Leader's Speech at Ceremony Approving Rouhani Presidency

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on August 3, 2013 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution at the ceremony approving the Rouhani presidency.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

It is a very magnificent and important meeting and, by Allah's favor, it is a very auspicious day. The fact that in the holy Islamic Republic, executive power is transferred from one servant to another servant of the Revolution with tranquility, peace and friendliness is a very valuable and significant phenomenon. This phenomenon results from Islamic democracy which our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) made the basis for the Islamic Republic with his acumen and wisdom. Everything is in the hands of the people. It is the people who choose and everything pivots around our dear Islam. This is Islamic democracy.

Our nation had not tasted democracy before the victory of the Islamic Revolution. From the Constitutional Movement to the victory of the Islamic Revolution, 75 years passed. Out of these 75 years, 55 years belonged to the dictatorship of the Pahlavi dynasty. It was a violent dictatorship which was dependent on global powers - that is to say it was first dependent on England and then on America - which did not consider what the people wanted. In these 55 years, the country was in the hands of the people who neither paid attention to the fate and interests of our nation nor to the magnificence, greatness and dignity of this country. They only cared about their own interests and the interests of the powers which supported them.

And during the 20 years before that, the country was in turmoil. That is to say, since the beginning of the Constitutional Movement until the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the country was under the domination of dictatorship and autocracy, except for a two-year period of time during which a weak national government was formed - and that was destroyed by the mutual plots of England and America.

The people tasted democracy in the Islamic Republic. Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution until today, it was the people who played a role in all important events and in all major responsibilities of the country. Eleven presidential elections, nine parliamentary elections and several Assembly of Experts elections and city and village council elections were held. That is to say, during the past 34 years, almost one election was held per year. The people feel that it is they who make decisions about their own fate and about the management and the macro policies of the country. They feel that it is they who supervise and do these things. This is religious democracy.

One of the characteristics of such democracy is that the relationship between the people and officials is not only based solely on a legal process. Rather, as well as a legal relationship, there is an emotional and religious relationship between them which results from the people's beliefs and religious outlook and their commitment to the principles of the Revolution. This is something which has no equal in the world. We do not know any country in which the relationship between the people and officials is based on such an emotional and religious relationship and on such commitment to principles. This is the thing which guides officials. The honorable president who was formally entrusted today with the heavy and glorious responsibility of presidency should pay attention to the point that the people consider the dear country of Iran as an Islamic country which is based on Islamic principles and teachings. This is why they stand up for it.

Yesterday, it was Quds Day in this country. Who had made the people in Tehran and other cities take to the streets in such hot weather - such as the weather in Khuzestan - and while they were fasting and chant slogans because of their beliefs? Who had made them show their fierce resistance to the world and announce what their position is on the issue of Palestine and the usurping Zionist regime? How do analysts analyze this? How do they analyze this great event? This is an event which occurs each year on Quds day and on the 22nd of Bahman. On such days, the people from different social backgrounds, old and young people, men and women from all parts of the country take to the streets with enthusiasm and shout what their position is on the major issues of the country. This is the same as faith. This is a faith-based relationship. No kind of force and no kind of material encouragement can pull - in such a way - people towards the arenas of presence.

The same is true of presence in elections. You witnessed this year's enthusiastic presidential elections and similar elections in previous terms. It is the people who create such elections because they feel committed and because they feel they are responsible. Commitment which is based on faith pulls them towards arenas of political and social presence. This is the characteristic of religious democracy. It was Imam (r.a.) who showed us this path and until today, the people have trodden this path with complete loyalty. By Allah's favor, they will continue to tread this path.

The responsibility of officials is a heavy responsibility. In the Islamic Republic, accepting a responsibility does not mean enjoying the power that one has. Rather, it means accepting the difficulties in order to render services to the people. This is the meaning of being prepared to render services. This is the meaning of responsibility in the Islamic Republic. Officials make efforts, work hard and bring all their capabilities into the arena so that they can decrease the people's problems and help the country reach its goals. Fortunately, the country has many capacities. The great services that the predecessors rendered are also among the capacities of the country. The honorable officials should benefit from these capacities.

Of course, I advise the people and officials to be patient. One should not expect the problems which the people have - whether in economic areas or in any other areas - to be resolved in a short period of time. Of course, we should ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings on officials so that they can move things forward as soon as they can. However, macro plans are time-consuming in nature.

My advice to both the honorable president and the administration - which by Allah's favor, will receive a vote of confidence from the Majlis in the near future - is that they should do things with patience and without haste. They should make firm and decisive steps. There are capacities in all arenas. There are also lofty goals and there are not a few positive signs and hopes in our country. Of course, the camp of the enemies behaves in a hostile way. The honorable president referred to the sanctions and pressures which the enemies of the Iranian nation, headed by America, impose on the country. I want to say that although it is true the pressures of the enemies create some problems for the people, these pressures provide officials and the people with valuable experience.

The great lesson that we learned from these economic pressures is that we should strengthen our domestic structures and power as much as we can. We should strengthen ourselves, as much as we can internally. We should not pin our hopes on the outside. Those who rely on capacities outside Iran are disarmed as soon as they are faced with such problems. The Iranian nation has many capacities. We should set out to strengthen our national power from inside the country. Recently, I said to officials of the country that primarily, it is economic and scientific issues which should be seriously pursued.

Political issues are also important issues. I would like to put a great deal of stress on the opinion offered by the honorable president regarding our wise behavior towards different international and political issues, issues related to diplomacy and other such issues. We should definitely behave in a wise and intelligent way. But we have enemies who do not understand much about rationality and reasoning. Our responsibility is that we should know what we are doing by behaving in a decisive way and by paying attention to the lofty goals of the Islamic Republic. We should know our goals. We should pay attention to such goals and pursue them seriously.

As [the president] said, "the medium nation" is a characteristic of the Islamic community. "And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you." [The Holy Quran, 2: 143] The medium path is the path of Islam. We should take a look and see what Islam is telling us and what Islam wants us to do. The key to success is gaining divine satisfaction and fulfilling divine obligations. Allah the Exalted has determined the paths for us. If we follow and tread these paths, we will be successful.

We should not forget that since the first day this Revolution became victorious, there were enemies who clearly announced their enmity. They said that they want to destroy this Revolution and erase the Islamic Republic from the world. Since that day until today - which adds up to 34 years - the Iranian nation has made progress on a daily basis despite the efforts of the enemies. Not only did they fail to undermine the Islamic Republic, but they also failed to prevent the Islamic Republic from growing. We have made progress in areas which, during the early years after the Revolution, we did not at all think we have the capability to do so.

This is because of divine blessings and assistance, the strong presence of the people and the efforts of the officials who have been in charge. The key to the success of this country and these people is Islam, commitment to the principles of Islam and Islamic values and commitment to the legacy of our magnanimous Imam such as the recommendations and the clear guidelines which are available to us.

I advise all the honorable officials to cooperate more closely in order to solve the problems of the country. The executive, legislative and judiciary branches should cooperate with one another at maximum capacity. Generally, the world of Islam, the Middle East region and the whole world are faced with certain problems. That is to say, there is turmoil in all corners of the world in economic, political and security areas. In our own region, there are many problems. One the one hand, there are a number of problems in certain Islamic countries and on the other hand, the oppressive Zionist regime is present in the region.

It is 65 years that this regime is busy oppressing the people and committing crimes against the real owners of Palestine. These problems are not confined to 65 years ago. These problems have persisted until today. They destroy people's houses. They kill a child while it is being cuddled by its father. They tear a teenager out of his own house and put him in prison. They keep him in prison without any trials or they keep him there more than his prison sentence. They exert pressures on the people - who are the real owners of the land - on a daily basis. Are these not crimes? Is this not oppression? This is one of the things which is witnessed in the region and unfortunately, a number of global powers provide assistance and support for this oppressive element in the region. These are the conditions which dominate our region.

The Islamic Republic should do great things by adopting clear positions and benefiting from numerous capacities and a promising future. Primarily, it should address the issues related to domestic problems. Many efforts have been made in the past. I deem it necessary to thank the administration of Mr. Ahmadinejad which rendered many services and did many important things. There are many tasks which, by Allah's favor, officials should start to carry out from now on. The progress of the country, the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic is unstoppable. By Allah's favor and grace, things will move forward.

As it was mentioned, Mr. Rouhani is one of the long-standing servants of the Islamic Republic in different areas. He is a tried and tested element in the Islamic Republic. He was entrusted with many responsibilities during the Sacred Defense Era, in the Majlis and in the National Security Council and he rendered many great services. And today, he is proud that the votes of the people have appointed him to this post. I hope that Allah the Exalted will help, support and guide him.

And everyone should try to help. I request and insist that all different political orientations and all the influential personalities who can influence the people help the administration and the president so that, by Allah's favor, they can carry out the responsibilities that they have in an efficient way and meet the expectations of the people in the best way possible.

I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings on the dear attendees, all the people of Iran and all Muslim brothers in the whole world. I hope that everybody benefits from divine blessings in these days of the holy month of Ramadan. I hope that the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) and the pure souls of our martyrs are satisfied with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings