Leader's Speech to People of Qom

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on January 9, 2013 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with the people of Qom on the occasion of the 19th of Dey.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I welcome all the brothers and sisters, the dear youth of Qom, the honorable clerics and the esteemed religious scholars. You have, once again, filled our Hussayniyyah with enthusiasm, feelings and thinking on this important occasion. You have revived the memory of that unforgettable event- the 19th of Dey- which will go down in history forever. I express my gratitude for the performance that was delivered. It was a meaningful song which was performed by the dear brothers and sisters.

Keeping alive the memory of the 19th of Dey is not a matter of routine and it is not done out of habit. It is a basic and fundamental issue. All our great historical occasions are like this.

First, today's young generation who have been entrusted with the responsibilities of the youth of the early revolutionary era, will be familiar with the historical background of their movement and they will feel it through these commemorations.

Second, they will appreciate the value of the efforts which were made so that the Iranian nation reaches its current position. They will know about the sufferings which the people endured and the dangers which they faced. It will become clear that what the Iranian nation has is not an easily-achieved blessing and that it has not been achieved by accident.

The Iranian people took a big risk, made great efforts, laid down their lives and resisted against the oppressive police and the taghuti regime, and many of them were martyred or injured. They did all these things until they managed to make this great and determined caravan move forward and reach its current position. This was the second point.

The third point is about the lesson that we learn today. Our dear youth have not seen that day and do not know what happened on that day. Those who saw that day, know what happened. It was not easy to resist against the power of the pretentious Pahlavi regime. If many of the self-interested people had been told that the Iranian people - represented by the people of Qom - want to stand up against the taghuti Pahlavi regime, they would have smirked and said, "Is this possible?" But it was done. What seemed impossible to do became possible, and it was translated into action and it became permanent. This is a lesson.

Today, the Iranian nation has certain ideals, claims and big ideas for its own country, for the world of Islam and for humanity. Hungry wolves, unbridled savages, oppressive companies and materialistic groups have lined up against the Iranian nation. They build and export weapons, wage wars, control the United Nations the way they want, send their troops wherever they like, commit crimes, support oppression and support the usurping Zionists. They carry out oppressive actions against the human community - such as the one which we saw during the time of taghut in Iran - with their pretentious power and false arrogance. Today, there are also a number of people who question whether it is possible to stand up against and move forward in the face of the enemies who have formed a unified front against our country and who are equipped with money, media, a strong economy, a strong political system and everything. Today, they say the same things. This is what experience shows us.

Yes, it is possible. This is not what we say. This is what the Holy Quran says. If you step in the arena for the sake of God and if you resist, victory will be definite. "And if those who disbelieve fight with you, they would certainly turn (their) backs, then they would not find any protector or a helper. Such has been the sunnat of Allah that has indeed run before, and you shall not find a change in Allah's sunnat" [The Holy Quran, 48: 22-23]. This is not just true about the war that happened during the early Islamic era. The ayah "And if those who disbelieve fight with you, they would certainly turn (their) backs" is the sunnat of Allah.

When we do not know what our slogans are or how to express them, when we do not stand by our slogans and when we get cold feet in the middle of the way with satanic temptations or inner temptations, then our efforts will come to nothing. It is obvious. The argument is that "Surely Allah will help him who helps His cause" [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]. There is nothing that could be emphasized stronger than this.

If we help Allah - by thinking, producing brilliant ideas, presenting them to the world in the right way, standing by them, thinking how to promote them and preparing ourselves to bravely face the dangers - Allah the Exalted will certainly help us. This is the meaning of "Surely Allah will help him". Allah will definitely help. "And whose word can be truer than Allah's?" [The Holy Quran, 4: 122].

The Iranian nation has experienced these things in practice. If you dear people of Iran and you spirited, strong and determined youth put up a resistance on the path that you are following you should have no doubts that all dreams, claims and slogans of the Iranian nation - not only for itself, but also for the world of Islam, the Islamic Ummah and the human community - will be realized at the right time. Each piece of work should be done at a specific time. At the right time, these dreams will come true. The Iranian nation will reach the point that it wants to reach, that it has moved towards and made efforts for. The way to reach this point is to put up a resistance.

What will happen then? The course of history will be changed. Today, the course of history is the course of oppression. It is the course of oppressors and the oppressed. One group of people are oppressors and another group of people are the oppressed. If you the Iranian people can put your message across, if you can achieve a victory and reach the specified point, then the course of history will be changed, the ground will be prepared for the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) and the world will enter a new stage. This depends on our determination and understanding in the present time.

In order to make people sure that divine promises will be fulfilled in the future, Allah the Exalted fulfills some of these promises in the present time. Allah the Exalted said through a revelation to the mother of Prophet Moses (a.s.), "Cast him into the river" and then He said, "Surely We will bring him back to you and make him one of the messengers" [The Holy Quran, 28: 7].

He made two promises when He told her to cast him in the river. He told her not to worry because He will bring him back to her and make him one of the prophets. This prophethood was the one that the children of Israel were waiting for, for many years or maybe several centuries. Later on, when Prophet Moses (a.s.) was reunited with his mother, Allah the Exalted said, "Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true" [The Holy Quran, 28: 13]. It is as if Allah the Exalted said, "We fulfilled the first promise and We brought him back so that she knows that the promise of Allah is true. The second promise will be fulfilled too".

Allah the Exalted has treated the Iranian nation in this way. He has fulfilled many promises. Great things have been carried out in our country. Dear youth, you should know that during the time of taghut nobody would have believed that it would be possible to shake the foundations of the taghuti regime let alone destroy it. Today, you see that taghuti regimes are the most hated political systems in the world of Islam. The one in Iran was destroyed and - as they say - it was thrown into the garbage bin of history. At that time if it had been said that it would be possible for Iran to free itself from the domination of America, those who knew about the issues of our country would have decisively said that such a thing would not be possible.

All the affairs of the country and all macro policies were in the hands of the Americans. Sometimes they interfered even in details such as who should be and should not be the minister of a certain ministry and how much the price of oil should go up or down. Considering the domination that the Americans and the rest of global thugs had over our country, our nation, our resources and our dignity, who would have believed that this domination would come to an end? Today whenever they want to give an example of a nation which is independent of the arrogant policies of America and countries like America, they mention the name of Iran. Other nations look at Iran and they become excited at the steadfastness, the outspokenness, the courage and the resistance that the Iranian nation showed.

All global powers and arrogant governments have joined hands to impose sanctions on the Iranian people and exhaust them with these sanctions. They themselves say that they wanted to make the Iranian people stand up against the Islamic Republic, thereby forcing the officials of the Islamic Republic to revise their calculations. Now they openly say this. In the beginning - we were analyzing their moves - they did not use to say this openly, but now they do. But the result is that the God-given dignity and the orientation of the Iranian people towards the principles of Islam and the Revolution and towards resistance are developing on a daily basis. This is exactly the opposite of what the enemies want.

These are great lessons which Allah the Exalted taught us. One of these lessons is the 19th of Dey. The 19th of Dey is an honor which belongs to you people of Qom. Of course, this is not the only honor that Qom has achieved. There are many glories in the history of Qom. Over the past 90, 100 years, many fresh springs have flowed from Qom.

It was the people of Qom who welcomed Hajj Sheikh [Haeri Yazdi] (may God bestow paradise on him) with open arms. They brought him to Qom and this great seminary was formed. It was due to the efforts of the people of Qom that divine and extraordinary lessons were taught in this seminary. This seminary is one that built a person like Imam [Khomeini] (r.a.), and gave rise to this great event in the world [the victory of the Islamic Republic]. It should not be said this is a great event only in our country. In the events of 1341 and 1342, in the events of the Revolution and in the events of the imposed war, Qom had an outstanding role. We hope that it will always remain like this.

Regarding this movement, an important point - I am addressing you dear youth of Qom - is that we should keep the moves of the enemy under observation and find out what his goals are. This is very important. If you can predict the moves of your opponent in a fight - when you have to defend yourself against your opponent - you will not receive any blows. If your attention wanders and if you are negligent, if you lose your concentration, become busy with something else and fail to predict what he is going to do, you will definitely receive blows.

The enemy has not fallen asleep. He is awake. "Whoever is careless about his cause, his enemy will not sleep over this advantage" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 62]. If your attention wanders, if you are not careful about your situation, it does not mean that your enemy's attention wanders too. He may be careful and he may strike. Therefore, we should pay careful attention. This is why I have been strongly recommending and stressing that both the officials and the people should not make themselves busy with trivial issues. This is why I have been constantly recommending that the press, the media, newspapers and websites - which have become popular today - should avoid instilling wrong ideas into the minds of the people because these ideas preoccupy them.

A nation should pay careful attention. It should know where it is going. This is the meaning of communal piety. It should know what it wants to do. It should try to predict in which ways it will be harmed. Regarding individual actions, if we have piety, we will be careful about our actions and we will be careful about ourselves. One does not set foot where one may slip. One is careful when there is the danger of falling down. This is what is necessary.

Today, what I have noticed - by analyzing the moves of the enemy - is that although we are 5 months away from the elections, the enemy has focused his attention on our elections. The upcoming elections in Khordad are important from our viewpoint, but they are also important from the viewpoint of the enemies. They have focused their attention on these elections. If they could do something to prevent our elections from being held, they would do it.

Well, this is not easy for them to do. It is not possible. They have no hopes of doing this. Once, some people tried to delay a parliamentary election. They even told us to postpone it for 2 weeks if it is possible. We answered that it is not possible. The election should be held on its due date. It should not be delayed even for one single day. They failed and they could not do anything. They have experienced this. They know that our elections cannot be delayed. Therefore, they are looking for other ways.

One of their goals is to do something so that the elections will be held without the enthusiastic and massive presence of the people. From now on, everybody should know this: those who may offer general pieces of advice about the elections out of compassion - the elections should be like this or that - should take care not to further the goal of the enemy. They should take care not to make the people disappointed about the elections. They should not constantly say that there should be free elections. Well, it is obvious that there should be free elections. We have had more than thirty elections from the beginning of the Revolution until now. Which one was not free? In which country are the elections freer than in Iran? Which country has no vetting? They highlight these issues over and over again and they constantly repeat them so that they slowly create the idea in the minds of the people - they wrongly believe they can do this - that these elections are pointless. This is one of the things that the enemy wants. Those people inside the country who say these things may make careless mistakes. I say that you should not make careless mistakes. You should take care not to complete the enemy's puzzle and further his goal. This is one of the ways to take enthusiasm away from the elections.

Another issue is telling the people and instilling the idea into their minds that the elections are not healthy enough. Of course, I also stress that there should be healthy elections, but there is a specific way to do this. There are very good and legal guidelines - which have been specified in our laws - that ensure the health of elections. Of course, if certain people want to commit illegal actions, they will harm the country as some people committed illegal actions in 1388. They harmed our country, created trouble for the people and brought disgrace and humiliation on themselves on earth and in the next world.

There are good and legal ways to do this. I also stress that elections should be held in a completely healthy environment. Executive and non-executive officials - who are responsible for the elections - should act with strict observance of the law, complete vigilance and absolute piety and honesty so that there will be healthy elections and it will be definitely like this.

One of the ways [to create obstacles in the way of the elections] is to make the people busy with something else. They may create uproar regarding particular political, economic or security issues. This is one of the plots of the enemy, but I am sure that the Iranian people are wise and clever enough not to be deceived by such hostile plots hatched by the enemies or their agents. By Allah's favor and grace, there will be good and exciting elections.

Of course, I have a lot to say about elections. If I live long enough, I will talk again about elections in the future. There are certain recommendations and points that I would like to make, but I think it is enough for today. You should pay attention to the fact that participating in elections is a right and a responsibility. Each of us, as a member of society, has both a right and a responsibility to participate in elections. Those who believe in the Islamic Republic and the Constitution want to exercise their right and carry out their duties. Everybody should carry out their duty regarding elections.

There are also a number of people whose duty is to demonstrate their qualifications to the people so that they can win their votes. Everybody who feels they have the necessary qualifications and who knows executive work will run in the elections. Managing the country and doing executive work are not small tasks. There are heavy loads which lie on the shoulder of high-ranking executive officials. It is possible that those who work at other areas do not know how heavy this load is. Those who enter the arena should be the people who see in themselves the ability to carry this load. These people should see in themselves the qualifications which are specified in the Constitution - the decision of the esteemed members of the Guardian Council is based on these qualifications. They should be really attached to the Islamic Republic and the Constitution and they should sincerely act according to the Constitution because the president swears an oath to implement the Constitution and his oath cannot be a lie. Those who do not want to enter this arena, will participate in the elections to choose a candidate and help it become enthusiastic.

I would tell you that considering the trust that we have in divine promises - divine promises are absolutely right - Allah the Exalted will definitely ensure the victory of the Iranian nation over its enemies both at this stage and at other stages in the future. We thank Allah the Exalted who helped us avoid having doubts about His promises. He helped us avoid being one of those people who "imagine an evil opinion of Allah" [The Holy Quran, 48: 6]. We believe in divine promises. We have trust in divine promises. On the one hand we see that Allah the Exalted has promised to ensure our victory and on the other hand we see the presence, the enthusiasm and the determination of these people and the purity of these youth. We see faithful and enthusiastic parents from all different groups throughout the country. We see that, thankfully, our nation is a nation which is present on the scene.

I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His mercy, grace and blessings on you dear people of Qom and on the great Qom Islamic Seminary. I ask Him to associate the pure soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) - who opened this path for us - with His saints. I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His mercy, grace and blessings on the pure souls of our dear martyrs - who made sacrifices on this path - and also on all mujahids of Allah's cause and I ask Him to make our steps steady on this path.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings