Leader’s Speech at the Shrine of Imam Ridha (a.s.)

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 21, 2014 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a large gathering of pilgrims at Imam Ridha's (a.s.) shrine in the holy city of Mashhad. The meeting was held on the first day of the year 1393.

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 and the love of our hearts, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his immaculate, pure, chosen and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth. Allah, Your blessings be upon Fatimah, her father, her husband and her children. Allah, bestow as many blessings upon Your representative – Ali ibn Musa - as Your knowledge encompasses. Bestow Your blessing upon him, one that is as permanent as Your greatness and Your magnificence. Allah, send as many greetings to Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha – as Your knowledge emcompasses. Send Your greeting to him, one that is as permanent as Your glory, Your greatness and Your magnificence.

I thank Allah the Exalted for giving me the opportunity and letting me live long enough to speak to you dear brothers and sisters once more and one more year in this enlightened and divine shrine and among this enthusiastic and friendly group of people. I deem it necessary to congratulate all the dear brothers and sisters who are listening to my statements and all the people of Iran on the occasion of Norouz and the arrival of the new year.

I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow an auspicious year and a happy life on the people of Iran and all Muslims throughout the world. I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows his blessings so that the year which started from today will be in line with the dignity of the great people of Iran. I hope that it will be a year which is full of divine blessings and divine attention.

I would like to say a few things about the year 1392 which came to an end yesterday. In the message that I issued in the beginning of this year, I pointed out that the people of Iran achieved political valor in the year 1392. Without a doubt, political valor showed itself most visibly in two great movements of the people of Iran: one was the presidential election which was held in the middle of the first half of the year and the other was the massive and great rallies of the people of Iran in the second half of the year.

We have said many things about elections, both last year's presidential elections and many other elections which have been held from the beginning of the Revolution until today. Also, both this humble person and other people have said many things – which we do not want to repeat - about the massive and great rallies on the 22nd of Bahman. There are two points about these two events, both of which are comprehensive broadcast about the conditions of our country and our people in the face of the malevolent mudslinging of global propaganda. There is a point about both of these two events. Before I speak about the issues related to the year 1393, I would like to discuss these two points.

The first point is about elections. You dear brothers and sisters should pay attention that the people's turnout in the elections has not decreased from the beginning of the Revolution until today. This is very important. In the last elections – that is to say, the eleventh presidential elections – 72 percent of the people went to the ballot boxes. This is a high figure among the elections which are held throughout the world and this is an outstanding turnout. This is one of the highest figures in the elections which have been held from the beginning of the Revolution until today.

What does this mean? The meaning of this great participation of the people in the elections is that religious democracy has been firmly established in the country. It means that the Islamic Republic has managed to establish democracy in the country. This is not a minor achievement.

A country that witnessed different oppressive and dictatorial rulers over the course of many centuries has gained such a familiarity and has formed such a strong bond with democracy and participation in electing the owners of power that 72 percent of the people participate in the elections even after the passage of 35 years from the excitements of the early revolutionary era. This should be appreciated.

I would tell you youth and all the intellectuals throughout the country that we should not show ingratitude towards this great blessing the way some people showed ingratitude towards this divine blessing in the year 1388. Also, if some people say that the elections in the country are unhealthy – this means echoing what the enemy says – this is another case of ingratitude.

Democracy in the country has turned into a standard process. This is why the people throughout the country – in villages and cities – consider themselves to be responsible towards ballot boxes. This is why they go to ballot boxes and this is why 72 percent of the people vote. This is a very important issue. This is a high figure in the elections that are held throughout the world.

The second point that my dear brothers and sisters should pay attention to is about the rallies on the 22nd of Bahman. There are certain people who calculate or make a guess – with different cameras and other devices - the number of participants in these rallies. This year, all those people who have been active in these areas and all those people who carefully observed these rallies reported to us that the number of participants in Tehran and other big and well-known cities was even larger than previous years. They reported that the rallies were even more enthusiastic than previous years. That is to say, the people's slogans were meaningful and exciting.

Why did they participate in such large numbers? The analysts who analyze different issues came to the conclusion – in our opinion, their conclusion is correct – that the tone of influential elements among the policymakers of arrogance was more impolite and more insulting this year. This was the reason for the great participation of the people in the rallies. After the nuclear negotiations were conducted, American politicians said, “It is clear that the people of Iran have changed their mind about their slogans and their principles”. They spoke to the people of Iran in an impolite and insulting tone.

The people heard what they said. They became aware of their statements. When the enemy enters the arena with his real or close-to-real face, the people become more motivated and more determined to enter the arena. Because the people saw that the Americans speak in an impolite manner to them and that they accuse them of separating from the Islamic Republic, they wanted to show on the 22nd of Bahman that they are attached - with all their heart - to the Islamic government, the Islamic Republic and the hoisted flag of Islam.

This signifies the sensitivity and commitment of our people in the face of the enmity and malevolence of the enemies of the Islamic Republic and the enemies of Iran. This was the point about the rallies on the 22nd of Bahman. 

As for the issues which are related to this year, I have written down certain points. I have certain things to say and by Allah's favor, I try to briefly discuss what I have in mind during the time that we have. Today is Friday and our time is limited because we should say Friday prayers at the end. But even if some things are left unsaid, I hope that they will be reflected in the statements of experts and those wise personalities who understand what the policies of the Islamic Republic are and what is being done. They should reflect them in their statements so that these issues become clear to public opinion.

The core point of the speech that I want to deliver today is that the people of Iran should strengthen themselves. This is what I want to say. The issue is about national power. I would tell our dear people that if a people are not strong and if they are weak, they will be bullied. If a people are not strong, global blackmailers will blackmail and extort them. If these blackmailers can, they will trample upon them. This is the nature of a world which is managed by materialistic thoughts. Whoever feels powerful, bullies those people – whether individuals or nations - whom he considers to be weak.

A well-known poet says, “Death is natural for the weak. Any strong person becomes weak first and then he dies”. There is a story which says, “A fried chicken was brought to a person who did not eat chicken or any other kind of meat. He looked at it and cried tears of sorrow. Addressing the chicken in front of him, he said, ‘Which angry lion could you not escape from so that no one can bring you to the slaughterhouse? If you could have defended yourself and if you had had power inside you, they would not have dared to cut off your head in this way'”.

I believe neither in this poet nor in Abul Ala Al-Maari who recounted this story. But I believe that death is natural for the weak in a world which is managed by materialistic thoughts. I believe in this. If a people do not collect and strengthen themselves, they will be bullied.

There are a number of nations who are a long way away from becoming strong. They have no hope of gaining the power to confront bullies and global thugs. But this is not the case with our people. First, we have a great talent to strengthen ourselves and we have many resources and capacities. Our people have moved towards national power and they have traveled a long distance on this path.

For this reason, I find the general roadmap for the year 1393 in the two elements which I pointed out in this year's new year message: economy and culture with national determination and jihadi management.

Military weapons are not the only factor which plays a role in helping a people strengthen themselves. Of course, weapons are necessary, but no people can become strong only with weapons. When I think about this issue, I find three elements, two of which are what I pointed out in the Norouz message. If these three elements receive attention, any people can become strong. One is economy, another is culture and the third is knowledge.

Many things have been said about knowledge during the past 12 years. Thankfully, what was said was effective. Today, we are moving forward in the area of knowledge. Later on, I may bring up the issue of knowledge again. But we need an extraordinary effort in the area of economy and culture in order to develop the economy of the country in a way that no one on the other side of the world can influence our economy and the living conditions of our people with one single decision and with one single meeting. This is in our own hands. It is we who should do this. This means the economy of resistance whose policies were formulated in the month of Esfand.

I myself had a meeting with the officials and outstanding managers of the country. We spoke at length about this issue and they responded positively. That is to say, the officials of the three branches of government – who played a role and who participated in formulating the policies on the economy of resistance – welcomed these policies and said that they would follow up this matter. Today, I would like to speak a little to our dear people about the economy of resistance so that the people hear my viewpoints on this issue from this humble person himself.  

The economy of resistance means the kind of economy which is resistant and which is not strongly influenced by global fluctuations and by the policies of America and other countries. It is an economy which is reliant on people.

There are three questions about the economy of resistance which is, in fact, a resistant economy. I would like to pose these three questions. The first question is: what is and what is not the economy of resistance? What are its positive and its negative characteristics? The second question is: Is the economy of resistance, whose slogans we are chanting, achievable and possible or is it a pure illusion? And the third question is: if it is possible to achieve the economy of resistance, what are its requirements? What should be done to achieve this economy? Today, I answer these three questions. This is related to the economy. After discussing this issue, I will raise certain points about the issue of culture which I believe to be a very important issue. 

The first question is: what is and what is not the economy of resistance? Primarily, it is an appropriate and knowledge-based paradigm which is in line with the needs of our country. This is the positive aspect of this paradigm. But this paradigm is not particular to our country. Today, many countries have thought of this – according to their own specific conditions – considering the social and economic fluctuations which have occurred during the past 20 years. So, the first issue is that other countries too are after the movement which we are launching and that it is not particular to us.

The second point is that, as we said, this economy grows from the inside. What does this mean? It means that it originates from the capacities of our own country and our own people. The growth of this seed and this tree is reliant on the resources of our own country. This is the meaning of growing from the inside.

But at the same it, it is not introverted. That is to say, the economy of resistance does not mean that we should build a wall around our economy and that we should confine it to domestic areas. This is not what we mean by the economy of resistance. It grows from the inside, but it is extroverted. It interacts with global economies and it has powerful relations with the economies of other countries. Therefore, it grows from the inside, but it is not introverted.

The reason why I am saying is that many malevolent pens, tongues and brains - who are active in all areas - are trying to promote the idea that the officials of the Islamic Republic want to limit the economy of the country and confine it to domestic areas. They are carrying out different analyses in order to separate the people and officials from this path, which is the path of happiness. I am saying these things so that it becomes clear to public opinion inside the country what their intentions are. 

The third point is that what has been introduced as the economy of resistance is based on the people. It does not pivot around the government. That is to say, it is not governmental economy. Rather, it is a popular economy, one that is achieved with the determination, resources and presence of the people. But the fact that it is not governmental does not mean the administration does not have any responsibility towards it. This is not the case.

The administration is responsible for making plans, preparing the ground, developing capacities and offering guidance and assistance. Economic tasks and activities are in the hands of the people and they belong to the people, but the administration engages in supervision, guidance and assistance as a public stakeholder. It prevents those people who want to take advantage of the situation and engage in economic corruption. It helps those people who need help. Therefore, preparing the ground and facilitating tasks are the responsibilities of the administration.

The fourth point is that, as we said, this economy is a knowledge-based economy. It utilizes and relies on scientific achievements and it makes knowledge the pivot of economy. But this does not mean that the economy of resistance is particular to scientists and scholars and that it is only they who can play a role in the economy of resistance. This is not what the economy of resistance means.

Experiences and skills – the experiences of the owners of industries and the skills of those laborers who are experienced and competent – can be effective and they can play a part in this economy. When it is said that the economy of resistance is knowledge-based, this does not mean that those experienced, industrial and agricultural personalities who have accomplished great feats over the course of many years should not play any part. This is not the case. They have a very important role in this regard.

The fifth point is that this economy is justice-based. The standards of the capitalist economy such as national growth and gross national production are not the only standards that it relies on. In this economy, the issue is not only about the rate of national growth and gross national production. These are things which global standards and capitalist economies pivot around. A country may have a high GNP, but some people inside this country may die of hunger. We do not believe in such an economy. 

Therefore, the standard of justice – economic and social justice – is one of the important standards in the economy of resistance. But it does not mean that we should show indifference to the existing knowledge-based standards in the world. The economy of resistance does not mean that we should do this. These standards receive attention as well, but the task pivots around justice. Justice on this issue and in this paradigm does not mean the division of poverty among people. Rather, it means generating capital and increasing national wealth.  

The sixth point is: there is no doubt that the economy of resistance is the best solution for solving the economic problems of the country. But this does not mean that it is confined to the problems which exist today. It is not the case that part of the economy of resistance results from sanctions and part of it results from, say, the ineffectiveness of such and such a plan. This economy is permanent. The economy of resistance means making the economy resistant and strengthening its bases. Such an economy will be fertile and it will help the people whether during the time of economic sanctions or during any other time. This was the answer to the first question.

The second question was: is the economic plan that we call the economy of resistance a mere illusion and wish or is it achievable? The answer is that it is completely achievable. Why? It is because of the capacities of this country. It is because this country has extraordinary capacities. I would like to mention a number of the capacities of the country. These are capacities which do not need complicated statistics. They are in front of the eyes of everyone. Everyone sees these capacities.

One of the important capacities of our country is manpower. Manpower is one of our greatest capacities and it is a great opportunity. As I said before, the youth of the country – whose age range is 15-30 years – form a large percentage of the population of the country. This is a capacity. We have ten million university graduates. Ten million of our youth have graduated during these years. In the present time, we have more than four million students who will graduate in a few years. The dear youth should know that this is 25 times more than the number of students in the late taghuti era. The population of the country has doubled compared to that era, but the number of students has increased by 25 times. Today, we have this number of students and graduates.

Besides, we have millions of experienced and skilled forces. Notice that these were the forces which came to the help of our Armed Forces during the time of war. During the time of the imposed war, one of our problems was the breakdown of our machines, the bombardment of our different centers, the poverty of our Armed Forces because of a lack of necessary equipment such as different means of transportation and the like.

A group of industrialists and a number of skilled and experienced individuals went from Tehran and other cities to the arena of war. I myself witnessed this in the beginning of the war and I used to see these individuals up close. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to meet them recently. A group of them came to see me. At that time, they were young, but now they have reached an old age although they still have the same motivation and enthusiasm. They went to the front lines and some of them were martyred.

In the war, they carried out repairs and engaged in industrial construction. The astonishing bridges which proved valuable to our Armed Forces during the war were built by these experienced and skilled forces. It was these individuals who engaged in many other constructions such as vehicles, roads and the like.

Today, there are such people as well. Thankfully, there are not a few such personalities. Although they are not well-educated, in certain cases, the experiences and skills that they have are more – in number – better and more valuable than well-educated individuals. This is one of the capacities of our manpower. We have such manpower both in the area of agriculture and in the area of industry. 

One of the important capacities of our country is its natural resources. Last year, I said in the same meeting that our country has the highest amount of oil and gas combined. That is to say, there is no country in the world which has as much oil and gas – combined – as we do. The sum of our oil and gas is more than all the countries in the world including countries in the east and in the west.

At this point that I am speaking to you, certain discoveries have been made about gas which show our gas supplies have increased compared to the gas supplies that we had last year. This is our condition in the area of oil and gas. This means that the most supplies of energy exist in our country. The entire world is dependent on energy for its light, its heat, its industries and its progress. That is to say, the entire world is dependent on oil and gas.

Besides, throughout the country, there are many gold mines and mines which contain rare metals. There are iron ores, precious stones and different kinds of essential and fundamental metals – which are considered to be the mother of industries – in the country. This is another great capacity.

Another capacity is our geographical location. We have 15 neighbors which we have business interactions with. Transit networks are one of the great opportunities for all countries. We benefit from this opportunity as well. In the south, these networks are connected to international waters and in the north, they are connected to territorial waters. In our neighboring countries, about 370 million people live. This number of interactions and this number of neighbors is a great opportunity for the economic blossoming of a country. As well as this opportunity, we benefit from a domestic market. We have a 75-million market which is important for any economy.

Another capacity which exists in the country is software and hardware infrastructures. The policies on the Article 44 of the Constitution, the strategic plan, the measures which have been carried out during the recent years and the various infrastructures such as roads, dams, bridges, factories and the like are examples of infrastructures. These are very good areas for the economic progress of the country. These are the capacities of a country.

Well, someone may say, “If sanctions did not exist, you could utilize these capacities in the right way. But you cannot utilize them because of sanctions”. This is wrong. This is an inaccurate statement. Despite sanctions, we have managed to make outstanding and lofty achievements in many areas. One example is production of knowledge. Another example is our achievements in the area of industry and technology.

We were and still are under sanctions in these areas. In the present time too, the doors of important and up-to-date scientific centers - which work on advanced and modern sciences - are closed to Iranian scientists and students. But we have managed to make progress in the nuclear area and in the area of nanotechnology, stem cells, defense industries, airplanes and missiles- to the despair of the enemy. Why should we not be able to make progress in the area of economy?

We - who have made so many achievements on these scenes and in different arenas – can make the economy blossom if we show determination and join hands. We should not pin our hopes on the enemy to see when he lifts sanctions and when he agrees to something. Damn the enemy! We should see what we ourselves can do.  

Now, I want to pose and answer the third question. The third question was: what are the requirements of achieving this great task, the economy of resistance? What should be done in this regard? I would tell you in brief that primarily, officials should support national production. National production is the basis and the main link in the chain of the progress of the economy.

Officials should support national production. How should they do this? Wherever there is a need for a certain law, they should provide legal support. Wherever there is a need for judicial support, they should provide it. Wherever there is a need for executive support, they should fulfill it. They should provide encouragement and adopt certain measures. These tasks should be carried out and national production should be boosted.

The second point in this regard is about investors and laborers who are, in fact, the producers of the country. They should pay attention to national production as well. What does this mean? It means that they should increase the output. Increasing the output means making maximum use of the existing resources.

Laborers should carry out the task in hand in a careful way. “God's mercy be upon those who carry out the task in a proper and firm way”. This is the meaning of increasing the output. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) has been quoted as saying, “God's mercy be upon those who carry out the task in a proper and firm way”. Those who make an investment should try to make maximum use of it. That is to say, they should reduce the cost of production. Some of the wrong measures and policies push up the cost of production and decrease the output of investment and the task in hand.

The third point is that the owners of capital in the country should prefer productive activities to other ones. We have seen a number of people who had some capital – small or large – and who could have invested it in certain businesses to earn a lot of money, but who did not. Instead, they turned to production. They said, “We want to boost the production of the country”. This is a good deed and a charitable act. This is one of the best tasks. Those who have capital – whether small or large – should use it at the service of the production of the country.

The next point is that the people at all levels should promote national production. What does this mean? It means what I emphatically discussed two, three years ago in this meeting. Fortunately, a group of people acted on my advice. But everyone should act on it. The piece of advice that I offered was that we should consume domestic products. My dear ones, when you buy domestic goods instead of foreign ones, you are - in fact - creating employment and making Iranian laborers bring their innovative capabilities to the arena.

When domestic products are consumed, producers increase the innovative ideas that they have on a daily basis. When you consume domestic products, you are, in fact, increasing national wealth. In the past – during the time of taghut – preferring foreign products was a tradition. Whenever they wanted to buy something, they used to ask, “Is it foreign or domestic?” if it was foreign, they would like to buy it.

This should change. We should do the opposite. I am not saying that buying foreign products is haraam. What I am saying is that buying domestic products is a necessity for making the economy resistant. This affects everything in this country. It should receive attention and this is the role of all the people.

Of course, like many other issues, the responsibility of the officials and managers of the country is more than other people on this issue too. Many extravagant and excessive actions in the behavior of the people result from copying the behavior of those people who are considered to be seniors. If extravagance does not exist at high levels, the people live a less extravagant life as well. Therefore, preferring domestic products is one of the tasks.

Let us reach a conclusion and get this part finished. I would tell you that the economy of resistance, which means making the bases of the economy resistant, is one of our public responsibilities in the present time. Everyone can play a part in it including the officials in the three branches of government, all the people, those who are skilled at doing something, those who have capital and experts. What we discussed was a summary of what should be said. It is the responsibility of experts to expand on this issue.

The second part of my speech is about culture. My dear ones, I would tell you in one sentence that culture is even more important than economy. Why? It is because culture is like the air we breathe. You have to breathe air, whether you like it or not. If this air is clean, it will have certain effects on your body. If it is dirty, it will have certain other effects. The culture of a country is like the air that we breathe. If it is good, it will have certain effects.

We were just speaking about consuming domestic products. If we want the consumption of domestic products to be firmly established in the real sense of the word, we should instill the culture of consuming domestic products into the minds of the people. If we want the people to avoid extravagance, we should do something to make the people believe in this.

This means culture. Culture means people's beliefs, faith, customs and those things which people deal with in their daily lives and which are a source of inspiration for them in their moves and in their actions. Culture is this. Therefore, it has great significance. For example, in social areas, the spirit of observing the law should be promoted among the people so that they respect the law. This is a culture. Social cooperation is a culture. Starting a family and getting married is a culture. The number of children is a culture.

If the people adopt a proper outlook and orientation on such issues, life in society will be of a certain kind. If, God forbid, they adopt a wrong orientation, life in society will be of a certain other kind. If this happens, we will – God forbid – face the same disaster that those countries which destroyed the family and its foundation and which promoted decadence face today. “But there came after them an evil generation, who neglected prayers and who followed sensual desires, so they shall meet perdition” [The Holy Quran, 19: 59].

The enemies focus on culture more than anything else. Why? It is because of the great influence of culture. The target of the cultural moves of the enemies is the people's faith and beliefs. The officials in charge of cultural affairs should take care of cultural rifts. Cultural rifts are very dangerous. They should be sensitive about these rifts and they should be vigilant.

I do not want to say that foreigners are responsible for all cultural detriments. This is not what I am saying. We ourselves are to blame as well. The behavior of different officials – both officials in charge of cultural affairs and officials in charge of other affairs – laziness and wrong measures in different areas have played a role in this regard as well.

So, we do not want to pin all the blame on the enemy. But we cannot forget about the presence of the enemy in cultural areas either. From the early days of the Revolution until today, propaganda networks have been doing their best to make the people lose belief in the bases of the Revolution. Is this a cultural activity? They attacked the people's faith and their heartfelt beliefs. This cannot be ignored.

A question may be asked in this regard. Well, someone may ask, “You are saying that the officials of the country should be sensitive. How sensitive should they be? Does this not contradict freedom which is one of the slogans of the Revolution and one of the bases of the Islamic Republic?” The answer is no. It does not contradict freedom at all.

Freedom is different from decadence. Freedom is different from forgetting about all rules and regulations. Freedom, which is a great divine blessing, has certain rules and regulations. Without rules, freedom is meaningless. If there are some people in the country who are trying to take away youth's faith, we cannot stand aside and watch this just because this is freedom. Similarly, if someone wants to distribute heroin and other such poisonous substances – which destroy families – we cannot be indifferent. If we witness that some people want to make the people deviate from their path, target their faith and create a rift in the Islamic and revolutionary culture of the people by using art, money and different discourses and means, we cannot watch this and say that this is freedom.

Such a freedom does not exist anywhere in the world. It does not exist anywhere in the world. Those countries that claim to support freedom have certain red lines about which they are very strict. Notice that no one in European countries dares to speak about holocaust while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not. Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this, they stop, arrest, imprison and sue him. This is while they claim to be the supporters of freedom.

The enemies stick to what is considered to be a red line for them with all their power. So, how do they expect us to ignore the ideological and revolutionary red lines of our country and our youth? If there is someone who targets the spirit of national independence, who wants to theoretically justify dependence, who ridicules independence and who discourages youth from living an independent life, we cannot be indifferent towards them. We should react to what they do. 

In the present time, there are some people who ridicule independence when it is brought up. They say, “It is backwardness. What is independence?” Such people insult the moral and religious necessities of society, they ridicule the Persian language and they humiliate Iranian customs. 

Such things exist. These things exist in the present time. There are some people who try to humiliate the spirit of the national dignity of Iranian youth. They constantly promote negative outlooks. They say, “Learn from the Europeans, learn from westerners. They tolerate one another while we do not.” Is this really the truth of the matter? On the streets of European countries and European capitals, a woman who observes hijab to some degree is attacked by youth. In front of the eyes of the people, they beat or kill this woman who has observed her hijab and no one dares to ask why.

This is happening in the present time. It did not happen 20, 50 years ago. In front of the eyes of the people, they burn someone with the excuse that they are not a native. Is this tolerating opposing views? This is what happened recently. A few months ago, one of the thuggish youth in a European city began to beat an Iranian individual. Then, he poured petrol over him and burned him. This was while neighbors stood aside and watched it with indifference. They did not show any reaction. Is this tolerating opposing views?

We cannot adopt an indifferent outlook towards those people who humiliate the people of Iran, Iranian nationality and Iranian customs, who weaken Islamic principles in the minds of the people, who seriously target the main slogans of the Revolution, who portray the foundation of the family as worthless and who pretend that marriage is meaningless – these things exist in our society today and some people are doing such things – who consider hedonism to be an ideal and a value and who promote such ideas.

Intemperance – hedonism [speaking in Arabic] – is a western souvenir. They promote whatever brings pleasure. Well, one person derives pleasure from addiction, another person derives pleasure from sexual desires and another derives it from beating people. They allow whatever is a source of pleasure.

Some people promote self-indulgence and boundless freedom. Our organizations should feel responsible in the face of such people. What cultural vandals do is that they raise doubt among the people instead of promoting firm national determination. As long as a people do not have firm determination, they get nowhere. They are trying to take away the people's firm determination in those important areas which are related to the fate of the country. They are trying to make the people doubt their firm determination. They are trying to inject into them the feeling of national humiliation instead of the feeling of national dignity and self-confidence. They want to inject into them doubt and atheism instead of firm faith. They want to inject into them hedonism, decadence and the like instead of hard work, diligence and great determination.

The official organizations of the country - those which are in charge of cultural affairs - should carry out their responsibilities in the face of these people. Of course, some responsibilities are offensive responsibilities and some are defensive responsibilities. Both kinds of responsibilities should be carried out. Both offensive and defensive responsibilities should be carried out.

The promotional organizations of our country – whether those which are directly affiliated with the administration or those which are indirectly affiliated with it – should not fear the uproar of foreign networks or those networks which use the discourse of foreigners. They should not coordinate their behavior with such networks. This was related to the official organizations in charge of cultural affairs.

But the more important part of my speech is addressed to those youth who carry out cultural activities throughout the country in a voluntary way. Thankfully, these activities are very wide in scope. What I want to say is that those youth who do cultural work in Tehran, in different cities – including Mashhad and other cities – and in different provinces with their determination and motivation should follow up and continue the task as seriously as they can. They have carried out good tasks, some of which we have thankfully been informed of.

They should know that the development of cultural tasks among religious and revolutionary youth has played a great role in the progress of this country and in our resistance against the enemies of the people of Iran. Cultural experts have a responsibility in this regard as well. Who are cultural experts? Cultural experts include ulama, professors, revolutionary intellectuals and committed artists. They should preserve their critical outlook towards the cultural conditions of the country and they should provide guidance.

Of course, I believe that such guidance should be provided by giving compelling reasons and offering tangible explanations and good opinions. I do not agree with slandering and creating uproar. I do not agree with saying takfiri things and accusing different people. I believe that the revolutionary community of the country – thankfully, many revolutionary individuals are from among our youth, our experts, our professors and our great and educated personalities – can enter the arena and make criticisms with compelling logic.   

They can show weak and negative points to us officials of the country. Sometimes, an official does not know what is happening in society, but such young critics are in the center of society. They know what is happening. This is the national determination and the jihadi management that we discussed in the area of culture.

At the end of my speech, I would like to discuss one point with you people of Iran: you should know that global events do not move forward according to the wishes and intentions of America. What global arrogance and the hostile enemies of the people of Iran wanted to achieve in the international arena – which is very wide in scope – has not been achieved and by Allah's favor, it will not be achieved in the future. America has failed in Palestine. The plot that they hatched for Palestine and that they tried very hard to implement has failed and by Allah's favor, it will fail in the future as well.

The enemies want to turn Palestine into a Jewish country. That is to say, they want to do something to prevent the Palestinians – whether Muslims or Christians – from living in Palestine. In other words, they want to finish Palestine off. They have followed up this plot. They have tried very hard during the recent years, but they have failed. America did not achieve any results in Palestine. It did not achieve any results in Syria. It did not achieve any results in Iraq. The goals that it had in Afghanistan and Pakistan were not achieved. As you see and hear, the Americans' plots in Europe have been foiled as well.

We should know that they could not achieve any results in our dear country either, even after 30 years of effort against the Revolution and our revolutionary people. A sign of this is the presence of the people. Influential figures in the government of America said openly, “We have imposed and reinforced sanctions so that we can draw the people to the streets”. They openly said that the purpose of sanctions is to uproot the Revolution and to pit the people against the Islamic Republic.

What was the result? The result was what I pointed out in this meeting. In the year 1392, an election was held whose turnout was very high and in which the people participated in a very active way. And on the 22nd of Bahman, a rally was held which was larger, greater and more enthusiastic than any annual rally in the past.

This is the point that I have repeated many times: You dear youth should know that the future belongs to you. By Allah's favor, your enemies are condemned to failure. 

I hope that Allah the Exalted will guide you towards the paths of happiness with His blessings. I hope that He will make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) satisfied and pleased with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings