Imam Khamenei

It is the Islamic Republic which gives us an environment of freedom: Ayatollah Khamenei

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on May 17, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with people from various social backgrounds. The meeting was held two days before presidential elections.

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, and upon his pure, immaculate, chosen and infallible household especially the one remaining with Allah on earth, and may God curse all their enemies

You are quite welcome, dear brothers, dear sisters. On these important and auspicious days, you have enlightened our hussainiyah with your presence, with your sincerity and with your kindness.

These days are very valuable days because they are the last days of the auspicious month of Sha'ban. We should always keep in mind that we should make the most of the opportunities that Allah the Exalted provides for us. One of these opportunities is the auspicious month of Sha'ban which is the month of praying, of supplication, of reliance on God and of waiting [for the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (a.s.)].

Another great blessing is the blessed month of Ramadan which is imminent. In the month of Sha'ban, it will be very appropriate for us to prepare ourselves for the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is the month of divine banquet. Entrance into the arena of divine banquet requires some preparedness. We should prepare the ground for this preparedness in ourselves.

This is easier for you dear youth than for us. With their pure and sincere hearts and without the impurities that emerge in individuals over the course of time, youth can be more prepared. And they should appreciate the value of this preparedness and the value of the prayers of the auspicious month of Sha'ban – in particular Dua Sha'baniyah and the well-known prayers that have been narrated by the Imams (greetings be upon them).

Once, I asked our magnanimous Imam (r.a.), "Which ma'thur prayer [prayers which have been narrated by the Infallible Imams (a.s.)] from Ahlul Bayt (greetings be upon them) are you more interested in and more attached to?" he answered, "Dua Sha'baniyah and Dua Kumayl." Imam (r.a.) – that experienced mystic who was a man of action on the path of God – paid special attention to these two prayers. I hope that by Allah's favor, all of us can benefit from the remaining days of the month of Sha'ban and that we can achieve spirituality in this arena of divine mercy. This is the main issue. 

Another point that is noteworthy on these days and that I prefer to discuss a little is the issue of the upcoming elections. The people – the Iranian nation – are preparing themselves for a great epic which is the upcoming elections and they are doing so in an enthusiastic and excited manner. According to the things that I have heard and the information that I have received, the excitement and enthusiasm about elections thankfully exists in the people throughout the country. The people are preparing themselves. Well, this is very important.

This is the shining of the people of Iran in another great epic. Every election that you participate in is an epic and a great popular movement which is visible to people throughout the world. These elections increase the people's dignity and national power. Elections are like this. They display Islamic democracy to those who make extravagant claims about politics in the world. Religious or Islamic democracy was a new idea and a new experience for humanity which was presented by the Islamic Republic and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). You will display and demonstrate this on Friday in front of the eyes of people all over the world – including politicians, analysts, officials, managers, non-managers and the masses of people. Such is the significance of elections.

And I will tell you that everyone in the world has pinned their eyes on these elections of yours. When I say, "everyone", I mean the officials of countries including the governmental organizations of the U.S., European governments and countries, the governments that follow America in the region and that broken-neck prime minister of the Zionist regime [audience laugh]. All these countries and governments have pinned their eyes on you so that they can see how, with what level of participation, and with what spirit you will enter the arena on Friday. Everyone is watching. This is one side of the issue.

Another side of the issue is related to regional peoples most of whom look up to the people of Iran. Many of them envy the freedom and democracy which exists here. They look and they admire the people of Iran. They are your friends and they have also pinned their eyes on Friday elections. If our elections turn out to be weak elections and if the turnout of the people is low, they will make certain judgments and decisions and if the people participate in an intelligent and strong manner and with a high turnout, they will make different judgments and express different opinions.

The Islamic Republic truly finds fresh impetus by repeating these elections in specific years and in specific eras. It shows itself – to the hearts and eyes of people throughout the world - in a new and outstanding form and in the form of a special entity. That is why election days are days of celebration for the Islamic Republic. They are days of joy and excitement.  

If you look at the region – our region: West Asia and North Africa – you will see that it is drowned in insecurity today, whether because of the presence of terrorists and armed elements who are mostly strengthened by malicious and vicious governments, or because of civil wars in some countries. In the case of the latter too, we can again witness the hands of colonialist powers. This is insecurity. The environment is not safe. Take a look at regional countries and see if there is any country which is free of this insecurity. Among these dangerous countries and environments, the Islamic Republic is thankfully busy organizing elections with security and tranquility.

Only two days remain until the elections. Thankfully, the environment of the country is a safe, calm and tranquil environment. These things are very valuable. Dear brothers, dear sisters, we should greatly appreciate the value of these things because they are very precious. An election is being held in an eighty-million country – they said that fifty-plus million people are eligible to vote – and the people are preparing themselves in an excited and enthusiastic manner, but peace is established everywhere. This is very valuable. This is very significant. Therefore, the value of this should be appreciated.

It was the Islamic Republic which gave us an environment of freedom despite the fact that some people show ingratitude. These people use this free environment, but they deny the existence of freedom. This is ingratitude and ungrateful. Well, they are free to do so. There is thankfully a free environment in the country. There is an environment for the presence of the people and for the people to exert influence through their votes. The people can vote, express their opinion and make decisions in the area of electing the highest-ranking executive official of the country which is presidency and also in electing civic managers during city and village council elections. This is very valuable.

Certain peoples in our region – whose governments are supported by the regime of the United States of America – envy and covet this condition that the people of Iran enjoy. It is a dream for them to be able to enter the scene. It is a dream for our regional countries to witness that two, three, five individuals compete about the presidency and that the people have the right to choose one of them. This is being repeated every four years in our country. the people enter the arena and they choose. This is very valuable. Therefore, the value of this should be appreciated.

The people's presence on this scene is very meaningful. This is suggestive of two major points. Of course, there are other points as well which follow these two points, but there are two points which are more fundamental in this popular presence: one is the people's trust and interest in the Islamic Republic: their bond with the Islamic Republic. And another is the people's power to make decisions. These two points are very important.

When you show your presence on the scene, you show that you are attached to the Islamic Republic which has managed to bring the country independence and freedom. And you also show that the people of Iran are a lively, prepared, determined and decisive nation. You show this as well. Both these things are of great value for the country. Of course, there are subcategories and additional advantages for each of these two things. The more the people show their presence and the stronger the discipline that thankfully exists among the people, the more the people of Iran will be valued and respected in the eyes of global spectators.

The point that I raised about discipline is a very important point. The people's discipline is very significant and valuable, both before, during – the day of elections - and after elections. The people's discipline and commitment to order and to the law is very important. This is what many countries do not have, but our people are thankfully showing that they have it. We people of Iran have learned this from previous experiences. We have experienced this. It is many years now that we have been experiencing it. The people of Iran have experienced how beneficial this discipline is and how detrimental lack of discipline and lawlessness is. The people of Iran have experienced this.

Well, there are many candidates in the arena. They speak and express their opinion and each of them has their own supporters. There is nothing wrong with this. One of these candidates will finally "win", as is commonly said. I myself do not believe in winning and losing. One person will finally be voted and some individuals will not, but the main winner in this event is the people of Iran. No matter who will be voted, the main winner will be the Islamic Republic. The main winner will be the people of Iran. No matter who will be at the top, those who will actually win will be the people who choose a person with their votes. This is very valuable.

Well, various organizations are thankfully in charge of the elections. I should tell you this: everyone should know that executive organizations and organizations in charge of exercising supervision and ensuring security are busy working seriously. They are trustworthy and they are working. And they are doing so in a well-organized manner. Despite this, I stress that these trustworthy organizations should protect and guard the people's votes. They should protect the people's trust. Well, it is possible that in this process, some people might want to commit some wrongdoings. However, these organizations – whether organizations in charge of supervision, executive organization or the organizations in charge of ensuring security - are thankfully trustworthy and reliable. All these are valuable organizations and they are busy working.

Of course, everyone should be vigilant and know that the people of Iran have certain enemies. In the face of the enemy, the people should take on an appearance which is suggestive of decision-making, self-confidence, tranquility and peace. These two qualities should exist: firm determination and willpower in those situations where one should make a decision, and self-confidence and a feeling of power and capability accompanied by reliance on Allah the Exalted. Fortunately, the people of Iran enjoy this quality and we can feel it.

Well, during electoral debates, certain statements were made which did not befit the status of the great people of Iran, but the presence of the people will resolve all these matters. By Allah's favor, these things will not influence the presence of the people. By Allah's favor, the people – all men and women – throughout the country will participate and grant dignity to the Islamic Republic with their presence and firm determination.

I would like to say something to the supporters of presidential candidates. Well, each of these honorable gentlemen has certain supporters, advocates and devoted and ardent fans. They should keep their equanimity. Both supporters and their committees should preserve their equanimity and discipline. Their goal should be to fulfil their duties. This is what is important to us. This short life and this short era of working and making efforts – whether by this or that person – will pass. What will remain is our actions which will be calculated by God and for which we will have to be answerable: "And help me when you ask me questions tomorrow."

On Judgment Day, Allah the Exalted will ask us certain questions. Therefore, we should think of and work for it. The masses of the people, the candidates who have entered the arena of the elections, their supporters and their friends should act in a way that every move that they make is considered as a good deed by the angels who record our actions. They should act in a way that their actions, their behavior and their statements are considered as a good deed before Allah the Exalted. They should act in a way that Allah the Exalted rewards them for their good actions.

When will this happen? It will happen when we do things for the sake of God. Everyone should try hard, launch campaigns and work. This is good, but they should make their intentions divine. If this happens, Allah the Exalted will bestow His blessings on our work. He will bestow His blessings on the people of Iran. By Allah's favor, that which is to the advantage of the people of Iran will happen. In any case, all of us have the responsibility of observing and being committed to the law and legal discipline.

Dear brothers, dear sisters, I will tell you that in every era that the Islamic Republic has gone through, the Islamic Republic has moved forward with the various conditions that have existed in the world, in the region and in our country itself. The performance of officials like me might not have been positive, perfect and comprehensive in some areas, but the great movement of the Islamic Republic, the presence of the people and their cooperation with the Islamic government have done their job and thus we have moved forward.

By Allah's favor, this progress will continue on a daily and periodic basis and the Islamic Republic will see the day when the enemies become disappointed and stop making threats and extravagant claims against the Islamic Republic and the people of Iran, God willing.

I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows His blessings on the people of Iran.

I hope that Allah the Exalted blesses the big test that is ahead of us, God willing.

I hope that He will make happen those events which are in the interests of the country and the people.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings




  • 2017-05-24 18:23
    Masha Allah! Iran is a blessed country because it has the command of a great leader! The words that Ayatollah Khamenei says, translate peace, humility, strength and trust! How blessed all you are! May Allah protect him and blessed him with long life and always in straight path! Allah bless you all! Salam aleikom w rahmatullah w barakatoh!