Leader’s Speech to Government Officials

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on September 22, 2007 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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 and pure household, and upon his chosen companions, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth. Allah the Exalted says in His Book:

"In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O you who believe, remember Allah, remembering frequently,
And glorify Him morning and evening.
He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that He may bring you forth out of utter darkness into the light, and He is Merciful to the believers.
Their salutation on the day that they meet Him shall be, Peace, and He has prepared for them an honorable reward." [The Holy Quran, 33: 41-44]

This is a valuable opportunity and almost all of those who are shouldering the heavy burden of managing the country at essential levels have participated in this great and crucial meeting. The honorable President presented a report on politics and different affairs of the country. There are always many things to say in such areas and it is necessary to say them, but I thought I should use this opportunity to discuss the things which should be prioritized over our political reasoning, clarification and decisions - namely, what comes out of our hearts and our sincere faith, which can play a role at all stages of this movement, like a soul that keeps a body alive, like a beam of light in darkness, like life among objects that are dead. For this reason, I chose these Quranic ayahs so that we can discuss them in some detail. Personally, the more I think, the more I realize that I need to repeat, reflect on and act according to these holy ayahs: "O you who believe, remember Allah, remembering frequently, and glorify Him morning and evening." [The Holy Quran, 33: 41-42] By analogy, it appears to me that all of us need the same thing. Allah the Exalted says, "O you who believe." This divine remembrance is after a faith-based society has been established and it has undergone great tests. These are ayahs from Sura al-Ahzab and they were revealed after the 6th year on the Islamic calendar, namely after the battles of Badr, Uhud, Ahzab and many other battles that took place between these battles. In such conditions, the Holy Quran tells the early Muslims: "Remember Allah, remembering frequently." The Holy Quran asks the Muslims to remember God frequently. Remembrance is the opposite of forgetting. Getting lost in different events and neglecting and forgetting the main issues: this is the great affliction that mankind suffers from. They want to consign this divine remembrance to oblivion. And this divine remembrance is not simple remembering for the sake of highlighting: we have been asked to remember God frequently.

Once I cited a narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) which says, "There is a limit to everything..." There are limits to all divine obligations and commands and once they reach these limits, they end - responsibility ends. "... except divine remembrance and there is no limit to it." There are no limits to divine remembrance so we can never say what amount of divine remembrance is enough. It is explained in the narration, "Allah the Exalted made daily prayers obligatory and the limit is that they should be performed." Anybody who performs his daily prayers reaches the limit for this divine obligation. "And He also made fasting obligatory in the month of Ramadan, and fasting is the limit." Once the month of Ramadan ends, this obligation reaches its limits. Your obligation to fast ends at the end of the month of Ramadan. "He also made hajj obligatory and going on a hajj pilgrimage is the limit." Anybody who performs the hajj rituals on a hajj pilgrimage reaches the limit for this obligation. Therefore, according to one reading, there is a limit to every divine obligation, except divine remembrance. Only divine remembrance is different from other religious obligations. In this narration other religious obligations have not been described in the same way as divine remembrance. Once you have paid the amount of zakat that has been specified, the obligation to pay zakat reaches its limit and there is nothing else you should do as far as zakat is concerned. The same is true of khums and the obligation to visit one's relatives. All the other obligations are like this, except divine remembrance. "... except divine remembrance and Allah the Exalted does not become satisfied with any limited amount of it and He has not specified a limit where it ends." God does not become satisfied with any limited amount of divine remembrance and He has not specified a limit for it. At the end of this narration, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) recites this Quranic ayah: "O you who believe, remember Allah, remembering frequently." This shows the importance of divine remembrance.

It does not end here. "...He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels." The late Allamah Tabatabai writes in "Al-Mizan" that frequent divine remembrance which has been recommended in ayah 41 is because you should remember the One "Who sends His blessings on you." Allah the Exalted sends His blessings and greetings on His servants: "He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels." Not only Allah the Exalted but also His angels send blessings on believers. Blessings from God is His mercy, and blessings from divine angels is their appeal for divine protection for those who believe: "And ask protection for those who believe." [The Holy Quran, 40: 7] This is a point that has been mentioned in the Holy Quran.

Why do Allah the Exalted and His angels send blessings on believers from the hidden world? "That He may bring you forth out of utter darkness into the light." They send blessings on believers in order to save them from "darkness" and lead them into "the light". The discussions regarding the interpretation of "darkness" and "the light" are long and detailed. "Darkness" afflicts our thoughts, our hearts and our behavior, and "the light" has the opposite effect.

One's actions can also be characterized by "darkness" or "the light". One's thoughts and beliefs can be characterized by "the light" or "darkness". One's behavior and characteristics can be affected by "darkness" or "the light". The social movement of a nation can head towards "darkness" or towards "the light".

If a nation, a country, a government or a person is overwhelmed by human passions, by violence that is rooted in instincts, by greed or by materialistic tendencies, they will be afflicted by "darkness". Their movement will be afflicted by "darkness", and the same is true of their orientation and goals. But if they are characterized by spirituality, religious faith, human values, moral virtues, benevolence, sincerity and honesty, they will be led towards "the light". Islam and the Holy Quran call us to these things. Allah the Exalted and His angels give us the necessary means with the purpose of freeing us from darkness and leading us towards the realm of "the light". Engage in divine remembrance and the reason is what I discussed.

Divine remembrance has different stages. Not all of us are at the same level. Human beings are at different spiritual levels. Some people are at a high spiritual level, such as saints, prophets and righteous and spiritual people. And there are some others like myself and the rest of us who are not at that level. Some of us are not even aware of what goes on at that level. Everybody should engage in divine remembrance though, both ourselves and the people who are at a high spiritual level. For those who are at a high spiritual level, divine remembrance is what the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says: "Divine remembrance is like being in the company of one's beloved." This is true in the case of saints. For them, divine remembrance is as enjoyable as being in the company of their beloved. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says in another narration that divine remembrance is the enjoyment of those who truly love God. Well, this is true only in their case.

There are some people among us who experience moments of such states during the day or at night - especially during these days and nights. How blessed they are. Even people like us might experience such moments. Of course, saints are always in that state and this is particular to them only. However, those who are at a lower level might sometimes experience such moments and it is necessary to appreciate such moments. This is one level of divine remembrance that is particular to those who truly love God, those who are the people of spirituality. But for those of us who are not at that level, divine remembrance has amazing benefits. I have written down some of these benefits and I will discuss them in this meeting.

Freeing one from materialistic motives and misleading passions. Divine remembrance is like a shield that protects us and our hearts against the invasion of these passions. Our hearts are very vulnerable. Our hearts and souls are extremely vulnerable. There are certain things that affect us. Our hearts are attracted by different things. If we want to keep our hearts pure, we need to protect them. And divine remembrance takes care of this. Our hearts and souls are where God resides. The most important part of one's existence is one's heart, namely the inner self and existential essence of mankind. Divine remembrance protects our hearts against the incessant invasion of different passions. Divine remembrance safeguards the heart against being submerged in corruption and misleading attractions.

I saw a narration in this regard which is very significant. It says, "He who engages in divine remembrance among those who lack vigilance is like a combatant among deserters." In a battlefield, a soldier might put up a brave fight and resistance. He might make use of all the facilities that are available to him in order to harm the enemy and stand up against his invasion. On the other hand, another soldier might flee from the battlefield. He might no longer be able to tolerate the hardships and decide to run away from the enemy. According to the narration, among those who suffer from lack of vigilance, a person who remembers God is like a resisting soldier among those who flee from the enemy. This simile has been used because a brave soldier puts up a resistance against the enemy's invasion, and divine remembrance has the same function: it protects your heart.

For this reason, Allah the Exalted says, "When you meet a party, then be firm, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful." [The Holy Quran, 8: 45] This holy ayah is among the ayahs which are related to jihad. It says that when you face the enemy in the battlefield, you should resist and remember Allah the Exalted frequently. "Then be firm, and remember Allah much." This holy ayah asks soldiers to be steadfast, to resist and to remember God. Remembering God is also useful: "... that you may be successful." Divine remembrance is an instrument that helps you achieve success and salvation. Why divine remembrance? Because it makes the heart firm and once the heart is firm, one becomes steadfast on one's path. This is true of the battlefield. In a battlefield, the hearts of weak soldiers give up long before they decide to physically flee from the enemy. It is our hearts and souls that encourage our bodies to flee. Otherwise, if the heart resists, the body will resist as well.

In all battlefields - including military battlefields, political battlefields, economic battlefields and propaganda battlefields - engage in divine remembrance because it brings about success and salvation for you. Divine remembrance is a source of support for steadfastness.

Therefore, divine remembrance enables us to traverse the straight path. It enables us to move forward. The goal that we have specified for ourselves as believers, as faithful Muslims, as followers of a progressive school of thought, as people who have the motivation to safeguard this lofty system that promises the blossoming of Islamic civilization in the future, we need to engage in divine remembrance so that we can move forward on this path.

You and I need divine remembrance more than anybody else. The reason I said I consider this meeting a valuable opportunity is that you are very different from ordinary people in that you are shouldering an important responsibility in safeguarding this system. In contrast to the actions of those who are not in charge of the main and essential matters, if you take your responsibility seriously or treat it lightly, it will make a great difference. Therefore, you need divine remembrance more than others. Once our hearts are ruled by divine remembrance, our behavior will definitely be influenced. Divine remembrance helps us to fulfill the responsibilities that we shoulder and to avoid the things that have been declared haraam, things that cause spiritual trouble and divine wrath. Divine remembrance plays a role in these areas.

What is divine remembrance? There is a narration from Imam Baqir (a.s.) in this regard. There is another narration which I believe is more important. I will discuss both of the narrations though. The first narration is from Imam Baqir (a.s.): "There are three things which are among the most important obligations of believers." One of these things is that one should treat other people in a fair way. That is to say, when one has to decide between observing justice at the cost of sacrificing oneself and not sacrificing oneself at the cost of ignoring justice, one must opt for the former. Whenever your opponent is in the right and you are wrong, act justly and accept that you are wrong although this means you have to swallow your pride. This is very difficult, but very important. Imam Baqir (a.s.) says that this is among the most important things that must be done and of course it is difficult. And no good deed and great work is possible without going through a certain amount of hardships. The second thing that is important is helping one's religious brothers in all matters. One should consider it a responsibility to offer help in intellectual and physical matters and in matters relating to honor. The third thing that is important is "divine remembrance in all states". One should always remember God. This is divine remembrance.

In the same narration, Imam Baqir has interpreted "remember God in all states" in the following way: "He who remembers Allah the Exalted when committing a sin, divine remembrance stops him." Divine remembrance prevents people from committing sins - different kinds of sins, including lying, backbiting, hiding the truth, being unjust, insulting people, appropriating what belongs to others and to weak people and treating other people in a careless way. These are different types of sins. In all these things, one should pay attention to God. One should engage in divine remembrance in order to avoid these sins.

"... and divine remembrance comes between him and the sin and this is the meaning when Allah the Exalted says, 'Surely those who guard (against evil), when a visitation from Satan afflicts them, they become mindful.'" Imam Baqir (a.s.) says that this is the interpretation of the ayah which says, "Surely those who guard (against evil), when a visitation from the Satan afflicts them, they become mindful." [The Holy Quran, 7: 201] When Satan visits them - that is to say, when Satan has not yet permeated their entire being - they immediately remember God. "... and then they see." This divine remembrance opens up their eyes and makes them insightful. This is the meaning of "remember God in all states."

The other narration that I have in mind is almost similar in wording to the narration that I cited and the same three things are mentioned in it. In the previous narration, there was the phrase "and remember God in all states" and in this narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), there is the phrase "and remember God in all places." But the point that I have in mind is where the narration says, "... but know that I am not saying that divine remembrance is 'glory be to God' and 'praise be to God' and 'there is no god but Allah' and 'Allah is great'." This divine remembrance is verbal: "... although this is part of that." This divine remembrance is verbal although it still qualifies as divine remembrance and it is good and very valuable. But this is not the only point that I have in mind. "... Rather, remembering God in all places is when he faces what is halal and what is haraam." This divine remembrance is what I have in mind. Of course, the dhikrs that have been mentioned in our narrations, duas and different prayers are just vessels and capsules of divine remembrance and it is necessary to pay attention to their meaning and essence. Of course, these dhikrs are very valuable.

It is not possible to exhaust such subjects. In fact, we can spend many hours on discussing the details of these spiritual matters and what is useful to us. This is the truth of the matter. I would say that we have fallen behind. We have not made as much progress in Islamic education as an Islamic system would require. Some people say that we could have made far more progress than we have in such areas as development of the country and technology. But the area in which we should have made more progress than any other area is the area of spirituality, self-education and improving our hearts and behavior. We have indeed fallen behind in these areas.

If you want to find an example of what we deserve, take a look at the Sacred Defense Era. Pay attention to the feelings and spiritual states of those young soldiers and their parents, who used to send their children to the battlefield with that enthusiasm. They are good examples. Of course, I am not saying that they are the best examples - I am just saying that they are good examples. We should have moved forward at the same rate and in the same way, but we failed to do so. Of course, we sometimes forget them. Some of us forget those spiritual states and unfortunately some of us even deny their existence. What is worse is that some people even criticize those spiritual states. You can notice these things in some of the statements. Impulsive and nonsensical comments are made here and there, and there are even some people who criticize those beautiful and sacred states that our soldiers and youth used to experience during the Sacred Defense Era.

Of course, most of us do not even know the details. Even the commanders who were present during the war are not aware of everything that took place. The same is true of myself, as the person who is lecturing about those spiritual states. The arena of progression towards lofty spiritual characteristics and human virtues was so vast - almost as vast as the number of people who were present there - that it is really not possible to extract them.

Recently I read a book that recounts the events which took place during one of our attacks. The book is a collection of statements by the survivors of a platoon, not a division, not a brigade, not a battalion, not even a company - a brigade. The events are recounted by the survivors of a platoon. This highly innovative writer and researcher, whose work is truly valuable, has collected statements from those survivors and arranged them into a book of 600, 700 hundred pages. We easily speak about "Operation Faw". We have a superficial knowledge of many of the things that took place in that operation. We say, "They crossed the river of Arvand. They captured Faw. They captured the salt company." We say they did this and that, but we only know the outline of what happened. We are not aware of the details of the events that took place.

We have been presented with a great miniature work, one that a lot of artistic work has gone into, but we simply praise it from a distance and we do not bother to step closer and see how much artistic effort has gone into this work. There are some people who produce such works and the book I am speaking about is one of those works. I hope these efforts continue.

That was progress in the arena of spirituality. That is where you realize how one's life is affected by the moral virtues that Islam, God and faith in the hidden world reveal. These things should have continued. We need to pay attention to ourselves far more than this.

This is what I would like to tell you: dear government officials, dear people who are active in the Majlis, in the executive branch, in the judiciary, in the Armed Forces and in other organizations, you have accomplished a great achievement. I am addressing this to you and to all those who used to serve in your positions. You government officials of the Islamic Republic, you dear people who are or were in charge of the organizations affiliated with the Islamic Republic - you have turned a great page in history. You have accomplished a great achievement.

If you take a look at the history of our country over the past thousands of years - namely, our recorded history - you will see that we have had absolute dictatorships and oligarchies without the people having the slightest role in running the country. This is our history. All the monarchies that came to power have been of this sort. The same is true of the kings whom we respect - the powerful Ghaznavid, Seljuk and Safavid kings, including Shah Abbas, Shah Ismail and Shah Tahmasp. These people were among our good kings, but how did they run the country? What is the history of this country in terms of government? This was the way they used to do it: there was one person at the top and everybody else used to obey him. Together, they formed the group that ran the affairs of our country and the people were not allowed to play a role. The country belonged to the people who were ruling it.

The kings used to call their viziers "my servants" and truth of the matter is that they really were servants of their kings. Nasser al-Din Shah, Mohammad Shah, Fathali Shah and the others who came to power after them used to tell their viziers, "You are good servants." This was the political culture in this country. When a king considers his viziers and prime ministers as his servants, imagine the position of those who are just in charge of certain organizations. For them, the people were absolutely nothing. In fact, the country belonged to a limited number of people. Basically, it belonged to one person. This is the history of our country.

The Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution put our government officials in charge of a system whose pillars are entirely chosen by the people. The Leader is elected by the people. The President is elected by the people. The MPs are elected by the people. The organizations that can reasonably be managed by the people have been handed over to the people. Of course, the armed forces and the judiciary are not elected by the people in any part of the world. The case of the armed forces and the judiciary is different. The standards are different. Members of the armed forces and the judiciary are chosen by those who have been elected by the people. You have built this system. We have held elections in this country over the past 28 years. Of course, certain nonsensical comments are made about the elections that are held in the country. Is there any truth in the world which is not subject to nonsensical comments? Nonsensical comments are made even about Allah the Exalted, even about the essence of religion. Is it possible to have a democracy that is more democratic than this? This is an essential stage, considering our history.

Take a look at the situation of the world. You are introducing a novel truth to the world. After the emergence of colonialism and over the past two centuries - especially when the domination of colonialism resulted in the great wars of this century - the global system was built on the foundation of dividing the world into those who are dominated and those who dominate. A few countries and governments dominate other countries for certain reasons that appear logical to them. The rest of the countries and governments in the world have no choice but to accept their domination. They have no choice but to give in to domination. According to the famous western sociologist who is a critic of western and American policies, in fact it is wealthy people of the domineering countries who are dominating the world. They are the ones who are dominating the world, and not everybody in those domineering countries is dominating the world. And wealthy people in the dominated countries should serve them, and this is exactly what they do. This is the truth of the matter, the right analysis.

You came to power and rejected this oppressive system that has been accepted in the world. This is the important point. "Surely those who say, Our Lord is Allah, then they continue on the right way, they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve." [The Holy Quran, 46: 13] This is important. There have always been good comments, good slogans, populist governments and popular revolutions in many parts of the world, but they have never succeeded in setting roots and making their structure invulnerable to different kinds of invasion. They have never succeeded in making great achievements in 28 years and challenging their opponents, arrogant opponents who were never prepared to argue with a so-called "third-world country". These things show that you have turned a new page. Try to appreciate this. Try to appreciate the importance of your great responsibility.

What is the consequence of recognizing this position and this responsibility? The consequence is that you should continue the work, that you should finish what has been started. You do not have the right to give up before the work is finished. You should not become tired. You must not at all stop making efforts. Identify the factors that cause defeat and try to eliminate them.

There are certain factors that bring nations to their knees and everybody knows what these factors are. Discord is one of these factors. Letting the enemy's agents infiltrate one's camp is another factor. Treating one's mission lightly is another factor. Losing hope of achieving one's goals is another factor. Ignoring and underestimating the enemy is another factor that results in weakness and defeat. All these things are bad. You should eliminate these causes of weakness. Becoming attached on one's worthless wishes is another factor that results in defeat - that is to say, a senior manager coming upon something that can benefit him personally on the path to a great achievement. One obvious example is offering and taking bribes, but there are certain other examples that are more subtle and less obvious than this, yet of the same nature. When a person reaches a point where he realizes that if he continues the path he is following, he will have to give up what he wants, but if he stops moving forward on the path, he gains a big advantage: such cases are also among the factors that result in weakness. In such cases, one should completely ignore one's worthless personal interests for the sake of the great goal that one is pursuing. There are many issues that can be brought up in this regard.

Know that your government is a competent and outstanding government. Your enemies are trying to convince you that your government is incompetent and inefficient. No, this government is very efficient. This government has proven its efficiency in different arenas. Regarding the services that are rendered to the people, compare today's Iran with the Iran of the time of taghut. The conditions are not comparable. This is one area which shows the efficiency of our government. There are many examples in this regard and you are well aware of the statistics. Of course, it would be very good if these things were reported to the people.

Another arena is the issue of national self-confidence, which has revealed itself in scientific, political and technological areas. In this country, there was a day when our engineers did not dare speak about building an electric power plant. They did not dare mention building dams. They did not dare mention building airports. All these things had to be done by foreigners. The best an Iranian engineer could do was to work in the project that had been given to a foreign company or a foreign engineer. And this depended on whether or not they accepted him because in certain cases Iranian engineers were not even allowed to participate in the project. Three, four years ago, I gave an interview around the Karkheh Dam and I explained this issue in detail. I compared the Karun-3 Dam - and not the Karkheh Dam - with the Dez Dam. The Dez Dam was built during the time of taghut, but the Karun-3 Dam was constructed under the Islamic Republic. They are similar to one another: two concrete dams with similar capacities in terms of water and electricity. When building the Dez Dam, they insulted Iranians a lot. They humiliated us a lot. They dishonored Iranian engineers and investors. However, in the case of the Karun-3 Dam, it was Iranian youth and engineers who undertook this complicated work. This was while in the case of the Karun-3 Dam, the work involved more subtle and sensitive technical work in terms of building concrete blocks and attaching them to the mountain walls. It was young Iranian engineers who built the power plant. It was young Iranian engineers who built the dam. It was young Iranian engineers who reconstructed the road under the water. It was young Iranian engineers who constructed the long suspension bridge. They did all these things with pride and honor. They had to work hard, but they could proudly hold up their heads. This is no small feat. You can extend and apply this to everything else as well.

Today Iranian engineers, Iranian graduates, Iranian doctors and members of the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps believe that they are capable of construction and innovation. They believe that they are capable of outperforming foreigners. At that time, they could not even imagine this, but today there are many examples that prove their capabilities. This shows the competence and efficiency of the Islamic Republic. It was the Islamic Republic that did these things.

The Islamic Republic revived Iran's agriculture, which had been destroyed. The Islamic Republic helped the primitive industry of this country reach the level of the sensitive and complicated work involved in producing nuclear energy. Just as the President explained, the Islamic Republic is moving abreast of the world in the area of new technologies such as nanotechnology - which are considered new technologies in the world. These things show that the Islamic Republic is competent and effective.

One can say that competence of the Islamic Republic in the area of consolidating democracy has been more important. The Islamic Republic managed to institutionalize and consolidate democracy in the country in spite of that background. Currently, we hold almost one election each year. With the recent decisions, this number might shrink a little, but so far we have had elections almost every year and we have held almost 28 elections over the past 28 years. All these elections have been healthy, peaceful and largely free of major problems. This shows that democracy has been institutionalized in this country. Who has done these things? The Islamic Republic. This competence is very important.

Who can deny our political position and our dignity on the international front? Who can deny the influence of the Islamic Republic on regional and extra-regional policies? Who can deny that the Islamic Republic has dignity among Muslim nations? Which country can claim that when its president or senior government officials travel to a Muslim country, the people of that country come together and shout slogans in its favor, even despite the will of the host country? Is there any such country other than the Islamic Republic of Iran? It is only the Islamic Republic whose senior officials enjoy genuine spiritual and political sway among the people of other Muslim countries. Are these things not a proof of competence? Is it possible to present better proof of competence?

Creating a novel Islamic discourse on an international level. It was the Islamic Republic that created and promoted the discourse of Islamic identity, independence and resistance against domination. The same is true of relations among neighbors and many other things.

We need to increase this competence with our knowledge, with our wisdom, with our determination. Our actions should be based on knowledge, wisdom and firm determination. Our actions should be accompanied by firm determination. We cannot move forward if we are weak and lack commitment. It is necessary to utilize knowledge and wisdom and to back this up with national determination. We can increase the competence and efficiency of the Islamic Republic.

Iran, the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic have been oppressed. We have been oppressed, but we have not been disempowered, just like the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). He had been oppressed, but he was more powerful than anybody else who lived during his time. Just like all righteous people, he was oppressed and rejected, but not disempowered. We have been oppressed but not disempowered. We will not let this oppression continue forever. We will not tolerate this, and this is how we will do so: we need to strengthen our wisdom, our knowledge and our determination, and it is possible to achieve all of these things through divine remembrance. Of course, they will continue threatening us, but it does not matter. I would say that first of all, threats are nothing new. We have been repeatedly threatened with military invasion since the imposed war - since the year 1367. Those who are involved can remember the threats. I think I myself have more knowledge of the threats than anybody else. This is because I have received reports that others have not. We have been repeatedly threatened. I am not saying with certainty that these threats will never be carried out. It is possible that these threats might be carried out, but it does not matter. It is these threats that make us more prepared.

Second, those who make threats should have realized that military threats or attacks against Iran - in the sense of hit-and-run attacks - are no longer possible. Those who invade us will have to suffer from the devastating consequences of their actions.

Third, the goal of those who make military threats is to intimidate our government officials. Their goal is to intimidate our people. I would say that such things will not intimidate anybody, neither our government officials, nor our people. Such threats will only encourage our government officials to increase their preparedness. This is because our government officials have a responsibility to take into consideration even the slightest possibilities. I take a look at the past years - for example, the year 1375 was one of the years in which military threats become very serious and this was during the time of Clinton - and see that military threats have only caused our government officials to introduce innovations in different technical and military areas. They became more prepared. Whenever a threat is made, we become more prepared. And these military threats do not intimidate our people or government officials. The only effect that these threats have is that they make the country more prepared. Therefore, they will not harm us in the end.

Fourth, these threats show that liberal democracy is totally incapable of logical reasoning. When they had to deal with Saddam Hussein, they would say that he had carried out military attacks against other countries. They were right: he had attacked Iran and Kuwait. But everybody knows that the Islamic Republic has not attacked any country and that it does not have the motivation to carry out a military attack. The Islamic Republic is not the kind of government that would attack other countries. The presence of the Islamic Republic is the presence of logic, the presence of thought, the presence of spiritual motives. In these areas, they have absolutely nothing to present. They cannot confront the Islamic Republic in these areas. This issue shows that the kind of political system that is based on liberal democracy is like an illiterate person who is faced with a knowledgeable scholar and is convinced that he has no choice but to use his muscles and to clench his fists. After all, it is obvious that he has no knowledge and that he will be defeated. This shows that they are absolutely hopeless against the Islamic Republic as far as logical reasoning is concerned.

Of course, the Iranian nation is thankfully well-prepared. And you need to increase this preparedness, especially now that the issue of elections is being discussed these days. I ask you to always use elections as an instrument to increase our national power, not as an instrument to undermine the Islamic Republic and the honor of the people. The disputes that are started by certain parties and political currents around the issue of elections, weaken the country, the nation and the Islamic Republic. Different parties, different currents, different tendencies should deploy their all forces with enthusiasm and they should focus their attention on the issue of elections as a lofty, good and pleasant goal. They must not settle their problems by fighting, causing uproar, insulting each other and throwing punches. Use elections as a tool to make the enemies disappointed, and by Allah's favor, the upcoming elections will be a source of ever-increasing dignity for Islam, just like all the previous elections. This speech has lasted too long and I apologize for this.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Prophet Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, make what we said and heard serve Your cause and Your path. Accept what we said and heard from us. Make us more aware of Your essence and the essence of religion on a daily basis. Make us more determined on the path to our lofty goals.

Dear God, associate the pure souls of our honorable martyrs and the immaculate soul of our Imam Khomeini (r.a.) with Your saints. Help us follow their path. Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age satisfied with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings