The Islamic Revolution Moved the People into the Center of Political Decision Making

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on August 3, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, at the 12th presidential endorsement ceremony.

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.

Oh God, send Your greetings to Your representative, Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha al-Murtaza, who is the Imam of the pious and the pure. And send Your greetings to his fathers and his children who are infallible and immaculate.

This is a very important meeting and these are important and determining days. The coincidence of this ceremony and this meeting with the auspicious birthday anniversary of Hazrat Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha- thousands of greetings and peace be upon him- is a source of felicity and blessedness for the enthusiastic hearts of the people of Iran and the present gathering.

That great personality narrated the well-known hadith Silsilatul-Thahab [The Golden Chain of Narration] in our own country and in cities near Tus and Nishabur and he emphasized monotheism as the basis and foundation of religion: "The word 'There is no God but Allah' is My fortress and anyone who enters my fortress is safe from My punishment." I hope that we too can establish the “word of monotheism" and the truth of monotheism in our lives – whether our personal or social lives – and in the foundations of the Islamic Republic, God willing.

This meeting is significant because of two reasons. One is that it is the beginning of a new era of management in the country. There is this hope that by Allah's favor, the officials who will enter the arena alongside the honorable President-Elect will be able to gladden the people with new innovations and with more capabilities than the past and that they will manage to meet the demands and requests that the honorable President expressed in his comprehensive statements.

The second reason is that this meeting is a symbol of democracy. From the beginning of the Revolution until today, this is the 12th meeting of the sort. In other words, from the beginning of the Revolution, the people of Iran have played their role 12 times in electing the highest-ranking officials of the country. This is a very important issue.

Moreover, the people's choices and votes have brought about 10 Islamic Consultative Majlises, five city and village councils and five Assemblies of Experts. All these have been achieved thanks to the Revolution. Our new generation should not forget certain things. We experienced the pre-revolutionary era with all our being. Before the victory of the Revolution, the people did not have any role in the management of the country and in the appointment of managers. Heads of countries, monarchs, kings and their cohorts used to come and go, but the people were mere spectators. They did not have any role.

The Islamic Revolution came and moved the people from the periphery into the center. This way, the people were given the power to choose everything. From the beginning of the Revolution, this is the 12th time that the result of the people's choice for the management of the executive branch is being announced. Therefore, this gathering is an important gathering.

Let us mention the name of our magnanimous Imam because it was the blessings of his firm determination and his deep faith who gave these achievements to the people of Iran. It was the endless insight of that great personality and the peerless courage of that great man who gave these achievements to the people of Iran. We officials and the rest of the people should be more proud because we live in an era in which Allah the Exalted chose a man in this country who managed to stir up this ocean. This is not a minor event. This is not a minor issue. He managed to completely change the direction of this country and of the people of Iran.

There used to be a monarchic and hereditary government for years and for centuries. In the case of the Pahlavi regime, as well as the humiliation of tolerating a monarchic system, there was the extra humiliation of tolerating foreign interferences. It was the English who brought Reza Khan to power and it was they who ousted him and who replaced him with his son.

Later on, in the coup d'état of the 28th of Mordad of the year 1332, it was the Americans who had complete power. They used to appoint kings and prime ministers for us. It was they who appointed the officials of the country for us. This was the condition of our country. However, our magnanimous Imam changed this apparatus. It was he who entered this arena. It was his firm determination, his deep faith, his peerless courage, his reliance on God and his trust in the people that managed to bring about these conditions.

Well, in the past 40 years, there has been an interconnected chain of officials each of whom has made certain efforts and did something innovative in their own right. Each of them has played a role. Today, the products of this chain of the officials of the Islamic Republic in the past 40 years are in the hands of the officials who will, by Allah's favor, begin their work formally from now on. The individuals who will undertake a responsibility – the colleagues of the honorable President – should add to this national asset and they should pass it to the next generation of managers so that this movement will – by Allah's favor – become more extensive and its radius will become wider.

In these four decades, the people and the administration have carried out great tasks. In this period of time, many scientific, executive, practical and intellectual infrastructures have been built in the country. These infrastructures never existed before the Revolution. Before the Islamic Republic, these great infrastructures did not exist. Such infrastructures are a launch pad for the people so that they can move towards the future.

Many experiences and capabilities related to the performance sheet of these past four decades have been provided for today's officials. New generations with revolutionary thinking and full of motivation have been trained and they are prepared today. In the beginning of the Revolution, we did not have so many personalities who were prepared for management. Thankfully today, the youth who are prepared to play their part in different areas of management are many. It is the Revolution that has trained them. The efforts of all these active and efficient men and government officials in the course of the past four decades have managed to provide these great products for the people.

What I want to say is that in the past decade, the officials of the country have thankfully managed to cooperate with the world. Despite the fact that the enemies have always wanted to isolate the people of Iran, the people of Iran have not become isolated. They have cooperated with the world, but at the same time, they have confronted the system of domination and arrogance in a serious manner. They have managed to resist their plots. And of course, the enemy is still busy working. One of the points that I would like to stress is the presence and the plots of the enemy. I do not want to allow this point to slip anyone's mind.

The Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) said, " The warrior should be wakeful because if he sleeps the enemy does not sleep" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 62]. If you fall asleep in your trench, your enemy will not fall asleep in the opposite trench. Certain eyes might be wakeful and work against you. You should not fall asleep and you should not forget about vigilance on all matters. Officials are the first addressees of this statement. The enemy is busy showing enmity. He adopts various measures. However, by Allah's favor and grace, the people of Iran and the officials of the country have become seasoned in this matter.

They have imposed sanctions on us. Sanctions surely create some problems for the country. There is no doubt about this, but sanctions have helped us to open our eyes upon our own resources. We had many capacities, but we were not aware of them. We used to ignore them, but when they imposed sanctions on us, we collected ourselves. We looked around and we found the existing domestic capacities and we benefitted from them.

Today, despite the wishes and desires of the enemy, we are strong. We are strong in terms of politics, military and security. Today, the Islamic Republic is much stronger and much more powerful than the first years after the Revolution, despite all these sanctions and all this enmity. This means that we have used the plots that the enemy hatched against us in our advantage and in the advantage of the country.

The enemy's explicit enmities made us resistant. And this resistance is not only relevant to explicit enmities. Some people show their enmities openly such as the people who have the power in the US and in other places in the present time. But the enmities of some others are in the form of wearing velvet gloves over an iron fist. I have spoken about this before. This is enmity as well.

Against these enmities, we have become more resistant by Allah's favor, grace and guidance. Our self-confidence has been boosted. Today, we are much stronger than the first years. We know the ways to confront the enemy as well. Today, by Allah's favor, the people of Iran have learnt the ways to confront the enemy's plots. Officials know this too. They know how to confront the enemy and they are doing so. We have more resources as well and we are not afraid of the enemy and his plots in any way.

We have many shortcomings. We will not keep this out of sight and we will not deny it, but we will not deny either that there are many capacities at our disposal. We can benefit from untapped and unused capacities, God willing. You officials of the country – particularly, the group of people who will be formed under the supervision of the honorable President and who will form the executive board and the executive branch – are the helmsmen of such a sizeable government. You should know this. The Islamic Republic and our dear country are a sizeable, resourceful and talented system.

These talents should be identified and benefitted from one by one. With reliance on our revolutionary identity – this is a very important point – with jihadi work, with popular support and with an abundance of worldly and otherworldly resources that are at your disposal today, you can move the country forward. 

I would like to urge three major orientations:

The first orientation is attending to the people's problems and these problems are primarily economic and livelihood problems in the present time. This is the first task of the three tasks that should be carried out simultaneously. This is the first task: attending to domestic issues and to the problems of the people – their livelihood and economic problems. By Allah's favor, you should reach a satisfactory point in this area in the next four years.

The second orientation is extensive interaction with the world. This is our permanent advice and this is the exact opposite of what our enemies and the global hegemonists are after. We can have vast and extensive interaction with the world. We can both help other nations and governments and we can receive their help. Humanity's social life moves forward like this: it moves forward with cooperation, unanimity, harmony and interaction with the world. Our geography and our numerous resources facilitate this for us.

And the third orientation is that you should appear before every hegemonist with complete decisiveness and power, no matter who that hegemonist might be. Today, the regime of the United States of America is more transgressing and shameless than everyone else. You should appear before them with decisiveness and power. You can prevent and foil their plots with national power and with the people's help.

Four decades of experience in the area of international activity show us that the price of giving in to bullying powers is much more than the price of resisting them! Giving in to the bullying of thuggish powers destroys nations and countries. It blocks the paths that lead to their progress in the real sense of the word. It makes them drift away from human values.

So, there is a heavy price to be paid for this. By Allah's favor and grace, we did not give in to arrogance and to the system of domination. We did not surrender to them. We did not compromise with them over their demands. And today, we are stronger and more capable than yesterday. Today, our resources are much more than yesterday. We have stood up against them and we have not surrendered to them. This is a very important experience.  Of course, we have offered martyrs on this path. We have made sacrifices. We have lost valuable and outstanding personalities, but the Islamic Republic has made progress, it has moved forward and it has highlighted its slogans.

I would like to offer some words of advice to the honorable President and to the brothers and sisters who will cooperate with him in different areas. They should keep these words of advice in mind. You should consider this responsibility and this capability as a trust that is in your custody. The Commander of the Faithful said, "Certainly, your assignment is not a morsel for you, but it is a trust around your neck" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 5]. This responsibility is a divine trust which is in our hands. Therefore, it has to be protected and safeguarded.

The holy ayah "Allah commands you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due" [The Holy Quran, 4: 58] is not only about tangible and worldly trusts. This important spiritual trust – this responsibility – is a clear manifestation of this ayah.

Another word of advice is that we have little time while we have many tasks and duties to carry out. Therefore, priorities should be observed. You should take priorities into account in the area of expenditure, in the area of planning and in all other areas. In the present time, the priority is the issue that the honorable President discussed: the issue of administering justice and uprooting poverty and corruption. These are our main priorities. We prioritize these tasks over others. And there are some tasks which are of secondary importance.

The next word of advice is that you should move forward by having plans. The Sixth Plan is a comprehensive plan. This year is the starting point for implementing this plan. Of course, we have put it up. The Sixth Plan was supposed to be implemented last year. The Sixth Plan is an important plan. The movement should be launched with planning, with complete precision and by predicting all possibilities. Great significance should be attached to the Sixth Plan.

My next word of advice is that we should attach significance to national unity. Whatever we have is because of the unity and solidarity of the people with themselves and with the government officials of the country. You should preserve this unity. No uproar should be created. No harmful duality should be created. The people have different tastes and viewpoints. Very well, we should allow the people to lead a peaceful life together despite their various tastes and viewpoints. Different tastes and viewpoints do not necessarily mean exchanging blows and being in conflict with one another. They can lead a good life next to one another and they can have various opinions. Therefore, no tumult and uproar should be created.

You should not be enraged at opposing viewpoints. If opponents have certain opinions and criticisms, let them express those criticisms and opposing viewpoints. One should not become irritated. After all, these are heavy tasks, but our shortcomings are not few in number. Some people might criticize us because of these shortcomings. Therefore, we should accept – in other words, tolerate – criticism. We should tolerate criticism.

You should go among the people. You should connect with the people without any go-betweens. You should listen to them. This is one of the most important tasks! Although the reports that we receive might be sincere and genuine, they are very different from what we see when we face the people and meet with them directly.

You should appreciate the value of revolutionary and motivated forces as well. I advise all officials to appreciate the value of these forces. Pious, motivated and revolutionary forces are individuals who protect and defend the country in times of difficulty.

In international decisions, you should remember that the enemy has used all his power in order to destroy you. Some of the officials of the governments which are in conflict with us are saying this openly today. They openly say that they are after destroying the Islamic Republic. You should remember this! Of course, some of them hide their intentions and they do not express them, but the truth is that they are after this as well. Global interaction should not make us ignore the fact that there are enemies who have sworn to destroy us.

And they use every excuse that they find. You send orbital satellite carrier rockets [Simorgh] into space, but all of a sudden, you see that they have created uproar about it in the world. This is scientific and technical activity. It is a task which is necessary for every country and which is completely normal and ordinary. However, when you do it, you see that they create uproar about it. These are signs that you should be more vigilant.

Such behavior should be responded by doing strong, jihadi and calculated work. Such enmities should be responded by becoming stronger. I do not mean that we should only become stronger in military and security areas. Of course, you should become strong in these areas, but you should also become strong in the area of the economy and culture. You should become stronger and more sophisticated in the area of preserving the Islamic and revolutionary identity. This is how the enmities of the enemy should be responded.

My last statement is that you should rely on God and you should believe in the promise of divine assistance: "If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet" [The Holy Quran, 47: 7]. There is another ayah which says, "Allah will certainly help him who helps His cause" [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]. And this is mentioned in an emphatic manner.

You are taking the path of establishing and reviving religion. You are taking the path of giving authority to God's religion. This is divine assistance. Therefore, you should be confident that Allah the Exalted will help you. You should not stay idle and indifferent in the face of those who fight religion and who breach the law and you should know that the future belongs to you.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make us successful on the path of gaining Your satisfaction.

Dear God, make this new administration – the 12th administration – and all the servants of the country successful in carrying out the important duties that fall on their shoulders.

Dear God, make our days, our life, our hours and our years a source of treasure, not a source of regret.

Dear God, associate the pure souls of our martyrs and the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam with Your saints.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings