Imam Khamenei

Islamic Revolution completely liberated Iran from the quagmire of being dominated: Ayatollah Khamenei

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 7, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with students on the 12th day of the month of Ramadan. The meeting was held following the terrorist incidents that took place in the Islamic Consultative Majlis and Imam Khomeini's (r.a.) Holy Shrine.

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 pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

It was a very good meeting. The points that the dear academic brothers and sisters – my own dear children – raised here were extraordinary and elegant. Of course, they have probably not covered all the issues and intellectual concerns of the academic society of the country. This is natural and as the dear youth in the meeting mentioned, I can completely understand and accept this. What was said was only part of the intellectual concerns of our students, not all of it. This is correct, but the points that were raised were very cogent, compelling and rational. I really enjoyed it.

I might disagree with some of the statements that the speakers in the meeting made. However, the cogency and power of the statements and the efficiency of the minds – the minds which prepared these statements – cannot be denied. The brothers and sisters – both the dear two sisters and the brothers who spoke – raised very good points. The concerns of these brothers and sisters and their outlook towards the various issues of universities are legitimate concerns. I have written down the points that they raised in brief. All their points, in their entirety, were recorded as well and they will be implemented. I might take a look at them. I will probably look at them again. I will look at either all or part of these points and by Allah's favor, I will benefit from the parts that are useful for me.

However, I believe that the honorable officials who are present in the meeting – whether officials in the Ministry of Science and Islamic Azad University or officials in other divisions – should benefit from these youths. They should benefit from these thoughts and these minds. The level was very high and their understanding was deep and sophisticated. We enjoy this.

It is many years now that we have been holding this meeting. I do not know how many years, but it is a long time. Every year, we have a meeting with students. Perhaps, it is 20 years now, more or less. I do not remember exactly. I clearly feel that the level of student thinking has improved. This is exactly the same thing that I expect. This is exactly the same thing that we need. Of course, they are young and they have certain expectations, many of which cannot be met. And they naturally have certain complaints as well. This is correct and it should be discussed in the right place and in the right time, but these thoughts and statements will make their impact.

It should not be assumed that they were merely "some statements" that we made and that it is over now. This is not the case. These statements will surely make an impact on the future of the universities of the country and on the future of the country in general. They will make an impact on public opinion of the people. These statements are very important. I too have written down some points to discuss all of which complement the statements of these dear ones.

I have certain points to raise about students and universities. These points are about my outlook towards universities and students and my expectations of them. And I have some points to raise about student groups as the brothers who spoke are representatives of these groups. So, I will discuss student groups as well. I would like to make some introductory statements:

In our political discourse, there is a key phrase, namely "the system of domination". This key phrase is very meaningful and significant. What does "the system of domination" mean? I would like to carry out a quick review of the past and of historic roots and then I will discuss our present-day conditions. The system of domination means a global bipolar system between countries: a clear bipolar system which is strengthening on a daily basis. This is the system of domination. One pole is the dominant pole and another is the dominated pole. This is a bipolar system.

As I said, there are many interesting things related to this phrase. I have touched on this issue in recent years, but when you students sit and think in intellectual gatherings, you can find more and better issues which are relevant to this key phrase. In any case, two groups of countries came into being in the world:  dominant and dominated countries. This has been the case since two, three centuries onwards.

Of course, dominant countries were mainly and generally comprised of European countries and there are certain reasons why they turned into dominant countries and what qualities they enjoyed which helped them reach this point. For example, are they the superior creatures? Are they intellectually superior to others or are they superior because of certain factors? Were these factors the reason why part of the world or a certain country become superior to others? There are certain reasons behind this which I do not want to discuss now because it is not our main discussion. This is what happened in any case: the emergence of dominant and dominated countries.

As a result of this, some dualities came into being. An example is the duality of progress and stagnation. In other words, the dominant countries kept making progress at lightning speed – the rate of their speed increased continuously – and the dominated countries became stagnant and backward. There is an important point in this regard. It should not be thought that the dominated countries – Asian, African and some Latin American countries which were subdued by the dominant countries – were without science, culture and civilization from the beginning. This is not the case. You should look at Nehru's 'Glimpses of World History'. In this book, he explains that when the English entered India, the Indians had industry: an advanced industry on the basis of the standards of those days. Nehru says this in 'Glimpses of World History'.

India had the advanced industrial products of those days. The same is true of other countries. When the English entered India, they stopped this. They did something to bring the domestic industry of India to a halt and to make it retrogress so that they would need the imported industries and products of the English. They planned for this. This procedure was adopted in other countries as well. It happened in Iran as well.

Of course, the big difference between Iran, and India and other places was that there was no official colonialism in Iran. There was infiltration, but no colonialism. However, there was official colonialism in India. This is the duality of progress and stagnation.

Another duality is the duality of creativeness and imitation. The dominant countries engaged in introducing new innovations on a daily basis in life, in science and in various resources. However, the dominated countries engaged in continuous imitation without showing any creativeness or without being allowed to do so. The former engaged in innovating while the latter engaged in watching and imitating.

Another duality is the duality of independence and dependence: political independence and dependence. A small country like England was independent, while a large subcontinent, namely the Indian Subcontinent – which is comprised of India, Pakistan and future Bangladesh – was under the influence of the English and it was politically dependent on it. A country like Iran was politically dependent as well despite its cultural background. It was dependent both in late Qajar era and in Pahlavi era. Which country was it dependent on? It was dependent on a small country like England. This was how such a duality came into being: political independence and political dependence.

Self-confidence and passiveness. This is another duality. The dominant countries had self-confidence. They talked and demanded and they considered the world as their property, but the dominated countries – which were of course much larger in number – had a passive, submissive and weak mentality.

Another issue is that the dominant countries embarked on exporting their worldview, culture, traditions and customs. One of the requirements of the system of domination was that the countries which were innovative, advanced and self-confident wanted to transfer their customs, traditions and worldview to the dominated countries and they used to accept it. This transference was manifested in the form of books, research and all sorts of things, for each of which there is clear historical evidence. If you are interested in studying and if you pursue such matters, you will easily find this.

As well as this, they formulated plans for continuing this policy. The dominant countries formulated accurate plans for continuing this policy. They wanted to eternalize their culture and make it irrevocable. Such a thing happened in the world. This has been the way of the world in the past two, three centuries.

Of course, amid these developments, certain events took place and some countries managed to liberate themselves from this quagmire. Of course, they did not liberate themselves completely. They managed to liberate themselves in certain aspects. For example, a country like the United States of America – which had been dominated and colonized by England – managed to liberate itself in the area of politics and economy, but not in the area of culture. In the area of culture, they continued to be completely influenced and passive against Europe.

And this process has continued until today. Another example is India. India managed to liberate itself in the area of politics. It managed to get rid of the English domination to a large extent in the area of economy, but this did not happen in the area of culture. It failed to liberate itself in terms of culture. There are such things.

In one of the cities of India, I saw that there is a statue in the center of a square. I asked, "Whose statue is this?" They answered that it is the statue of an English general who used to rule over the Indians. I said, "I seek refuge in God! Why have you set up the statue of an oppressive person whom you fought for so long until you managed to throw him out?" His statue was there! It might still be there in the present time. It was set up in one of the southern provinces of India.

I saw something like this in Africa as well. In an African country, I saw a statue in the middle of a tourist jungle – they had taken us there for a tourist visit. I said, "Whose statue is this?" they said that it was the statue of such and such an English ruler who had ruled over that country. His name was written there too and the jungle had been named after him! So, they could not liberate themselves culturally speaking. This is the way of the world! 

Well, our Revolution and the Islamic Republic resisted this condition, managing to completely liberate Iran from this quagmire. This is important. You should not say, "How completely? Many cultural elements of westerners still dominate our country." This is true, but these are some violations. The Revolution officially confronted the west in terms of worldview, philosophy, culture, economy, politics and all aspects of management. "Neither East Nor West" which Imam (r.a.) announced as the slogan of the Islamic Republic meant this. So, the Revolution is not under any influence. Of course, this is like a law which is ratified, but which is violated in some places. There is a world of difference between legality and non-legality. This became a law in the Islamic Republic. Liberation from everything that the system of domination imposes on a dominated country became a definite and irrevocable law.

And the Islamic Republic managed to resist and to show steadfastness. All tools and instruments were really used against the Islamic Republic. As these dear friends and dear youths mentioned – they spoke about today's incident [the terrorist incidents which occurred in the Islamic Consultative Majlis and Imam Khomeini's (r.a.) Holy Shrine] and they really raised good points – today's generation and today's people of Tehran should see what terror means and what terrorist moves are. They should see how two, three, five innocent people are murdered during an incident and who the attackers are.

In the past, this situation continued incessantly throughout the country for two, three years. They used this instrument and they also used war, coup d'état, propaganda and sanctions. They used all tools against the Islamic Republic, against the Revolution and against this great movement, but they did not succeed. It was the Revolution which succeeded, which moved forward, which imposed itself and which created the Islamic government.

Some people murmur, "The Islamic Republic is inefficient." Why do they say this? Because such and such a ministry has had a poor performance. This is not the case. If the Islamic Republic were inefficient, it would have been swallowed and annihilated 10 times over already. The biggest evidence why the Islamic Republic is efficient is its existence and survival. The fact that a political system stands firm, speaks in an outspoken manner and without any apprehension, and announces its positions in a decisive and outspoken manner while it is aware of enmities – we are not unaware of enmities: all the pillars of the Islamic Republic, the people and governmental organizations are aware of these enmities – is a very important issue. This is a very astonishing event.

The greatest sign of the efficiency of the Islamic Republic is that it has managed to preserve itself on this path. Besides, we have not included the numerous achievements that some of the brothers in the meeting pointed to. And this is one of my words of advice. Our pious, hezbollahi and revolutionary youth should not forget about the achievements of the Islamic Republic. The achievements of the Islamic Republic are not a few, rather there are thousands of such achievements. This was pointed out in the meeting as well. Today, there are the best experts and most prominent specialists in a country which used to employ such and such Indian and Filipino doctors in the past. And this is only one aspect of our achievements. There are tens and hundreds of such achievements which should receive careful attention.

In any case, this Revolution managed to give us identity and ideals. This is important. We have found an identity. We have understood who we are. We have understood that we are not digested in the stomach of global politics and the system of domination. We have understood that we exist and who we are. We have an identity and we have ideals. The Revolution gave us ideals: numerous ideals which I will refer to.

So, that vicious circle was shattered. As a result of this, an inevitable battle began. When such circumstances arise, which people form the other side? On that day, I said in Imam's (r.a.) Holy Shrine that the other side is formed of strong and capable governments and very influential orientations. These are political orientations which give power to governments in Europe and in the US and which oust them later on. They bring governments to power and they oust them later on.

All these orientations have deployed their forces against the Islamic Republic. They have tested their capabilities and they have delivered their blows. This was how a battle began: a hard, semi-hard and soft battle. They began hard, semi-hard and soft battles. And universities formed one of the arenas of this battle.

Willingly or unwillingly, students were drawn to this battle from the very first day. Of course, students had been busy fighting during the time of revolutionary activities as well. Since the day when the Islamic Republic was formed and the Revolution achieved victory, universities became involved. The battle involved many centers, but one of the most important centers was universities and students. At that time, the enemy focused on universities and students and they dominated it in the beginning of the Revolution. The enemy managed to take control of universities.

Perhaps, in those days, many of you had not been born yet. You were definitely not students, but in those days, I had meetings in Tehran University every week. Every week, I used to go to Tehran University mosque to deliver a speech and to answer students' questions. And students would gather, posing questions and discussing their issues and we used to answer them.

At that time, there was a war in the real sense of the word. There was gunfire inside the university. I used to go there once a week on Sundays or Mondays. One day, when I reached the gate, some people approached and said that we should not enter because it is dangerous. I had some bodyguards with me. They too said that we should not enter. I said, "It is not possible. I have to get in. Students are probably waiting for me at the mosque." So, we entered the university.

It was empty. There were some gunshots and they were shooting at each other. They were doing this at this very same Tehran University! I went to the mosque and I saw that nothing was happening there. And students had not dropped by. They were afraid and when youths are afraid, we too… So we returned [Supreme Leader and audience laugh].

There was such a condition in universities. Universities had really turned into a war zone. Such was the domination of the enemy. Now, who were those people? There were leftists and royalists! Those people who were always confronting one another had joined forces against the Revolution, the Islamic Republic and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). They had become allies. There were the elements of SAVAK [the Shah’s secret police] as well. After all, SAVAK agents had wives, children and students. Those people were present too. There were Marxist leftists, Fadaiyan-e-Khalq, Mujahedin-e Khalq and all the people whom you know and whom you have heard and read about. All of them had joined forces against Muslim youths.

Of course, revolutionary Muslim students conquered the universities. You should know this. Muslim students conquered the universities both in discussions and in fighting. That is to say, students managed to conquer the universities during the events that took place. Of course, later on, universities were closed down. However, after all these events, certain problems arose among Muslim students themselves. They conquered universities and captured the Den of Espionage [US embassy], but they were defeated from the inside.

In my opinion, this is a noteworthy point. Why were they defeated? Because they were suffering from weak analyses and weak content. Of course, there was enthusiasm and excitement – vehement enthusiasm and excitement - among them. In those days, some students did not even consider us – who had just been released from prison, who had been exiled and who had suffered from such things – as revolutionaries! They were even criticizing us!

Some are currently alive in the present time as well. Some of them are still alive. They were really orthodox. They were ardent and orthodox revolutionaries. They were really vehement revolutionaries. However, they did not have the necessary content. That is why they received a blow at a sensitive juncture. Well, there are many events in this regard and I do not want to review all of them. I only wanted to make a passing reference to the roots of academic events.

What I want to say is that they have made many efforts against universities during these years for the sake of eliminating them from the scene of the battle. And the reason is that universities are important. If universities are at the service of the Revolution, they become very important. They are much more influential than many other groups in society. First of all, all of them are young. They have little attachment to material bonds, they are prepared, they have active minds and they are smart. These are very important qualities.

Secondly, they influence the environment of society. Revolutionary students can influence their surrounding environment – their family, their relatives, their friends and after that, their social environment. So, they endeavored and worked very hard in order to empty universities of revolutionary identity. They formulated many policies in this regard. Unfortunately, they were helped inside the country in some cases so that they could de-revolutionize universities. They wanted to take away revolutionary and hezbollahi spirit and the spirit of fighting from academic environments. These were introductory points.

I would like to say something to you. I know that all the academic groups of the country with the diversity that they enjoy – the groups that are present in universities with different motives and orientations – are not present here. I know this. I am not unaware of the condition that exists today in the universities of the country. However, I want to address those revolutionary groups which are interested in revolutionary matters and those which love the Revolution. I want to address those groups which consider the Islamic Revolution as the means for the salvation of the country and for building the future of the country in the real sense of the word. I am addressing these groups.

I would like to say to you students that you should feel that you are present in the front lines of this battle. There is a battle which is not over yet and which might not be over in the near future either. It might continue to exist for a long time. You should feel that you are present in the front lines of this battle. You should see the scene of conflict. One of the grave mistakes is that some people do not feel and see the scene of conflict. They do not understand it. You should pay attention to the relationship between yourselves and this battle. Students should have a sense of human, national, religious, social and international responsibility. This is what is expected of students.

Another matter is about students' outlook towards the issues of the country. I agree one hundred percent with and approve the critical outlook that students had here. Of course, I might not agree with some criticisms that were made here, whether the criticisms which were related to executive divisions, the criticisms related to the judiciary branch or the ones related to the Leader's Office. Some criticisms may be legitimate and some may not, but I approve one hundred percent of the essence of this critical outlook. What I am saying is that this critical and concerned outlook should not be taken away from students and from academic environments.

They should both have a critical and an idealist outlook. They should pursue ideals as well. They should put a question mark over shortcomings and flaws. Students should see the existing shortcomings and flaws. They should see the flaws and they should ask about them. Now the other party might have a legitimate excuse for refusing to answer these questions, but this should not prevent students from posing questions. You should ask. The spirit of asking, of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, and of demanding ideals and values in a serious manner is an acceptable spirit for students. 

And students should not become disappointed at temporary failures. You should pay attention to this. You should not say to yourselves, "We said something, but it did not happen. We had such and such a goal, but it was not achieved." You should not at all allow hopelessness and disappointment to overcome you. If people are supposed to become disappointed, we should have become disappointed and retreated hundreds of time during the time of revolutionary activities and hundreds of time during the eight-year imposed war. They used to pour into people's houses, beat them in front of their wife and children, and take them away in chains. They did worse things as well.

If one is supposed to become disappointed and unhappy because of receiving a blow and – as that dear girl said – being beaten, those who used to fight during the time of revolutionary activities should have become disappointed as well, but they did not. If they had become disappointed, the cause would not have achieved victory. The same is true of the war. During the war too, it occurred many times that the things that we had planned and predicted did not happen. For example, during Operation Ramadhan, we used to think that the operation would succeed. It was summer and the weather was very hot. It was the month of Ramadhan and many of our youths were martyred and the operation failed. But did we become disappointed? Did our youth become disappointed?

The same is true of Operation Karbala-4 and the initial Val Fajr operation. In the initial Operation Val Fajr, a large number of basijis joined the front lines and they had specified a certain zone. We were almost sure that we would move forward in that operation and that we would succeed. The operation was supposed to be carried out in Amarah, Iraq. However, it had been betrayed and it failed in a peculiar manner. If we were supposed to become disappointed with every temporary defeat and retreat, nothing would have been achieved. This should not be the case. Hopelessness should never enter your lives because of some temporary and periodic failures. 

Another point which I have raised before too is that you should always pay attention to the sum of our achievements and breakthroughs, some of which are really peerless. You should feel proud because of the Revolution. My dear ones, notice that in the present time, the policies of the greatest powers in the world have become trapped in the mud in West Asia. These policies have failed. They themselves say that this failure is because of the influence and power of the Islamic Republic. This is very important. They wanted to impose every disaster that they liked on Iraq and Syria, but they failed. Well, this is very important. This is the same thing that you wanted. This is the same thing that the Revolution wanted.

The goals of the Revolution have been attained, but the goals of the US and its allies – not only the US – have not. This is only an example and such victories, capabilities and achievements are many. You should never forget these achievements. One of the methods of the enemy is that he says, "You can't. You will be defeated. You cannot do anything. You are ruined." This is one of the methods of the enemy. You should not accept this method in any way.

Of course, there are some people inside the country who repeat the wishes of the enemy in a loud voice. There are people like this. These people repeat in a loud voice what the enemy wants to be created in the mentality of society. They do so in newspapers and other media such as cyberspace. Today, they benefit from cyberspace as well. That is why I approve one hundred percent of having concerns, issuing warnings and discussing the issues, problems and flaws of the system in a demanding manner.

I would like to say in parentheses that the problems of the system should be treated in the same way that a physician treats a disease. A physician may sometimes shout at his patient and say something bitter to him, but his goal is to cure him. We should confront the enemy in a decisive and determined way and according to his own treatment of others – which is hostile and aggressive. However, this should not be the way to face the system. We should treat it in a sympathetic and caring manner. Of course, in confronting foreign enemies, you are free to adopt the position that you want and speak in the same way that you like. Of course, in diplomatic areas, some tinges of diplomacy are necessary. That is diplomat's jobs and they can do whatever they want. They can go and give it every tinge that they like, but you as students and as student groups can express your viewpoints in an outspoken and determined manner and in a loud voice.

I would like to raise an important point about universities before I forget it: universities are the birthplace of knowledge. The things that we said today does not mean that universities are not places for acquiring knowledge and that they are only places for political activities. This is not what I meant. The basis of universities is knowledge. What does this mean? It means that universities should produce scientists and science and they should also have the correct orientation.

These three important points should be observed in universities: cultivating scientists – which I refer to as producing scientists – producing science [and having the correct orientation]. This is the same thing that I have been repeating for many years. This means breaking the borders of science and moving forward. This is what we have not managed to achieve yet the way it befits the status of the Islamic Republic. Of course, certain tasks have been carried out, but we are behind. We should move forward in the area of science. When science moves forward, technology will move forward as well. When technology moves forward, it will influence life. When technology moves forward, people throughout the world pin their eyes on you and they will need you. This way, you will influence people's lives.

These are very important matters. That is why I have always stressed the issue of science, technology and the like. These issues should not be forgotten. All the elements of universities – the managers, the honorable Minister of Science, the heads of universities, professors, students, textbooks, educational procedures, educational workshops and the like: all these elements - should move in this framework. In other words, we should produce science, produce scientists and give them the correct orientation.

You should pay attention to the third criterion: giving the correct orientation to science and to scientists. In materialist civilizations, science and scientists have become a means of disaster for humans. They have turned into tools for building atomic bombs and chemical weapons, and for producing dangerous viruses which are unfortunately being injected into the bodies and souls of societies by big powers. Science has turned into this. It has deviated from its true path. Science should move on the correct path and it should be at the service of human interests and human perfection. These points were related to students and student matters.

Another issue is about student groups. I know that there are various groups in universities. Last year too, I spoke about "disposable groups" [Supreme Leader's speech delivered on July 11, 2015 in a meeting with students]. Some of these groups are disposable. They are intended to be used once. For example, they are formed before elections. There are other kinds of student groups which are not disposable, but which are formed with the purpose of confronting revolutionary and pious groups. I have nothing to do with them. I am addressing the student groups which believe in the Revolution, in religion and in the Islamic government under any name. I am addressing the groups which believe in this great fight and it does not matter under what names they work. I am addressing such groups.

First of all, you should not forget about idealism. You should not forget about idealism. What are ideals? Our ideals are achieving a just, free, advanced, religious, pious, wealthy, united, strong, powerful and independent society. These are ideals. For the sake of God, it is worth sacrificing one's life on the path of these ideals.

The holy ayah in Sura an-Nisa says, "And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children" [The Holy Quran, 4: 75]. Fighting for ideals is this. An edict of qital [fighting] has been issued in order to save the country and the weak. Of course, this ayah is about qital. That brother of ours should pay attention that this ayah is about qital, not jihad. Jihad is something and qital is something else. There is a general and specific difference between them. This is the basis of Islam. This is the orientation of Islam. One should move on the path of these ideals. Your goal is to attain the ideals that I referred to – creating such a society. Therefore, you should not forget about idealism.

Another issue is about realism. You should be realists as well. Once, in a meeting with government officials in the month of Ramadhan [Supreme Leader's speech delivered on June 24, 2013], I said that we are continuously told that we should be realists. By "realism" they mean that we should see the obstacles. However, when I say that you should be realists, I mean that you should see the positive realities. You should see the population of youth and of talented individuals. You should see the extraordinary capabilities of humans, the extraordinary talents of the Iranian nation, our underground resources, our geographical position and the progress of the Islamic Republic. These are the realities. These are some of the realities that should be seen.

Another reality is that when you are an idealist and wish to move towards a certain ideal, you should pay attention that you cannot attain that ideal by working miracles. There are certain problems and obstacles. You should find your way out in the middle of these obstacles. Realism means this. You made very good statements today and you enumerated the obstacles, but is there any way out amid these obstacles? You should find that way. I will tell you that there is definitely and undoubtedly a way for this. So, you should find it. Realism means this. Well, all these issues require contemplative discussions – as foreigners say, theoretical discussions. The things that I am saying are tasks that require contemplative work.

The third advice is that student groups should play an active role and that they should not be mere spectators. Student groups should not merely express their joy about an issue which is improving and express grief about an issue which is retrogressing. They should not do so. They should be active. They should be active in both areas. They should not be mere spectators.

Another advice is about making a serious comprehensive effort to help dominate the discourse of the Revolution in universities. You should not say that nothing can be done in universities anymore. I have heard some people say, "Nothing can be done in universities anymore." This is not true. Many things can be done in universities. On the contrary, universities are the places where one should do things. Who should work on this? It is you. It is you student groups that should work in universities.

Of course, I am addressing everyone, not just the individuals in this meeting. I constantly say to all intellectual, thinking jihadi and cultural nuclei throughout the country that each of them should work in an independent manner. As is said in military arenas, "fire at will” when they want. Of course, during a war, there is a command center which issues orders, but if the command center cannot contact other bases and centers, the commander issues the "fire at will" order.

Well, you are the officers of the soft war. You are supposed to be the officers of the soft war. Whenever you feel that there is something wrong with the central organization and that it cannot work properly, you are free to fire at will. Under such circumstances, you are free to decide, to think, to move and to act.

Sometimes, one feels that the central organizations in charge of thinking, culture, politics and the like are suffering from some problems and that they have come to a halt. Sometimes, one really feels like this. For example, we have so many cultural issues in the country which are very important. Perhaps, I can refer to ten major cultural issues which are suffering from certain problems. An example is the issue of cinema which is an important issue. This is an important cultural issue. How is it managed? Who funds it? In the present time, they find foreign sponsors for movies as well!

Managing the art and cinema of the country is not a minor issue. I can name 10 issues like this, but all of a sudden, you see that the issue whether or not to broadcast such and such a song before iftar becomes the main issue. They even exchange letters [audience laugh]! It is evident that the organization in charge of these affairs is experiencing serious problems as it cannot differentiate between the major and the minor issues. They magnify a completely insignificant, unimportant and trivial matter as a major issue. When central organizations face such problems, then you are free to fire at will in the same way that I mentioned before [audience laugh].

Another word of advice is that you should find the real means to speak to the people. Cyberspace is good. It is an opportunity, but it is not enough. Some people stick to cyberspace – twitter and the like – in order to convey their messages. This is of no avail. The real means are necessary which include discussions, speeches, journals, two-people, three-people debates and analytical meetings. You should address your audience like this. You should carry out such tasks.

Let us move to another word of advice. There are some key phrases which you should not forget:

The issue of the people's role in the government is one of these key phrases. This is a key phrase. Some good and revolutionary youths are surprised when they hear such and such a person keep saying, "You should participate in elections." They become upset with me because of my insistence on participation in elections. Dear youths, you should notice that the day when the people turn their backs on ballot boxes, this will be a disaster! This is a disaster and the enemy wants this. You should hear this from me as soon as possible. I have heard the voices which murmur this and which desire to see the day when 90 percent of the people refuse to vote.

They said that only 20-plus percent of the people did not participate in the elections. However, the enemies say that this is not enough and that they should do something to make 90 percent of the people veto the elections. This is the disaster and I see it. The presence of the people in elections is a great blessing! Democracy is one of the main keywords. You should not forget this. You want the people to vote for such and such a person and not vote for such and such a person. Well, you should do something to make this happen. However, you should not prevent the people from going to ballot boxes.

The issue of independence, which I mentioned earlier, is very important as well. The issue of 2030 – The ‘Education 2030’ agenda – is important in this regard and it is related to the issue of independence. Now, some people come and say, "We have taken the necessary precautions and we have rejected some parts of it." The issue is not about this. Let us assume that there is nothing concrete in this agenda which is in conflict with Islam- of course, there are such conflicts and those who think that we have not received correct reports in this regard should not think like this because our reports are accurate [audience laugh]. What I am saying is that the educational system of the country should not be written outside the country. This is what I am saying.

You say that the agenda is not against Islam. Whether this is true or not, it does not matter. This is Iran, this is the Islamic Republic, there are great people in this country. Should a few people at UNESCO, at the UN or in such and such an organization write our educational plan? Why? This is related to the issue of independence. Independence extends to these issues.


The issue of rejecting the system of domination is among the main key phrases.

The issue of freedom is among the keywords. You should delineate freedom correctly.

The issue of justice is one of the keywords as well. And there are other such keywords too.

You should explain these keywords. My advice to student groups is that they should clarify these main and fundamental keywords correctly.

Another word of advice is about piety and religiousness in one's actions and words. I do not forget the day – it was many years ago of course – when I heard that an anti-sharia misdemeanor had been committed in one of the meetings of a student group which was in touch with me and which had very friendly and warm relations with me. I became concerned not just because they had committed a sin – of course, there was room for concern in this regard – rather I became concerned because they had changed their path. Later on, I saw that this was really the case: "In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil for that they rejected the signs of Allah" [The Holy Quran, 30: 10]. This was really what happened to that student group. When we do not act according to our religious obligations and when we abandon piety, Allah the Exalted stops guiding us.

Another word of advice is about showing courage in taking action. Sometimes, some student groups say, "If we take this action, such and such a person or organization might become unhappy and upset." You should not think like this. You should do your work, but whenever you understand that that course of action is wrong, you should stop it from that point and you should return from the path. However, you should be courageous in taking action and in carrying out your tasks. Of course, in order to carry out a task, one should consider all its aspects.

[At this moment, one of the participants raises his hand to make a comment] If I were to raise my hand in the middle of your speech, you would not let me speak. Now, I will not let you – who have raised your hand – I will not be quiet [Supreme Leader and audience laugh].

Another word of advice is a recommendation to female students. The two female students in the meeting really made very good statements. Both of them raised very good points. I recommend that one of the points that female students in student groups should pursue is the issue of women in the west. We do not attend to this issue enough. Of course, in one of the former meetings, one of the sisters – I do not remember if she was a professor or a student – raised very good and complete statements in this regard, but I believe that this issue should be worked on and there is room for work in this area. These were points about the issue of women.

The last issue that I would like to discuss is that student groups should inject hope into universities. They themselves should remain hopeful so that they can inject their hope into universities. They should not let an atmosphere of hopelessness be created in universities.

At the end of my statements, I would like to raise two more points as well. The first point is about corruption. This issue was touched on by the friends in the meeting. I have heard other people outside this meeting address the issue of corruption as well. Notice that I believe that corruption has not become systematic in the country. Anyone who says that corruption has become systematic is completely wrong. Systematic corruption is entirely different. It existed during the time of taghuti government. At that time, the system was naturally corrupt and it used to nurture corruption. One would have to search hard to find a morally healthy person in those days.

Today, this is not the case. Of course, corruption – bad forms of it – exist, but it is a case-by-case basis. Nonetheless, it should be confronted. You say that there should be transparency- I too have written down that there should be transparency. This is a good and completely correct point, but this is a separate issue. It is not the case that corruption is systematic. Corruption is anecdotal and these examples of corruption can be remedied.

The second point is about the effort of some individuals to drown the country in western culture and to develop – on a daily basis - a tendency towards western culture in the country. This is a reality. This effort exists. Some people out of their belief and faith in western culture and some people out of weakness, lack of firm determination, lack of attention and the like are drawing the country towards western culture. This exists, but if we want to see whether they can make the Revolution deviate from its course and drown the country in western culture, you should know that such a thing will never happen.

The large generation which has thankfully been cultivated today - the present-day generation which is interested in the Revolution and in Islam and which is completely prepared – will not allow such a thing to happen. Every day that passes, this generation will absolutely grow larger and deeper. This is evidenced by the statements that you made here, which were much deeper and stronger than the statements made by students in this place five years ago.

And the people of Iran are moving and advancing forward. Those actions and games with firecrackers similar to the ones that were set off today [referring to the terrorist incidents which occurred in the Islamic Consultative Majlis and in Imam Khomeini's (r.a.) Holy Shrine] – will not impact the people's willpower in any way. Everyone should know this. Such conduct is too trivial to influence the willpower of the people of Iran and the officials of the country. Of course, as the friends in the meeting pointed out, these incidents showed that if the Islamic Republic had not shown resistance in the main center of these seditious acts [Syria and Iraq], we would have faced many problems in this area inside the country. By Allah's favor, they will be wiped out completely.

Dear God, bestow increasing success on these dear youths. Dear God, make all these youths and us steadfast on the straight path.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), bestow Your kindness, mercy and blessings on these brothers and answer their prayers today. Bestow the blessing of increasing sincerity and delicateness of the soul in this auspicious month – particularly in the Nights of Qadr – on these dear ones and on this humble person.

Associate our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) and martyrs with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) satisfied and pleased with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings