Leader's Speech in Meeting with Members of Assembly of Experts

 The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 12, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the chairman and members of the Assembly of Experts. The meeting was held on the occasion of the 17th Congress of the Assembly of Experts.

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, Muhammad and upon his immaculate household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

I would like to welcome the honorable gentlemen in this meeting. Besides the advantages that Mr. Yazdi, the esteemed Head of the Assembly of Experts, referred to, this meeting and congress has another advantage - of course, this advantage is for me - which is the fact that we have the opportunity to meet with you dear brothers and honorable gentlemen up close. This is an opportunity for us and I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow success on all you gentlemen and friends to carry out the responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of all of us in the best way possible.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Yazdi on his appointment as the chairman of this meeting. Well, his personality, experience and credentials are things which show the correctness of this election. I hope that by Allah's favor, he is prepared enough to carry out his responsibilities. Also, I would like to commemorate the memory of the late Mr. Mahdavi (may God bestow paradise on him). He was an outstanding individual and he was really an influential personality both before and after the victory of the Revolution. He was the manifestation of an active and knowledgeable clergyman. I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow great rewards on him. I hope that He will bestow His mercy and blessings on the late Mr. Mahdavi.

According to the reports that have been delivered to me, your congress - during which organizational elections were held - was a very valuable congress. In fact, it was a model for other organizations to hold their elections the way you did. It was held in a very peaceful way and without the uproar and commotion that we usually witness in elections. Thankfully, you accomplished a great feat.

Because of the conditions that dominate our region and the world, because of the challenge that exists between the Islamic Republic and some egotistic and arrogant governments on different issues - whether the nuclear issue or other issues - because of the economic discussions that have broken out in the country and the efforts that different officials are making, in different ways, for the sake of achieving Islamic goals and ensuring the interests of the people and finally because of the issue of Islamophobia which is one of the common phenomena in the arrogant and western world, I deemed it necessary to discuss this matter with you: what we understand from all Quranic teachings is that Islam commands Muslims to create a perfect and complete Islamic government. Islam wants the complete implementation of Islam. This is the general feeling that we get from these matters.

A religion that is satisfied with minimums is not acceptable from the point of view of Islam. In our religion, we have nothing like the religion of minimums. In many cases, the Holy Quran has blamed us for our satisfaction with some religious teachings minus others: "Those who have made Quran into shreds" [The Holy Quran, 15: 91] and "Those who wish to separate Allah from His messengers, saying: ‘We believe in some but reject others'" [The Holy Quran, 4: 150]. The latter is related to hypocrites. It is not even enough to be satisfied with very important religious concepts such as administering justice. We cannot say, "We are after administering justice and we will do it. So, Islam has been fully implemented". This is not the case.

Of course, administering justice in society is really an important matter. There is a holy ayah which says, "We sent aforetime our messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that men may stand forth in justice" [The Holy Quran, 57: 25]. According to this ayah, it seems that the purpose of sending messengers, books and divine teachings is to administer justice. However we interpret the sentence "that men may stand forth in justice", it shows the significance of administering justice. There are two interpretations of "That men may stand forth in justice". One is that it is the people's responsibility to administer justice in their living environments and another is that we [officials] should behave in a just way towards them. Even if we consider either of these two interpretations or other possible interpretations to be true, it shows the significance of administering justice in society.

But this does not mean that the Divine Lawgiver accepts our satisfaction with administering justice and focusing all our efforts on it. He does not accept it if we ignore other Islamic rules. There is a holy ayah which says, "Believers are those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong" [The Holy Quran, 22: 41]. God's expectation from the inhabitants of the earth is first to say prayers and second to "give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong".

It is not the case that if we pay attention to the administration of justice, we will have the right to ignore the significance of saying prayers, paying zakat, enjoining to do good and advising against evil. The holy ayah "For We assuredly sent among every people a messenger with the command, ‘Serve Allah, and avoid taghut' [The Holy Quran, 16: 36] - this concept and command has been repeated several times in the Holy Quran - shows that Allah the Exalted sent prophets to promote monotheism, to prevent people from taghut and to worship God. This was the basis of their work.

There is another holy ayah from Sura ash-Shura which is related to God's command to Noah, Ibrahim, Musa and other prophets: "You should establish religion" [The Holy Quran, 42: 13]. What God wants is to establish religion, all of it: "And make no divisions therein. Hard to the unbelievers is that which you call them to. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns to Him, frequently" [The Holy Quran, 42: 13].

Allah calls for the establishment of the entire religion with all its parts and constituents. And the main opponents of this movement and outlook - that is to say, the establishment of religion with all its parts and constituents - are global bullies and arrogant individuals: "Hard to the unbelievers is that which you call them to". It is difficult for atheists to accept what you invite them to do.

Another example is the holy ayah from the beginning of the blessed Sura al-Ahzab: "Oh Prophet, Fear Allah and hearken not to the unbelievers and the hypocrites: verily Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom" [The Holy Quran, 33: 1]. It means that God is omniscient. He is full of knowledge about all parts of the universe and the way things work in it. God is also wise. He has determined our path in the world with wisdom and we have to follow it: "But follow that which comes to you by inspiration from your Lord for Allah is well acquainted with all that you do. And put your trust in Allah and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs" [The Holy Quran, 33: 2-3]. There will be enmity against your movement. This is the main issue.

The Islamic government that we claim to pursue is really Islamic when all parts of Islam - its outward and inner aspect - are preserved. Islamic government means all the capacities that form the general movement of the people and officials. We call this "a system and government". The sum of the capacities that lead to the public movement of the people and officials is the Islamic government. Now, the outward appearance of Islam is the statements that we make and the measures that we adopt on the basis of Islam. These things constitute the surface of the issue. The inner aspect of Islam is that we should define a goal, ideal and destination for ourselves. Then, we should do complete planning in order to reach it and move on the same path. And we should move on it with all our hearts and souls. If this is done, the inner aspect of Islam will be protected and perfected as well as its outward appearance. Besides, it does not have any limits for development. Well, this is the plan that we need for reaching these goals.

Today, what we witness in the statements of arrogant powers and the opponents of the Islamic government - particularly, the opponents of the Islamic Republic - is their insistence on a change in our behavior. They sometimes say, "We do not want to change the Islamic Republic. Rather, we want a change in its behavior". A change in behavior is not different from changing the system. It is exactly the same. A change in the inner aspect of Islam is the meaning of this change in behavior. When they say that we should change our behavior, it means that we should abandon and forget about the main elements of our movement and that we should make no effort to preserve them. This is the meaning of a change in our behavior. This is what is referred to - in some writings and speeches - as the religion of minimums. It means decreasing one's ideals and this means the destruction of the inner aspect of Islam. This religion of minimums means the complete elimination of religion.

Now, under such circumstances, our goal and main guideline should be to pursue Islam in its entirety. We should really do our best - Allah the Exalted does not expect us to act beyond our power and capability - to pursue this. Our effort and goal should be to establish Islam - in its entirety and with all its parts and constituents - in society. When this becomes our goal, they immediately bring up a certain issue, namely Islamophobia which is common in today's world. In my opinion, we should not at all adopt a passive outlook towards the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Islamophobia exists.

Some individuals are frightening peoples, societies, youth and minds of Islam. Who are these individuals? When we delve deeply into this matter and when we think carefully about it, we see that they are the same minority of bullies and greedy individuals who are afraid of the rule of Islam. They are afraid of political Islam. They are afraid of Islam's presence in the heart of societies. The reason for their fear is that Islam harms their interests. As a matter of fact, Islamophobia is a translation of powers' fear and anxiety in the face of Islam. This is the truth of the matter.

You members of this Assembly really made efforts. The people of Iran made efforts as well. They showed diligence and they established and brought to power the Islamic government. They strengthened its foundations and they immunized and secured it against different matters. They strengthened it on a daily basis. This frightens global bullies. The Islamophobia that exists today is, in fact, a reflection of their anxiety and nervousness. It shows that you have managed to move forward. It shows that Islam has been able to successfully launch its movement until today.

Of course, despite what are they doing, their movement against Islam and their effort to create Islamophobia will produce the opposite result. That is to say, their actions will make youth curious about Islam. If the masses of the people in the world are given a little nudge and if we attract their attention, they will begin to understand why the Zionist press and television networks - those which are dependent on powerful and well-to-do cliques - launch so many attacks on Islam. This will pose a question in their minds and we believe that this question has certain blessings and that it can turn this threat into an opportunity.

We should make efforts. In the Islamic Republic, the great and important feat is that all of us - anyone at any level and with any capability in this regard - should make efforts to introduce original Islam, one that supports the oppressed and that opposes the oppressor. The youth who live in Europe, America and distant countries become excited about this kind of Islam. They become excited and it becomes clear to them that Islam means a force, motive and thought which moves against oppressors and transgressors and in favor of the oppressed. It becomes clear to them that Islam has plans to pursue this and that it considers it its responsibility to do so.

We should introduce the kind of Islam that supports reason and deep philosophies. We should introduce the Islam of thoughts and ideas and the kind of Islam that attaches great significance - through the Holy Quran - to reason, logic and thought. We should introduce the kind of Islam that supports rationality and that opposes partiality, fossilization and foolish delusions - these are characteristics that some people advocate in the name of Islam. We should say that Islam is this. We should say that Islam is committed to fighting against decadence. Today, there are many organizations that drag youth towards self-indulgence, decadence and indifference on different matters. Well, Islam - which believes that human beings have certain responsibilities - wants them to remain responsible.

We should introduce the kind of Islam that is present in people's lives as opposed to secular Islam. Secular Islam is similar to secular Christianity which imprisons itself in a corner of church and which has no presence in real life. Secular Islam acts in the same way. Today, there are some people who invite people to isolated Islam, one that has nothing do with people's lives. This kind of Islam calls on people to perform some religious acts in a corner of mosques or houses. We should introduce the kind of Islam that is present in people's lives. We should introduce the Islam of mercy to the weak and the Islam of jihad and fighting against arrogant powers.

In my opinion, this is a responsibility that falls on everyone's shoulders. Our promotional and scholarly organizations and our Islamic seminaries should pursue this goal. Today, they are targeting Islam on many occasions. And it is clear which people, organizations and orientations are doing so. They are dependent on a powerful and well-to-do clique which is active in economic and political areas and whose members are mostly Zionist and Jewish. If not so, they are non-Jewish Zionists. Today, we have non-Jewish Zionists in the world as well. Against these people, we should benefit from the opportunity to pose this question in the minds of people and youth throughout the world so that they think about why they are attacking Islam so vigorously. Then, we should provide them with real Islam.

In my opinion, if we clergymen, ulama and people who are working in religious areas set this as our goal - that is to say, implementing Islam in its entirety and confronting such enmities - we will make many achievements.

[Another issue is that] we are faced with some global challenges. I believe that we should avoid adopting a superficial outlook towards our global challenges. We are faced with certain challenges from America and some European countries. Today, these challenges are clear because of the nuclear matter, but there are many different matters which are causing these challenges between us and them. We should look and see where these challenges come from. We should understand the root of them and we should avoid superficiality.

Moreover, we should delve into our problems in a deep way. Imagine that we receive certain blows from sanctions and that sanctions harm, in different ways, our economy and other areas. Where does this harm come from? If we delve deeply into the matter, we will see that this harm results from our dependence on oil and from the absence of the people in economic arenas. It results from governmentalizing economy. It results from such things. If we take a look, identify the main factor and cure it somehow, sanctions will have either no or little impact. The reason why the enemy can impose sanctions on our oil and hurt us by doing so is that we have based our lives and economy on oil. The reason why sanctions are imposed on different governmental organizations is that these organizations belong to the government. We could have involved the people in the arena of economy. Well, this is the result of the mistakes that we made in the beginning of the Revolution. In those days, we used to insist that everything should belong to the administration. We even entrusted our administrations with very small affairs. We should find a cure for these problems.

I believe that if we think and move like this, problems will be solved. In solving our problems, we will not rely on the kindness of the other side. We can really influence the challenges that exist between us, and our enemies and arrogant powers, one of which is the ongoing nuclear negotiations. In the present time, nuclear negotiations have engulfed our activities in the area of diplomacy and foreign policy. But in my opinion, this outlook, guideline and reason is completely effective in our negotiations with them.

I should add that the team and group that the honorable President has appointed for the nuclear negotiations are trustworthy and good individuals. We are closely acquainted with some of them and we really believe in them. And we know some of them out of their statements and measures they have taken. They too are trustworthy and diligent. They are really working hard. It is necessary for us to say this. Of course, although these friends and brothers are good and trustworthy individuals and although we know that they are working for the interests of the country, I am concerned. This concern is because of the fact that the other side is deceitful. One of the things which is usually invisible is the deceitfulness of those individuals and orientations that seem to be great and respectable. One cannot think that such people are deceitful.

Well, today, America has an attractive appearance and grandeur on the face of it: it has monetary, economic, political, military and security power. This is why some people ignore the fact that in this powerful system, some weak people are deceitful. But this is really the case. America is deceitful and dishonest and it stabs people in the back. America is like this. We should not think that because they have atomic bombs and powerful military equipment, they do not need to use deception and trickery. This is not the case. On the contrary, they desperately need to use deception, as they are doing so in the present time. This is a source of concern for us. We should be careful about the enemy's tricks. Whenever we have approached a specific deadline for concluding negotiations, the other side's tone - particularly the Americans' - has become harsher and more aggressive. The reason is that this is one of their methods and tricks.

As you can witness, the statements that they make are really ridiculous and disgusting. In the recent days, a Zionist clown [Benjamin Netanyahu] travelled to the U.S. and made certain statements there. In order to look impartial, they made certain statements, but they accused Iran of supporting terrorism. Well, this is a ridiculous claim. Today, everyone in the world can witness that the power and government that has supported and created the most vicious terrorists - such as DAESH and other such groups - is America as well as its allies. Despite their claim to oppose these groups, they do not stop supporting them. Those people who support, help and join hands with the Americans are supporting terrorism and dangerous and malevolent terrorists. America is outspokenly supporting a government that officially admits to being a terrorist - that is to say, the fake Zionist regime. As a matter of fact, supporting terrorism means this and it is the ugliest and most disgusting form. This is while they accuse the Islamic Republic of advocating terrorism. These matters should receive attention.

The letter that U.S. senators wrote recently is a sign of the destruction of political ethics in the American system. One can see all sorts of matters in that letter. It is clear that they are really on the verge of destruction. According to well-known global regulations, all governments in the world should be committed to the promises that they make. Imagine that an administration holds office in a country. This administration promises to do something. When this administration is replaced by another, that promise is still valid and the latter does not go back on it. These senators openly said, "When the current U.S. administration leaves, the contract that it has signed with you and the promise that it has given you will expire as if it did not exist at all".

This is a sign that shows the total destruction of political ethics in America. It indicates that this system is one that cannot really continue. It indicates that this system is totally ruined. This is while they say that they want to teach their rules and regulations to the Iranians. Well, we do not need their lessons. Even if we reach an agreement with them, we know how to act so that they will not be able to keep the Islamic Republic behind the door. The officials of the Islamic Republic know how to do so and they do not need their lessons. But this is how they act. This is really a sign of their downfall.

In any case, in all of our tasks, efforts and decisions on economic and cultural matters, we should not forget that our responsibility is to implement Islam in its entirety - by Allah's favor, if I live long enough, I have certain issues to discuss in the beginning of the new year. We should be after practicing complete Islam. It should not be the case that we compromise Islamic ideals so that we make an achievement on such and such an issue. Our success and progress is dependent on our ability to practice complete Islam.

If this is done, Allah the Exalted will help us. And divine assistance definitely and undoubtedly relies on us helping God's religion: "if you help the cause of Allah, He will help you" [The Holy Quran, 47: 7]. There is no clearer and more outspoken ayah in this regard. You should help God's religion. "If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet". Another ayah is, "Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause" [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]. These are among definite promises made by God. We should not ignore these divine promises: "Those who imagine an evil opinion of Allah" [The Holy Quran, 48: 6]. If we think that it is impossible for divine promises to come true, this is the worst doubt that we can have about Allah the Exalted. In the blessed Sura al-Fath, Allah the Exalted expresses His anger at those who think like this.

I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow success on you and us so that we can carry out our responsibility in this regard and so that we can help ourselves, our country and our people to benefit from the blessings of launching this movement. I hope that Allah the Exalted will make the pure soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) happy. I hope that He will make the pure souls of martyrs happy as well because it was they who showed and opened this path to us. It was they who helped us take it.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings