Leader’s Speech to Government Officials

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on July 24, 2012 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with government officials.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.
I welcome all the dear brothers and sisters, the honorable officials from different organizations of the country. I would also like to thank our honorable President for the good report that he presented to all of us.

At the beginning of my speech, I would like to stress the need for appreciating the opportunity that has been provided by these days and nights. We need to make the best of these hours and these auspicious days and nights by strengthening our heartfelt relationship with the world of spirituality and with the Hidden World. We need to make the best of these days and nights by praying to the Almighty God in a humble and solemn way, by strengthening our bond with the honorable members of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household. This is the basis of all the good deeds that a pious human being can do, a pious human being who struggles for the sake of truth and justice.

If we fail to make use of these hours and the opportunity that has been provided for us, we will regret it one day. "And warn them of the day of intense regret, when the matter shall have been decided, and they are (now) in negligence and they do not believe." [The Holy Quran, 19: 39] These opportunities are lost because of negligence and disbelief, and this negligence will cause regret the day when we will be questioned about every hour and minute of our life, every move we have made and every word we have said. Then it will be too late to do anything: "The matter shall have been decided." The day we will fully understand what we have done, everything will have been decided.

In his noble book "Muraqibaat", the late Hajj Mirza Javad Agha Maleki (may God bestow paradise on him) has written a few sentences about the nights of Qadr. I wrote down those sentences before this meeting. Of course, what he said is true of all times, but as far as these sentences are concerned, what he had in mind was the nights of Qadr. "Know for sure that you neglected a virtue like this and ruined it with your negligence." If we are negligent and miss these opportunities, then "you saw on the Day of Judgment what those who tried, achieved with that [virtue]". On the Day of Judgment when your actions will appear in front your eyes in a spiritual form, you will see that you failed to do a particular good deed that you could have done, that you failed to make a particular comment that could have benefited others, that you failed to take the step that would have benefited those who were in need. You will see what a great reward Allah the Exalted bestows on those who took the trouble and did these small things. On that day, we will realize that we have deprived ourselves of the great reward. When you witness what a great reward is given to the person who did that particular good deed, the person who took that particular step and the person who carried out that particular religious obligation, you will say, "You suffer the regret of the Day of Regret." Then you will regret what you have done. And what great regret! One starts thinking, "I wish I had done that. I wish I had taken that step. I wish I had said that. I wish I had refused to do or say that." Hajj Mirza Javad Agha Maleki says that the regret of "the Day of Regret" is not like ordinary feelings of regret. Even in this world, sometimes people fail to do what might benefit them and later on they regret it. But there is a huge difference between feelings of regret in this world and in the next. He says, "Surely this makes the great fire and chastisement insignificant to them." This feeling of regret is so strong and painful that it makes hell fire insignificant. In other words, the feeling of regret flows into one's being like molten lead. "And you call out on that day with those in loss and regret: 'Lest a soul should say: O woe to me, for what I fell short of my duty to Allah.' [The Holy Quran, 39: 56]" Then he says, "And regret will not benefit you." And on that day, feelings of regret will be useless.

You enjoy the blessing of life and many of you enjoy the blessing of youth as well. Thankfully, all of you or the majority of you enjoy physical and intellectual dynamism and capabilities. You can work. You can benefit from these blissful hours. You can benefit from these nights, these duas, these munajat, these night vigils and these midnight prayers. Sometimes a small thing brings about such a great reward that one cannot believe it because of being trapped in the maze of materialistic frameworks. "And they do not believe." But it is a fact. One opportunity has been provided for you by the month of Ramadan and the other opportunity is the opportunity to render services. You are shouldering certain responsibilities and you have the opportunity to render services. You have the opportunity to manage things. You have the opportunity to work. It is necessary to make the best of these opportunities. Make use of the time and the different facilities that are available to you. You will be given certain spiritual and material rewards for any move you make in this Islamic system and in this Islamic and divine country in order to help the country make progress. And on the Day of Judgment when one sees some people receiving these rewards and realizes that one will be deprived of them, one will have this sense of regret. This is what I wanted to say and I believe it is the main part of my speech today. Personally I need to follow this advice more than you do. I hope Allah the Exalted gives this opportunity to all of us.

What I have been planning to say in today's meeting is that the capabilities and capacities of the Iranian nation in safeguarding the Revolution are so great and important that one might even say their importance is not less than the importance of the Revolution itself. Over the past 33 years, the Iranian nation has managed to safeguard this great achievement well. Take a look at the revolutions that have taken place in the region over the past one and a half years. If you consider these revolutions from a general point of view, you can say whether they are moving in the right direction or not. The enemies and the arrogant powers - particularly the Zionist regime, the US government and other western governments - are making certain efforts to ride and derail these revolutions. Notice what big challenges these revolutions are faced with.

When one pays attention to these challenges, one realizes what a great achievement has been accomplished in our country: this Revolution has been kept on the right path and it is moving towards the ideals. It has not been derailed from the path of the values and ideals, and it has continued its progressive movement. This is while our Revolution has been faced with increasing challenges and threats. Since the first day, the challenges that our Revolution and our country have been faced with have grown more complex over time. There have been assassinations. There have been ethnic conflicts. There has been a war. There have been sanctions. There has been a siege on us. The more we moved forward, the more complex their threats became. All these things were caused by the enemies and opponents of the Islamic Republic. The events that took place in Tir 1378 and the events that happened in 1388 were among the different kinds of threats that our Revolution, our country and our nation have been faced with. Our nation confronted all these things and it is moving forward on its path in a steadfast way. These are the things that we need to keep in mind today and in the future. They will help us on difficult paths. They will help us clear difficult turns and passes.

What one witnesses in this 33-year movement and in the lesson that the Revolution and our magnanimous Imam taught us, is that the great ideals and wishes that are promoted by Islam have not been ignored in this 33-year movement. In the meantime, attention has also been paid to the realities of our society and the world at large. This helped this movement continue: that is to say, idealism combined with realism. They promoted the idea that realism and idealism are inconsistent. They wrote and spoke about it. One can still hear in different corners that idealism is not consistent with realism, with the realities that exist in society and in the world. They have confused idealism with fantasy. What we want to pursue and what we insist on is that there is no contradiction between realism and idealism, between seeing the realities that exist in society and in the world and pursuit of the great ideals and wishes that the people of Iran have in mind. If we manage to combine idealism with realism, this would operationally translate into combining judgment with selfless struggle. Then we can engage in selfless struggle and our selfless struggle will be within a well-thought-out framework. And this requires public awareness, awareness among our government officials and unity of hearts and tongues in all arenas.

Some people pretend that idealism is not consistent with realism. We strongly reject this. Many of the ideals of our society are the realities that exist in our society. Our people want national dignity. They want to lead a pious life. They want to play a role in running our national affairs and managing our country, and this is democracy. They want to make progress. They want to have political and economic independence. These are the demands of our people. These demands are the realities of our society and they are completely in line with idealism. These things are not analyses. They are not fantasies. They are not a figment of our imagination. They are realities that exist in our society. It is these things that a pious and alive society is after. Such a society wants national dignity. It wants independence. It wants progress. It wants international honor. These are the demands of our people and they are in line with our ideals. And these demands are among the undeniable realities of our society. Therefore, realities can be at the service of ideals. They can be in line with ideals. Enumerating the ideals without paying attention to the existing realities and the reasonable mechanisms for achieving those ideals, is fantasy and it would reduce the ideals to empty slogans. However, if government officials pursue the ideals in a logical and dignified way and the people cooperate with them, then the realities of our society will be in harmony with the ideals. This is an essential pillar for our national movement.

I would like to briefly discuss some of the realities that exist in our society. There are certain realities and if we do not include them in our calculations, we will definitely make mistakes in judgment. We will also make mistakes in choosing our path. It is necessary to see these realities. Of course, none of the realities that I am speaking about are analyses. All of them are obvious realities that lie in front of our eyes. I would not hesitate to say that when we want to have idealism coupled with realism - that is to say, when we want to see the realities and regulate our movement on the basis of these realities - we should take care not to fall into some possible pitfalls. There are certain pitfalls. One pitfall is illusion: considering as real things that are not real. The enemies who have formed the opposing camp against our country, our nation and our Revolution, are trying to make unreal things look real. They are trying to make certain things appear obvious realities to us, things that are not real. We should take care not to fall for the unreal "realities" that they build for us. For example, if we think that we are more powerful or less powerful than we really are, we will make mistakes. Similarly, if we think that the enemy is more powerful or less powerful than he really is, we will make mistakes in our calculations. These are some of the areas where the enemy's plotters step in. You see that in the widespread propaganda by our enemies, efforts are made to show that our national capabilities are less than they really are. And they also try to make the enemy look more powerful than they really are. This is one of the pitfalls. If we overestimate the enemy and fear him more than we should, we will definitely make mistakes in our calculations. We will follow the wrong path. This is one of the pitfalls.

As far as seeing the realities is concerned, one of the pitfalls is related to our inner self. Sometimes being attached to different things is crippling. Our attachment to different things cause us to consider unreal things real, things that are in fact mistakes which our inner self impose on us because of laziness or being attached to material issues.

One of the pitfalls is to think that it is possible to achieve one's ideals without paying the price. We used to witness such things during the time of revolutionary activities as well. There were certain people who believed in the goals of the revolutionary activities, but they were not prepared to make any sacrifices and pay the price. There are still such people. They think that they should be able to achieve the goals without paying the price. Therefore, whenever it comes to paying the price, they back down, which in some cases cause them to make mistakes in their calculations and to fail to follow the path they should follow when they are faced with the enemy.

Another pitfall is to see some of the realities and ignore the rest. This also causes mistakes. It causes mistakes in calculation. It is necessary to see and consider all the realities.

Now I would like to mention a number of these realities. I am not claiming that I will mention all the realities of the country in this meeting, but this is a start which can open our eyes to the different realities that exist in our country. What is our situation? Where are we? What do we have? What do we lack? My own judgment is that these realities are very promising. When we put these realities together and look at them, we feel that the Iranian nation is moving on a path towards its lofty ideals. There are challenges on this path, but it is not a dead end. It is passable. The goal of the camp that is opposed to the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution is to convince people that our path is a dead end. They themselves say that they should do certain things, mount certain pressures on us and impose a siege and sanctions in order to make the officials of the Islamic Republic revise their calculations. I say that considering the realities not only convinces us not to revise our past calculations but it also makes us more confident in the righteousness of the path we have been following and the path the Islamic Revolution has opened up in front of us.

One of the realities that exist in the country is the existence of sanctions and threats, and the Islamic Republic is reminded of this reality more than the previous years. Our country is faced with a showdown with a few arrogant powers and governments. As I have repeatedly said before, the opposing camp is not the global community. It is not all governments. It is not all nations. The opposing camp consists of only a few governments, but they have a powerful media system. What we should acknowledge is the power of their media and propaganda. The Americans and westerners are truly powerful in these areas. What we acknowledge is that they are powerful in propaganda and media campaigns and in terms of the power to distort whatever they want to distort. Today they are seriously promoting this and speaking about it using all their propaganda and media power. And it is a fact that a few governments use their media capabilities to pretend that they are the global community. And they are lying. They are not the global community. This is a reality.

We are faced with a few arrogant governments and powers. They have a number of followers who are also opposed to us, but their existence is not independent and they do not have any power. If superpowers like America stopped supporting them, they would be nothing. They would not even be considered in global and international equations. However, they are currently following America, the Zionist regime and the global Zionist network. This is a reality. It is in front of our eyes. This reality has developed since the beginning of the Revolution. Its intensity has not decreased, rather it has increased. And they have joined hands to magnify this reality. This is among the pitfalls I mentioned earlier. They try to magnify this reality and make it look as grave and bitter as possible. We acknowledge the pressures and the sanctions, and these pressures and sanctions are backed up with their economic capabilities, political capabilities, security capabilities and other such capabilities, particularly their media capabilities. This is a reality.

Another reality that should be seen together with this reality is that they pretend this showdown is because of such issues as the nuclear issue and the issue of human rights, and this is a lie. The fact that these claims are false is one of the realities. This is not just a claim that we make. Today there is nobody in the world who believes that America is after human rights and the rights of nations or that the Zionist regime - which commits genocide and murders children - is after establishing democracy in other countries. The track records of America, the Zionist regime and the few powers that have deployed their forces against the Islamic Republic are abysmal in terms of the issue of human rights, in terms of supporting the rights of nations and human beings. Does sixty years of genocide in Palestine not qualify as violation of human rights? Does providing the usurping Zionist regime with atomic weapons not undermine global peace? Can those who did these things claim to be supporters of global peace? Does providing a person like Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons not qualify as violation of human rights? The kind of things that have been done by the Americas, westerners and the English in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world - do these things leave any room for claims of supporting human rights? Therefore, their claim that they are opposed to the Islamic Republic because of the issue of human rights, is a lie. Similarly, their claim that they are opposed to the Islamic Republic because of nuclear weapons, is also a lie. In the beginning, we announced it as a guess, but later on it became clear during international negotiations and interactions that they know the Islamic Republic is not after nuclear weapons. They believe and acknowledge that the Islamic Republic is not after nuclear weapons and this is the truth, yet they bring up the issue of nuclear weapons. Therefore, the claim that these pressures, these sanctions, these sieges, these enmities and these hostilities are due to the issue of nuclear weapons and technology, is a lie. The fact that this claim is false is also a reality.

The truth is that their opposition is because of the essence of the Revolution and the existence of the Islamic Republic. They were ruling the region without any worries. They had full control over a country like Iran, with its rich resources and numerous facilities. They used to do whatever they wanted. They used to make whatever decisions they wanted. They used to make the best of the facilities of our country in order advance their own goals. But now they have been deprived of all these things. This is not the only reason. Our movement has motivated the world of Islam and today we can see the signs in North Africa, in the Middle East and in all countries. This is what they are angry about. The Islamic Republic is the focus. They want to harm the Islamic Republic and make it a lesson for others. This is their real motive. And this is another reality.

Another reality is that the challenges the Islamic Republic is currently faced with are not new. And this is not an analysis: it is a fact. Everybody can see this. There was a day when our ships and oil tankers used to be targeted in the Persian Gulf. There was a day when they used to bombard the oil terminal in Khark Island. There was a day when the enemy used to drop bombs on all our industrial centers. These are the things that we have witnessed with our own eyes. We have experienced these things before: they are not new to us. Today they do not have the courage to even approach the Islamic Republic, which is another reality and I will speak about it later on. There was a day when they had this courage and they used to come and harm us. They used to attack us. The war with Saddam Hussein was not just a war that had been waged on us by one government. It was an international war against us. Therefore, the challenges that exist - the threats they make, the claims they make, the things they mention and magnify - are not new to the Islamic Republic. And this is another reality.

Another reality is that the Islamic Republic has cleared all these hardships and difficult turns. Have we not? Did we stop moving forward? Did they manage to harm the Islamic Republic? Did they manage to undermine the ideals and principles of the Islamic Republic? They did not. And this is another reality. These realities should always be in front of our eyes.

Another reality is that we managed to make progress even under threat. Over these years, we have made progress in all areas. We have made progress in sophisticated scientific areas. We have made advances in the technologies that our country needed. We have made outstanding advances in the area of medicine, transportation, housing, water supply and constructing roads. Mr. President presented some of the statistics in today's meeting. In spite of all these pressures, the country has made constant progress over these years. In the area of certain important, exclusive and unique sciences - such as laser technology, nanotechnology, stem cells and nuclear industry - we have made constant advances. The Islamic Republic has made these advances in spite of all the threats it has been faced with, including sanctions, military threats and different security, political and other measures. And this is another reality. It is not an analysis. It is among the things that are in front of our eyes. And you dear government officials know these things better than the people.

Another reality is that compared with the early years after the Revolution, the country has become far more powerful in confronting the challenges and threats. Compared with the early days, today we are much more powerful in confronting the threats. We have become more confident and thankfully our reliance on Allah the Exalted has not decreased. Also, our tangible capabilities have increased compared to the past. The global powers are doing everything in their power. They admit that they are stuck, that they have not been able to make headway.

Another reality is that the opposing camp has grown weaker over these years. If we think of America and the Zionist regime as the two main representatives of the opposing camp and consider western countries as their followers, it is obvious that they have grown weaker. Today the Zionist regime is far weaker than 20, 30 years ago. The events that took place in North Africa and Egypt substantially weakened the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime suffers from domestic problems and it also suffers from endless problems outside its borders. And today's America is not the America of the time of Reagan. They have declined a lot. You know what happened to them in Iraq, and their condition has been growing worse on a daily basis in Afghanistan. They have failed in their Middle Eastern policies. They were defeated in the 33-day war, which was waged by their agents, the Zionist regime. In the 22-day war on Gaza, their Zionist agents did not manage to do anything against a million-something defenseless people. These are very important realities. Therefore, they have grown weak. They have grown far weaker than 20, 30 years ago. And this is another reality.

Another reality is that the regimes which are opposed to the Islamic Republic are in crisis. The few arrogant western governments and their allies are in crisis. With the economic crisis that exists in Europe, the European Union is in serious danger. The euro-zone is in serious danger. In a way, the same is true of America: a large budget deficit, massive debt, pressure from the people and the anti-Wall Street movement or what they call "the 99 percent movement". These are important events. Of course, the conditions of Europe are worse than those of America. A few Europeans governments have already fallen. Currently several European countries are suffering from instability.

Their problems are different from our problems. The economic problems and the economic crisis in Europe are different from the economic problems that we may encounter. Our problems are like the problems of a group of climbers who are moving forward on a particular path. It is a difficult path and of course there are problems. Sometimes they need water. Other times they need food. Sometimes they have to deal with certain problems. Other times they encounter certain obstacles. But the important point is that they are climbing up the mountain. Our problems are of this nature. The situation of Europeans is like the situation of a bus that is trapped under an avalanche. For many years, they unknowingly prepared the ground for these problems. The class distinctions, the domination of usury mechanisms over economic issues, the increasing power of powerful people, the influence of the money-minded Zionists - these things have caused problems for them. This is an avalanche that has struck them. Therefore, their problems are very different from our problems. And this is another reality.

Another reality is the events that have taken place in North Africa and in our region. In certain places, these events have resulted in regime change. In certain other places, these events have not resulted in regime change, but there is a possibility that they will.

Another reality is the increased power of the Islamic Republic. We are a powerful country. We are a wealthy and powerful country. In terms of natural resources, we are one of the top countries in the world. In terms of certain natural resources, we rank first in the world. In terms of combined oil and gas resources, we rank first in the world. Our combined oil and gas resources are more than any other country in the world. In terms of essential resources and mines, our country is very rich. In terms of manpower, we have a population of 75 million people, and population is a very important factor.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that the young, dynamic and educated population of this country has been one of the important factors behind the progress of our country. You can see the role of our educated, aware, dynamic and energetic youth in the statistics that are presented. We should revise our population control policy. This policy was correct during a certain period, and certain goals had been specified for it. According to the studies carried out and reported by expert and scholarly individuals, we reached the goals of our population control policy in the year 1371. We should have changed the policy after 1371. We made a mistake. We did not change it. Today we need to make up for this mistake. We should not let the predominance of youth disappear in our population, thereby destroying the beautiful population pattern of our country. And according to expert studies, this beautiful pattern will be destroyed if we continue like this. These are not opinions: they are based on scholarly, accurate and expert work. Today our youth form a major portion of our population, but if we continue like this, the predominance of youth will disappear and we will gradually suffer from aging. And after the passage of a few years, the population of our country will decrease because population aging is accompanied by a decrease in birth rate. They specified a time and they showed to me that at that time our population will be less than it currently is. These are dangerous things. Our government officials should seriously consider and follow up these things. It is necessary to revise our population control policy and to do the right thing. Issues such as population growth are among the important issues, and it is really necessary for our government officials - and not just our administrative officials - our clergy and those who speak to the public to raise public awareness in this regard. They should end these conditions in the country - namely, having only one or two children. Imam Khomeini (r.a.) said that we should have a population of 150-200 million people. He was right: we need to reach that number.

Another reality is that whenever we showed flexibility towards the enemy and used certain justifications to retreat, the enemy adopted bolder positions against us. For example, at one point we said that we should not give the enemy an excuse and at another point we said that we should dispel the enemy's suspicions against ourselves. The day the statements of our government officials were contaminated with flattery for the west and western culture, they labeled us "axis of evil". And who did this? The person who was the embodiment of evil. The previous US President - the embodiment of evil - labeled Iran "axis of evil". When did this happen? At a time when we used to repeatedly flatter the west, America and others in our statements. This is how they are. Regarding the nuclear issue, at a time when we cooperated with them and backed down - this really happened although we learnt a lesson from it - they advanced so much that I said in this Hussayniyyah that if they continued like that, I would have to step in personally. And that was what I did. I had to step in. These things are not my responsibility.

Our retreats emboldened them. There was a day when our government officials would be satisfied if they allowed us to have 25 centrifuges in the country, but they said it was not possible. Our government officials became satisfied with having 5 centrifuges, but they still said it was not possible. Then our government officials became satisfied with 3 centrifuges, but again they said it was not possible. According to the report you heard today, we have eleven thousand centrifuges in the country. If we had continued those retreats, if we had continued that flexibility, we would have achieved none of these nuclear advances. It would have undermined the scientific vibrancy that has developed in the country over the past few years - this scientific movement, these youth, these innovations, these inventions and the different advances we have made in various areas. This is because first, they might have found a problem with every one of these things and second, the nuclear industry of a country is the symbol of that country's progress. And this is another reality.

Another reality is that if the country judiciously resists these pressures by the enemy - particularly, the sanctions and other such things - not only will their technique prove ineffective, but also it will be impossible for them to repeat such things in the future. This is because we are going through a phase, a stage. The country will go through this stage. The threats they make and the sanctions they impose will benefit nobody other than America and the Zionist regime. The others stepped into the arena because of their coercion, pressure and other such things, or they did so as a ceremonial gesture. It is obvious that such things as coercion and pressure cannot continue. These things will only continue for a while. One of the signs is that they were forced to exempt twenty countries from the oil embargo and similar sanctions. And the other countries which were not exempted do not want to cooperate and they are as eager as we are, if not more, to find a solution. Therefore, it is necessary to resist. These are tangible realities. None of the things that I said are abstract analyses. They are things that we can witness.

Apart from these realities, there is another reality: we have not yet managed to create the necessary Islamic characteristics in ourselves as far as work and other such areas are concerned. We are suffering from a feeling of lethargy. This is among the legacies of the eras of autocracy and dictatorship in our country. When a country is ruled by a dictator, the people of that country become lazy and potentialities are not utilized. This is a legacy from the eras of autocracy. We should shake off this feeling of lethargy. The ability to take risks does not exist in all parts of our society. It is necessary to take risks while relying on Allah the Exalted and on competent management. Everybody should be prepared to take risks.

This is why I said our conditions are like the conditions of Badr and Khaybar. Being in the conditions of Badr and Khaybar means that we are faced with threats and challenges, but that we have not reached a dead end. In the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had very few resources, but they achieved a victory. The resources of the opposing side were several times more than the resources that the Muslims enjoyed. In certain areas, the resources of the camp of Islam were not comparable with the enemies' resources. In the Battle of Khaybar, the Muslims were faced with certain difficulties. They went and besieged the place for a long time. The enemy was resisting strenuously. However, the Muslims achieved a victory in the end. There are challenges, but there are also sufficient capacities and potentialities to deal with these challenges. This is the meaning of conditions of Badr of Khaybar. If we manage to bring our capacities into the arena, if we manage to decrease the number of our weaknesses, we will make progress.

There is another point that I would like to add in the limited time that we have. Dear brothers and sisters, dear government officials, we should look at the issues of our country from this perspective: the ideals should be in front of our eyes and the encouraging realities should also be in front of our eyes. As for the negative realities - some of which are not realities and are only passed off as realities - we should not make mistakes. We should not underestimate the enemy's power. We should not suffer from negligence. This is an essential issue. Work hard on this issue and try to find a solution, the way a mathematician works on a mathematical problem. Imagine that you are a talented mathematician and that this issue is a mathematical problem. This is the way you should confront different issues. Fortunately one can see that this spirit exists in different organizations of the country. It is necessary to look at the issue of economy from this perspective.

A few years ago, I proposed the idea of "economy of resistance". All those who were aware of the different issues we were faced with could guess that the enemy's goal was to pressure the economy of the country. It was clear from their machinations that they wanted to focus their efforts on the economy of our country. Our economy is an important target for them. The enemy's goal was to focus on our economy, work against our national growth, undermine efforts to create employment opportunities, disrupt and jeopardize our national welfare, create problems for the people, make the people disappointed and isolate them from the Islamic Republic. This is the goal of the enemy's economic pressure and this was obvious at that time. One could witness it.

On the first day of the year 1386, I said during a speech at Imam Musa ar-Ridha's (a.s.) holy shrine that the enemies were following up the issue of economy. One can assume that the annual slogans were systematic efforts to create a complete economic system: reforming the norms of consumption, the issue of preventing extravagance, the issue of intensified effort and labor, the issue of economic jihad and finally national production and supporting Iranian labor and capital. My purpose was not to invent temporary slogans that would be discarded after a while. The slogans can organize the general movement of the country in the economic arena. They can help us move forward. This is the path we should follow.

The issue of economy is an important issue. Economy of resistance is important. Of course, an economy of resistance has certain requirements. Putting the people in charge of economy is among the requirements of an economy of resistance. The policies that have been specified in Article 44 of the Constitution can introduce a transformation, and it is necessary to introduce this transformation. Of course, certain things have already been done, but it is necessary to make more efforts. It is necessary to strengthen the private sector. The private sector should be encouraged to engage in economic activities and our banking system, governmental organizations and the organs that can help - such as the Majlis and the judiciary - should help the people step into the arena of economy. Minimizing our dependence on oil is another requirement for an economy of resistance. This dependence is an evil legacy from a hundred years ago. If we manage to make use of all the opportunities that exist today and try to replace oil with other lucrative economic activities, we will have made the most important move regarding our economy. Today knowledge-based industries are among the things that can fill this gap to a large extent. There are various capacities in the country which can be utilized to fill this gap. We should focus our efforts on this area and move towards minimizing our dependence on oil.

The issue of managing consumption - that is to say, moderate consumption and avoidance of extravagance - is one of the pillars of an economy of resistance. Our governmental and private organizations as well as our people and families should pay attention to this issue. This is indeed an instance of jihad. Today moderate consumption and avoidance of extravagance is undoubtedly a jihad-like move against the enemy. One can claim that this will receive the same reward as jihad in the way of God.

Another aspect of the issue of moderate consumption and managing consumption is that we should use our domestically produced products. All governmental organizations should pay attention to this point. All governmental organizations affiliated with the three branches of government should try their best to avoid consuming foreign products. And our people should also prefer domestically produced products to famous foreign brands. Some people go after different foreign brands only to show off. The people themselves should prevent consumption of foreign products.

I believe that plans which are centered around an economy of resistance are workable. Rationing gasoline, which was mentioned in the meeting, was successful. If we had not implemented the gasoline rationing plan, today our gasoline consumption would have exceeded a hundred million liters a day. They managed to control this. Today our gasoline consumption is at a very good level. The conditions should be such that we do not need foreign countries at all, and thankfully this is the case. They were planning to impose sanctions on gasoline. Economy of resistance made their gasoline sanctions ineffective. The same is true of all the other things needed in the country. The targeted subsidy plan is also a measure to shape our national economy. These things can boost production and employment, and it can also bring about welfare. These are factors that can boost our national production and economic growth. They can also bring about honor for the country. By increasing production, a country can achieve genuine power and international honor. It is necessary to increase production.

Making the best of the available time, resources and facilities. It is necessary to make the best of the available time. Fortunately one can see that projects which used to take many years to be completed are currently completed by certain companies in two years, in eighteen months. It is necessary to strengthen this [characteristic] in the country.

Moving forward on the basis of plans is one of the essential things. Erratic decisions and changing the regulations are among the things that harm an economy of resistance as well as national resistance. Both the executive branch and the Majlis should pay attention to this point. They should not let our economic policies be plagued by needless and erratic changes.

Another issue is the issue of unity and solidarity. Fortunately our people are united. This is a very important achievement and it is necessary to safeguard it. We should not let unity be undermined. The occasional disagreements among our government officials - which are aired without any good reason - harm national unity. Some people become supporters of this and some others become supporters of that. They start opposing and blaming each other. Some people blame the executive branch. Others blame the legislative branch. Yet others blame the judiciary. They blame each other for the problems. This is among the harmful things. And our honorable friends, the esteemed government officials of the country, should know that blaming this and that person for our problems will not bring about any honor and prestige for them among the people. There are certain problems and it is necessary to solve them. And we have the capability to solve them. We are not incapable of solving our problems. As I said, these are the realities in the country which are revealing themselves to us.

I hope by the blessedness of this month and these hours, Allah the Exalted bestows His blessings on our honorable nation and our government officials. Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, help the people of Iran and our government officials to fully benefit from the blessings of this month. Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, help the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic to defeat their enemies on all fronts. Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, suppress and overpower the ill-wishers of the holy Islamic Republic and the honorable Iranian nation. Dear God, cleanse our hearts of impure motives and feelings. Dear God, make us benefit from the prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). Help us qualify for the prayers of that honorable Imam. Dear God, make what we said, what we did and what we heard serve Your cause and accept them from us out of Your generosity.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings