Ayatollah Khamenei

If possible, we would provide Yemen with a 100 missiles instead of one

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 8, 2018 (Bahman 19th) by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, during an assembly with commanders and personnel of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Air Force. The assembly was held in the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah, in commemoration of the Air Force officer’s historic pledge of allegiance to Imam Khomeini on the 8th of February of 1979.


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


You are very welcome dear brothers, dear youth, very dear sons of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are busy working and rendering services in one of the most sensitive and important positions of power in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I hope that, by Allah's favor, all of you will be successful, that you will benefit from divine kindness, and that the future, belonging to all of you, will be much better than your present-day conditions.


I would like to thank the honorable commander for his very good, comprehensive speech and, also, those dear young individuals who performed a splendid song. Both the poem and the performance were very good. I hope that, by Allah's favor, all of you will be successful.


I would like to use this opportunity to discuss a few points with you, dear ones. Well, the 8th of February is an important day for the country, and it is an important source of honor for the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army. This holds true about this day. That is why both you and us commemorate this day every year and discuss it amongst ourselves. However, the important point is that the 8th of February is not just a sweet and glorious memory. Of course, it is such a great memory, but beyond that, the 8th of February is an increase in the provisions of the Revolution, and it is an investment for the Revolution.


This is true about all days of Allah [Yawmullah]. The same is true of the 22nd of Bahman (11th of February). When each of these days of Allah – these memorable days, days in which reflections of greatness, human values, and self-sacrifice shine bright – is repeated every year and when they are given attention, the provisions of the Revolution increase and the foundations of the Revolution are strengthened. The 8th of February is such a day.


I will tell you that the Revolution is a living entity. I have certain points to make in this regard, which I will raise, later on, God willing. Of course, I will not raise them today, rather, by Allah's favor, I will raise them in the near future and on a certain occasion. The Revolution is a living entity. Those who think that the Revolution was a spark which died out at a certain time are a long distance away from understanding the truth of the Revolution. This is not the case: the Revolution is a living truth and a living entity which was born, which grows, which enjoys sustainability, and which lives a long life under certain circumstances; and which becomes ill, dies and falls to ruin under other circumstances.--This is the Revolution, just like every other living entity.


Because the Revolution is a living entity, it develops, it grows, and it has continuity and perfection. The Holy Quran says, "And their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem" [The Holy Quran, 48: 29]. This ayah means that the Holy Prophet's companions and the Islamic community – in other words, revolutionaries – are like plants that emerge from the ground. It [the plant after emerging] then grows, gradually, and its stem becomes firm, and it grows tall after some time. It gradually turns into a thriving, blessed, and astonishing entity. Where does its astonishing nature stem from? The ayah continues to say, "Filling the sowers with wonder and delight." This is astonishing to the person who has sown the seeds: "As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them." And it enrages the enemy. The Revolution functions like this: it can grow and achieve perfection with each passing day.


Well, most of you youth – who form the majority of participants at this gathering, who are my dear ones, and who I consider as my own sons – have not seen those days. You have not seen early revolutionary days, let alone the days before the Revolution. Those days were enthusiastic and full of valorous events, but today, the Revolution is even more sustainable and powerful than those days. Today, those revolutionaries whose hearts have been filled with faith in the Revolution are steadier, wiser, and more determined; and they are well-informed on taking their path and in considering the results of their work and the goals that they pursue. Today, this is the case. The Revolution has moved forward and achieved perfection.


That is why I have said many times that change and transformation is part of the nature of humanity's life. So, it is part of the nature of the Revolution as well. But what kind of change and transformation? A change and transformation in which principles enjoy strict stability: "See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? -- A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens" [The Holy Quran, 14: 24].


The principles are stable, the root is fixed and the branches are strong and powerful. The results, the yields, and the details become newer on a daily basis; and they show themselves in life and in the living environment of humans and of society, and they present new and fresh fruits. These are the characteristics of the Revolution. Our Revolution has enjoyed these characteristics.


If you look at the history of revolutions in the world, you will see that none of them had the characteristic that exists in our Revolution: in our Revolution, the principles are steady and stable; and fresh fruits emerge from this strong and firm-rooted tree; and they are at the disposal of the people and society. Of course, I am speaking about recent centuries during which many revolutions were carried out. We are not well-informed about centuries before that, nor do we want to speak about them. I am speaking about the past two, three centuries, during which many revolutions have been carried out on earth, for example, the independence of the United States from the English, the Great French Revolution, the October Revolution of the Soviet Union and the like. Thirty-nine years have passed since the Revolution, and we are on the verge of the 40th year. This is a very important event. These statements were about the Revolution.


Of course, the enemy is opposed to this. Whom do we refer to as "the enemy"? The enemy is he who has been hurt by the Revolution. The enemy is comprised of those who once had an installed and docile government in this very important area, which was obedient, and everything in that government belonged to them: its politics, its economy, and income. They have lost this, and they have suffered a great loss. They are headed by the US and some other European countries, England and the like. These are the opponents. The enemy's goal is to prevent this continuity and resistance. They are making all sorts of efforts to that end. And they use every apparatus at their disposal.


For example, they use pseudo-intellectuals. There are some people who look like intellectuals; they sit and present thoughts of opposition towards the foundations of the Revolution. You may sometimes see their articles and writings in some newspapers, electronic media, and the like. They [The enemy] use these people. They give them money and say to them, "You should produce views against the Revolution and against the foundations of the Revolution." They also use these bogus “thinkers” who generate assumptions – pseudo-theoreticians. They also use mercenary newspapers and writers, from the “resources” of cyberspace and their jesters. They do their best, and they use every person available in order to increase their audience. All these tasks are being carried out. All these operations exist at the present time.


Of course, they have not come into existence at only the present time. They have existed since the beginning of the Revolution – 39 years ago. All these tasks have been carried out, but they become more intensified on a daily basis. Today, there are some mechanisms which did not exist in those days. They are using all available modern technology now. You might have heard that during the fitna [sedition] of the year 2009, one of these active Internet networks was supposed to proceed with its annual update. They said to that network that it should delay this procedure, hence it could provide them with its services [without a pause]. They did not want services connected to the CIA and other political organizations in the US to stop. They use modern technology for this purpose.


Well, they make all these efforts; but all of a sudden, a 22nd of Bahman (anniversary date on February 11th) looms large for them. Well, they have counted on their audience, but the 22nd of Bahman arrives; and you see that a flood of people in Tehran, in provincial cities, and in all areas of the country – people from eastern, western, northern and southern areas of the country – walk the streets and chant unanimous slogans in the cold of winter, on ice, and under heavy snow and rain.


Another example is the 30th of December [Dey 9th, 1388 on Persian calendar]. If events like the 30th of December of 2009 or the 30th of December of this year occur, everyone will participate. You witnessed that during this year's 30th of December, the people took to the streets in a very enthusiastic and exciting manner because they had felt the presence of the enemy. This is the characteristic of a living entity. When a living entity feels the presence of the enemy, it becomes more sensitive and more active. On the 30th of December, the people showed their presence throughout the country. Later on, from the 3rd to the 8th January 2010, there were voluntary rallies in different cities, lasting for four, five days in a row.


On the 9th of January, I presented a brief report on their presence to the dear people who had gathered in this very Hussainiyah. Take note: this is what "living" means; this is what growing means. All of those efforts and all those activities [carried out by the enemies’ helpers] did not pay off.  And their efforts were not confined to cyberspace and the like. Sanctions are an example of these efforts. Sanctions have an impact on people's lives. They create economic problems, and all the people are involved with such problems. Nonetheless, the love of the Revolution, the interest in the Revolution, and the bond with the Revolution and the Islamic government produce such a response.


So, we should consider these days of Allah as a source of strength and steadiness. I will tell you that, by Allah's favor and grace, this year's 22nd of Bahman (February 11th) rally will be a spectacular one. This is because, with the nonsensical statements that some American politicians and others made, the people feel that the enemy is busy setting up an ambush and preparing for an invasion – not necessarily a military invasion, rather this means the intention to show enmity. When the people feel this, they enter the arena. By Allah's favor and grace, this year, the people's presence will be warmer and more enthusiastic than ever. By Allah's favor, everyone will participate. This is one issue.


Another issue is about the fundamental matters of the Islamic Republic. Of course, as I said earlier, I have certain statements in this regard. By Allah's favor, I will make these statements in the near future. Today, I will make these statements briefly. Well, the system that was created on the basis of the Revolution formulated some fundamental policies for itself. The Islamic Revolution proposed and implemented a political and social system. And certain principles came into being for the Islamic Republic on the basis of the Revolution. For example, independence – economic, cultural, political and security-related independence – was one of those principles which did not exist before. Before the victory of the Revolution, none of these principles existed. Well, we have made great progress in regards to this. Of course, we have a great deal of work to do in some of these areas. So, independence exists. Freedom exists.


The progress of the country is one of the fundamental principles of the Revolution. This holds true in different areas: the country should make progress in the area of science, in the area of technology, in the area of morality, in worldly and otherworldly areas, and in various other areas. Good achievements have been made in these areas. Of course, there is some distance between what we want and what should exist, and what has been achieved until today. Therefore, we should cover this distance.


Another principle is justice – social justice and destroying the wide gap between the various classes of society. Of course, we have dodged our responsibilities in this respect. We suffer from backwardness in this area. What should have been done has not been done properly and satisfactorily. We should pursue this seriously; and you should know that, by Allah's favor, we are pursuing this; and we will not forget about this matter. This is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic.


Of course, the way to do so is to fight against oppression and corruption. Justice has a vast meaning and it is very wide in scope. It is significant at the level of society and at an international level. It is significant in both economic and political spheres. In all said spheres, justice is a very important matter. Moreover, justice is an absolute value. Other values are all relative in one sense, but justice is an absolute value. It is necessary, in every sense of the matter, and it should be pursued.


Corruption should be combated. Injustice should be combated. Of course, this is very difficult. A few years ago, I said that corruption is like the seven-headed dragon in fables. In those fables, when you cut off one head of the seven-headed dragon, it moves forward with the other six heads. Destroying it is not easy. Corruption operates like this. Confronting and wrestling with those who benefit from corruption in society is a very difficult task. It is really a difficult task, but it is one of those difficult tasks which should definitely be accomplished. It is one of those tasks which should certainly be carried out. Almost the entire rule of the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) – who is our leader and example– was spent addressing this important matter. Of course, the issue did not come to an end at that time.


If God forbid, government officials behave in an unjust and corrupt manner, confrontation towards them should be more serious, and it should be carried with more intensity. All various organizations, all the managers of the country, and all of us throughout the country should pay attention to this; and we should not abandon the matter. We should not forget about oppression.


The same is true at an international level. The oppression committed by the arrogant powers should be clarified. Today, the cruelest and the most oppressive system in the world is the US government. It is more oppressive than everyone else. You’ve witnessed how bad, oppressive, and savage DAESH was. The US government is even worse than them. The US government is the same machine which created the likes of DAESH – not just DAESH itself. It facilitated the tasks for them. It acted as the cause.


This is not just our claim, rather they themselves have acknowledged this. The one who is the US President, presently, used to constantly highlight the fact, in his electoral campaign, that the creation of DAESH was a measure adopted by the Democrats -- the opposite party to his own. He would repeat this over and over again, and he was right. Evidence and proof for this claim did exist. In the present time, too, there is such evidence. It was they who created DAESH. It was they who strengthened it. It was they who offered DAESH their weapons, and their financial support and the like. Most probably, it was they who trained them to use certain methods.


Those savage U.S. organizations which are dependent on the US administration – such as the former Blackwater [it changed its name again] – are carrying out these tasks. They know these methods to perfection. They are experts at carrying out these savage acts against humanity. Most likely, it was they who have taught such methods to DAESH. Otherwise, how does a depraved individual from the Caucasus know how to torture an individual, how to drown people by torturing them, gradually, and how to burn them little by little? Likely, it was they [US mercenaries] who taught them these methods.


Despite the fact that the US is the cruelest and most merciless government in the world, it “advocates” for human rights in its propaganda! It “advocates” for the rights of the oppressed, it advocates for animal rights! Well, they should be disgraced. These things must be brought to the surface. These things must be promoted at an international level. Look at the oppressive acts they have committed against Palestinians. In the present time, the Palestinians are subject to oppression and cruelty on a daily basis. For one, two, ten, twenty, and now seventy years this oppression has been continuing, and the U.S. government has been behind it. Today, they continue to operate behind this oppression [against Palestinians] as well. Well, this should be explained.


Another example is their oppression against the Yemenis. Currently, Yemen is being bombarded every day. The people are being bombarded, various places are being bombarded, and markets are being bombarded: the country’s entire infrastructure is being bombarded. By whom? By US’s allies who have their approval. It is the Americans who provide them with weapons. It is they who help them. They watch the scene delightfully; they do not raise the slightest objection; do not show a hint of the slightest frown on their faces. Of course, there are some people among them – for example, writers – who make some objections, but the US administration does not pay any attention to them at all. That is while they (the US) display some pieces of scrap iron, with complete brazenness, and say such scrap pieces come from a missile given to Yemeni fighters by Iran!


They make such an unwarranted claim: Yemeni fighters and mujahids are under siege; it is not possible to give them anything. If it was possible, we would give them a hundred missiles–not just one! But it is impossible to get anything to them. They are oppressed! "Be an enemy of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 47].--If you can help the oppressed, you should do so. We are standing firm. On the issue of the Resistance, the United States’ officials decided to uproot the Resistance in West Asia; and they were confident that they would accomplish this task. We are standing firm, and we have said that we would not allow them to accomplish their goals. Today, it has been proven to every human on earth that they wanted to uproot the resistance in West Asia, but that they failed; and when we intended to accomplish our goals, and we’ve succeeded. Everyone in the world has understood this. Injustice should be confronted. This was about foreign injustice, but the same is true of domestic injustice,--and it is perhaps of a higher priority due to a number of reasons.


Another point which should be raised is the question of the people. One of the biggest advantages of the Islamic Republic is that it is a people-based system: one of the biggest advantages is that this Revolution is based on the people and on religion. The Islamic Revolution was religious and it was involved with the people's beliefs; and the government, which was created, was a religious and popular government; because the people believed in Islam, they entered the arena.


That is why you witnessed that their children and their dear ones joined the front lines and fought until they were killed. The hearts of their parents began to burn with pain, but they showed patience, they thanked God, and they did not disapprove. That’s because those things were done on the path to God, and in the manner of Imam Hussein (as). This is one of the features of the Revolution. The Revolution is a popular revolution. Therefore, people should be given the highest priority in all plans.


Well, the people are often brought up. It is good for the officials of the country to rely on the people and in the name of the people. It is very good that they refer to the matter. However, they should get to know the people. All of us should get to know the people. Notice that during the time of taghut [Pahlavi era] – you do not remember that time, but we spent our entire youth and the entire era of our activity and endeavor living in those times – there were these intellectuals who were very active. We were in touch with many of them at that time. They used to mention the people on every occasion. As soon as there was a discussion, they would speak about the people and the defense of the people. They used to say such things. That was while they were wrong. It cannot be said that all of them were lying, but they were confused about this matter. They did not know the people, nor did the people know them. They did not understand the people, nor did the people understand them.


They used to write so many knowledgeable essays in magazines and newspapers. The taghuti regime of Pahlavi knew that the people would not be influenced by those words because the people did not know what they were writing about. They were only fabricating certain things. So, the taghuti [Pahlavi] regime would not adopt strict measures towards those intellectuals. I had witnessed in Mashhad that obvious communist based books were easily being sold in the bookstores, but an Islamic book about a certain Islamic issue, about Palestine and about other such matters, would be met with all sorts of hostility.


The reason being was that the subjects, which those intellectuals were writing on, and the ideas that they were putting forward were not believable to the people in any way. Neither they nor the people had any understanding among one another. When Imam Khomeini entered the arena of struggle, in the year 1962, he understood the people, and the people understood his statements as well. They understood and followed him, and that was how the Revolution came into being. So, people should be understood.


Who are the people? The people are those who created the 22nd of Bahman epic. The people are such individuals. If you want to understand what the people say, you should listen to them. The people are those certain individuals who step aside as soon as they see that a group of vandals has entered the domain. They step aside, even if they have some objections because they see the slogans that those vandals chant. Later on, on days like the 30th of December, they enter the arena and chant their own slogans. The people are such individuals. They should not mistake others for the people.


They should get to know the people through their slogans and statements, and they should work for the people: "Sincerely for God and His Exalted Being" [Speaking in Arabic]. Working for the people does not contradict working for God. It is not the case when we say that officials should work for the people, this means that they should not work for God. This is not the case. God has said that you should work for the people. God has asked us, officials, to be at the service of the people, to be their servants and to work for them.


The people should be heard. The people are complaining about corruption and discrimination. This is what the people are saying. The people endure many problems. Of course, they do not like corruption and discrimination. They have certain complaints and they present them. The people's complaints are about corruption and discrimination; therefore, officials – including executive, judiciary, and legislative officials – should pursue these matters seriously.


As for the Armed Forces, my last word is that the Armed Forces should add to their construction on a daily basis. Add to the construction of what? The construction of their own personalities and their own selves. They should edify themselves. They should build themselves as first-rate Islamic individuals and as first-rate Islamic militaries. First-rate Islamic militaries are pious, courageous, self-sacrificing and intelligent. They stand against the enemy with complete power, but they do not exhibit any arrogance or hubris in the face of their friends. This is a quality of Islamic militaries.


An example in this regard is Malik al-Ashtar. He used to treat the enemy in one way and an impolite boy in Kufa –whose story is well-known – in quite another way. A boy in Kufa did not know Malik al-Ashtar,  so, he insulted him, but when he recognized him later on, he became nervous. He ran after him and found him in the mosque saying daily prayers. The boy apologized. Malik said, "I have come to the mosque to pray for you." That military commander – who is known as Malik al-Ashtar and who participated in the Battle of Siffin, and accomplished those great feats – behaved towards a young impolite boy in such a kind manner! This means self-edification.


And another matter is about building equipment. The honorable commander in the meeting was correct when he said that the Air Force was the first division in the army which embarked on building equipment and which engaged in self-sufficiency jihad. And the Air Force was very good and active. The Air Force has carried out many tasks. There are many stories about the Air Force. And this is one of them. You started the process of construction. In your force, the determined individuals who existed in those days began this process. In the present time, they are thankfully present as well. You are present and you can carry out this task.


You should both repair and build equipment. You should build because you can. You the youth have very good capabilities. Once I said that a particular country only has money. It has nothing except for money. It does not have religion, morality, wisdom, capability, and skill. It only has money. Some countries are like this. You may not have a lot of money at your disposal, but you have everything else: you have talent, you have the mental capacity and you have the power to innovate and to build. You can build. So, you should work hard in building yourselves, your own selves which is the most important, in building equipment and in building your organization. You should develop your organization as much as you can.


And you should know that, by Allah's favor, victory belongs to you. By Allah's favor, in all the events that have taken place in recent years, revolutionary forces have snatched up a victory. In the future too, victory will belong to you and to the resistant people of Iran, despite the foolish desires of the enemy.


Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings!


  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Islamic Revolution
  • Yemen