Ayatollah Khamenei attended IRGC cadets' graduation ceremony

The enemy wants to take away Iran’s deterrent power: Ayatollah Khamenei

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on May 10, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, at Imam Hussein (a.s.) University on the occasion of the graduation ceremony of a number of cadets, and Imam Mahdi’s (a.s.) birthday anniversary.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad

I hope that by Allah's favor, it will be a blessed occasion for all you dear brothers: for both the graduates of this university and for the new entrants and cadets who will achieve the status of Guardians by passing educational and training levels.

This month is the month of Sha'ban. It is the month of showering divine mercy. If we take a look at the chapters of Dua Sha'baniyah and those prayers which are particular to the Fifteenth of Sha'ban Night and other duas and prayers, we feel that the month of Sha'ban is a very valuable period of time for benefitting from God's mercy. With pure hearts and with prepared souls, you dear youth can benefit a great deal from it and I hope that God willing, you will benefit from the blessings of this month and from divine mercy in the month of Sha'ban.

One of the most prominent characteristics of the month of Sha'ban is the issue of the auspicious birthday anniversary of the pole of the universe – the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). The prominence of this day and this night has increased considerably because of this great birthday anniversary. Of course, the night of the fifteenth of Sha'ban is an auspicious night in itself as it is a night of praying and supplicating. It has been said that the night of the fifteenth of Sha'ban is one of the Nights of Qadr. However, its greatness has increased because of this birthday anniversary.

Let us pay attention to the holy existence of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) by raising a few points about that great personality. Of course, primarily, we should congratulate all you on this birthday anniversary, on these days and on the sweetness of the auspicious birthday anniversary of that great personality. From start to finish, the month of Sha'ban is the month of divine blessings, of sweet occasions and of glad tidings.

Of course, this year, we became mournful because of the incident that occurred in a mine [referring to the explosion of a mine in Gulistan province and the loss of many miners] and before that, our hearts became grieved and mournful because of the incident related to our border guards in the south of the country [referring to the martyrdom of a number of border guards of the Police Force of the Islamic Republic in Mirjaveh, Sistan and Baluchistan]. Nonetheless, the month of Sha'ban is the month of happiness and love for Ahlul Bayt (greetings be upon them).

As for the Imam of the Age (may God hasten his reappearance and God's greetings be upon him), the first point is that that great personality is an inviter to God. Looking at that great Imam (a.s.) is a way of expressing one's love for and obedience to Allah the Exalted: "greetings be upon you who invite to God and who are conversant with His signs" [Ihtijaj, Vol.2, page 493]. All things, all prophets, all saints, all holy beliefs and all pure souls who cast light on our lives, on our world and on the entire universe are the signs and reflections of God. This is a point that should receive attention. We pay attention to the Imam of the Age (a.s.), and we appeal and show humility before that great Imam (a.s.) so that this humiliation reaches the Esssence of the One and so that we show our obedience to Allah the Exalted. 

The second point is that the name and remembrance of that great personality constantly reminds us of the fact that the rise of the sun of truth and justice is definite at the end of this dark night. Sometimes, when humans see the big waves of darkness and oppression, they become disappointed. The remembrance of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) shows that the sun will rise and the day will come. Of course, darkness exists. There are certain oppressive individuals and creators of darkness in the world. They have been there for several centuries, but the end of this dark and black night there is definitely the rising of the sun.

This is what belief in the Imam of the Age (a.s.) teaches us. This is the definite promise of God: "Greetings be upon you who raised the flag of knowledge, you supporter of people, you bringer of God's mercy and you harbinger of a promise that is not a lie" [Ihtijaj, Vol.2, page 493]. This is the inviolable promise of God.

In the beginning of the dua, it has been mentioned: "Greetings be upon you bringer of God's promise, one which is guaranteed to be true." A promise that has been guaranteed by God is the reappearance of that great Imam (a.s.). So, this is the second point. Those who believe in the reappearance and existence of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) never become disappointed and hopeless because they know that this sun will definitely rise and that it will wipe away these dark and black spots.

The third point is that we are ordered to wait. Wait for what? Waiting means being prepared. In military jargon we have an order called "being on standby". Waiting means being on standby. We should be on standby. A pious person who waits is a person who is on standby. If your Imam, who is responsible for administering justice throughout the world reappears today, we should be ready. This state of being on standby is very important. Waiting means this. Waiting does not mean showing impatience, and stamping one's foot as a sign of impatience saying, "It is too late. Why has it not been done yet?" Waiting means that you should constantly be on standby.

The fourth and the last point is that waiting requires self-edification and action. We should edify ourselves. We should be interested in taking those actions that gladden the heart of that great personality. If we intend to take such actions and engage in such self-edification, we naturally cannot be satisfied with individual actions. There are certain responsibilities in the environment of society, of the country and of the world which should be carried out as well. What are these responsibilities? This is an issue which requires insight, understanding, a global outlook and broadmindedness. This is something which you dear and active of youth of the present era are responsible towards.

As for Imam Hussein (a.s.) University, first of all, it is a blessed occasion for you who are at this university and for its present and future graduates. This is a very valuable and precious opportunity. Secondly, this university is the place where new saplings grow on a rich land. This university is the place where talented individuals can reach a point which is a source of envy for every knowledgeable and outstanding individual when they look at it.

When a person like our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) – who was a great and spiritual personality, who was knowledgeable about religion and who was a faqih and a sage: Imam (r.a.) was not a small personality – looked at the position of the soldiers of Islam and the martyrs of this path, he did so with envy. This has been mentioned frequently in his speeches.

This university helps youth reach that point. Imam Hussein (a.s.) University is the manifestation of this holy ayah: "Like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong. It then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, filling the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the unbelievers with rage at them" [The Holy Quran, 48: 29]. Sometimes, those who have set up this farm wonder at its products! This is a blessed farm which can grow such rich and fruitful saplings and present them to society: "It fills the unbelievers with rage at them." Unbelievers become angry, irritated and outraged at the individuals who grow there.

Today, if we look at our social classes, there are a number of classes which are obviously the target of arrogance's grudge and this is evident in the international propaganda of arrogance, in the statements of its politicians and in the behavior of those who hatch plots for it. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps stands at the top of these classes. Why is that? Why are they on such unfriendly terms with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps? Why do they show such enmity towards the strong youth who are trained and cultivated there and who grow in the area of spirituality? This is because they are a source of power for the country. This is a very important point. The reason behind their enmity is that this group of people are a source of power for the country. Anything that is a source of power for Islamic Iran becomes the target of their rage, their grudge and their enmity.

There are two, three other examples which I will mention. Science too is a source of power. Our scientific progress is the target of their enmity and grudge as well. You witnessed that they sent some agents and assassinated our nuclear scientists. They identified them one by one. They tracked them and they gave money to their mercenaries in order to assassinate them. Science and scientists are among those things which are the target of their rage and grudge.

Our country's strong and independent economy is a source of power for us as well. That is why they are opposed to it. They impose sanctions to damage the economy. They adopt various measures. I wish our pious economists explained to the people the measures that our enemies beyond our borders use in order to prevent us from having a solid, independent and strong economy inside the country. Why do they do so? They do such things because the economy is a source of power. Every country which has a solid economy has a source of power.

Military strength is a source of power. You witness what uproar they create in the world about matters related to our missiles. They say that Iran has missiles and that its missiles are accurate. Yes, we have missiles and we have accurate missiles. Our missiles can hit a target at a distance of several thousand kilometers within a distance of a few meters. We achieved this with power and we will preserve and increase it with power, God willing. They are opposed to it and they show hostility and grudge towards it because it is a source of power for the country. You witness what they are doing in the world. 

Self-sacrificing military personalities are a source of power as well. As well as military organizations, a self-sacrificing individual, a Sayyad Shirazi, a Shahid Shushtari and a self-sacrificing individual who is a military personality and who is altruistic and honest is the target of their rage and grudge. These personalities were not martyred in the war, rather they were assassinated. In other words, they were identified, chased and assassinated because they showed themselves as an obstacle on the way of the enemy's transgressions and because they were a source of power for the country. So, they show enmity towards such personalities as well.

The faith, modesty and morality of youth are sources of power as well. They are opposed to these things too. They are so active in cyberspace and in media and they spend billions in order to take away faith, commitment to sharia and modesty from the Iranian youth. Why do they do so? They do so because these elements are a source of power for the country. They show enmity towards pious, religious and modest youth who have faith in God, who do not slip up in the face of these lustful instruments, who can preserve themselves and who are a source of power for the country.

The spirit of jihad and resistance in a nation is one of the sources of pational ower as well. That is why they are opposed to the spirit of jihad and resistance. In the intercolonialist discourse, they accuse the spirit of resistance and jihad of violence. They accuse it of violence and extremism. Unfortunately, we sometimes learn these phrases from them and repeat them inside the country. This is because the spirit of jihad and martyrdom is a source of power for every country.

Well, all these things are a source of power and all of them are the target of the enemy's grudge. But the thing which ensures security is more important than security itself. The group of people who can ensure the security of the country is more important. That is the reason why they are opposed to the organizations which ensure security – one of the most important of which is the Armed Forces. The reason is that if security does not exist, science, the economy and creativeness will not exist either.

The thing which helps a country to train scientists and to grow in different areas is the existence of security. The haven of security is the most important and essential thing for a country. Those organizations which ensure the security of the country are a source of distress for them. That is why they are trying to destroy the security that exists in the country. This is a very important point.

Well, my dear brothers, my dear children, my dear youth, today we are the "government of resistance". The "government of resistance" is very important. It is different from such and such a resistance organization and resistance orientation in such and such a country. Being a "government of resistance" is different from being a "resistance personality". Of course, the enemies are opposed to all these things. Global arrogance – which is oriented towards greed and transgression and which likes to possess all worldly and otherworldly sources of wealth in the world – is opposed to every resistance element. They are opposed to resistance organizations and to resistant individuals. But these things cannot be compared with the government of resistance which is formed on the basis of resistance.

The Islamic Republic is the government of resistance. It is a government of resistance which has politics, an economy, international action, and an extensive influence zone inside and outside the country. This is very important and it cannot be compared with any other resistance element. That is why all enmities throughout the world – whether on the part of the seekers of power or on the part of their servants – are aimed at the Islamic Republic.

Well, what does the "government of resistance" mean? It means refusal to give in to bullying and to greed. It means adopting a position of power. The government of resistance adopts a position of power. Notice that the government of resistance is not interested in showing transgression, in seeking dominance and in possessing the wealth of other nations and countries. Nor is it interested in adopting a defensive and passive position. It is interested in none of these things.

Some people think that if we wish to dismiss the accusation that we are interested in seeking international and regional dominance and power, we should adopt a defensive approach. This is not the case. We will not adopt a defensive approach. We will not adopt a passive position, rather we will adopt the position that is stated in this ayah: "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies" [The Holy Quran, 8: 60].

We will adopt a position which has been described in this ayah as "To strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies." What does the Arabic phrase "Tarhebuna behi" [literally meaning striking fear, intimidating] mean? It means the same thing which is referred to as "deterrent power" in today's political literature. The Islamic Republic is in a position where it can benefit from "deterrent power". It has the power to deter. Therefore, they want to take away this power.

Whatever the Islamic Republic has and whatever it has achieved so far – it has achieved these things with its own innovations and determination and it is not indebted to any other government and power – it has achieved them in order to deter and in order to have deterrent power. From now on too, it will continue to take the same path. From now on too, we will move forward on the path of increasing this deterrent power as much as we can and with all our power, with all our effort and with all of our human resources – which are not few in number.

We will do this so that the enemy will not think of transgressing and so that he knows that if he behaves in a transgressing manner, he will receive a hard blow and a harsh response. Long ago I said that the time of "hit and run" against the Islamic Republic is over [Supreme Leader's speech delivered on September 22, 2007 in a meeting with government officials]. It is not the case that others can hit and run. If they hit us, they will be in trouble. They might be the ones to start, they will not be the ones to finish. They will not have this power. This is the power that the enemy is afraid of. This is the power that the enemy will not like the Islamic Republic to have.

Well, what is the target of the enemy's attack? I will tell you that you are my dear brothers, my children and my youth. The report that our honorable commander delivered here shows that you receive training in insight, in spirituality, in political outlook and the like as well as receiving military training. What is the enemy pursuing? What is the enemy's goal in the Islamic Republic? What is the target of the enemy's attack?

I will tell you that the enemy has a short-term, medium-term and long-term goal. The enemy's short-term goal is to undermine the security of the country, to create uproar and fitna in the country and to destroy this great honor that the Islamic Republic has thankfully achieved. In a tumultuous and chaotic region – or it is better to say in a tumultuous and chaotic world – we have managed to create a safe environment for our country. This has been achieved by the people. This has been achieved by our diligent officials. This has been achieved by our awareness, our vigilance and our up-to-date quality. They want to take this away from the great people of Iran. One of the most important goals or the most important short-term goal of the enemy is to eliminate the security of the country. Later on, I will say a few more things in this regard.

Their medium-term goal is the issue of the economy of the country and the issue of the people's livelihood problems. The economy should not move forward, the people's livelihood issues should be up in the air, labor and production should be low in the country, unemployment should become epidemic in the country in the form of a disaster and the people should become disappointed at the Islamic Republic and the Islamic government because of their livelihood problems. This is the enemy's goal. They are after this. They are working to that end and they are planning for it.

As they themselves put it, they are forming think tanks so that they can carry out this task in our country. This is their medium-term goal which they are pursuing. When we understand this goal, we should cure it. And we can cure it if we can collect ourselves, if we pay a little attention and if we pursue the matter. If we pursue the slogan that I brought up in the beginning of the year – "The Economy of Resistance: National Production and Employment" – then the enemy's plan will definitely backfire. Similarly, if we pay attention and if we are prepared for confronting and facing their medium-term and short-term goal – the issue of causing insecurity and creating uproar and tumult – we will definitely be able to foil this plan.

And their long-term goal is the essence of the Islamic government. One day, they used to say openly that the Islamic government should be destroyed. However, later on, they witnessed that this statement would be to their disadvantage because first of all, they would not be able to do so and they would get stuck in it. Besides, they witnessed that they would be discredited before their supporters, the governments dependent on them and their mercenaries in the world. That is why they modified their statement and spoke about a change in the Islamic Republic's behavior.

At that time, I said to the dear officials of the country, "Gentlemen, notice that changing our behavior is not different in any way to changing the system." Changing one's behavior does not mean that if we go to work at 7:00 a.m., now we should change it to 7:30 or 6:30. Changing one's behavior means that if we are taking the path of Islam, of the Revolution and of Imam's (r.a.) line, we should deviate from these by an angle by 20 degrees in the beginning and later on by 45, 90 and then finally by 180 degrees. This means that we should move in the opposite direction. Changing one's behavior means this. It means the same thing as destroying the Islamic government. This is their long-term goal. Therefore, the enemy's goals are these. The enemy is the enemy. He will exploit all means of enmity.

Let me raise a few points about the elections as well. Elections are one of the areas which can both be a source of progress and reputation for the country and a source of weakness, frailty and emergence of problems. Elections are like this. If the people participate, if they do so in an orderly and ethical manner, and if they observe Islamic limits and the law, this will be a source of reputation and dignity for the Islamic Republic. However, if they break the law, if they behave in a bad-tempered manner and if they make the enemy hopeful with their statements, then elections will end up to our disadvantage.

We are not beginners in the area of elections. It is 37, 38 years now that we have been involved with elections. In the past, there used to be almost one election per year. It is several years now that we have been holding one big election in the country every two years. We are experienced in the area of elections. We know what elections are. We know that those who are involved in the elections might enter certain intellectual environments. We know what enmities they might face. We know what temptations they might confront. These are things that we have experienced. These are clear issues.

I would like to advise all the honorable gentlemen who are running in the presidential elections and I would like to say to them – we have already said to the people what should be said to them – that they should pay attention to two, three points in their promises, in their statements and in the programs that they present to the people.  One is economic issues. They should definitely pay attention to economic matters. They should make it clear that they want to make efforts for the economy of the country. This is one of the most important issues. They should say that the people's livelihood problems are of primary importance to them.

The second point that should stand out in their programs, in their statements and in the promises that they give to the people is the issue of national dignity and the independence of the people of Iran. Gentlemen, the people of Iran are a revolutionary people. The people of Iran are a dignified nation. The people of Iran are a people who liberated themselves from the depth of weakness and dependence and reached the height of power and international dignity. These people should not be undermined! These people should not be let down! These people should not be forced to submit to other nations and to big powers! These people are alive with power!

If the power that our people are exhibiting did not exist, then the enemy would not be satisfied with giving some order to our president and our officials, rather he would come and dominate the country. They want to do the same thing to the Islamic Republic that they are doing to some dependent, mercenary and dishonorable countries in some parts of the world including in our region and they would do this if the people's power did not show itself. They wanted to do the same thing to our people. National dignity and the people's pride and greatness in the face of arrogance should be observed. Presidential candidates should show that they have stood firm in the face of the U.S.'s greed and the Zionists' malevolence.

The third point that should receive careful attention in the programs, statements and promises of the honorable candidates is national security and national tranquility. They should try not to provoke ideological, geographical, linguistic and tribal fault lines. They should be vigilant! It is many years now that our enemies have been working on these fault lines. The enemies of the Islamic Republic worked on Kurdistan, but our pious Kurdish people put a fist into their mouths! Later on, they worked on and invested in the zealous and courageous people of Azerbaijan, but the zealous people of Azerbaijan stood up like owners of the Revolution and they confronted and rejected them.

They had the same plans for the Arab people of Khuzestan, the people of Baluchistan and the Turkmens. They are working, they are investing, they are spending money, they are hiring mercenaries and they are fabricating stories in order to activate these fault lines, but the Iranian ethnicities have stood with all their power and with all their sincerity, purity and faith. Presidential candidates should take care not to pursue the enemy's half-finished and failed plans as a result of misjudgment. They should take care not to activate these fault lines.

The issue of security and tranquility is very important for our country. During the elections, the officials in charge of security and tranquility – including the judiciary branch, the Police Force, the Ministry of Interior and others – should take care to ensure security. If someone intends to revolt against the security of the country, they will certainly face a harsh response and reaction. They should know this!

A wealthy, vicious Zionist from America once said that he had managed to turn Georgia upside down with only 10 million dollars! In the year 1388, he thought of doing the same thing to the Islamic Republic. Notice what this mistake in comparison and this foolishness in understanding results in when comparing the great Islamic Republic and the great people of Iran with nth-rate countries in the world that they want to meddle in. Well, they confronted the firm wall of national willpower and determination!

Today, the same conditions exist. They should know that security is very important for our country. The people care about security. This humble person too attaches great significance to security in compliance with the people. During the elections, security should be completely preserved and everyone who deviates from this path should know that they will certainly be slapped across the face!

All powers belong to God. Hearts belong to God. Hearts are "inbetween the Willpower of the Beneficent God" [Speaking in Arabic]. Hearts are in the hands of God. By relying on divine kindness, the people of Iran took this path with power and from now on too, they will continue to take it. And among the people of Iran, youth have a more important role and among youth themselves, you dear youth have certain honors and qualities. You should appreciate the value of this and you should thank Allah the Exalted for it.

Dear God, by the blessedness of the promised Mahdi, and by the blessedness of the person who "resolves people's livelihood problems with the blessing of his existence and who is the reason why the sky and the earth stand upright", protect these youth, all the youth of the country and all the great people of Iran in the shade of Your kindness and attention. Help the people of Iran to defeat their enemies.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), associate the pure souls of martyrs and the immaculate soul of the Imam of Martyrs (a.s.) with the pure souls of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.).

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings