Imam Khamenei

Everything in Conflict with Our Islam, Our Revolution, Our Rich Historical Background is Not Part of National Interests

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 12, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the government officials of the Islamic Republic on the 17th 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 and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

You are very welcome, dear brothers, dear sisters and honorable officials. This meeting is one of the auspicious meetings of the year. Honorable officials from various divisions are present in the meeting and they listen to good reports. Today, Mr. President delivered a good report. It is usual for presidents to present a positive report of their performance, each in different ways. Well, in these meetings, the minds of officials become familiar with different information and news and they listen to the facts and truths. So, this meeting is an auspicious meeting from this aspect as well.

But what I want to say in the beginning of my statements is related to the auspicious month of Ramadan. We have passed through more than half of this golden opportunity and less than half of this month remains. The dear brothers, the dear sisters, the honorable officials and particularly we should appreciate the value of this opportunity to a great extent. This is an opportunity for repentance. This is an opportunity for returning to Allah the Exalted. This is an opportunity to enlighten and freshen our hearts and this is an opportunity to supplicate.

We should supplicate before Allah the Exalted. Each of you naturally have some problems and shortcomings in every division that you are busy working. You need certain elements and factors. We should ask God to satisfy these needs. Your prayers and supplications, as well as your efforts, are a necessity. We should not forget about supplication before God.

"There is no salvation from Your punishment except with supplication before You." This prayer has been mentioned in a number of duas including the holy Dua Abu Hamza al-Thumali. Our salvation lies in supplicating before Allah the Exalted. Well, this supplication before Allah the Exalted is our salvation. We say, "There is no salvation from Your punishment except with supplication before You." How can supplication be our salvation? Weak individuals too sometimes supplicate before other individuals. What is the difference between these two forms of supplication? What is the difference between supplication before Allah and supplication before God's creatures? It is important for us to pay attention to this point.

The purpose of supplication before God's creatures is to soften the hearts of those before whom you supplicate. However, the purpose of supplication before God is to soften our own hearts. The goal is to salvage our hearts from malevolence. This is a source of salvation. If our hearts are salvaged from malevolence and if they become soft, they will be enlightened. It is the enlightenment of heart that opens paths to us. This enlightenment gives us hope and diligence. It guides us towards correct and straight paths. When piety exists, Allah the Exalted bestows His guidance on us. And piety originates from the softness, delicateness and enlightenment of one's heart. This is the main issue.

An ayah in holy Sura Zumar says, "Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of Allah! They are manifestly wandering in error" [The Holy Quran, 39: 22]. A hardened and vicious heart is like this. This ayah has mentioned that they are clearly wandering. In an ayah in holy Sura al-Maeda, God says about Bani Israel [the children of Israel], "But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard" [The Holy Quran, 5: 13]. Divine curse is manifested by the hardness of hearts as a result of one's own actions. "Because of their breach of covenant…" They forgot and violated their covenant with Allah the Exalted.

These are points that should receive attention by our pious society. In particular, we officials – every one of whom has a responsibility in a certain area – should pay attention to it. In holy Sura Baqara, God speaks about Bani Israel again, "Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: they became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth" [The Holy Quran, 2: 74].

It says that their hearts became even harder than rocks. Quoting God, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a) says this to Bani Israel, reminding them of their past. All these points are instructive lessons and words of advice for us. We should endeavor. There is a narration in al-Kafi which says, "A person whose heart is hardened is distant from me" [Kafi, Vol.2, page 329]. Being away from Allah the Exalted is the worst disaster for humans. It is the worst disaster for individuals to be distant from Allah the Exalted and the hardness of heart makes this happen. There is another narration which says, "There is no punishment worse than the hardness of heart for any creature of God."

So, these days should be benefitted from. The auspicious month of Ramadan is a good opportunity both because of the prayers of this month – whether the prayers particular to Ramadan dawns or the ones related to Ramadan days and nights as they are prayers whose concepts and meanings soften our hearts – and because of the essence of fasting and attention to one's responsibilities. We need these things. If our Islamic and revolutionary society neglects divine dhikr and remembrance, and supplication before God, it will surely receive a blow and a slap across the face. It will surely fail should this happen.

We will achieve our lofty goals and our ideal dreams only if we can make a pious and sincere effort. And this is not possible except with attention to Allah the Exalted, an increase in the enlightenment of one's heart and the establishment of a firm relationship with God. This is what I wanted to say about benefiting from the opportunity of the month of Ramadan. In my opinion, this is more important than everything else that I will say. This is the basis of my statements. We should be vigilant.

Of course, I myself am the first addressee of these statements. I am more responsible than you are. I carry heavier loads than you do. Therefore, I myself need these points more than you do. It is necessary for me and you to pay attention and to benefit from this month and this opportunity as the Nights of Qadr are nearing.

Well, this meeting is an opportunity for attending to some of the general, important and fundamental issues of the country so that some of the issues which are a source of contention and disagreement can be discussed and highlighted. It is an opportunity to give warnings about some of the issues which might have been neglected by us. So, this meeting is a beneficial one from this aspect. This is because officials and experts are present here.

Fortunately, we had the phenomenon of elections this year. The election was a great achievement. It showed the power of the Revolution and of the Islamic government. We should not ignore this point. In global propaganda and in the statements that are made about our elections in foreign media – as you see, they are constantly speaking about our elections – they do not at all refer to the fact that the election was a sign of the power of the Islamic Republic and of its capabilities and depth in the hearts of the people. They do not usually mention this, but this is a reality that exists.

All the people who went to ballot boxes on that Friday carried out a joint effort. This joint effort is very valuable. It should be seen and it should be shown to the world. This joint effort signaled trust in the Islamic Republic. It was an expression of trust in the Islamic government. Some people voted for Zayd, some voted for Amr, some voted for Bakr and some voted for Khalid [all these names signify “such and such a person”], but all of them participated in a joint effort. That joint effort was trusting the ballot boxes that the Islamic Republic had set up. It was trusting the great movement that has been specified in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic and entering the scene for electing the highest-ranking executive official of the country. This is very important. 

We should not spoil this mutual effort. We should not engage in fabricating stories from this mutual effort and spoil the essence of this movement. This mutual effort was very important. If we divide the people of Iran into two groups and say, "Some people said yes to such and such an issue" this is wrong. The people only chose individuals. Why are we dividing the people? We should take care not to let these divisions and disagreements emerge from the heart of such a great and mutual effort which was carried out by the Iranian nation.

All the people of Iran are opposed to the enemies of this nation and to the enemies of the progress of this nation. Of course, there might be some traitors. There are traitors in all countries, in all nations and at all times, but the majority of the people of Iran are opposed and unfriendly to the enemy who imposes hardships, sanctions and wars on them. All the people are like this.

In the present time too, as you witness, the Americans increased sanctions with complete shamelessness after our elections. Besides, they are beating the drums of opposition, fighting, hostility and the like harder than ever. This is how things are. A new atmosphere should be created considering the enmities, the circumstances, the needs and the long-term goals that are ahead of us. Everyone has a share in creating this atmosphere – the atmosphere of cooperation, of work and of endeavor for achieving our mutual goal which is the progress of the country and the Islamic Republic. We should be able to approach the goals of the holy Islamic Republic step by step. These are goals that have existed in the slogans of the Islamic Republic from the beginning. They exist in the present time as well. We should approach these goals.

This requires effort from everyone. If all of us try hard, we can stand firm, show resistance and bring the enemies to their knees. This will happen if all of us stay together. This is my eternal word of advice. Today, I would like to mention it again. Everyone should help the officials of the country. everyone should cooperate so that they can work. The officials of the country too should be on the people's side in the real sense of the word. Officials in different branches should cooperate with one another as well. My method has always been supporting all the administrations that have held office. Today too, I will support the administration. From now on too, I will continue to do the same as long as I live, God willing.

Let us take a look at the fundamental issues of the country. If you who are officials – varying from high-ranking officials to managers in different divisions – want to manage the country correctly, if you want to manage both opportunities and threats in the real sense of the word – we have both opportunities and threats and therefore, we should be able to manage them correctly – you primarily need to specify the criteria for making decisions and you should make correct choices in doing so. If you want to employ national resources correctly, if you want to activate and benefit from many of the capacities of the country, many of which are still unknown, if we want to differentiate between the correct and the wrong paths – individuals, the officials of the country, and governments and their divisions sometimes see certain paths in front of them some of which are wrong paths and lead us astray – and if we want to carry out these great tasks, we need to specify the criteria for making decisions correctly.

Secondly, we need to benefit from our experiences. This is what I want to say today. We should be able to make correct choices about the criteria for making decisions. Most of the time, certain mistakes are made in this area. This happens over the course of time and in different eras, not in the present time. I will expand on this matter later on. 

Well, what are the criteria for making decisions? Naturally, the general argument on this matter is about national interests. That is to say, for governments, the main criterion for making decisions is ensuring national interests, be that short-term or long-term interests. The main issue is how we should define and identify “national interests” and what things we should consider and not consider as national interests.

The main point that I have in mind and that I want to state is that national interests are national interests only when they do not disagree with the national and revolutionary identity of the people of Iran. Interests become national only when they are not in conflict with national identity. Otherwise, when we consider something as a national interest which causes national identity to be trampled upon, we have certainly made a mistake. Such things do not constitute national interests.

This is something which unfortunately determined the fate of our country from the era of the Constitutional Movement to the time when the Revolution achieved victory. They trampled upon national identity. This condition arose in pre-Pahlavi era – since later Qajar era. In those days, national identity was always trampled upon for the sake of things which constituted national interests in the eyes of managers, decision-makers and decision-builders. This means reversing the ratio. National interests should be harmonized with national identity, not vice versa. It is not national identity which should follow national interests. If the latter happens, such interests are surely 'imaginary interests'.

If someone comes and says, "We should become western from head to toe so that we can make progress and advance" this is trampling upon national identity. This means saying to a people with such a rich and strong history and culture, with so many beliefs and with so many diverse resources that they should abandon everything, throw everything away and become western from head to toe so that they can progress. This signifies picturing and portraying certain interests whose main requirement is separation from national identity. This is the same as depriving the people of any identity and entity. This phenomenon reached its peak during the Pahlavi era. Of course, as I said, it had begun in the late Qajar era. However, the Revolution came and changed this mentality. 

One of the greatest achievements of the Islamic Revolution was that it defined an identity for the people and that it insisted on it. It derived national interests from that identity. The Revolution portrayed, confirmed and pursued national interests on the basis of that identity. With that former framework, we would even not have attained those so-called national interests. Notice that from the era of the Constitutional Movement to the time when the Revolution achieved victory, there was no progress which befitted the status of our country and which matched the big current that existed in the world, despite all those resources and assets. This was because of the loss of national identity.

In the advanced, active and lively world of those days, the movement towards scientific and technological progress developed in a different way. But this was not the case in our country. There was only stagnation and recession in Iran. However, since the victory of the Revolution onwards, the situation changed following a change in that outlook. Since the victory of the Revolution, we have felt that we are progressing and moving forward. Of course, we are backward in many areas, but progress is tangible as well.

In my new year speech, I presented a short list of the achievements of the country in different areas – in the area of infrastructure, in the area of human resources and in various other areas. I did so because some people are not willing to acknowledge these achievements. Even some officials ignore what has been achieved by the Revolution. Despite the issues and problems that arose for the country, despite the imposition of a war, despite false sanctions, and despite clear and outspoken enmities on the part of dominant powers in the world, the country has managed to make these achievements. The reason is nothing but a sense of identity in the country. The people of Iran found their identity, they felt alive and they moved forward with power and strength. This sense of identity does something like this to people. It gives self-confidence to people.

Well, we speak about the identity of the people of Iran, but what is this identity? How is our national identity defined? We are a Muslim and revolutionary people who are deep-rooted in history. Our Muslim nature, our historical depth and our revolutionary quality are three main elements that constitute the identity of the people. We should not keep these three elements out of sight.

As for our Islamic nature, this means that the values and principles of Islam constitute our identity. Our deep-rootedness in history means that our human resources produced lofty thoughts throughout history in different areas such as philosophy, science and technology. Throughout history, they have carried out great tasks according to the requirements of the time and they have pushed humanity forward. You should pay attention to this point. If we think that new technologies and breakthroughs belong to the west and Europe only and that this has been the case since the beginning, this is not the case and this is wrong. In certain eras, we were pioneers and forerunners in the area of technology – the kind of technology which was based on the requirements of the time.

Of course, by nature, the more science and technology move forward, the faster their rate becomes. I have given examples in this regard many times and I do not want to repeat them again. The more progress they make, the faster their rate becomes. The reason why the gap between advanced scientific countries and backward countries grows larger in a continuous manner is this. Scientific achievements increase the rate of progress. Of course, in those days, we were forerunners in the area of technology on the basis of the needs and the requirements of the time. Not only we Iranians but also many eastern countries enjoyed this quality. Therefore, our Muslim nature, our deep-rootedness in history and the Revolution are three elements that constitute our identity.

The Revolution is an important part of our identity. The Revolution was a big transformation and a deep movement which managed to change the condition of the country with reliance on Islam. One important element of the Revolution was that it pushed the people out of the periphery and into the center of managing the country. Prior to that, the people did not have any role whatsoever in the country. Over the course of many centuries, the people of Iran used to be defined as an entity which was 'below governments'. They did not have any part in government.

Of course, when a king was engaged in a war, he would employ part of the people. He would give them weapons and he would take them to war. This was the only role of the people. But it was not the case that the people had the power to formulate a policy or elect an official – let alone a high-ranking official. Such a thing did not exist in any way. The people used to wait for a dynasty to go and another to come. It did not at all matter to them which one would rule as all governments were bullying them. The people of Iran did not play any role. For the first time in our history – which is comprised of several centuries, from our ancient history onwards – the people of Iran were given roles after the victory of the Revolution.

For the first time, they moved out of the periphery and into the center and they played a determining role. As is evident, the highest ranking officials of the country – varying from the Leadership to the president and various other officials – are elected and given responsibilities with the votes of the people. They have to answer to the people. They have to answer to them. This element was one of the most important events, changes and transformations that the Revolution brought about.

So, after the Revolution, national interests changed. In other words, the criteria for determining national interests changed. As I mentioned, after the victory of the Revolution, dictatorship turned into democracy, dependence turned into political independence, and backwardness turned into noteworthy achievements in the area of infrastructure, of human resources and of important industries such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and various other industries in which we are among the best countries in the world. In some industries, we are among the best countries in the world – and there are 200-plus countries in the world! We have also made achievements in the area of science, higher education and other areas. Well, these are events that have created our revolutionary identity.

The conclusion we draw is that everything which is in conflict with this identity is not part of national interests although we might think that those things bring the people certain advantages. Everything which is in conflict with our Islam, our Revolution, our past and our rich historical background is not part of national interests.

Of course, this statement should not be misinterpreted. This does not mean that we should deprive ourselves of scientific and various human achievements in the world. Nowadays, it is common practice for international media at an extensive level – varying from English media to such and such a website – to interpret every word that comes out of our officials' mouths the way they want. They should not infer from my statement that because we launched a revolution, because we are Muslims and because we have a rich historical background, we are shutting the door of human achievements on ourselves. This is not what I meant.

Human achievements belong to everyone. They do not belong to a particular person. The entire humanity has the right to benefit from these achievements. Anyone who is wiser, smarter and more intelligent will benefit from them more. We are willing to be wiser and smarter and by Allah's favor, we will benefit from these achievements more. What I meant is that our national interests should not be influenced by policies of foreigners. It is we ourselves that should define national interests. There should not be any imposition in this regard.

Of course, arrogant powers are not sitting idle. They use different methods to impose their demands. They sit and define certain things as international norms. The US defines certain things as international norms. For example, it says, "US interests should be observed everywhere in the world." This becomes an international norm. If the interests of someone in a remote area in the world – which is thousands of kilometers away from the US – are in conflict with the US and if he wishes to ensure his own interests, the Americans say that he has acted against international norms. First of all, they define certain things as norms and after that, they accuse nations, countries and governments of being abnormal. They say this when the norms of those nations and countries are in conflict with the ones that they have defined. This is wrong. However, it is what they are doing in the present time.

For example, among the American claims against us, there is the issue of the destabilization of the region. This has become a new claim: the destabilization of the region! First of all, what does the region have to do with you? Second, it is you who are destabilizing the region! It is the US and the US agents who have destabilized the region. They have destabilized North Africa, West Asia, Syria and Iraq in different ways. Destabilizing the region means funding and creating a terrorist group, giving weapons to it, reinforcing and drawing military plans for it and curing its injured individuals in hospitals.

Who created DAESH? Who strengthened it? Today, they claim that they have established the anti-DAESH coalition. This is a lie. This coalition is a lie! Of course, they are opposed to an uncontrolled DAESH, but they like to have a controlled DAESH in their hands and if someone decides to destroy and annihilate this phenomenon, they will seriously stand up against him. As you see, in the present time, the American planes bombard the Syrian forces which are faced with DAESH and groups similar to it.

The same thing has happened in Iraq. It was DAESH which was selling Iraq's oil. A government official – a well-known international personality who was our guest once – said to me that the Americans completely knew about DAESH trucks which were stealing oil from Iraq, taking it to another country and selling it there, but they did not drop one single bomb on them! They never prevented them from doing so! This was being done in front of their eyes, but they claimed that they were against DAESH. However, if they are really opposed to someone, they do not support him like this. But they helped DAESH. Well, it is these people who have created instability in the region, not Iran.  

They say certain things about Iran. An example is the recent statement by the American president. Because of the recent terrorist incidents, he accuses Iran of supporting terrorism! That is while terrorism in the region has its roots in the Americans. The same is true of the issue of human rights. The Americans are highlighting the issue of human rights again. This is really ridiculous and surprising! The people who sit beside the heads of medieval and tribal Saudi Arabia – this is really a scandal which in my opinion will never be erased from the history of the Americans: this is like a permanent mark on their foreheads – speak against the Islamic Republic on the issue of human rights. They go to a country which knows nothing whatsoever about democracy, elections and the like and they make ironic statements against a country like Iran which is the center and embodiment of democracy! They accuse it of violating human rights! These are things which will be preserved in history. Of course, such events might be forgotten today because of various kinds of political uproar and tumult, but they will undoubtedly remain in history.

So, this is our main argument about the issue of making and building decisions. National interests are the main criterion for decision-making and national interests are the things which are not in any conflict with the identity of the people of Iran and which are not different from it in any way. In other words, national interests should originate from this identity. These things constitute the interests of the people of Iran.

The officials of the country, the honorable administration, the judiciary branch, the legislative branch and the individuals who make fundamental decisions about the country should always take this point into consideration. Everything which reeks of hostility against and detachment from Islam, everything which reeks of hostility against and detachment from the Revolution, everything which reeks of hostility against and detachment from the historical roots of the people of Iran and everything like this is not part of national interests and cannot be taken into account during decision-making.

As for experience, I said that we should benefit from experience. I have written down some examples in this regard. One issue is the effect of national solidarity and unity on success. This is a very important issue which was touched upon by Mr. President as well. I too confirm that national solidarity should be preserved. National unity should be preserved. Common points should always be taken into consideration. If an objector expresses his objection about an issue – about such and such a policy and plan – there is nothing wrong with this. However, this should not be understood to mean that there is strong disagreement and discord on the very important and fundamental issues of the country.

We have experienced this solidarity and unity and its impact in the past 40 years. Well, there were some people in the war who were opposed to certain decisions. During the time when we were involved in the imposed war, some people were standing on the streets and at crossroads in Tehran – many of you remember this – handing out leaflets against the war. Disagreements might exist, but the majority of the people had the same opinion and they insisted on it. This is the same thing that we have in mind: national solidarity and unity. The country should not be divided into two poles and groups. The thing that was unfortunately done by the president of Iran in the year 1359 [Bani Sadr] – dividing the people in two groups of proponents and opponents – is a dangerous act.

Another point which I deem necessary to raise on the issue of national solidarity and national unity is that this unity becomes clear and transparent only when a wide gap is created between us and the enemy. One of the things which questions the people's unity, which raises doubt about it, which leads to disagreement and which highlights this disagreement if there is any is the refusal to distance oneself from the enemy. This should be taken care of. The enemy does not only exist outside the country. Sometimes, he infiltrates the country as well.

You witnessed what happened in the year 1388. In some of the streets of Tehran, some groups – which were not large in number, they were comprised of a few people – spoke against the Islamic Republic in an outspoken manner. The problem that emerged at that time originated from some individuals' refusal to distance themselves from those people. They should have announced their distance, but they did not. That is why the subsequent problems emerged. When you see that some people want to oppose and harass the essence of your political system, your Revolution, your belief and your religion, you should distance yourselves from them and you should announce this. This is a necessity. In particular, we officials should be very serious and diligent in this regard. If this happens, then national unity and solidarity becomes meaningful and it can be achieved. 

The second point which is part of our experience is prioritizing domestic capacities. That is the reason why we named this year 'The Year of National Production and Employment'. One area related to domestic capacities is national production. Here, by production, we mean industrial and agricultural production. Of course, software and scientific production and the production of ideas and thoughts are definitely part of domestic production and they are important as well, but because we are dealing with economic matters in the present time, we speak about the industrial and agricultural aspect of production. National and domestic production and domestic capacities should receive attention.

In my opinion, the capacities of our young manpower is a very good capacity. A few days ago, a number of young students gathered in this hussainiyah and some of them delivered speeches. I said to some of our honorable officials that their understanding, intelligence and cleverness is really at a high and advanced level. Therefore, they should be benefitted from. Such is the state of our advanced manpower. They are individuals who can play their part in helping the country make progress and make a great leap.

We have made the most of this domestic capacity in the area of scientific issues. On the issue of nuclear energy, a few years ago, some individuals came to this hussainiyah to report their achievements by organizing an exhibition. They had set up various stands and I visited all of them. In almost all stands, the individuals were young – very young – and the honorable officials introduced them to me. They were individuals who had improved the various areas of nuclear energy. They had managed to carry out great tasks and move that industry forward. This is very significant. Our youth have such capabilities. This is one issue.

Another thing which is part of our main experiences and which you managers of the country – wherever you are - should pay attention to is the issue of lack of trust in the enemy and in his promises. This is a serious statement. This is a serious issue. We trusted the enemy in certain areas and we received a blow because of it despite the fact that we could avoid trusting him. Although we did not think that we would trust him, we did so. Trusting the enemy and his promises hurts us. If we reject this idea completely and say, "It is unlikely that the things that they have said will not happen" this is wrong. When it is a matter of working with foreigners, we should focus on all details with utmost care and we should be obsessive and cautious in this regard. They should not be trusted.

We should neither trust them in words nor in action. I should add that apart from the high-ranking officials of the country – the heads of the three branches of government and the like - some of you honorable gentlemen who are present in this meeting and different other individuals are articulate speakers. These individuals take the minbar – I would like to use the word “minbar” instead of “podium”- they take the minbar and they can deliver eloquent speeches. The people listen to them. Even these individuals should speak in a way that their words are not construed as trust in the enemy. This exerts a negative influence on the mentality of the people inside the country.

Besides, its repercussions will affect our opponents and enemies outside the country. Sometimes, we have compromised our principles with the purpose of taking away every excuse from the Americans and the enemy, but they did continue to have excuses and we lost something on those occasions. So, the enemy should not be trusted on any issue.

I have said frequently that I had and continue to have trust in the officials who were in charge of the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA]. I trust them in the present time as well. I consider them to be insiders. I consider them as pious individuals who are interested in the system. However, on the issue of the Bar-Jaam, we compromised certain things in many cases because of trusting what the other side – the people who were negotiating with us –  had said. Because of this trust, we did not focus on certain points and as a result, some rifts were created. The enemy is using the same rifts now. These are really important issues.

Our honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs – Dr. Zarif – wrote an articulate letter to a European official – of course, he has written such letters several times now – listing the violations that have been committed in the soul and body of the Bar-Jaam. Sometimes, they say that the soul of the Bar-Jaam has been violated, but he explained that it is not only the soul of the Bar-Jaam that has been violated. In some areas, the Bar-Jaam itself – its body – has been violated by the Americans as well. He prepared a list of these violations and sent them to the Europeans. He is not an opponent of the Bar-Jaam and therefore, they cannot say that he has done so because he is an opponent. This is not the case. The honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs has lodged this objection because he is a pious, conscientious and responsible person. This is because a mistake has been made on our part. If this mistake had not been made and if the enemy had not been trusted, the enemy would have found all ways to be blocked and he would not have been able to do this.

In the present time, we do not want to argue over the issue of the Bar-Jaam, but the group of people who have been specified to supervise the Bar-Jaam – including the honorable President, the esteemed Speaker of the Majlis, the honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and some other individuals – should really be careful about this issue. They should be careful and take the necessary precautions to see what is happening. After all, we specified certain conditions. When endorsing the Bar-Jaam, I specified certain conditions with complete clarity and I sent a written – not a verbal – account of it. These conditions should be met. 

They should be observed in a meticulous manner. When the other side says something with complete brazenness, if we bow down to him, it will be considered as weakness. It will be considered as a desperate measure and lack of options. This feeling of being desperate encourages the enemy to increase his pressures on us. This is one issue.

Another issue which is part of our experience and which you should take into account in the management of the country and in managing the interests, shortcomings, opportunities and threats is the issue of the military and security power of the country. This is very important. This is one of the issues which should definitely receive attention. Some of our officials are directly involved with military and security issues and they are in charge of responsibilities and commitments in this regard. And they are carrying out good tasks. But a large number of the officials of the country are individuals who are not directly involved with security and military issues, but they can exert influence indirectly. These officials too should certainly pay attention to this point.

The elements which lead to the power of the country should really be preserved. The elements which make the country powerful – the Armed Forces, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Basij and pious and hezbollahi individuals – should be preserved. I will tell you that the people who risk their lives, who stand up against the enemy in different areas, and who endure hardships are pious, revolutionary and hezbollahi elements. It is these individuals who stand firm. Therefore, they should be preserved.

The officials of the country should help these elements in different areas – in universities, and in industrial, scientific and public service areas. If the enemy dislikes the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, well, this is clear! Do you want America to like your Quds Force? Do you expect the US to like such and such a Sardar who is active in this area? Well, it is clear that he does not like him! It is clear that he sets terms in different areas. Well, he wants us to be deprived of elements of power.

This is like saying that your wrestling team can participate in international competitions provided that two, three star wrestlers of yours are not included in the team. What does this mean? It means that you should participate for losing. They say, "We let you enter international competitions. You can come in order to lose." This is what it means. When they say that the condition for such and such a thing to happen is that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps should not be involved and that Basij should not interfere on such and such an issue –for example on regional issues – this is what it means.

It means that we should not bring our elements of power to the arena. However, we should do the opposite. We should definitely attach significance to military and security power. We should strengthen these forces on a daily basis.

Another issue which is very important as well is the issue of the economy of the country. We have discussed this issue at length already. In his speech, Mr. President explained the issue of the economy in detail and he spoke about the tasks that should be carried out. In his speech, he said that such and such things should be carried out. Who is addressee of these “shoulds”? He himself! The addressee of these shoulds is no one but Dr. Rouhani and his team in the 12th administration [audience laughs]. Most of these tasks are related to executive officials themselves. Of course, part of them might be related to the Majlis, to the judiciary branch and to other organizations, but the majority of them are executive tasks. It is they who should carry them out. These are realities. The issue of the economy is very important.

One issue related to the economy is domestic production which is very important. Mr. President pointed to the issue of capital. He is right and we agree with this. Of course, five, six years ago, I addressed the issue of our need for domestic and foreign capital in a meeting which was held on the upper floor. Many of you were present in that meeting and there were economists as well. In that meeting, I said that we need such and such an amount of money only for the area of oil and such and such an amount of money for different areas of the country. These are needs that exist and that should be met.

There is a subtle point, though. Sometimes, our friends in the economic divisions of the administration – whether this administration or the previous administration - take things very hard when it comes to creating employment. Sometimes, it is said that a hundred million [tomans] is necessary for creating such and such an occupation. But there are many occupations which are not like this. Today, we can create employment in our villages, in our small towns and in different areas of the country with much smaller amounts.

You have seen the individuals who have done so. A person appeared on television – I took a brief look at the program – saying that they had employed 20 individuals with their own creativeness, enthusiasm and talent in a specific business. That person said that their overall investment – from the beginning to the end – did not reach a hundred million, but that they managed to move the task forward bit by bit. That individual had employed 20 people in that business – which was a productive business.

If we manage to attend to the issue of villages – I have written down this point – in the real sense of the word and if we can resolve the issue of villages, then problems will decrease. A main part of rural issues is related to developing rural industries. Villages need industries which match their living conditions. We have not carried out our duties in this regard. Rural industries should receive attention. The resources which are required for villages should be provided. The friends in the meeting pointed out to the issue of the internet. The internet is also an issue which should be attended to, but what is more necessary than the internet is the issue of roads, transportation and the resources for the comfortable transportation of products.

It should not be the case that a certain product which is worth thousands of tomans per kilo in big cities be sold much less in villages so much so that villagers cannot earn much. This should not be the case. When we manage to resolve the issue of transportation and when transportation to and business in villages are facilitated and guaranteed, villages will naturally remain producers and this way many problems will be eliminated. Living on the edges [of cities] is a result of the appalling conditions in villages. That is why they come to cities. In the present time, one of the problems of the country is the phenomenon of living on the edges of cities and the corruptions that appear there.  There are many social detriments which originate from this.

The next issue is the important issue of imports. Tariffs solve the problem in the case of some imported products, but it does not solve the problem in the case of other products. Therefore, importation should be prevented in certain areas. Of course, you might want to encourage importation in some areas. This is alright. It depends on the needs and resources that exist in the country. In the case of the products which are manufactured inside the country and which are harmed by importation, we should prevent importation with great intensity.

Sometimes, I hear complaints – they write to us and sometimes, I hear them in general reports – from local producers saying that although they produce a certain product with great trouble, its import equivalent enters the country without any problem. Our domestic consumers – such and such executive or semi-executive organizations – do not buy the local products with the excuse that they are not as good as their foreign counterparts. 

Well, the price is cheaper. You should consume and use them in order to help the producers and this way, their future experiences will be better. This is natural and clear. Otherwise, if we keep buying luxurious products, this will not be achieved and our domestic production will reach nowhere!

Another issue is the issue of smuggling. One of the most important issues is the issue of smuggling. we should confront smuggling in a serious manner.

I have written down that most ministries can play a part in strengthening national economy. This is really the case. Many ministries are not apparently involved with economic matters – for example, the Ministry of Science is not an economic ministry – but they can play a role in strengthening national economy. For example, PhD and MA theses and other such tasks can be channeled towards national economy so that they can resolve the domestic issues of the country. Our youth are prepared. This is an important task. The relationship between industries and universities, which we have been stressing for many years, is an important task. The same is true of other ministries.

Another issue is the correct implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution. This article has not been implemented correctly in this administration and in the previous one. This was done neither in this administration nor in the previous one. In implementing Article 44 of the Constitution – which means entrusting economic responsibilities to the private sector by observing the conditions that have been specified: the policies on Article 44 have been announced and certain laws have been ratified for it – shortcomings should be compensated for. This will completely help domestic economy.

And of course, the issue of investment security is very important. Part of investment security is related to the executive branch and part of it is related to the judiciary branch and various other organizations. This is another issue.

We have said many things about economic matters. In recent years, I, government officials, members of the Majlis and others have said many things in this regard, but we should enter the arena of action. There should be a clear road map. A clear road map should be drawn. One of the first tasks that by Allah's favor should be carried out is that a clear and complete road map should be prepared so that all these tasks can be carried out by the various divisions in charge.

Another issue which helps you in the efficient management of the country is the issue of cyberspace. Cyberspace is very important. On the issue of cyberspace, the most important point is the issue of the National Information Network. Unfortunately, this issue has been neglected and what should be done has not been done yet. This should not continue. If we neglect this issue by arguing that cyberspace should not be controlled, this does not solve anything and this is not a good argument either.

Well, today, cyberspace is not particular to us. The whole world is involved with the issue of cyberspace. The countries which have established a national information network and which have controlled cyberspace to their advantage and to the advantage of their own values are not few in number. The best and strongest countries have certain red lines in this regard. They do not open the door. They do not open the door to many pieces and parts of cyberspace which have been dispatched by the US and by the organizations behind the US which work behind the scenes, and they control it. We too should control it.

This control does not mean that we should deprive our nation of cyberspace. This is not what I am saying. Today, an avalanche of correct and incorrect information is engulfing our internet users. They are giving wrong, incorrect and harmful information and semi-information – some data do not give true information, rather they give false information – to them. Well, these things are engulfing our internet users like an avalanche. Why should we allow this to happen? Why should we allow things which are against our values, against our well-established principles, and against the main constituents of our national identity to be developed inside the country by the people who bear malice against us? This should not be allowed.

You should do something to help everyone benefit from the advantages and good aspects of cyberspace. You can also increase the internet speed. These necessary tasks can be carried out, but the things which are to your disadvantage, and to the disadvantage of your youth and public opinion in the country should be controlled. This is a very important point. This task should be accomplished. Therefore, the issue of the National Information Network is very important.

The last issue which I would like to discuss is the issue of America. Basically, many of our issues with America are not solvable. The reason is that America’s problem with us is us, the Islamic Republic! The problem is this. The problem is neither nuclear energy nor human rights. The problem of the US is the essence of the Islamic Republic. That a government and a political system comes into being in an important country like Iran and in a rich land called Iran which takes no heed of the yeas and nays of a power like the US and which says yes and no whenever it likes is very difficult for them to tolerate. They are opposed to this. They are against this. How do you want to “resolve” this opposition? Therefore, our problems with the US are insolvable. Their problem is with the essence of the Islamic Republic itself.

I will tell you that apart from the Islamic Republic, they have a problem with the independence of the country as well. Even if a government other than the Islamic Republic existed in Iran and if that government wanted to be independent, they would have a problem with it as well.

The experience of the National Movement is in front of our eyes. In the National Movement, Dr. Mosaddeq trusted, even admired, the Americans, but he was not willing to rely on them. Of course, he had a bad relationship with the English. He wanted to achieve independence, but the person who made the coup d'état against Dr. Mosaddeq was not an Englishman, rather he was an American [Kermit Roosevelt] and behind him, there was the American CIA and they were more involved than the intelligence service of England. The US is like this.    

This means that they could not even get along with a government and system which was not religious at all. The National Movement was not a revolutionary movement. It was only after the independence of the country from the yoke of the English. The National Movement thought that the Americans would help it. So, they are opposed to the independence of the country. This country is an attractive country. You should know this. Of course, all of you know this, but you should know it even more so! We are an attractive country. Our location is important. Our geographic location is important, our geographic issues are important, our underground resources are important. Once, I said in this meeting that our population is one percent of the population of the whole world, but the percentage of the vital metals in our country is more than one percent of those of the whole world even if we exclude our oil and gas resources.

There is a great source of wealth in this country. Besides, our country enjoys extraordinary manpower. This country is an attractive country. The countries which tend to loot the resources of other countries are not willing to let go of such a delicious morsel unless we prevent them from swallowing it. Of course, we will prevent them from swallowing it! The Islamic Revolution will prevent them from doing so. Therefore, the claims that they make are mere excuses. Human rights is an excuse, the issue of the destabilization of the region – which has recently been highlighted in the slogans of the Americans – is an excuse, terrorism is an excuse and so are the other statements that they make.

They themselves are terrorists and creators of terrorists. They support a country like the Zionist regime which is the brain and mother of terrorism. That regime was born with terrorism. It was born with massacre and with oppression. The Americans are the supporters of such a regime. Therefore, all these claims are just an excuse. Their problem is that they are not on good terms with the Islamic government. So, we cannot get along with the US. Ambiguous and equivocal statements which might be manipulated by some individuals should not be made. We should speak with clarity and candor.

The Americans themselves should know that the Islamic Republic will not compromise on its main positions. We will not stop fighting against oppression, we will not stop defending Palestine and we will not stop fighting for the sake of asserting our own rights. We are a live nation and the Revolution is fortunately alive and young. They were waiting for the Revolution to grow old. We grow old, but the Revolution does not!

Thankfully, the Revolution is at the summit of its enthusiasm, youth, capability, activeness, birth and production. When you look at these revolutionary youths, you confirm that the Revolution continues to produce and to give birth. The Revolution is constantly producing seeds. Therefore, this is a sign of a good future for our nation, God willing. And I hope that by Allah's favor, the people's conditions keep improving on a daily basis and that the country will be able to foil the threats in the best way possible, God willing.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make us be grateful to the Islamic Revolution.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make us appreciate the value of all the blood that was shed on the path of establishing the Islamic Republic. Make us familiar with our responsibilities and help us carry them out.

Dear God, in the remaining days of the month of Ramadan – particularly, the Nights and Days of Qadr – bestow Your kindness and mercy upon us.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make the people of Iran victorious in all arenas.

Dear God, help us achieve complete success, victory and salvation in both worldly and otherworldly arenas.

Dear God, make the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) satisfied and pleased with us. make the pure souls of martyrs pleased with us. Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) pleased and satisfied with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings