meeting with people of Azerbaijan

A Majlis intimidated by America will ruin the country: Leader

If the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) is intimidated by the west and by America and if it pursues the authority and rule of an aristocratic orientation, then its railway system will be on the basis of this. If they move in this direction, they will ruin the country.

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 17, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the people of East Azerbaijan. The meeting was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on the anniversary of the uprising by the people of Tabriz on the February 18, 1978.

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 Muhammad and upon his immaculate household.

I would like to welcome all the dear brothers and sisters particularly the honorable families of martyrs, the honorable scholars, the honorable officials and all the people and dear youth who have come this long way and who have imbued the environment of our Hussainiyah with the scent of faith and enthusiasm and with the motivation that is particular to you. In fact, I am sending these greetings to all the people of Tabriz and to all the people of Azerbaijan.

The 29th of Bahman (February 18th) of every year is really a sweet and perfect day for this humble person because I refresh my memory – up close – about what I have always seen, felt and known about the dear people of Azerbaijan and Tabriz. Every year, we see the same enthusiasm, motivation, faith, dynamism and vigilance. Great characteristics that a group of people can have are awareness, vigilance, steadfastness, innovation in activities, knowledge about one’s path, lack of fear about the dangers of one’s path and the ability to move forward. All these characteristics exist in you dear people of Azerbaijan and Tabriz. Such characteristics have been witnessed and frequently tested in you and therefore, we are grateful to God and we thank Him.

These are signs of divine assistance. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted says to His Messenger: “He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with believers” [The Holy Quran, 8: 62]. God helped you with His assistance and with the willpower, determination, strong hands and steadfast steps of believers. This is the role of believers. The role of you youth and you dear and motivated people is such a great role. God has highlighted this role in the Holy Quran.

The 29th of Bahman is an unforgettable day. Of course, the people of Azerbaijan and Tabriz have many unforgettable days which are not particular to the 29th of Bahman. In our contemporary and recent history and in our history during, before and after the Constitutional Movement, there are certain days each of which is a source of pride for a people if they are described and delineated. These days belong to you. They belong to Azerbaijan and they belong to Tabriz.

Of course, we have shown negligence in this regard. Such great popular movements should be highlighted and repeated in different artistic, explanatory and promotional fields and areas. To be fair, we have not worked enough on these areas. Nonetheless, the 29th of Bahman is so alive that it does not diminish in importance – if we do not say that it becomes more important on a daily basis - no matter how much negligence we show. The people of Tabriz launched a movement on the 29th of Bahman whose role was an exceptional role in the awakening and great movement of the people of Iran.

Well thankfully, the people of Azerbaijan have not stopped. In the course of many years – from the year 1978 until today which amounts to 38, 39 years – these people have been present in the front lines of jihad, fighting, resistance and activeness. These things are valuable. This is what our people need. This is what the future of the country is dependent on. The same thing is true of the 22nd of Bahman (February 11th). The 22nd of Bahman should become livelier, more brilliant and more prominent day by day and year by year. This is the need of our country.

And I deem it necessary to thank the great people of Iran from the bottom of my heart for the epic that they created this year on the 22nd of Bahman. The centers that estimate the number of participants –  estimations which are very close to reality – have reported to me that this year, the number of participants in almost all the cities of the country was significantly larger compared to last year. In your Tabriz, the number of participants was larger – by a high percentage – than last year. The same is true of some other cities. These figures are prepared and reported by centers in charge of such affairs. This is very important. This is very valuable. This shows that the firm determination of our people has not undergone the slightest change.

This is while the dominant powers in the world – those oppressive and arrogant powers in the world that have focused all their attention on Islamic Iran – are doing their best to make the people forget the Revolution. They either want to make the people completely forget the Revolution or they want to weaken and undermine it in their minds. This is an effort that is being seriously pursued by global powers. In such circumstances, the people of Iran are acting in a way that is the exact opposite of what they want. Every year, they hold these rallies more enthusiastically.

Well, may the celebration of the Revolution be blessed for you and thankfully, it was blessed. The 22nd of Bahman celebration was a public celebration throughout the country. Before the 22nd of Bahman, I said that we have two eids ahead of us: one is the eid of the Revolution, which was the 22nd of Bahman, and another was the eid of elections. Elections are a great eid for the country as well. We have spoken at length about elections – not only about next week’s elections, but also about all elections throughout the country. In the course of time, we said what was necessary and we will continue to speak about it in the future. I do not get tired and weary of speaking the truth and by Allah’s favor, I will continue to speak to the people about what is necessary.

The Islamic Revolution ended the era of the humiliation of the Iranian nation. Before the Revolution, the people of Iran used to be humiliated by foreigners and by powers. They used to be humiliated in scientific, political and social arenas. Dominant powers – mainly America – used to dictate to the Pahlavi regime what they liked and the regime did exactly what they wanted. Before the Americans, it was the English who played this role in the country. But the Revolution came and put an end to this intolerable humiliation. It gave dignity and independence to the country and to the people and it highlighted their human nature. When a people feel that they have an identity, talents will blossom in them and this happened. Talents were blossomed and the country progressed.

Today, our country is among the most dignified countries in the world. Today, the people of Iran are among the most honorable peoples in the world in the eyes of their enemies, let alone in the eyes of their friends. This is not tolerable for our enemies. This is not tolerable for America for whom Iran was once backward. This is not tolerable for the Zionist regime for whom Iran was once a resort – they used to come here to rest. This is not tolerable for them. It is not tolerable for the enemies of the people of Iran to see a people stand up against them in an outspoken manner, express their definite viewpoints against arrogance without showing any considerations and give courage to other nations. This is why they are doing their best to stop this.

How long will the enemy’s effort continue? As long as you people of Iran gain such power that can disappoint them, the enemy focuses all his efforts on preventing you from reaching this stage. All the conflicts that they created on the issue of nuclear energy, all the statements that they make about human rights, all the threats that they issue and all the sanctions that they imposed – they continue to threaten that they will impose more sanctions – are for the sake of slowing down and stopping the path on which the people of Iran are moving rapidly. Of course, the motivation of the people of Iran is one that will not decrease and will not be undermined with such things. 

Well, elections are imminent. I should discuss with our dear people the things that I see and the things that I feel. I should and will discuss certain matters with the honorable officials and I should discuss certain matters with our people. It is public opinion in our country that should pay attention to some of these matters. The enemy is trying to prevent our public opinion from becoming aware of his malicious goals and intentions. They hatch certain plots and install separate pieces in different places so that they can put them together and implement their main plan and plot later on. We should not allow him to do so. Who should not allow them to do this? The people- the country belongs to you. The country belongs to the people. The owners of the country are our dear people. It is they who should not allow him to hatch his plot.

However, people like this humble person are responsible for making our dear people aware. I see that the enemies are trying hard in the area of elections. They want elections to be held the way they want. Of course, deep in their heart, they wanted elections to be cancelled. A few years ago, they tried at some point in time to cancel elections. However, Allah the Exalted did not let them do so. They have no hope of achieving this and they know that their effort to cancel the elections of the country will reach nowhere. This is why they want to influence and damage elections in whatever way they can. The people should be aware of this and they should do the exact opposite of what they want.

One of the tasks that they are seriously pursuing in the present time is to damage the Guardian Council. Dear brothers and sisters, notice that damaging the Guardian Council has certain implications. From the beginning of the Revolution, the Americans have been seriously opposed to a number of fundamental points in the country and in the Islamic Republic one of which was the Guardian Council. They made tremendous efforts, worked hard and used some ignorant and naïve individuals inside the country so that they could close the Guardian Council. Of course, they failed to do so and they will continue to fail in the future.

In the present time, they are trying to question the decisions of the Guardian Council. What does this signify? Our dear youth should pay careful attention to this. When the decisions of the Guardian Council are questioned and when it is claimed that they are illegal, what does this signify? It signifies that the upcoming elections are illegal as well. When elections become illegal and unlawful, what will the outcome be? The outcome is that the Majlis which will be formed on the basis of these elections will become illegal as well. And the illegality of the Majlis means that any law passed by this Majlis in the course of these four years will be null and void. This means making the country suffer from the lack of a Majlis and the lack of law. This is what damaging the Guardian Council means and this is what the enemy wants.

Of course, most of those who answer the enemy’s call in the country do not know what they are doing. I do not accuse anyone of treason. They do not know and they are not aware, but this is the truth of the matter anyway. Damaging the Guardian Council – that is to say, questioning it and saying that its decisions have been against the law – is not actually damaging the Guardian Council, rather it is damaging elections, the Majlis and the four-year legislation of the Majlis. They are after this. Notice how intelligently they are hatching this plot. I should say this to public opinion. Public opinion should be aware of this. Those who peak against the Guardian Council are not aware and they do not know what they are doing. But this is what they are doing anyway.

The enemy has focused his efforts on depriving the Islamic Republic of religious democracy – this unique, innovative and attractive phenomenon for Muslim nations. They are trying to do this. If they had been able, they would have cancelled elections, but they failed and they will continue to fail. If they had been able to destroy the Guardian Council or to render its supervision ineffective, they would have done so, but they could not. Now that they could not do this, they have resorted to these methods. They are entering the scene through these methods. We should pay careful attention.

The Majlis is very important. The Islamic Consultative Majlis has a very significant status. Why? Because the Majlis is the builder of the railway on which the administration moves. Administrations are like a train that move on a railway. It is the Islamic Consultative Majlis that builds this railway system with its laws. Of course, administrations and the Majlis cooperate in passing laws. Administrations offer bills and the Majlis changes, corrects and passes them. This railway is built and administrations should move on it. If the Majlis pursues the people’s welfare, social justice, economic improvement, scientific and technological progress, national dignity and the independence of the people, its railway system will be built on the basis of these goals. If the Majlis is intimidated by the west and by America and if it pursues the authority and rule of an aristocratic orientation, then its railway system will be on the basis of this. If they move in this direction, they will ruin the country. This is the significance of the Majlis.

Are these unimportant reasons for its significance? As Imam (r.a.) pointed out, the significance of the Majlis lies in that it is at the top of affairs. Being at the top of affairs does not mean that the Majlis and the members of the Majlis have a part in the executive process. This is not the case. The Majlis has no part in the executive process. It is the large apparatus of the administration that executes, but the Majlis determines the path. It determines the path and administrations are obliged to move on this path and on this railway. Well, who is going to place these rails? Who is supposed to build this railway system? Towards which direction does it move? This is how the significance of being a member of the Majlis becomes clear. This is how the significance of the members of the Majlis becomes clear. Of course, the enemy does all sort of things. This was about the Islamic Consultative Majlis.

The Assembly of Experts is even more important in terms of its fundamental, major and structural significance. The Assembly of Experts has nothing to do with the current issues of the country, but its responsibility is to elect the Leader. Whom will they elect as the Leader? Who is supposed to be the main decision-maker and policy formulator of the country? This depends on who exists in the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts is an assembly that elects the Leader at the appropriate time. If they are people-oriented, attached to the Revolution and the people, aware of the enemy’s plot, and resistant and steadfast in the face of the enemy, they will act in a certain manner. However, if – God forbid – such things do not exist in them, they will act in a different manner. Therefore in the present time, the enemy is sensitive about the Assembly of Experts as well.

The English media are instructing the people of Tehran to vote and not to vote for such and such individuals. What does this mean? The English miss interfering in the affairs of Iran. There was one day when the country’s king used to call for the ambassador of England when he wanted to make an important decision. He used to ask him to do or not to do such and such a thing. One day, it was the English who interfered in the affairs of the country, one day it was the Americans and one day, it was both of them.

Today, their hands have been cut off. Today, these interferences have been prevented thanks to the Revolution and the people’s awakening. They miss this. Now, through their media, they are ordering the people to vote and not to vote for such and such individuals.

This is why I say that the people should enter into elections with insight, with wisdom and with intelligence. They should know what the enemy wants. When you know what the enemy wants, you will act in the opposite manner. This is clear. The significance of these elections lies in that, just like the rallies that were held a few days ago – the 22nd of Bahman rallies - they are the manifestation of the awakening of the Iranian nation and the manifestation of defending the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic, the independence of the country and national dignity. The reason why I say to all the people of Iran that they should show their presence, participate in elections, and announce their viewpoints is this. The issue is important. Our enemies are reckless enemies which are headed by a dangerous and inhumane Zionist network. This network is dominant over governments and western powers – the Americans in particular.

This Zionist network – not the Zionist regime, the Zionist regime itself is only part of this American arrogant system – is formed of businesspeople and first-tier tycoons in the world. Global propaganda and all banks in the world are in their hands and they are unfortunately dominant over many countries. They are dominant over America. They are dominant over America’s politics and the politics of many European countries. We should be vigilant in the face of them. The Americans act according to their opinions and their wishes.

On the issue of the nuclear matter and the nuclear negotiations – during which all sides made their statements and expressed their viewpoints until this long procedure came to an end – two days ago, an American official said once more that they would do something to make big investors in the world not dare to invest in Iran. Notice what enmity they are showing! This is America. One of the goals of those who pursued these negotiations was to achieve economic improvement through foreign investment. They really worked hard and made great efforts. Those who launched these negotiations really worked hard and sweated blood and they really spent a lot of time on it. However today, the Americans are preventing this. They have said this several times. Yesterday or two, three days ago, one of them said again that they would do something to make investors not dare to invest in Iran. When I said tens of times that the Americans cannot be trusted, it means this. When I say that they are not trustworthy, it means this.

American politicians complain that in the Iranian rallies and gatherings, the people shout “Death to America”. Well, when you act in this manner, what do you want our people to do? This is your past, this is your record and this is your behavior in the present time. You show enmity even without trying to draw a veil over it. Of course, they smile, shake hands, make glib statements and say sweet words in private meetings, but this is only confined to diplomacy in private meetings. This is of no significance and value and it produces no effect in the outside world. The truth is that they sign a contract, launch some negotiations and bargain for two, three years, but when the issue is over, they say that they will prevent it and they threaten to impose new sanctions so that foreign investors become afraid of approaching Iran. And they announce this in an outspoken manner! This is America.

In the face of this enemy, we cannot close our eyes and we cannot trust his words. Such is their fulfillment of promises! Such is their unreliability! Dear people of Iran, the side that you are faced with is such an element. Therefore, you should be awake and vigilant. We do not want to get ourselves into unnecessary trouble. Some people should not say that we constantly provoke America and force his hand. This is not the case because America does not need provocation. America is an enemy. One day, America was the owner of Iran, but the Revolution has come and snatched it from their hands. This is why they do not want to sit idle until they can achieve domination again. This is America.

The only remedy for the country is preserving the people’s awakening and their religious motives, utilizing motivated and pious youth and strengthening the country from the inside. This is the only way. The people of Iran should be strong from the inside. Their economy, their science and their managerial apparatuses should be strengthened. Above all, their faith should be strengthened on a daily basis. This is the remedy. This is the path that the people of Iran have taken until today. Certain enemies wanted to uproot and annihilate our Revolution the day when it was a thin sapling, but they failed. Today, that very thin sapling has turned into a strong tree: “Like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens. It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord” [The Holy Quran, 14: 24-25].

Today, the Revolution is this. Today, the hell the enemy dares to uproot the Revolution! The people should preserve their unity, harmony and unanimity in defending the Revolution and its principles and ideals. The honorable officials of the country – who are interested in the fate of this country – should carry out tasks for the sake of the people and with the intention of working for God and gaining His satisfaction. They should trust and rely on domestic forces.

Of course, we have said that the economy of resistance grows from the inside and is oriented towards the outside. I have never said that we should draw a wall around the country, but you should not forget about growing from the inside. If the national economy does not bubble and gush from the inside, it will reach nowhere. Interaction with the world in economic areas is very good, but it should be an intelligent interaction, one that signifies economic growth from the inside. The way to do so is that the people and officials stand firm and that they move forward in a wise and intelligent manner.

Dear youth, by Allah’s favor and grace, you will see a day when America, those greater than America and all the allies of America will not be able to do a damn thing against the Islamic Republic of Iran!

Dear God, shower Your mercy and kindness on our dear people. Dear God, increase these motives, this faith and this abundant spiritual enthusiasm in the country on a daily basis.

I thank you dear brothers and sisters and I send my greetings to all the dear people of Azerbaijan and Tabriz.

“Send my greetings to them” [speaking in Azeri].