People of East Azerbaijan Province met with Ayatollah Khamenei

Preference of East over West is a priority for Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei

"In foreign policy, top priorities for us, today, include preferring the East to the West, preferring the neighboring countries to the far reached locations, preferring nations and countries that share in our common goals."

People of East Azerbaijan Province met with Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the anniversary of Tabriz's February 18, 1978 popular uprising, on Sunday February 18, 2018.

Meeting with the people of East Azerbaijan, the Leader of the Revolution announced: "This year’s annual celebration of Bahman 22 (February 11) was truly unique throughout the country. After 39 years, this great people’s movement is like a miracle."

He added: "Nowhere else in the world, can we see a similar event where, after about four decades, the people are so actively involved: they fill the streets, speak out, manifest their presence, and defend their revolution; none of the revolutions, within recent centuries, represent such a display. Nowhere else in the world, we can find this. This is unique to Iran."

Ayatollah Khamenei turned his attention to the needs of country stating: "In all areas, progress has been made; but we need to work on justice. The most important achievement of the revolution was changing a tyranny-centered system into a people-centered system." 

Reflecting on the importance of the revolution, he asserted: "The services that the revolution has offered to Iran are numerous: there is a long list of services. However, the most important aspect of the revolution represents the changing of a tyranny-centered system into a people-centered system--inspired by Islamic and Quranic principles."

The Leader of the Revolution mentioned his hopes for a system that is more people-oriented, referring to the great outcomes of such a system. "One impact of a people-centered system is reviving talents. When people are actively involved and they are trusted, this is allowed. The feeling of national confidence is revived among the people; then they progress in science, industry, and emerging technologies; they progress in making a political impact on the region," he said.

Further touching on the subject of a people-oriented system he continued: "These [advancements] are triggered by the presence of the people and the active role of the people in the events of the country. This glorifies the nation."

"We named the third decade of the revolution the decade of Development and Justice: progress has been realized in the country but not justice. We are lagging behind in the area of justice, we admit it," his eminence added.

Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned the progress of the country but also recognized his own shortcomings: "Progress has been made in all areas; but we need to work more on justice. We must apologize to the people and to God for this shortcoming. We have problems in the realm of justice. We will, with God’s grace, advance in this area, too, by the will of productive men and women."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to thank the minister of foreign affairs—Dr. Zarif—for his righteous behavior before the malignancy of the US and Europe. He went on to say: "Some of these behavioral points were publicized, some weren't; but, I am informed. Righteous and strong attitudes were shown. Yes, this the correct method: they should react. National dignity must be manifested."

He reminded the audience he was not completely against foreign relations while stressing the necessity of resilience against dependency on foreign powers. "Within a resilient economy, relations around the world exists; but trust should be placed in the people."

Ayatollah Khamenei further asserted: "In foreign policy, top priorities for us, today, include preferring the East to the West, preferring the neighboring countries to the far reached locations, preferring nations and countries that share in our common goals. We should not be dependent on foreign countries. If we want to boost the economy within our country, we need to have quality exportation, thoughtful importation, and good economic relations. I am not against foreign funding; however, the leaders and managers should be Iranian. The work must not be entrusted to foreigners. If too much work is entrusted to foreigners, Iranian managers will lose their grip on matters." 

Ayatollah Khamenei reminded the people of putting too much trust in foreign powers using the JCPOA as an example: "We've witnessed the result of relying on foreign governments during the nuclear deal talks (The JCPOA). During the nuclear negotiations, we trusted them; but we didn't benefit from our trust."

Referring back to dependency on foreign powers he reiterated: "Reliance on foreign entities is dangerous: it allows the foreigner to gradually dominate over the country in various ways. We should use the advantages of cooperation with foreigners, but we must not depend on them."

Touching on his awareness of the Iranian people's grievances, the Leader of the Revolution said: "For forty years now, the haven of the people has been the prominent, risen flag of the revolution. Meanwhile, the people have grievances over some practices in the country. I am well aware of the complaints and problems of the people. They also reveal them to me. But when it is a question of the revolution and the system, they are so actively involved and moved."

He made certain the people knew that is was their right to criticize certain flaws of the government, however, expressing that through all complaints the people have remained committed to the Revolution: "The Iranian people have gained a kind of revolutionary awareness and political knowledge: they can distinguish between the 'Revolutionary system of the Ummah and Imamat’ and ‘the administrative system’; they are allowed criticism in some areas and still do their best to defend the core system that has been created through the revolution.
Acknowledging his own shortcomings, further, Ayatollah Khamenei added: "Criticism from the people does not only address the government, the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), and the Judicial Branch; they may criticize me as well. However, this criticism is not contrary to standing for the Islamic system and the revolutionary system that were both realized by the self-sacrifice of the people."




  • Bahman 22
  • Islamic Revolution