Ayatollah Khamenei

I Will Seriously Defend Any Action Adopted in the People’s Interests

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on April 6, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the government officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the occasion of Norouz.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

May your eid be blessed. I hope that by Allah’s favor, this eid – both the eid of Norouz and the eid of the birthday anniversary of Siddiqat al-Kubra (God’s greetings be upon her) - will be blessed for all you dear brothers and sisters. I hope that it will be blessed for both you, and for your families, your children and your spouses. The spouses of officials will undoubtedly receive a major share of divine rewards. They endure many difficulties that originate from your responsibilities, your preoccupations and your problems, but it is you who become well-known, and who are praised and thanked by the masses of the people and outstanding personalities and no one thanks them. I both congratulate and thank them – your spouses and your families – because of the patience that they show and the assistance that they give to you which helps you attend to the important duties, responsibilities and tasks that fall on you in the best way possible.

The eid of Norouz is really an opportunity for us Iranians. Even if we ignore the relationship between this specific day and the events in the history of Islam – some people associate this day with eid al-Ghadir and some people associate it with other days, but I cannot pass a judgment about the accuracy of these associations – this eid in itself is really a great and good opportunity as it marks the beginning of our solar year and it is associated with the emigration of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.).

Eids are like this. They show a turning point and the beginning of a new era to people. This feeling of entering a new era helps us to summon up a new enthusiasm in ourselves, to formulate new plans and to make innovations. This is a very good thing. This is why all nations in the world place a great value on their new years. In some countries, this significance may stem from a religious cause, like Christianity and some other religions. And in some countries, this is not the case. New years in these countries do not originate from a religious cause and they only mark the beginning of a new year. The beginning of a new year means a new day, a new task, a new innovation. This is what it means. This feeling that is generated in us is a very good feeling.

Another blessing of the eid of Norouz is these meetings and this coordination between us. You who have gathered here are the main officials of the country. Officials from the three branches of government and some other organizations have gathered here and they are sitting next to one another: officials from the executive, legislative and judiciary branches and from other revolutionary organizations have gathered together and they are showing a kind of unity. This is a very valuable thing and it is very important for any country.

National unity is only one issue. Thankfully, the Islamic Republic has been benefitting from the advantage of national unity from the beginning of the Revolution until today. However, there is another thing in addition to national unity which is agreement, unanimity and harmony among the officials of the country. This is a very important thing. And this is not in conflict with having differences of opinion and opposing viewpoints. Well, everyone has a certain viewpoint. You might have a specific viewpoint on such and such political, economic and other such issues, and your brother, friend and colleague in your organization or in any other organization might have a different viewpoint. There is nothing wrong with this.

The important thing is to preserve the unity of the path, the direction and the goal because this is what shapes officials’ unity and ultimately, national unity. This is a very good thing. Today’s meeting, for instance, is the manifestation of this unanimity, harmony, cooperation, camaraderie and friendship. The value of this should be appreciated. We find this to be very valuable.

I believe that without cooperation, the affairs of the country will not move forward. We have gained many experiences in the course of these 30-plus years. Even if there are differences of opinion over a hundred issues, this will do no harm and the task will move forward if the officials of the country have the same viewpoint about one purpose and one goal which forms the general, fundamental and revolutionary goals of the Islamic Republic. This is the main issue and this is what we want. Well, we thankfully feel that this exists in the country. The officials in the three branches of government and the main officials of the country have the same viewpoints and opinions about the major goals of the system although there might be differences of opinion about methods, procedures, means and the like.

Gathering together is another blessing of the eid of Norouz. For example, we have not seen Mr. Jahangiri for a long time, but today, we have thankfully managed to meet with him and with other friends in the shade of the eid of Norouz. These things are very good.

In this meeting, I have an opportunity to thank the friends who are making great efforts in different areas, particularly in the area of the economy of resistance. We mentioned the name of Mr. Jahangiri. He is supposed to play his part as a manager and commander of this base, which is a great task. I insist that such commanding be carried out in the real sense of the word. Well, organizations have certain policies, tasks and ordinary and routine duties. The role of the commander is to see which of these tasks is within the framework of the policies on the economy of resistance, which is indifferent towards the economy of resistance and which works against it. These things should be examined.

The first group should be strengthened, the second should be drawn towards the economy of resistance as much as possible and the third should be completely prevented. This is what is expected. Well, I am aware that the gentlemen in the administration are really busy working hard: both he and his colleagues. We should really thank them for carrying out this task.    

We named this year “The Year of Action and Implementation”. By action and implementation, I meant that a comprehensive and all-inclusive effort should be made in a way that we can receive reports at the end of the year and the friends in the administration report that and such and such tasks – for example, ten tasks – have been carried out. For example on the issue of production and knowledge production, they should report that such tasks have been carried out. Or on the issue of financial relations and foreign trade – they should report that such and such courses of action have been adopted. This means carrying out specific and clear tasks. This is what I expect and I hope that by Allah’s favor, this will be done.

Of course, I have the feeling that the group of people who have been appointed for this purpose can carry out this task. By Allah’s favor, the Majlis will help them as well. Other organizations too can each play their part in different ways. Revolutionary organizations can really play a role in this regard. The important point is that this center is a center of thinking and action. This is the characteristic of commanding. It both involves thinking and action. This is not merely a coordinating committee, rather it is a command center, a base. In the meeting that we brought up this issue, we explained the difference between a base and a committee. A base is a command center for a specific operation like military bases. It benefits from different organizations for attaining a goal that has already been laid out.

So, this base is both a center of thinking – where they should sit and think – and action. This means that certain orders should be issued and follow up should be carried out so that the results of the work can be seen. These tasks should be carried out, God willing. This is what we expect and I am completely hopeful that these tasks will – by Allah’s favor – be carried out.

Of course, we will not raise our expectations. I am aware of the existing obstacles and problems. Lack of funds is one of our problems. However, you should make up for this. You should take a look and see in which areas you can economize. In whichever areas you can economize, you should do it and then you should spend the amount of money that has been saved on those areas where there are some shortcomings. We have many projects on which a great amount of money is being spent, but which can be economized. So, you should make up for shortage of financial resources. Of course, organizations might face some difficulties as a result of this, but if by Allah’s favor, the task is carried out with determination and if it is managed well, this will be possible.

I believe that we do not have any shortcomings in terms of management. We really have very good managers in the country. Well, I have many years of experience. I have been in the center of administrative work and I have also witnessed different administrations from the outside. To be fair, we really have competent managers. Their management is good in terms of motivation. They are good managers in terms of both thinking and action. We do not have a shortage of managers. We only need follow up and concentration and concentration is the main thing: the concentration to make decisions, to command and to implement.

I have pointed out this to our honorable President as well. Well, a president has many duties. When individuals look at things from afar, they do not become aware of the wide scope of activities that a president has. Managing the country in different areas is not an easy task, rather it is a very difficult one. During the blessed life of Imam (may God bestow paradise on him), some people used to go to him, complaining about the way certain tasks were being carried out. They used to say that such and such a thing has been done in such and such an area. In response, he always said that managing the country is a difficult task.

This is really the case. I myself have experienced managing the country. It is really a difficult task. It is not easy. So, a president has many preoccupations. The first vice president – who has an outstanding and prominent position – can enter these areas with complete authority and in a very efficient manner, God willing. This is what we expect. We want this task to be accomplished.

I seriously defend and support any course of action that is adopted in the direction of the people’s interests and solving their problems no matter if it is adopted by the administration or by the Islamic Consultative Majlis. The important thing is that one feels that a task is being carried out which is beneficial and necessary for national interests. If on any issue –whether the issues that are related to the executive branch or the issues that are related to legislative and judiciary branches – I feel that a task is  being carried out that serves the people and that is for the people, I will seriously defend it. I will use all the power and energy that exists in this humble person to support a task that is in the interests of the people and that solves their problems.

The important point is that we should rely on ourselves. This is the basis of the work. Others cannot be relied on. Foreigners cannot be relied on and trusted. During the time of nuclear negotiations, I continuously – perhaps, four, five times or even more – said that the Americans cannot be trusted. In the present time, you can witness this. The things that they say, the statements that they make and the behavior that they show completely underwrites what I said at that time. They cannot really be trusted.

The Americans are a symbol of bad behavior and bad conduct, but they are not alone in this regard. There are others as well who engage in bad conduct and bad behavior. To sum up, they cannot be trusted. We should trust ourselves. We should rely on ourselves and know that we can. We should know that Allah the Exalted will help us as well. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says, “When Allah had observed our truth, He sent ignominy to our foe and sent His succor to us” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 56].

When we enter the arena and move forward in a sincere manner, Allah the Exalted will definitely assist us. Well, life has certain peaks and troughs. Our personal lives have certain peaks and troughs, let alone our social lives and the life of a people. There are times when you face certain problems and when you experience unpleasant situations and there are times when you experience success. There are all kinds of conditions and circumstances. The main point is that by Allah’s favor, we should follow that straight line and that straight path and move forward.

In any case, I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow success on all of you. I always pray, I always pray for all the officials of the country. I pray for all those who are moving on this path and for all those who are making efforts in different corners and in different ways. Of course, my prayers are of no significance and value, but I carry out the duty of saying prayers in any way. You too should show determination and work hard so that by Allah’s favor, we will achieve results.

And I would like to stress the issue of production. The issue of domestic production should be taken very seriously. The main key to all tasks is the issue of domestic production. In both areas – both the Ministry of Industries and Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture – the issue of production should be taken seriously. Allah the Exalted will help you as well, God willing.