Ayatollah Khamenei: Advocating Tendency Towards the West is Not Reasonable and Contrary to Lessons of Our History

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on July 2, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a number of students from throughout the country. The meeting was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainiyyah on the 26th day of the month of Ramadan.

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, and may God curse all their enemies.

Meeting the dear students in Ramadan every year is one of the sweetest and best meetings for me. This year too, the comments that the friends in the meeting made were really interesting and enjoyable for me. Of course, they addressed different issues. It was said that there is no time to address all the issues that students would like to address in this meeting. This might be true to some extent, but as you witnessed, different issues were fortunately addressed, all of which were good. I really become happy to see that every year, the level of student thinking, expectations and even discourse has improved and is enhanced. This year, you raised better points.

It is many years now that we have been holding this meeting and I have always paid attention to the progress of student thinking. When this meeting was held for the first time, some of you were not in primary school yet, let alone in university. Today, I can witness that with the passage of time, revolutionary motives and thinking, compelling logic and sound and good reasoning are being developed on a daily basis among students. Today, I witnessed this as well. This is very significant to me.

If there is time, I will raise all my points before adhan. I have many things to discuss. However, what I have written down can be divided in three parts: one is about our hearts and souls and our spirituality. In my opinion, this is the main part of my statements. Another part is about academic matters and matters related to universities, and the last part is about the general affairs of the country. Of course, I will summarize all three of these parts as much as I can.

As for the first part, this year, your meeting – which is usually held in the beginning of the month of Ramadan – was postponed to the last days of the month of Ramadan. Today was the 26th day. This is better in one sense because after spending these hot and long days while you were fasting, you have become more enlightened and pure. By Allah’s favor and grace, more spirituality has been reflected in you. This is very important. Some people might think why I am speaking about spirituality, fasting and the enlightenment of one’s heart despite all the issues that should be addressed – we have all these economic and social issues, such as the issue of oil agreements, the issue of the Bar-Jaam and the statements that the gentlemen raised, all of which are important. I want to say that this is more important than all other issues. This is because you need jihad and fighting in order to resolve problems – by Allah’s favor, I will expand on this matter if there is time – and this fighting and jihad is dependent on an inner power. A person who enjoys that inner power can stand up in the arena of battle. A person in whom that inner element is active and strong can understand things correctly and move forward according to their understanding. That inner element is faith.  

In Sura al-Ahzab, you read, “When the believers saw the confederate forces, they said, ‘This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.’ And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience” [The Holy Quran, 33: 22]. The issue of the confederate forces was an important issue. If we want to liken the enemy front that exists against the Islamic Republic in the present time with the enemy front that existed in the early Islamic era, it becomes something like the Battle of the Confederates. Today, you witness this in the world. All materialistic, power-hungry, criminal, bullying, oppressive and cruel individuals from throughout the world and at different levels have lined up against the Islamic Republic. They have launched certain attacks as well and they continue to launch attacks from all sides.

The same thing happened in the Battle of the Confederates. Perhaps, the population of Madina would not reach ten thousand, counting all women, men, old and young, children and the like. However, the Confederates - the atheists and polytheists of Makkah – chose the best fighting men from all the existing tribes in that region, gathering ten thousand men! And then, they attacked Madina. This was not a minor event. They said that they would go to Madina and murder everyone, including that man who claims to be a prophet – the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) – and his companions, thus concluding the matter. Despite the fact that the Holy Prophet’s (s.w.a.) method was to draw battles to outside the city during the time of war, this event was so dreadful and terrifying and it happened so quickly that he did not have the time to organize and prepare his troops for a gathering outside the city of Madina.

He had to dig trenches around the city of Madina. This is why this battle is known as the Battle of the Trench. That was a very important event. Well, the believers faced that event. The people – those who were living under the leadership of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) – were divided into two groups: one was formed of those individuals who have been quoted as saying seven, eight, ten ayahs before the ones that I recited: “The hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease said, ‘Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!’” [The Holy Quran, 33: 12].

Those in whose hearts was a disease said, “The Holy Prophet did not tell us the truth. He had said that we would win. But behold! The enemy’s army is coming and they will kill us all.” In those individuals, there was a feeling of hopelessness, despair, lack of confidence in the face of the enemy, and a hidden disposition towards joining the enemy. But the other group, who were the majority, said that this is not the case: “This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us.” They said that God and the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) had spoken with them about this, that when you enter the arena, all elements of kufr and arrogance come to show you enmity. They said that this had already been conveyed to them by God and His Messenger: “This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.”

They said that what God and the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) had said was true, that what has happened is the same thing that God had promised.  Instead of weakening their morale, the enemy’s arrival and attack “Only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.” It only strengthened their faith, their obedience to God and their determination and willpower in the face of the enemy. This is because of faith. This is what faith is. When faith becomes rooted and strong in our hearts, then confronting the problems that you referred to – I am aware of these problems and even more: I know of even more problems – will not become difficult, rather it becomes easy. However, there are certain ways for confrontation.

This is the exact opposite of the point that I raised in a meeting with government officials in the beginning of the month of Ramadan: “Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, it was Satan who caused them to fail, because of some evil they had done” [The Holy Quran, 3: 155]. This is an ayah from the Holy Quran as well. The day when the Battle of Uhud began, some individuals failed to resist. They abandoned the arena and they turned victory into defeat. In the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims had achieved victory, but the ignorance, negligence, materialism and short-sightedness of a few individuals turned that victory into defeat. The Holy Quran says that those who brought about that defeat, “It was Satan who caused them to fail because of some evil they had done.” The things that they had done to themselves had exposed them to that error. My dear ones, sins, indifference towards oneself, and failure to observe piety work like this. If we want to resist and stand up against the arrogant front and if we want to achieve the dignity, honor and power that the Islamic Republic deserves and that the Revolution has promised us, we need to take care of our personal conduct and to observe piety. This is what we need.

In two separate parts, the Holy Quran refers to those peoples who believed in God first and who suffered from negligence and ignorance when their next generations emerged. One is in Sura al-Maryam which says, “But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts. Soon, then, they will face destruction” [The Holy Quran, 19: 59]. This ayah means that the first generation fought and believed in God, but that after them a bad posterity emerged - in Arabic, “khalf” and “khalaf” have opposite meanings, “khalf” means a bad posterity and “khalaf” means a good posterity: this ayah says that a good people were followed by a bad posterity - who first “missed prayers” and who then “followed after lusts” and as a result, “they will face destruction”. These two factors, missing prayers and following after lusts, undermines the forces that should show resistance – and this is a kind of resistance that will certainly lead to victory - in the arena of jihad and fighting. These two factors make them hollow and empty.

This is the reason why I issued many warnings about the association of the two genders with one another in universities. I have heard again that this unfortunately continues to exist. One of the brothers in the meeting raised this point. I too have received certain reports in this regard. Officials in charge of academic affairs should answer for this. Students are a source of hope for the country. It is students who can stand up against problems. They are both young and knowledgeable. It is they who should manage the future of the country. It is they who should be wise and well-informed so that they can reinforce the trench of resistance against the greedy, opportunists and others. They should be firm so that they can fulfill this duty. If they “follow after lusts” then they will not be able to do so.

I am not a puritanical person so much so that people think that I am saying this because of my puritanical approach. This is not the case. The issue is that from the viewpoint of Islam, the association of the two genders with each other is not a good thing. Of course, this is alright in formal meetings. Men and women can participate in these meetings together and hold discussions. This is like an Islamic consultative majlis. It is like a negotiation and consultation assembly. However, this inflicts harm and damages hearts in those environments where there is not any limit for such associations.

This issue has also been addressed elsewhere in the Holy Quran – in Sura Al-Araf: “After them succeeded an evil generation. They inherited the Book, but they chose for themselves the vanities of this world, saying, ‘Everything will be forgiven us’” [The Holy Quran: 7: 169]. Once more, “A good people were followed by a bad posterity” is repeated in the Holy Quran. This has been mentioned in two parts and this is the second part: “They inherited the Book” but they were attracted to materialistic things: “They chose for themselves the vanities of this world, saying, ‘Everything will be forgiven us.’”

These are the main problems that we should try to eliminate and you youth can do so. I would like to advise our dear youth and our young students to attach significance and attend to matters related to personal piety, righteousness and purity. You should never forget to recite the Holy Quran on a daily basis although it might be a page or half a page. You should read the Holy Quran every day and you should preserve your relationship with it. Prayers contain extraordinary teachings as well. They strengthen your relationship with Allah the Exalted. This is the truth of the matter.

Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) stood firm. Well, he was alone in the beginning. The people joined him later on. It was later on that outstanding personalities and the masses of the people joined him. However, he stood firm from the beginning during which time he was alone. And until the end of his life, he kept repeating, “Even if everyone turns their back on me, I will continue to take this path.” God too says to His prophet that even if he is alone, he should engage in jihad. He says to him that even if he is all alone, he should go and fight. Of course, the Holy Quran says, “Oh Prophet, rouse the believers to the fight” [The Holy Quran, 8: 65]. It says to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) that he should encourage others to fight as well, but that if he is alone, he should go and fight on his own. This is because of faith. When faith is strengthened in someone, they will go and fight even if they are left alone. Under such circumstances, the problems that emerge in some corner – for example, someone makes an ironic comment and opposes your work – will no longer be considered an obstacle on your way.

You should definitely read the Holy Quran and prayers. You should attach great significance to Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah. In Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah, the fifth prayer is very important. Of course, all prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah are good, but if I want to recommend one of them, I will point to the fifth and twentieth – which is known as Dua Makarim al-Akhlaq – prayers.

All of these prayers have been translated. Fortunately, good translations of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah are available today. The same is true of the twenty-first prayer. These prayers are full of teachings which strengthen your hearts and your steps and which enable you to move forward. Well, you thankfully had the blessing to benefit from this month of Ramadan as well.

What I would like to say now is that whether they like it or not, the people of Iran are involved in a determining battle. Naturally, students are part of and among the leaders of this battle. This battle has begun because the people of Iran are willing to be independent, dignified and advanced and because they like to benefit from their resources on their own. If these tasks are carried out, then a new power will emerge in the world with special philosophies and orientations. This is in conflict with the interests of dominant powers in the world and that is why they do not want to let this happen. The battle begins from this point.

Some people accuse the system by saying, “They want to wage a war against everyone. They do not allow the country to breathe easily and do anything.” These are shallow and superficial comments. They are not correct, rather they are wrong. Imagine that the policies of such and such a government – for example, America – in the present time dictate that they differentiate between the leaders of the Islamic Republic by saying that this is good, that is bad. However, when they have the chance, even that “good” person turns into a “bad” person. Everyone should know this. As long as an issue called “the Islamic Republic” exists and as long as ideals called “the ideals of the Islamic Republic” exist, this does not agree with the stomach of global powers. As a result, they will fight it so that they can grab it in their fists.

In the past and in the present time, some countries have been in their fists. Our country too was in their fists in the past. Well, Iran is an important country. It has important economic, financial, cultural, historical and other such capacities. All of these capacities were at the disposal of America – first England and later on, America. It was they who used to appoint rulers. It was they who brought Reza Khan to power. It was they who brought Mohammad Reza to power. It was they who launched the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad. They used to show different interferences in diplomatic, economic and other policies. Everything was at their disposal. It is this that they want, as is the case in some countries at the present time.

Well, an Islamic country – that once rejected Egypt because of the Camp David Accords and that expelled it from the Arab community – publicly announces its relations with Israel – the Zionist regime. What is the reason for this? The reason is that America wants this. They too like the Islamic Republic and our dear country to be like this: they want us to act in the same way that they like. They want us to move in the same direction that they like. They want us to establish close relations with someone and to break off our relations with someone else. They want us to sell to someone and not to sell to someone else. This is the point where the battle begins. Our people have stood firm at the command of their zeal, of their background, of their identity and of Islam. Islam does not allow this. This is what the battle is. So, there is a battle and this battle is against the Islamic Republic whether we like it or not. As long as the Islamic Republic exists, this battle exists as well.

If they want this battle to end, one of these two conditions should occur: either the Islamic Republic becomes so powerful and strong that it can deliver its message with the result that the other side does not dare to transgress against it- and we are after this.  Or it should lose its main identity and become like a dead body and a meaningless name, just like the countries which are referred to as “the Islamic Republic” but in which, there is no trace of Islam. It is either one of these two ways. There is no third way. Therefore, this battle is definite and inevitable. This is an arena of battle.

And their first target in this arena of battle is the essence of the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic is their main target. The other issues are secondary and peripheral issues. Their main target is what forms the main identity of the Islamic Republic. I have spoken many times about preserving the Islamic Republic. Imam (r.a.) said that preserving the Islamic Republic is one of the most necessary tasks or the most necessary task. However, some people think that by “the Islamic Republic” he meant the current political structure and that we should preserve it at any price. However, this political structure is not the only thing that we should preserve. The Islamic Republic is not only made of a political structure. “The Islamic Republic” means a political structure with a set of goals and ideals. “Preserving the Islamic Republic” means preserving all the values that the Islamic Republic feels committed to, such as justice, progress, spirituality, knowledge, morality, democracy, the observance of the law and idealism.

Idealism is among the main elements of the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Republic is not a superficial and formal thing without idealism. Well, students who are competent and who are an extract of the people’s capabilities – because they are young, knowledgeable and promising and because the future of the country is in their hands – cannot consider themselves as exempt from this battle. They should fight.

There is no doubt that there are certain problems on the path that leads to this battle. Without a doubt, there are big problems on this path which should be overcome. And these problems are of various kinds. The brothers and sisters who delivered speeches in this meeting mentioned many of the problems. Some of these problems are fundamental problems that have received attention throughout the country. The confrontation that these problems require is an external confrontation. Overcoming these problems is the responsibility of the high-ranking officials of the country.

Of course, you have made certain criticisms in this regard. Some of these criticisms are reasonable and some are not. I have written down some of the points that the friends raised in the meeting. The essence of these statements and this spirit of making demands is very precious. My advice is that – I have written it down to discuss it with you – you should not lose this spirit of making demands. Making demands is a very good thing. And the cure for the problems is this spirit of making demands in you. When some people speak about curing the problems, what is this cure anyway? This cure is your spirit of making demands. If there is time, I will provide more explanations in this regard, God willing.

Some of the criticisms were not reasonable, however. For example, on the issue of the new oil contracts – which is a point of discussion- nothing has been ratified in this regard yet. Nothing is certain yet. When this issue was brought up for the first time, we offered some recommendations to officials. We said to them that in order to find out what the problems in such forms and methods of signing contracts are, they should consult with experts in the area of oil economy. They went and consulted with such experts. They held a meeting and they invited a number of economists to say what the problems are. Then, it was decided to eliminate them. After that, they gave me a piece of writing. Then, we examined the case and it became clear that that was the 16th edition. In other words, those contracts and reports have been edited 16 times! They have constantly been revised and corrected.

Later on, when they referred to my office, the individuals in my office said to them that this is not enough because there were other corrections that had to be made and that they had not been made yet. Therefore, as long as these corrections have not been made and as long as this task is not in line with the interests of the country in the real sense of the word, this will not happen and such contracts will not be signed. I too have said that as long as the matter has not been dissolved, no contract should be signed.

It so happened that in our meeting with university professors, one of the people who delivered a speech there was one of the honorable personalities who had participated in our meeting with government officials and who had expressed his viewpoints – which were completely reasonable and solid – in criticizing those contracts in a detailed and thorough manner. Later on, he referred to a possible solution that has been expressed in those writings as well. So, it is not the case that they are permitted to sign those contracts in any way that they like. This is not the case. Of course, you should make your demands. There is nothing wrong with this.

There were other criticisms as well. An example is the measures that are related to the economy of resistance. It was said that instead of repairing the roads, they attend to the issue of airplanes. This is a legitimate criticism. We have this shortcoming and problem. However, you should notice that as I have said many times ago, the Leadership cannot constantly enter into every decision made by various executive organizations. He cannot constantly say that this should be done and that should not be done. This is not possible. Neither the law nor reason gives me this permission. Organizations have certain responsibilities. If an official makes a mistake on such and such an issue and if they do something wrong, this is the responsibility of the Majlis. It is the Majlis that should impeach them.

Or it should be investigated by the administration if the task that has been carried out is a wrong one. The president should intervene and prevent them from carrying out such tasks. It is not the case that the Leadership takes a look at the various decisions that every executive organization makes to see which is correct and which is wrong and to discuss it with such organizations. This is not possible. This is illegal, impossible and unreasonable. This is not a rational course of action. The responsibility of the Leadership begins when he feels that a movement is being launched that diverts the path of the system. Here, the responsibility of the Leadership is to enter the arena and to prevent this movement in whatever ways possible although such cases might be related to peripheral matters.

In a meeting with government officials, which was held in the beginning of the month of Ramadan, I spoke at length about the issue of the Bar-Jaam and I pointed to two specific cases. One was the carbon fibers for which the Americans have a specific plan. The officials in the Atomic Energy Organization were present there as well. In that speech, I said to them that they should not give in to the Americans’ demand on this matter. Well, this was a peripheral matter, but accepting this peripheral case on the issue of the Bar-Jaam would mean that we would have to endure the American impositions. This is a deviation. Therefore, we intervene in such matters although they are peripheral.

The responsibility of the Leadership is to intervene in such cases that divert the general movement of the system and that create certain obstacles. If God helps and bestows His blessings, I will intervene in such cases. But it is not the case that I can say to executive officials to buy or not to buy Airbus airplanes. Of course, I issued some warnings to both the Minister of Roads and to the President and I did this in several meetings. I even asked the center which is known as the “Economy of Resistance Command Center” to look and see which square of the economy of resistance these airplanes fill in. I have said this and I have issued warnings about this issue. However, stepping forward and preventing them from doing such tasks is not the responsibility and duty of the Leadership.    

In any case, many tasks are being carried out in the area of the economy of resistance and my office is constantly pursuing them. I hope that God will help them move forward and carry out the task. I become happy if this is done. I have said to government officials that they should know that if they succeed, I become happy. If the administration succeeds in implementing the economy of resistance, this is an honor for the Islamic Republic, for the Leadership, for the people and for everyone. I will pray for you and help you succeed. They should work so that they can succeed.

In any case, what I wanted to say to you is that fighting involves certain problems. Some problems are related to the macro-management of the country. It is the responsibility of officials to follow up and eliminate these problems whether with diplomatic –  with general diplomacy, fortunately the Islamic Republic’s hands are open in this regard – and cultural methods or with domestic and internal methods and activities such as strengthening the economy, military equipment and the like. These are the main challenges that the officials of the Islamic Republic should face. And some problems are related to matters inside the country. An example is the problems that students have. Without a doubt, these problems exist. The things that were mentioned in the meeting are really problems.

However, these problems should be resolved inside student groups themselves. This means that students themselves should find the solution. Of course, I issue warnings to the officials of the country and to officials of academic affairs, but it is student groups and organizations that should resolve them. Today, I have written down certain things to discuss with officials. Of course, I do not know if there will be enough time or not. Apparently, there will be no time [Audience say “after iftar” and they and Supreme Leader laugh]. I do not know. If there is any energy left after the iftar meal, I will say a few more things. Otherwise, I will speak no more [Audience say salawat]. After all, these are problems that occur and that should be resolved. Officials too should cooperate and help.  

The same faith and inner force that we spoke about in the beginning of the speech will come in handy here. If you become hopeless and tired soon, the task will not move forward. You should not become hopeless and you should move forward. Notice that the Revolution began on the basis of a long battle. The events that took place in the years 1356 and 1357 – during which time the great movement of the people was launched – had not been created at once, rather they had begun from many years before that. They began from the year 1341. This battle and endeavor began from the year 1341.

Those who were making such endeavors in those difficult years with their promotions, explanations and illustrations, by strengthening ideological principles and by clarifying the arenas of the battle did not have an easy job ahead of them. They were faced with certain problems, one of which was imprisonment. One of the brothers in the meeting said that if someone says something which is against what I have said, they will have to walk the long corridors in courts of law. This is not the case. There is not any punishment for speaking against me, nor is this considered a crime. I myself have said this. However, in those days, this was not the case. In those days, opposing a policeman would put you in prison. Opposing the head of shahrbani [a law enforcement agency in the past] would involve many sufferings, let alone explaining the principles of Islam in the face of that regime. It was difficult to do such things.

These courses of action would involve difficulties, imprisonment, sufferings and deprivations, but they stood firm anyway and they fought. And the result of their fighting was that in the years 1356 and 1357, in the wake of a spark, all the people entered the arena. As I have said before, if you resist, if you create a discourse and if you prepare minds, then they will come in handy at the time of need. This means that you can draw the people’s minds towards a truth so that they pursue it. When they pursue it, officials will have to implement it. So, resistance is necessary. When it comes to student affairs, I insist strongly that those who are active in student groups should resist and stand firm. I have many other recommendations to offer as well, but because we have decided to speak after the iftar meal if you and I have the energy to do so, I will forget about them [Audience say salawat].  

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make what we say and what we do serve You and Your cause [Audience say salawat].

The Second Part of Supreme Leader’s Speech Following Evening Prayers and Eating the Iftar Meal:

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

First of all, the existence of students in a country is a great source of wealth. We have about five million students in the country which is a great opportunity. All the officials of the country should take this into account when formulating plans for the future: we have five million students! And they are increasing in number on a daily basis. Graduates come and enter the arena of work. Now, there might or might not be a job market for them, but they enter society anyway. And after that, another group of people joins them. This is a very important strong point. It should be noticed that as the youth explained in the meeting, our strong points are the target of enemy attacks. Without a doubt, the enemies of the Islamic Republic have certain plans for these student groups and they are hatching them. We should look at the future, formulate plans and carry out our tasks by adopting this outlook. Well, certain responsibilities fall on students and certain responsibilities fall on officials. I will briefly explain these responsibilities on the basis of what I have written down.  

You are members of student groups. I should say in parentheses – today, I said this to some of the honorable officials in the Ministry of Science as well – that to me, revolutionary groups are not on the same footing with those groups of people who are indifferent towards revolutionary matters. Revolutionary groups should be strengthened, helped and appreciated because it is they who build and guarantee the future of the country. However, these groups themselves have certain responsibilities. There are two positions for the members of students groups: one is the position of being a student and another is the position of membership in these groups. These two are different from each other.

As an introduction for this part, I should say that the students of the country have recorded an excellent and brilliant performance in the revolutionary era. This has been the case since the beginning of the Revolution. Of course, before the Revolution too – during the time of revolutionary activities – students had an active presence, but what was seen and manifested clearly and what became a factor for the progress of the country was student activities after the Revolution one of which is the formation of Construction Jihad, for example.

Forming Construction Jihad was a great feat. The first blossoms of self-sufficiency, construction, national creativeness and national self-confidence were shaped and borne in Construction Jihad. I have many memories in this regard. In a meeting that I had with students in the past years, I think that I referred to some of these memories. So, I do not want to repeat them because there is not a lot of time. They carried out many tasks. Students participated in Construction Jihad and in University Jihad. Our pious students played their part in purging universities of armed anti-revolutionary elements in the beginning of the Revolution. The different buildings and faculties of the University of Tehran had turned into war rooms for different grouplets. Such grouplets were fighting against the Islamic Republic under different names.

There were two, three kinds and forms of leftist and Marxist groups. There were Munafeqeen and various other groups at this university. And they were armed! Military camps had been looted and that was why they had weapons. They were prepared to cause riots against the Revolution. However, Muslim, pious and revolutionary students confronted and fought against them, thus putting an end to their malevolence. This was one of the greatest tasks that students have carried out.

Another task that students carried out was membership in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. Many outstanding personalities and great martyrs of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps were students. This is the case in the present time as well. Many veterans in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps were students. They were first students and then joined the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. These personalities played a role in the literacy movement of students. They also played a role in the timely capturing of the Den of Espionage in the year 1358. The role of students in the beginning of the Revolution was an outstanding role. This was while students in those days were not comparable with today’s students in terms of numbers. In those days, we had about 200,000-plus students throughout the country. Today, we have about five million. The population of the country has almost doubled, but the number of students has increased by 21, 22 times, approximately.

They were not like you in terms of quality either. Of course, they were enthusiastic, revolutionary and motivated, but they were not as deep as today’s students in terms of revolutionary approach and Islamic thinking. The level of the comments that the students made in today’s meeting is much higher than the level of the comments that outstanding students of those days used to make. Once, we had a meeting in this place. Actually, we held several meetings in a row with students from Amirkabir University – in those days, it was known as the Tehran Polytechnic. The discussion was about whether the Imam’s (r.a.) line is a reality or not and whether it exists or not? They could not understand and tolerate Imam’s (r.a.) ideology. I was among those who were invited. Bani Sadr and some other personalities were also invited and there were three, four students. The discussion was about whether an ideological structure existed in Imam’s (r.a.) statements or not. They could not understand something which is so obvious. Today, this is among truisms for you. The quality of today’s students is much higher than that of students in those days.

However, they accomplished great tasks despite the fact that they were very different from today’s students in terms of quantity and quality. The reason was that they used to work hard, they had zealous and revolutionary faith, they never got tired and they used to work day and night. Under those circumstances, that limited number of students managed to accomplish all these great tasks. Of course, they were inexperienced. They did not have the experience that you have today. However, they carried out many tasks.  

If we want to use this as a criterion for comparison, we should reach the conclusion that you can do work 20, 30 times more than them provided that you preserve that diligence, persistence and motivation and that you move forward. This means that students are a source of wealth – an exceptional one – for the country. Of course, I know that those who have such motivation among these five million students are not many. All the students who are motivated have gathered in revolutionary groups and part of them are outside these groups. Nonetheless, their number is several times larger than the number of those students who were in the arena of work and action in those days. So, they can accomplish many tasks.

There are also some students who are either indifferent or neutral. There are also some students who are completely opposed to this method and who do not agree with pursuing revolutionary tasks. However, those who believe in revolutionary work, revolutionary path and revolutionary faith are also large in number. They are large in number and they have a high quality. You can carry out many tasks in the country.

Of course, many of the youth who carried out those tasks at that time are among the researchers and outstanding professors of the country in the present time. They are among the individuals who have thankfully preserved and increased those faith ingredients. This shows that revolutionary work is not in conflict with becoming a mullah, a scholar, a researcher and a scientist. It is not the case that you either should do revolutionary work or go and study your lessons. This is not the case. I will speak more about this matter. Studying your lessons is an obligation, so is revolutionary work. Both should be done together. So, I said that you have two positions: one is the position of being a student and another is the position of being a member of a student group. These are different from each other. It is clear what the former is: a good student is a student who studies his lessons well and who looks at the surrounding environment with open eyes.  

One of the characteristics of students should be to look at the surrounding environment with open eyes, including the academic environment, the environment of the country, the environment of the region and the environment of the world. I have said many times that in military wars, identification is one of the most effective and important factors. If an army does not have the power to identify, if it does not have the agents to do so and if it does not know how to achieve this purpose, it will suffer from complex problems. Identification means that you go and discover secretly where the enemy’s location is. You should find out where the enemy is located and what talents and resources it has. You should see these things so that you can grasp the opportunity to attack him. However, you should not be surprised by his attacks.

If you cannot make this identification and if you do not know where he is located, then your artillery might open fire, but it will fire at your own side instead of firing at the enemy. If you cannot make an accurate identification in your university or at the level of the country and if you cannot gain a correct understanding of the environment, your artillery will sometimes open friendly fire. Sometimes, you see that two revolutionary groups are confronting and fighting against each other. This is because of failure to know the environment. Another example is a conflict over an international matter which causes some problems. In any case, the responsibility of students is to know the environment. Their responsibility is to know the environment, the world and the region.

When you witness that such and such a person who claims to be an intellectual questions, for example, Hezbollah of Lebanon, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah or another phenomenon, this is because of failure to understand the environment. This is the optimistic outlook, of course.  Someone might adopt a pessimistic outlook towards such individuals as well, but the optimistic approach is that they do not know what is happening in the region. They do not know what Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah mean and what effects his relations with Iran will have on the fate of the country and the Revolution. This is because of lack of knowledge. So, you should look at the academic environment and the environment of the country and the world with open eyes. Two, three years ago, I described this looking at things with open eyes as insight [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on July 28, 2013, in a meeting with students]. However, some people felt a pain in their hearts and they said, “Why do keep saying insight, insight?” Well, this is insight. Insight means looking at things with open eyes.

One of the responsibilities of students is to preserve their religion and their piety. My dear ones, preserving religion and piety is easier for you than the likes of us. You should know this. When we were young, there was a scholar in Mashhad who was a close friend of my father’s. And he was very old. At that time, he was in the same age that I am now and I was young then. He loved us. He used to advise us to appreciate the value of our youth. He used to say that even praying belongs to youth, not to the elderly. This was strange and surprising for us. Well, praying belongs to the elderly, but he said that even praying belongs to youth. In the present time, everyone can feel this. Notice that your hearts become soft and enlightened so easily. You shed tears so easily and you easily establish close relations with God. This is very valuable.

Today, the orientation that exists towards spirituality in the youth environment of the country is very valuable. These Nights of Qadr, these occasions in which all these youth engage in supplication and itikaf, read Dua Kumayl and Dua Abu Hamza, shed tears and pay close attention are very precious. You should preserve these things because they are very valuable. And their value does not only belong to you yourselves, rather their value belongs to the country as well. As I said, when you become pious and when your heart believes in God, then “‘This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.’ And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.” In the arena of war too, faith settles at the heart of the target like a bullet of fire. This is the result of faith and closeness to God.

Another responsibility of students is to adopt a pessimistic outlook towards the enemy’s media current. One of the things that is very necessary is having doubts about the enemy’s media current. Today, one of the areas on which our enemies spend a lot is the area of media. This is very costly for them. They invest heavily in this area and they employ experts. This is very costly for them. Against whom do they do this? Against the Islamic Republic. Well, this media current is doing its best to focus on those points and areas which can bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, for example by creating despair and weak points and then magnifying these weak points and eliminating the strong points completely.

Today, I read in a newspaper – I do not have exact information in this regard and I did not see it myself: I read it in a newspaper – that that English rumor-spreading agency [BBC] did not at all reflect yesterday’s rally. It did not reflect that large and massive crowd that had gathered in Tehran and in provincial cities. This is not an unimportant piece of news. They reflect the most trivial news, but they did not reflect yesterday’s rally. Yesterday’s Quds Day rally was really a phenomenon. In the recent years – during which the weather was very hot, days were very long and the people were fasting- holding Quds Day rally was really a phenomenon. This is their media policy. On the contrary, if there is a weak point, they magnify it a hundred times. One of your principles should be to adopt a pessimistic outlook towards the enemy’s media current – whether his radio and satellite current or his cyberspace.  

First of all, you should know that they lie. What I see in foreign news – in the area on which I have ample information – tells me that 90 out of 100 of their statements are lies: 90 out of 100! They lie and they fake news. They tell big and small lies. It does not matter to them. You should know that in my opinion, one of the responsibilities of intellectual students is this. Well, this is related to your student identity. In other words, you should observe these things as students.

You have some responsibilities as members of student groups as well. These are greater responsibilities. The complex and multi-dimensional environment that exists today is very complicated. It has several layers and it is not like the environment in the 1360s. In the 1360s, things were clear: there was a war in the western and southern areas of the country and an enemy had attacked. It was clear what our responsibilities were. It was clear that everyone should go and play their part, everyone in a different way. In Tehran too, if some flag of opposition was raised, the people themselves would bring it down and they would criticize the elements behind it. This is how a hard war is. The Americans and others have this experience and therefore, they will not start a hard war against the Islamic Republic.

They will not do that because they know that if a military war breaks out, many of their security and cultural plans inside our country will be ruined. Today, they have complex plans. They are security, cultural, economic and political plans and they are interwoven. Under these circumstances, our responsibilities are very heavy. They have security plans for us. It is obvious that these are dangers. These are things which require acumen, wisdom, precision and studying if we want to confront them. We cannot lower our heads and launch attacks. We cannot work with closed eyes. Therefore, in my opinion, the responsibilities of students groups are heavy responsibilities.

On the other hand, there are other groups which do not have the same beliefs as revolutionary and pious groups. I am aware of this. Our dear brother in the meeting also said that all student viewpoints have not been reflected in this meeting. He is right to some extent. Well, this meeting is for revolutionary groups. Of course, the comments that he himself made shows that this is not a completely correct claim. Well, he had some opposing viewpoints and he expressed them. I too thanked him and I always treat opponents like this. However, behaving towards such phenomena requires certain complications. This is because there are different layers involved. Behaving towards them requires precision.

Our first advice to student groups is that they should show their presence. They should be present. By “presence”, I do not only mean physical presence, rather I mean mental and vocal presence – later on, I will speak about the issue of clarification – accompanied by physical presence on the main issues of the country whenever this is necessary. Both the friends and enemies of the Revolution should know your positions about the fundamental matters of the country. When they do not know what your positions are, such and such a European or American journalist comes to Iran and then goes to John Kerry and delivers a report to him. He too says – he said this just two, three days ago – that those who come from Iran inform him that Iranian youth sit in coffee shops, drink coffee and speak about the future of their country. What sweet hopes he has! [Supreme Leader and audience laugh] I do not know how many coffee shops they have visited. Let us assume that they have visited 20, 30, 50 coffee shops. “Coffee shop” means a “ghahve khane”. It is almost a literal translation of ghahve khane. However, some people avoid the word “ghahve khane” and use “coffee shop” instead. Let us imagine that some youth have gone to a ghahve khane and said bad things about the system, the Leadership, Imam (r.a.) and the Revolution and that they have wished it would be overthrown one day.

Let us assume that 100, 150 youth were like this in the 10, 20 ghahve khanes where those gentlemen paid a visit to and that they reported this to Mr. Secretary of State. Now, he takes delight in this and says this to a formal center in an interview or report. It was two, three days ago: I do not remember it correctly. He said this publicly in a report and it was broadcast in the world. Now, if thousands of pious and Muslim students announce their positions about a matter about which he is sensitive, notice what influence it will exert.

Of course, he will not reflect your viewpoints, but he will understand it himself at least. I have frequently said to those individuals who complain that global media do not broadcast revolutionary news that those who should understand will understand it and those who should get it will get it. It will surely reach the President of America, the U.S. Secretary of State, the members of the Council on Foreign Relations, and to such and such decision-making elements. They will understand the message. When you have an opinion about the issue of the Bar-Jaam and when you express it as a student, and when you express your opinions about establishing relations with America, about the economy of resistance and about the future of the country, these opinions are revolutionary, firm and reasonable opinions and they will certainly influence the enemy’s morale.

When I said that you are officers of soft wars, well, these are the requirements for a soft war. This is a soft war. In a soft war, you should not always adopt a defensive position. Sometimes, you should adopt an offensive position as well. Expressing your viewpoints is an offensive position. So, this is one of your responsibilities. You should show your intellectual presence and your positions should be clear. Sometimes, these positions are against the policies of administrations. What should we do to avoid causing conflicts with administrations? There are certain solutions for this as well. By Allah’s favor, if there is enough time, I will refer to these solutions as well. So, one of your responsibilities is to express your revolutionary positions.

However, a few points should receive attention when expressing these positions. First of all, your positions should be cogent. Notice that today, the issues of oil contracts, the economy of resistance and the denial of high salaries in the Expediency Council were discussed. The statements that were made were not exactly correct. The information that was presented was not exact. Of course, I approve of your complaints and criticisms, but the statements that were made were not accurate. You did not have enough information.

For example, one of the friends spoke about organizations that are managed by the Leadership – this is not an exact term as these organizations are “attached” to the Leadership – such as the Mostazafan Foundation and the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Order. Very well, I suggest that student groups organize some tours and go and see such organizations. They have carried out good and interesting tasks. If you were in their place, you would carry out the same tasks. It is possible that you do not like one of the measures that they have adopted or you do not know the reason behind its adoption. This is alright. Good tasks are being carried out. So, you should be aware of these good tasks. Therefore, the positions that you adopt should be well-founded and cogent ones. You should adopt positions that cannot be criticized and questioned.

Second, your positions should be announced at a good time. Sometimes, expressing your position about a particular matter is good at a certain time, but it will not be good the day after that. It might be useless or sometimes even harmful. You should take care to express your positions at a good time.

The people should know of your analyses. So, you should reflect them. Student journals are a good thing to that end, of course provided that they adopt the same orientation that was referred to by that dear head of student groups. In other words, they should remain loyal and publish your revolutionary analyses so that the people read them. Student analyses should really be analyses that are read by the people. In my opinion, an easy thing to do in this regard is to organize a number of speeches before Friday prayer sermons. The students who can speak well should be supported and assisted by the crowd. They should prepare good writings and go and read them out. Some time should be given to students so that they can go and speak before Friday prayer sermons, for example, which are delivered by officials. An example is the Friday prayer sermons that are delivered in cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad and Tabriz. These are not small cities. A student should go there and raise many issues. These are valuable tasks.

Another example is Friday prayer sermons in Tehran. The enemy should know about your analyses. When you analyze events and when you adopt and announce your positions, the enemy should be informed of them. And he is informed. He becomes informed sooner than a number of our friends [Supreme Leader and audience laugh]. Your positions should be well-founded and cogent as well. This is intellectual presence.

Bodily - or as you say, physical – presence is sometimes necessary as well. Holding gatherings is necessary. There is nothing wrong with gatherings. Of course, they should be legal. Of course, sometimes the law might be too strict in some cases and it might be flawed. This is alright. Not everything happens as we wish. Your gatherings are good. You should hold gatherings on important matters and by adopting the correct method. If some people go and hold a rally against the Bar-Jaam in front of the Islamic Consultative Majlis, I do not think that there is any reason behind this course of action. How much time do the members of the Majlis have? The correct way to hold a gathering is to rent a hall where 500, 1,000, 2,000, 10,000 students can gather. Two, three students who have studied the matter well beforehand should go and speak in a reasonable way. This is important. The opinions expressed there will reach members of the Majlis, government officials and the Leader’s representatives. Such gatherings are important.

Sometimes, some students groups would like to “break the lines”. If some people want to cross the Islamic Republic’s red lines, if they are very proud of their course of action and if they want to show their courage and boldness by crossing the system’s red lines, very well, here holding bodily gatherings is very good. Of course, this does not mean that you should go and disrupt their meeting. I have said this before and I would like to repeat it now and I will say it tens of times more that I am opposed to disrupting others’ meetings, no matter what kind of meeting it is. Disrupting others’ meeting is a useless and sometimes harmful course of action. The least is that it is useless. And the most is that it is harmful.

What is the necessity of doing this? They have held a meeting there and they are speaking against such and such a revolutionary principle. Very well, you too should announce that you will hold a meeting one, two days after that here – they will be there and you will be here or in the hall that I referred to – and that you will discuss the matter. You should invite and gather students, discuss the matter and put an end to it. This will be good. You will find some individuals who are willing to listen to you. There are such individuals. After all, students are after knowing the truth. So, physical gatherings are very good and there is nothing wrong with them. However, they should observe the rules and as was mentioned in the meeting, this should be planned in a correct manner.

Officials of academic affairs should help as well. I said this to Dr. Farhadi as well. I had also said it to Dr. Hashemi before. I said it to Dr. Farhadi’s deputy who has participated in this meeting as well. The responsibility of officials in charge of academic affairs is to support revolutionary and pious groups. Those who agree with the Revolution and who are prepared to sacrifice themselves on the path of the Revolution are not on an equal footing with those who are indifferent and possibly opposed to the Revolution.

As ministers, officials and representatives of the Islamic Republic, can you look at them in the same way? Of course, when it comes to public rights, you should look at them in the same way because public rights belong to everyone. But you cannot be members of the Islamic Republic and not support those who defend revolutionary Islam. Similarly, you cannot be members of the Islamic Republic if you support those who attack the Islamic Republic or who are at least indifferent towards it. This is not acceptable. Officials should support revolutionary groups and they should facilitate their presence. So, one of your responsibilities is to show your presence: both intellectual and physical presence. I explained both kinds for you.  

The second responsibility is clarification. Clarification! Clarification is the basis of our work. We address minds and hearts. So, hearts should be convinced. If hearts are not convinced, bodies will not get moving. This is the difference between Islamic and non-Islamic philosophies. In the years before the Revolution, I was sitting in one of my friends’ houses in Tehran. All of a sudden, one of the youth whom I knew entered the house. He was from Mashhad and I knew both him and his father. He was a member of People’s Fedaiyeen Guerrillas and he was one of those who had gone north to announce their position and to fight. I did not know of his arrival. Well, we knew each other. He came and took a seat. Apparently, he had come to receive some financial help or other kinds of help. I said, “What do you do?” and he said certain things in response. I said to him, “If you want to succeed, the way is to speak to the people and to clarify things for them. The people should know why you have gathered in north to engage in an arm conflict and to launch a movement in such and such a city. The people should know it and you should clarify it for them.”

I spoke to him a little about the issue of clarification. He looked at me and shook his head. He was a child. He was much younger than us. He was 10 years younger than us. He looked at me in the same way that a wise person looks at a fool [Audience laughs]. Then he said, “This is your Islamic thinking. This is not how we think. Clarification is not necessary.” This old and outdated dialectic philosophy, which has proved to be wrong – I have heard that some people are pursuing it in universities once more – tells them that the requirement for and the result of dialectic is a war and fight between laborers and employers and therefore, no clarification is necessary. They say this to them.

Well, the inaccuracy and falseness of this approach was completely experienced. It proved to be wrong. When the government was formed, it became clear after the passage of 60, 70 years that it was founded on wrong bases and thus, the structure fell down completely. In the present time, as westerners say, some people are betting on the wrong horse again. They are betting on Marxism! This is not a correct approach. As that youth – who was killed later on – said, Islamic philosophy is based on clarification.

 “Your duty is to deliver the message” [The Holy Quran, 13: 40]. God says to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) that his duty is to deliver and convey the message. You should clarify. You should express your opinions and viewpoints. You should clarify the important issues of the country. You should clarify the issue of the economy of resistance and the issue of scientific progress. These are the important issues of the country. You should clarify the issue of relations with America. This is not clear to many people. If it is not clear for you who are student groups, you should go and clarify it for yourselves. If it is already clear for you, you should clarify it for student groups.

Why do I insist so strongly that no relationship – whatsoever – should be established with America and that we should not even negotiate with that government except on specific matters that are expedient? What is the reason? Well, there is a reason for this. Even those politicians who support America have agreed with this reason in some cases. I have said this before: once one of the presidents in the past terms spoke at length to me – about this matter – in different meetings. Then, he went and said in the Supreme National Security Council, “He has some reasons for which I have no answers.” He was right. I had some reasons for rejecting the idea of establishing relations with America for which he had no answers. He was right. These reasons are very cogent reasons and it is not the case they can be rejected easily.

Well, if you can understand these reasons – and you can definitely do so – you should clarify them for others. You are students, you are young and you have good ideas. The comments that you made today made me completely hopeful. I do not mean the content of your comments. Of course, the content was good as well, but I meant something else. Your comments made me very hopeful because I felt that your minds are working. This is what is important for me. Your minds are working well and they use good discourse. This is very valuable. Now, these minds that are so active should find good arguments for this matter and then promote them. Notice that this is one of the matters which require clarification.

The issue of the Iranian-Islamic lifestyle that we brought up requires studying and research. You should clarify it. You should both apply it in your lives and clarify it for others.

The issue of culture is one of the important issues. You should clarify it. So, the second task and responsibility is the responsibility of clarification. Such clarification can be done both inside and outside the academic environment. As I said, you can do so through Friday prayers and other such events because they can create a discourse. These events generate public thinking and public demands and this is very valuable because it draws the country towards a specific direction. Of course, this requires persistence, resistance, correct expression and repetition. This might take some time.

The third task is that you should increase your political and religious knowledge. You should not say that you know everything and that you have mastery over all subjects. This is not the case. Sometimes, one is at a low level of political and religious knowledge. Today, there are many resources for this task – for both politics and knowledge. As for religion, Qom Seminary – for example – has many good capacities today for the religious thoughts that you need. Of course, one of the friends in the meeting made a severe, harsh, heavy and fierce criticism about Qom Seminary. Half of his criticism is acceptable and half of it is not. We cannot completely reject and completely accept it. It had some flaws as well.

A few nights ago, I saw on TV that one of the great personalities and ulama of Qom Seminary presented a very good and short discussion about the issue of pluralism with a simple Quranic lesson. He presented this discussion because there are some people who want to ascribe pluralism to Islam. This is because Islam has said, “Those who believe in the Quran, and those who follow the Jewish scriptures, and the Christians and the Sabians - any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord” [The Holy Quran, 2: 62]. This ayah might be interpreted in a way that Islam welcomes all religions and that you can practice any religion that you want.

Well, this is a wrong notion, but it is one that some people have been promoting since many years ago with some reasons and long arguments, and by creating some fuss. And they have influenced some poor individuals. Well, I saw that an outstanding religious scholar dismissed this notion on TV with some very simple and completely convincing – completely convincing – reasons. This is very valuable. Another outstanding scholar presented a very good, convincing and clear discussion about the issue of the Imam’s (a.s.) and Prophets’ (s.w.a.) knowledge. I saw this in the month of Ramadan as well. I turned on TV for two nights by chance. Of course, I should say that the TV was already on and I watched these programs. Such programs increase our religious knowledge. The same is true of our political knowledge. You should increase your religious and political knowledge by reading books and listening to outstanding seminarian and academic personalities.   

Another task that you should carry out is to organize scientific tours. Many of you are not really aware of the country’s achievements because of your age. You were just in high school and you have entered a university now. So, you did not have the chance to know about these achievements. We have constantly spoken about nanotechnology. You know that there is a nanotechnology in our country and that some people are working on it. However, you have not paid a visit to nano laboratories and you have not paid a visit to scientific laboratories in order to see their scientific products. You have not paid a visit to public service organizations to see what services they have rendered. So, you should really organize scientific tours. You should sit and arrange it among yourselves. Forty, fifty of you should go here and there and see those achievements. Well, you look at free trade zones and you become sad – rightfully so – but you should go and see these things to become hopeful and happy. You should go and see that such achievements exist in your country as well. This will raise your awareness.

Another task that you should carry out is to hold free debates. Of course, this should be accompanied by the presence and guidance of outstanding professors. In my opinion, this is another responsibility which is the third one.

There is another responsibility for student groups and that is increasing addressees at the level of students. You should increase your addressees. Out of these five million students, the number of those whom you address is very small. Their ratio is a very low ratio. You should do something to increase this ratio. I am not saying that you should increase it by a hundred, eighty percent. I am only saying that you should increase it. And there are certain ways to do so. You should find these ways. You – who are so broad-minded, talented and gifted – should see how you can find more addressees. There are some requirements for this: you should behave well and have the patience to listen to opposing viewpoints.

These are things that are required anyway. You should have mastery over the subject so that you can deliver the message. Sometimes, it is even necessary for you to speak to one addressee only. Sometimes, you should speak to convince only one person. This has happened to me during those difficult times of suppression. I sometimes had to speak for two, three hours to one person so that I could convince him about a specific matter. And sometimes, you have to speak to two, five individuals in several prescheduled or unscheduled meetings. These are things that exert influence. So, you should increase your addressees.

The fifth point – which is necessary as well from my viewpoint – is that you should not have any considerations when defending the Islamic Republic and that you should speak candidly in this regard. The Islamic Republic is a source of pride. Of course, there are some individuals inside and outside the country who want to play down the value of the Islamic Republic. There are such individuals. But they are wrong and they are taking a wrong approach. Some people do this knowingly and some unknowingly. The Islamic Republic is a source of dignity and pride. Your enemy sees the shortcomings and he wants to humiliate and strike the Revolution by relying on those shortcomings, weaknesses and flaws. However, the number of achievements and successes is several times larger than the number of weaknesses and shortcomings.

The most important achievement is that it is 37, 38 years now that a front with great sources of material power – from the east to the west and with different sorts of material power – has been trying to bring this Revolution, this system and these people to their knees, but it has failed. Is this a minor achievement? They frown at such and such a kingdom which makes extravagant claims and all of them tremble with fear and try to win their hearts back. They go and speak to them, they offer them different concessions and they give them bribes so that they can appease them. However, it is 37 years now that they have been working against the Islamic Revolution: they have been working against it in military, security, espionage and cultural areas. They have done thousands of things, but the Islamic Republic has become stronger on a daily basis.

My dear ones, today, you supporters of the Revolution are much better in terms of quantity and quality compared to the beginning of the Revolution. I explained this before. What does this mean? It means that the Revolution is a living entity, one that is growing on a daily basis. Is this not a source of pride?  

Of course, when I say that you should defend the Islamic Republic, some people have gotten used to interpreting the Islamic Republic as the Leadership. For example, when it is said that such and such a person spoke against the Islamic Republic on a specific matter, this is interpreted as speaking against the Leadership. Or when it is said that such and such a person is being supported by the Islamic Republic, this is interpreted as support by the Leadership. This is not what I mean. The Leadership is only part of the Islamic Republic. By defending the Islamic Republic, I do not at all mean defending the Leadership, rather I mean defending the Islamic Republic in its entirety.

And the Islamic Republic is a collection of interconnected values which have thankfully remained so strong. Dear youth, you should know this: the structure of this Revolution is very strong. Its capability and talent to grow is very great. This requires power, assistance and capability and the Revolution thankfully has such things. Of course, problems exists, whether domestic or foreign problems. You cannot imagine the Islamic Republic without the existence of any problem. All reformist movements have had certain problems on their way. The Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution have some problems as well.

The sixth issue is that you should expand and continue jihadi camps. I became happy that a youth came here and spoke about jihadi camps. All the things that he said are approved by me. These jihadi camps are a practice and a service and they are a way to engage in self-edification and to familiarize oneself with the environment of society. They are a very valuable thing. You should be able to develop them on a daily basis. They are a jihadi task as well. They are really a jihadi task. They involve work, jihad, endeavor and service to underprivileged classes.

The statements that were made today about villages are statements that we have been saying to different administrations for many years. This is one example of the issue that I discussed before saying prayers – that the Leadership cannot interfere in executive tasks except for some specific cases. I have offered many recommendations to different administrations – including the current one, the former administration and the administrations before that – about the issue of villages. There are clear ways to attend to villages. The youth in the meeting referred to some of these ways. One is developing industries which are suitable for villages. If these industries are developed, this will be a very efficient course of action.

There are some small industries which are suitable for villages. For example, Urumia has apple trees. However, apples fall on the ground and turn into fertilizers. Their price is so cheap that it is not worth for the owners to spend some money on gathering and sending them somewhere! They are very cheap.  This is while if an apple-juicing factory is built there, all of that wealth will be revived. There are such simple ways. There is no complex way to do so. There are many easy ways with small investments. Sometimes, they say to us, “If we want to create a job opportunity, we need 100 million tomans.” However, the jobs that I am speaking about do not even require 15 million tomans, let alone 100 million tomans. These are clear ways. Well, they should show determination and use these ways. Therefore, in my opinion, jihadi tasks are very good. Attending to the issue of villages is very important.

The seventh issue is that you should pursue the Islamic-Iranian lifestyle in theoretical and practical areas. This is an important issue. You should sit and think about it. You should find its criteria, act on them yourselves and publish it in the form of a guideline. For example, you can publish a pamphlet about the Islamic lifestyle on roads, for example. One of the examples that I gave two, three years ago about this matter was the issue of waiting at the traffic lights. This issue can be expanded and clarified. This is your job. It is the job of you youth who have the patience, the talent, the intelligence and the capability to do so. So, you should carry out these tasks.

The eighth issue is about the discourse of justice, of knowledge-based economy, of Iranian-Islamic paradigms of progress and of increasing the rate of scientific findings. These are the main discourses. You should strengthen these discourses. The discourse of the economy of resistance is a very important discourse. It is possible to implement a plan in the name of the economy of resistance while it has nothing to do with the economy of resistance and it is possible to implement a plan in the name of the economy of resistance while it is completely or at least partly related to the economy of resistance.

Apparently, good tasks are being carried out in the present time. The reports that are delivered to me – these reports are not delivered by government officials, rather they are reports from those outside government responsibilities – are satisfying ones. Most probably, good tasks will be carried out provided that they are continued. I have always said that the chain of action is an individual-oriented chain of action, from top to bottom. All individuals have a mind, heart, willpower and determination. In this five, six-element chain of action, if one of the elements does not want to work, the task will not be carried out.

It is not like an electric wire which makes hundreds of lights come on when you push a button. This is not the case in this chain of action. All of the middle wires have willpower. They are made of individuals. This task requires supervision, monitoring, persistence, observation, and constant demanding and you can play a role in this regard. This was about the issue of the economy of resistance. The same is true of the issue of justice and the issue of Islamic-Iranian paradigms of progress. I do not agree with western development because its bases, principles and many of its branches are wrong, but I believe that – I do not want to use the word “development” which comes from a western and English concept: I deliberately use the word “progress” instead of “development” – this Islamic-Iranian progress can be highlighted in the form of a public discourse and demand. The same is true of increasing the rate of scientific findings.

Another task that I believe you can carry out is forming a united anti-American and anti-Zionist front at the level of students in the world of Islam. You should do this. You should sit and think about it. Then, you can form an anti-Zionist and anti-American front. Today, it is easy to communicate with others. You no longer need correspondence, mail, telegraphs and the like. You can contact students in cyberspace. Something like this has been done already. As westerners say, you should form “public campaigns” in the world of Islam against American domination and against American and Zionist policies. Millions of members should enter this front and this intellectual orientation and you should feed them because they will feed you later on. After all, there are good student ideas in the world of Islam. You should create a great student group in the world of Islam.

The tenth point for you dear members of student groups is that you should not accuse anyone whose thoughts are not completely compatible with yours of being anti-revolutionaries. It is possible that someone’s thoughts are not a hundred percent compatible with yours and that their thoughts are a little different from yours – for example, fifty percent of their thoughts are similar to yours – but that they are revolutionaries. There are certain criteria for being a revolutionary. These criteria might exist in them. We should not immediately accuse individuals of being anti-revolutionaries or non-revolutionaries. As I said in Hazrat Imam’s (may God bestow paradise on him) shrine on the 14th of Khordad, revolutionary approach is like faith for which there are different levels: level one, level two, level three. Some people are at higher levels of faith and some are at lower levels, but all of them are believers in God. Believers are not on the same footing with non-believers and hypocrites although they might have different levels.

The eleventh issue is that revolutionary groups should adopt a convergent policy. Sometimes, you have some differences. Revolutionary groups might have some differences over a certain matter. Well, so be it. Despite these differences, they should add to one another. You should pay attention to your common points. Your differences should not lead to exchanging blows, taking revenge and the like. In my opinion, you should try to institutionalize this in academic environments. You should promote freedom of expression and tolerance. You should promote the toleration of opposing viewpoints and this [adopting convergent policies] is a complete embodiment of it.

The last issue is that you should adopt a strategic outlook towards the Revolution. You should think for 20, 30 years from now as your enemy is doing so. My dear ones, you are 22, 23, 24, 25 years old in the present time. Twenty years from now, you will be forty, fifty-year-old men and you will probably be a source of great services and accomplishments in the country. I am not saying that you should definitely have governmental jobs. That sister of ours – that dear girl – continuously said that officials should think of jobs for those who graduate. But how should they think about finding jobs for five million students? Is such a thing possible? Should anyone who graduates become a government employee? No, they can go to the market and find jobs there.

Of course, the administration should help and there is no doubt about this. However, it should not be the case that anyone who graduates should be placed at a low or high governmental post. But after all, the future presidents, ministers, members of the Majlis and different other officials are from among you. They are from among today’s students. You should adopt an outlook that is orientated towards that day. You should picture a world which you like, one that you can benefit from the day when you want to play your part in the world. You should have such a picture in your minds. You should pursue such an ideal picture.

There is another issue as well: the issue of student heyats which is a very blessed phenomenon. I completely agree with these student heyats because it has a wide spectrum of addressees and it deals with spiritual affairs.

Well, from this point onwards, I will discuss two, three matters about the issues of the country. I have written them down. I think that it is very late [Audience ask His Eminence to continue the meeting]. If you stay awake until the morning, it will be alright because you are young. When I was your age, sometimes I used to stay awake from midnight to the morning in the long nights of winter. I used to stay awake and chat with my friends. But now, this is not the case.

As for the issues of the country, one of the issues that is very important and that I cannot leave out is that it has become common for some people to speak highly of Imam (r.a.), the Islamic Republic and the Revolution but to support and cooperate with someone who says, “The elections are only an excuse, the essence of the system is the main target” [an anti-revolutionary slogan during the fitna of 1388].  This cannot be done. My position on this matter is completely clear. I have said many times that for me, these divisions of “fundamentalists”, “reformists”, “modern reformists” and “traditional principleists” and the other names that they mention are not important. I do not attach any significance and pay any attention to these names. I care about content, but I am sensitive about the issue of the fitna. Of course, those who participated in those demonstrations were ordinary people and they were not to blame, but there were some individuals who were leading them.

And some people took advantage of the situation and said, “The elections are only an excuse, the essence of the system is the main target.” Could they have delivered their message more clearly? Was this slogan chanted or not? Well, if this slogan was, condemning it was necessary and they should have done so, but they did not! In the present time too, some people continue to support them. This is while they speak highly of Imam (r.a.) and claim to be his advocates and advocates of the system and the Revolution. This cannot be done. This is not acceptable. This is a very bad and ugly phenomenon. I do not like this phenomenon at all!   

I have written down a number of issues one of which is this: the issue of rationality. Today, many things are said about reason, rationality, the wise, the wise personalities of the people and the like. The wise personalities of the two parties should sit and speak to one another: this is a rational approach. We very much agree with rationality. The Holy Quran too has said many things about reason. Islam has also offered many words of advice about reason. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) was one of the greatest rationalists of the world. He was a man of reason and reasoning. The Revolution too was a reasonable revolution with firm principles. Therefore, we agree with this approach. However, we should see what reason dictates. In my opinion, those who advocate a tendency towards the west have lost their rationality and they do not think at all. In my opinion, those who say that we should rely on and seek refuge in the west and that we should strengthen our friendship with westerners for the sake of the progress of the country are not speaking reasonably.

Well, the west has given us many experiences. The first thing that reason does is to benefit from experience. It was westerners who imposed Reza Khan on us. Then, we had 20 years of strange, bizarre and singular tyranny and dictatorship. Later on, westerners imposed Mohammad Reza on the country. The people did not have any part in this. It was westerners who said that he should take his father’s place. Then, westerners helped him to overthrow a national government. Westerners themselves overthrew the government of Mosaddeq which was a national government – I am not dealing with his beliefs- his government was a national government anyway - on the 28th of Mordad.

Westerners established SAVAK [the Shah’s murderous secret police] in our country as a tool for suppressing any opposing viewpoint in a bizarre and peculiar manner! I once said that I had a prison mate in Qezel Qala prison [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on May 9, 2005 in a meeting with university professors of Kerman province]. His crime was that he had written a very nonsensical poem in his friend’s calendar. It was really at a very low level in term of poetic quality. The poem was:

 “Say all of you, ranging from young to old

May God damn Reza Shah the Great!”

They sentenced him to six months in prison for that wrong and ridiculous poem! And there were many cases like this. It was not at all possible for us to imagine having a manifesto against the regime. At that time, one of our friends had just come from Pakistan to Mashhad. He said that he and his friends read such and such a manifesto in a park. I said astonished, “In a park! Can one read a manifesto in a park?” It was not possible for us to imagine that one could read a manifesto in a park. The era of suppression was like this. Well, it was westerners who created this. There were so many executions, murders and strict measures and so many people were sent into exile and to prison. This was what they did until the Revolution.

From the Revolution onwards, you have seen what they have done. It is clear: the first sanctions, attacks, treacheries, espionage attempts, security infiltrations, and vast and comprehensive propaganda attacks against the Islamic Republic were carried out by westerners, by the Americans and by the Europeans. And look what they did afterwards: before the imposed war, they helped leftist grouplets: those grouplets were leftists, but their supporter was rightist America! During the imposed war too, they helped Saddam with missiles and biological weapons – as is commonly said today, with chemical bombs. They helped Saddam like this. They gave him military plans and they gave him all sorts of help.

And the war lasted for eight years. Eight years is not a joke! And after the war too, one of the plots that they hatched was to bring down a plane. They struck a passenger plane with about 300 people on it. That shameless man who was the President of America at the time said that he would not apologize to Iran. Well, the hell you did not apologize! They did not even apologize!

Who are these people? What does experience say to us? And after that, various events have taken place until the present time. And in the present time, we have the issue of the Bar-Jaam. Well, was it not France whose Minister of Foreign Affairs entered the arena in a shameless way to – as was common in those days – to play the role of a bad policeman, to adopt strict measures and to exert new pressures and make new excuses? And the Americans did so in a different way.   

I have spoken at length about the issue of the Bar-Jaam. I spoke about it both in that meeting [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on June 14, 2016 in a meeting with government officials] and in a meeting with government officials [delivered on June 22, 2016]. So, I do not deem it necessary to speak anymore in this regard because of certain reasons. However, on the issue of the Bar-Jaam, something was proved to be true and that is the fact that the Americans are showing enmity towards us. They are showing enmity towards us. This enmity is being shown not only by the U.S. Congress – which is playing the role of Shimr [the cursed person who murdered Imam Hussein (a.s.)] – but also by the U.S. administration. These people who do not play the role of Shimr are also showing enmity towards us. However, their manner of showing enmity is different from the U.S. Congress. But they are showing enmity anyway. This has become clear.

Well, we should use these events as experience. Reason dictates that we respond to them with wisdom and with acumen, by taking the necessary precautions and by refusing to be deceived by them, to get close to their plot zone and to enter the arena that they have drawn. They very much like to sit and cooperate with Iran on issues related to the West Asia region – a region comprised of countries like Syria, Lebanon and other such countries – and they have said this openly. But we do not wish to do so. Their problem is Iran’s presence. They want to negotiate with the purpose of putting an end to Iran’s presence. So, what should we negotiate about? They say that Iran should not be present in this region at all. This is their problem and they want to solve it. Why should we help them resolve that problem? On the contrary, we do not want America to be present in that region. Therefore, this is what reason dictates.

Well, I think that I spoke a lot. The last word is that my dear ones, we have stood firm. This humble person has a religious, shar’i and moral responsibility. I have stood firm in confronting anti-revolutionary forces and those who oppose the Revolution. And as long as life flows through my body, this resistance will exist! And I trust our people! There are so many pious individuals and advocates of resistance among the outstanding personalities of the country – including academic personalities and students – that every hopeless person is encouraged, let alone a person like me who is already encouraged. So, this resistance exists and the result of resistance is victory.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings



  • This a great speech. "there are some people who want to ascribe pluralism to Islam. This is because Islam has said, [2:62]" Not some people, but the Holy Qur'an itself has done so repeatedly, as for instance in 5:44 to 5:48 of Surah Al-Maida, concluding in 5:48: "To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute." That's a pretty categorical statement. No ta'wil by any scholar can go against the prima facie meaning of the Holy Qur'an. The full context of pluralism in Qur'an is examined (from a student's effort) in: http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2016/01/what-quran-says-about-multiculturalism.html . I invite Ayatollah Khamenei to kindly respond. Thank you. Zahir Ebrahim, Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
  • 2016-09-19 22:30
    i really appreciate the wisdom of the leader.