who has been disqualified might not have the necessary qualifications for the elections, but he might have many other qualifications. It is wrong to assume that if a person has been disqualified, it means that he is unqualified in every area. No, he might have many other qualifications.

The last point about the elections is that our government officials should not ignore the enemy’s machinations aimed at the elections. Those who are defeated in the elections should take care not to be deceived the way the defeated candidates of the year 1388 were deceived. All candidates and their supporters should consider themselves responsible towards national security in case the enemy designs machinations. They must not level allegations against the elections. Nobody should help the enemy. Electoral campaigns should not create the idea that there is discord and despair, so that by Allah’s favor, we can have a good election.  

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I swear by the time,
Most surely man is in loss,
Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience. [The Holy Quran, 103]

Second sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon the Master of Messengers, the Master of all people, our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate household and chosen companions and upon those who follow him well until the Day of Judgment.

Our Muslims brothers, wherever you are, salaamun alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the month of Rabi al-Awwal and on the eve of the Last Messenger’s (s.w.a.) birthday anniversary, I would like to extend my congratulations on the first anniversary of the spring of Islamic Awakening and the uprising of the Arab brothers and sisters in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and certain other Islamic territories, on behalf of the Iranian people and all Muslims of the world.

The last year was an eventful year. In Tunisia and Egypt, the votes of the people were treated with respect for the first time and in both countries, the Islamist movements received the votes. The same thing will happen in Libya and this Islamic course “ with its characteristic anti-Zionist and anti-dictatorship qualities and its inclination towards independence, freedom and progress in the shade of the Holy Quran “ is definitely the path that Muslim nations will choose. This Islamic wave “ which determined the destiny of Islamic Iran on roughly the same days of the year [the 22nd of Bahman, 1357] and dealt the first serious blow to the camp of America, NATO and Zionism, bringing down the biggest secular and puppet regime in the region “ has engulfed the entire Islamic and Arab Middle East in the same way and with the same demands.

God has preordained that nations should awaken. This is the century of Islam and the era of the people and in the future, it will affect the destiny of the entire humanity. Was it not Egypt’s Tahrir Square that inspired the youth and intellectuals of Washington, London, Madrid, Rome and Athens to take to the streets?

The most sensitive parts of the world of Islam have been engulfed by the movement that demands returning to Islam and restoring Muslims’ dignity, identity and freedom. The slogan “Allahu Akbar” is heard everywhere. Arab nations do not want their dictators. They can no longer tolerate the hegemony of taghut. They are frustrated with poverty, backwardness, humiliation and dependence. They experimented with secularism in the shade of socialism, liberalism and ethnic nationalism and they reached a dead end with all of them. And of course, Arab nations are not after extremism, religious violence, retrogression, sectarian prejudices and superficial attitudes that carry the label “Islamism”.

The elections in Tunisia and Egypt, and the slogans and attitudes of the people of Yemen, Bahrain and other Arab territories indicate that everybody wants to be a modern Muslim without close-minded extremism and without western radicalism. They indicate that through religious democracy and with the slogan of “Allahu Akbar”, everybody wants to be delivered from the century-long humiliation, tyranny, backwardness, colonialism, corruption, poverty and discrimination by combining spirituality with justice and rationality. And this is the best way.

What are the characteristics of the Arab regimes that have infuriated their people? Fighting religion, acting like puppets of the west, cooperating with the Zionists, betraying Palestine, hereditary autocratic rule, widespread poverty and backwardness coupled with the enormous wealth accumulated by the ruling families, discrimination, injustice and lack of freedom and legal accountability “ these are among the common characteristics.

In certain cases, even pretending to be Islamic or republican has not been successful in deceiving the people. These are among the most obvious signs that can be used to understand the essence of the uprising by the Arab nations, including the nations that have already achieved victory and the nations that will hopefully do so.

Any other claim regarding the essence of these movements “ which have been carried out with the slogan of “Allahu Akbar” “ would be an attempt to discount the truth with the aim of taking advantage of the situation and introducing impositions and deviations. The future of these revolutions will be evaluated against these principles. And these principles will be the main standard according to which the health or deviation of these revolutions will be determined. Revolutions can be understood by contrasting them with the characteristics that defined the overthrown regimes. These revolutionaries should watch out for the imposed goals and the efforts to change the slogans.

There is no doubt that the west is trying to turn these revolutions into anti-revolutions and to finally maintain its hegemony over the Arab world for decades by restructuring the old regimes in an innovative way, by giving the masses an opportunity for catharsis, by replacing primary principles with secondary principles, by changing their pawns, by introducing superficial and artificial reforms, by building a democratic Facade.

In the decades of Islamic Awakening “ especially during the recent years after being defeated in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine and most lately in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries “ the west has resorted to the tactic of simulation and replication. The aim is to pass off terror operations against the people as martyrdom operations, prejudice, rigidity and violence as Islamism and jihad, ethnic and tribal tendencies as a tendency towards Islam and building an Islamic Ummah, westoxication and economic and cultural dependence as independent progress, secularism as scientism, concessions as rationality, moral corruption and unscrupulous behavior as freedom, dictatorship as order and security, consumerism, materialistic tendencies and aristocracy as development and progress, and poverty and backwardness as spirituality and piety.

The polarity between capitalism and communism, which was a war for power and wealth, came to an end. And today there is a polarity between the oppressed people of the world led by the Islamic movement and the arrogant powers led by America, NATO and Zionism. The world is divided into two main camps and there is no third camp.

I do not want to spend this short opportunity recounting the past events and praising the Arab nations. Undoubtedly, all of us and all people of the world have focused on the region and the risen nations, all of us praise the nations that have risen up “ from the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa. Now I would like to speak about today and tomorrow.

Last years, when the Egyptians were still living under the inauspicious shadow of Hosni Mubarak, I addressed the honorable people of Egypt in my Friday prayer sermons. And now that a new era has begun and the Egyptian dictator is being tried in a court of law, all of us think about the movement of the Egyptian nation and other Arab nations with more hope.

What are the different elements that are involved in the revolutions?

  1. America, NATO, the Zionist regime and their allies and subordinates in certain Arab regimes
  2. The people of nations and youth
  3. Islamic and non-Islamic political parties and activists

What are their positions and goals?

Members of the first group have been the main losers in the events of Egypt, Tunisia and other countries.

The legitimacy and existence of the camp of capitalism and the western paradigm of liberal democracy are faced with the threat of decline even in Europe and America and their situation is similar to that of the communist eastern bloc during the 1980s: the ethical and social breakdown, the unprecedented economic crises, the great military defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza, the fall or precarious situation of most of the puppet dictators in Muslim and Arab countries particularly in Egypt, the unprecedented threats against the Zionist regime from east and west and from within, the disclosure of the dependent nature of international organizations and their selective and politically-motivated positions on the issue of democracy and human rights, the contradictory statements and inconsistent positions regarding the issues of Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and other countries.

These things have plunged the first group into a global crisis of trust and a serious decision-making crisis. Currently, after their failure to control and suppress the people of nations, their biggest goal is to try to take control of the revolutions, infiltrate influential political parties, preserve the original structure of the overthrown corrupt regimes, limit the changes to superficial reforms, reorganize their local pawns in the countries that have carried out a revolution, bribe certain people and groups and probably assassinate them in order to thwart the revolutions or create reactionary attitudes, discourage people or keep them busy with secondary issues or with each other, fan the flames of ethnic, tribal, sectarian or partisan differences, make misleading slogans in order to change the nature of the movements, control the language of revolutionaries in a direct or indirect way, lure revolutionaries into political games and create discord through or among them and among the people, make backroom deals with certain outstanding figures by giving false promises such as financial assistance, and tens of other techniques some of which were mentioned in my address to the International Conference on Islamic Awakening in Tehran.

Certain dependent and conservative Arab regimes have allied themselves with America and NATO in an effort to at least save themselves. They are trying their best to stop time and reverse the course of the regional revolutions or derail them. In order to fulfill this purpose, their only asset is their petro-dollars and their main goal is to defeat the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and other countries. Their main goal is to preserve stability, ensure the survival of the Zionist regime and work against the resistance front in the region.

The second group, which is the main group, consists of the people. What do the people want? The repeated opinion polls conducted by the Americans in Egypt and most of the Islamic countries have revealed the truth to them. From 2003 to 2008, the tendency towards mosques and Islamic principles“ such as hijab “ had increased among the people of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Malaysia and other Islamic countries by 40 to 75 percent. Similarly, hatred towards America had increased to an average of 85 percent in the Muslim and Arab countries. The hope of achieving victory and a bright future has increased dramatically among Arab youth, particularly after they witnessed the victory of the youth of Hezbollah and Hamas in the 33-day and 22-day wars and after they saw America being defeated and forced out of Iraq without any achievements.

Anti-Zionist Muslim combatants have been popular among Egyptian youth.

Hatred towards Zionism and attention to the issue of Palestine and Islamic dignity are among the main characteristics of the people. In the recent elections held in Egypt, 75 percent of the people voted for Islamic slogans. Similarly, the majority of the people of Tunisia raised the same Islamic flag. In Libya, this percentage is not lower, if not higher. And this is what the people want from their representatives and their new governments. The people want a proud, honorable and free Egypt. They do not want the Egypt of the Camp David Accords. They do not want a poor and dependent Egypt. They do not want an Egypt that is ruled by America and an Egypt that is allied to Israel. They do not want a rigid and radical Egypt. They do not want a westernized, laicisst and dependent Egypt. The main demand of the people and youth is a free, honorable, Islamic and progressive Egypt. The people and youth are not after conflict. The structure of the Egyptian army is populist. There are some people inside and outside Egypt who want to pitch the army against the Egyptian people in the future and everybody must be vigilant in this regard. The main structure of the Egyptian army will not tolerate the infiltration of America and the friends of Israel.

Moreover, we people speak about Islamic tendencies in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya, what we mean is Prophet Muhammad’s (s.w.a.) Islam, the kind of Islam brought about security and divine blessings for all people in Medina, including Christians and Jews. When we speak about Islam, it does not mean we are calling on worshippers from different faiths to fight each other, it does not mean we are calling on Muslims to engage in sectarian confrontations. What we mean is the Egypt of the Forum for Proximity of Islamic Denominations, the Egypt of Sheikh Shaltut.

The people of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya should know that what they have achieved is an incomplete revolution and that although they have made big strides, this is only the beginning. The problems that they have caused for us after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran“ and by Allah’s favor, they have failed in all their efforts against the Islamic Revolution “ have been hundreds of times more than the problems that the Revolution had faced up until the Shah was deposed. You must be vigilant and you should help your revolution move forward step by step until the final stages according to a medium- and long-term plan.

The taghuti regime of Egypt was the first Arab government that betrayed the Palestinian cause and prepared the way for other Arab countries to make concessions, so much so that all Arab governments except for one “ namely, Syria “ betrayed Palestine and made peace with Zionism. The Egyptian regime was one of the two Arab regimes which were trusted by America and Israel. The current hypocritical President of America decided to travel to Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt in order to send out his message of deceit and hypocrisy to Muslims, but the people Egypt expressed their opinion with the revolution they carried out and they put an end to everybody’s illusions.

Today Egypt should be at the forefront of defending the Palestinian cause and it should trample on the treacherous Camp David Accords. Revolutionary Egypt can no longer provide energy and natural gas for the declining Zionist regime out of the pocket of its poor and troubled people.

The third group of people that I would like to address is the political parties and figures of Egypt and other risen countries.

Muslim intellectuals and combatants in North Africa“ from Egypt and Tunisia to Algeria and Morocco, particularly Egypt “ have been among the forefathers of the idea of Islamic Awakening. They have been among the forefathers of calling people to unity, Islamic dignity and liberation of Quds. Today you are heirs of the blood of thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of mujahids and combatants who tolerated prison, exile and torture for many decades, people who made sacrifices for the sake of these days and these victories.

My brothers and sisters, try to safeguard this great achievement that has been handed down to you. Conceit and lack of care are two big problems that might follow initial victories. You are shouldering the heaviest responsibility in the area of building a system, safeguarding the achievements of the people and resolving the problems of the movement. Undoubtedly, the regional and global powers that have been harmed are thinking of evil things “ ranging from elimination and revenge to designing plots to deceive, undermine, intimidate and tempt you and to finally stamp out the revolutions and create new conditions that are worse than the past.  

Your decisions, your positions and your actions will be of historic proportions and this era is like the nights of Qadr for the history of your country. Do not trust America and NATO. They will never take your national interests into consideration. And do not be afraid of them. Their power is not real and they have quickly grown weaker. Their rule over the world of Islam has been born of our fear and ignorance over the past 150 years. Do not pin your hopes on them and do not be afraid of them. Just trust Allah the Exalted and your people. They were defeated in Iraq and left with empty hands. They have not achieved anything in Afghanistan. They were defeated by Hezbollah in Lebanon and by Hamas in Gaza. And they have been brought down by the people in Egypt and Tunisia. Nothing has gone according to their plan. The western idol was broken just like the idol of communism and the people of nations are no longer afraid of them. Take care not to let them intimidate you in the future.

Watch out for their games and do not get involved in the game of petro-dollars started by the Arab allies and pawns of the west because you will not get out of such games unharmed. Israel will definitely go. It must not, and will not, stay. Deviations in the current movements are equal to accepting the survival of the Zionist regime and the process of negotiation and surrender which was started by the overthrown regimes.

Returning to Islam is what the people demand. Of course, this does not mean we should return to the past. With Allah’s permission, if the revolutions remain intact and continue on the original path, if they are not affected by the plots of the enemy, your main issue will be building a system, drafting laws and managing your country and revolution. This is the same as the important issue of rebuilding Islamic civilization in the modern world.

In this great jihad, your main responsibility is to find out how to compensate as quickly as possible for the historical backwardness, autocracy, irreligion, poverty and dependence that have dominated your countries, how to build a society with an Islamic attitude and in democratic and rational way, how to counter domestic and foreign threats one by one, how to institutionalize freedom and social rights without liberalism, equality without Marxism, and order without western fascism, how to preserve your commitment to progressive sharia without falling into the trap of rigidity, how to achieve independence without becoming isolated, how to make progress without becoming dependent, and how to manage logistics without becoming secular and conservative.

The definitions should be revised and improved. “Takfiri Islam” and “laicisst Islam” are two paradigms that have been, and will be, put forth by the west in an effort to prevent the strengthening of the paradigm of “moderate and rational principlist Islam” among the regional revolutions. Redefine your terms in a careful way.

If being democratic means being populist and holding free elections within the framework of the principles of the revolutions, all of you can be democrats, but if it means falling into the trap of second-rate and simulated liberal democracy, none of you should become democrats.

If Salafism means principlism regarding the Book and Sunnah, commitment to the original values, fighting superstitions and deviations, reviving sharia and rejecting westoxication, then all of you can be Salafi, but if it is interpreted as prejudice, rigidity and violence among Islamic denominations and different faiths, it will not be compatible with the progressiveness and rationality that form the foundation of Islamic thought and civilization, and it will help promote secularism and irreligion.

Be suspicious of the kind of Islam that is favorable to Washington, London and Paris, be it laïcist and westernized or rigid and violent. Do not trust the kind of Islam that tolerates the Zionist regime but confronts Islamic denominations in a brutal way, the kind of Islam that extends a hand of peace and friendship to America and NATO but fans the flames of domestic sectarian and tribal conflicts, the kind of Islam that is cruel to believers and compassionate towards unbelievers.

Be suspicious of American and English Islam because it will lure you into the trap of western capitalism, consumerism and moral decline.

In the past centuries, both outstanding personalities and rulers felt proud of increased dependence on France, England, America and the Soviet Union, and they used to run away from Islamic symbols. But today everything has completely changed.

You should know that the west will seek revenge, economically, militarily and politically. If the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries continue on the path of God, they might be threatened with sanctions.

The last point is that the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation are ready for mutual cooperation and assistance.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran was the most successful Islamic experience in the modern world in the area of national self-confidence, trusting the people, dispelling the myth of the invincibility of taghuti regimes and their leaders, destroying the pride of communism and capitalism, and presenting efficient models of national progress while safeguarding democracy and the essential values.

Dear brothers and sisters, they have been lying to you for many years about your Iranian brothers. I will tell you the truth about Islamic Iran. Our Revolution has had victories and weaknesses in its selfless struggle over the past three decades. No Islamic movement in the world had made so much progress after deliverance from the hegemony of the west and the east over the Muslim world during the past centuries. No other Islamic movement has cleared so many obstacles.

By Allah’s favor, we will arrange many discussions between us. The capitalist and Zionist media of the world accuse Iran of terrorism simply because Iran is not prepared to recognize the occupiers and abandon its Arab brothers in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and other countries. This is while we are the biggest victim of terrorism in the world and we are still suffering from continued assassinations and terror operations.

If the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic had abandoned the oppressed Afghan, Bosnian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian brothers the way other so-called Muslim governments did, if we had stayed silent and stabbed Palestine in the back just like most of the Arab governments did, they would never have declared us a supporter of terror and interference. We are thinking of liberating holy Quds and all of the occupied Palestinian lands: this is the big crime of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic.

They speak about Iranian or Shia imperialism while everybody knows that we have never considered or described our Revolution as a purely Shia, nationalistic or Iranian revolution. Over the past 30 years, all the expenses we have incurred and all the threats we have heard have been due to our tendency towards Islam, building an Islamic Ummah and shouting slogans of unity, closeness of Islamic denominations, freedom and dignity for our Muslim brothers “ from East Asia to deep into Africa and Europe.

In the area of science, technology, social rights, social justice, development, health, ensuring women’s dignity, respecting the rights of religious minorities and other areas, Islamic Iran made great and exceptional strides. We are aware of our weaknesses and by Allah’s favor, we will eliminate them.

The equation of resistance changed in the region with the help of the Islamic Republic. In Gaza, the Palestinian transition from throwing stones to “answering missiles with missiles” and other instances of Islamic resistance against the occupiers: these things were inspired by the Islamic Revolution.

Iran is not after Iranizing Arabs or making other Muslims become Shia. Iran is only trying to defend the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.). Iran is only after reviving the Islamic Ummah. Helping the Sunni combatants of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Shia combatants of Hezbollah and Amal is an equally important religious obligation for the Islamic Revolution. The people and government of Iran declare in a clear and decisive way that they are committed to popular uprisings and not terror, to Islamic unity and not sectarian conflicts, to brotherhood among Muslims and not ethnic and racial discrimination, to Islamic jihad and not violence against foreigners.

We should pray for happiness for all Muslim nations. We should identify and fulfill our heavy responsibility and we should know that “Allah has full power and control over His affairs.” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21]

Servants of God, fear God and be an enemy of oppressors and a supporter of the oppressed. I ask God for forgiveness for myself and for you.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

When comes the help of Allah and the victory,
And you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies,
Then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Surely He is oft-returning (to mercy). [The Holy Quran, 110]

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings