Ayatollah Khamenei

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

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on February 18, 2018, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, during an assembly with the people of East Azerbaijan. The assembly was held at the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah in commemoration of the Tabriz uprising anniversary of February 18, 1978.




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, and may Allah curse all their enemies.


You are very welcome [here] dear brothers, dear sisters. Of the most notable days and ceremonies witnessed in this Hussainiyah are the days that you, dear ones from Azerbaijan and Tabriz, visit this place--every year on the 29th of Bahman. Azerbaijan is an outstanding region; its people are outstanding; its events are outstanding as well. The dear people of Tabriz and Azerbaijan have always followed a method of creating new trends, innovation, and amazing events. May God's mercy be upon you (the people). May God's grace be eternal for you (the people).


I would like to discuss something in regards to the coincidence of these days aligned with the occasion of Fatima Zahra al-Siddiq al-Kubra's (God's greetings be upon her) martyrdom.  Of course, the performance that you delivered was an excellent, efficient, and valuable one. I would only like to add that all Muslims are unanimous on the virtues of Lady Siddiq al-Kubra (God's greetings be upon her): there is no difference between Shia and Sunni in this regards. In the books of both Sunni and Shia, there is a hadith which declares that "Fatima is the overseer of all women in paradise." Her status is higher than the greatest of all women in the world. She is "The overseer of all women in paradise."


Who are the women in paradise? The best, most prominent, most pious and most jihadi oriented women: women who are martyrs and have been defined by the great words of Allah the Exalted in the Quran. All of these women gather together in paradise, and Fatima Zahra (God's greetings be upon her) is "The overseer of all women in paradise": this is a very high and lofty position. Lessons of courage, self-sacrifice, and piety in this world; and the lesson of acquiring knowledge and transferring it to the minds of her audience and others; she enjoyed the position of being a knowledgeable teacher for all of humanity. These are things that Fatima Zahra (God's greetings be upon her) has taught humanity as a whole. I hope that all of you, all dear people of Azerbaijan, all people of Iran, and all Muslims benefit from the blessings of, "The Lady of Two Worlds."

The greatness of the 29th of Bahman [marking the anniversary of the February 18, 1978 uprising in Tabriz] cannot be conveyed, totally, through our short descriptions. The 29th of Bahman encompasses such greatness. Although revolutionary activities began in Qom during the year 1356 [1977-1978]; and they continued, in other places, after the events in Tabriz; I can say with complete confidence, if it had not been for the 29th of Bahman event, in 1356, the event that took place on the 19th of Dey [January 9], in Qom, would have, most probably, been consigned into oblivion; thus, the chain of events that occurred subsequently would not have been. In other words, the course of the country's history would have changed. With their uprising of the 29th of Bahman, with their complete understanding, and with their timely and appropriate actions, the people of Tabriz managed to initiate the great movement that led to the 22nd of Bahman of 1357 [February 11, 1979, the victory of the Islamic Revolution]. Such is the greatness of this story.


I would like to mention something about this year's 22nd of Bahman rally as well. This year's 22nd of Bahman was truly different from previous years—both in Tabriz and Tehran, and all cities of Iran.  After 39 years–while we are nearing the 40th year of the victory of the Revolution–this great popular movement has been a miracle. There is no such movement anywhere in the world! The fact that after all these years the people themselves--without government officials--have entered the arena, for four decades, in order to celebrate their own victory; the fact that they fill the streets chanting slogans of their own, show their presence, and defend their Revolution, has no equivalence to revolutions that have occurred in the past two, three centuries.--And in centuries prior to that, such a thing did not exist either. In the present time, too, such a [revolutionary] event does not exist anywhere on earth. This is particular to Iran, and this is particular to you.


This year, the various events, which were organized by enemies from outside the country, from inside the country, from the US, and from some of our untrustworthy and unreliable neighbors, caused our people to attain more motivation. They entered the arena and created a different type of 22nd of Bahman.--All these occurrences are a lesson for all of us. The slogan that you chanted here–"It is 40 years now that the immaculate flag of the Revolution is our refuge!"[speaking in Azeri language]--is fact. It is 40 years, now, that the only refuge for the people has been the high and outstanding flag of the Revolution. The thing that you said expressed the heartfelt feeling that the people have, and you are right.


And this is while some people have certain criticisms towards the current issues of the country: it is not that they do not have any critical views. I am completely aware of the people's criticism and protests; they share their criticism with me and with others: such things are conveyed to us. However, when the issue is about the Revolution and the Islamic Republic, they enter the arena and move forward in this manner. By Allah's favor, the people of Iran have acquired a kind of revolutionary awareness and political perfection; as a result, they can differentiate between the revolutionary system, which is based on the nation, and the Imamate and bureaucratic conflicts. They might be critical in this respect, but they defend the essence of a system that has been created by the Islamic Revolution.


When I say that some criticize, this does not mean that their views are only directed at the administration--the judiciary branch and the Majlis--this is not the situation. Some people might have certain criticisms against this humble person as well [Ayatollah Khamenei referring to himself]. However, this does not contradict their commitment to the Islamic and revolutionary government, to the government of the nation and Imamate, and to a government which has been created by the people's Revolution and self-sacrifice. Throughout the past 40 years, hundreds of thousands of martyrs sacrificed themselves on the path of this system.


Now that I have met with you, dear people who have traveled a long way, I would like to discuss with you a number of issues within the available time we have. You are the very dear ones who are respected and loved very much by individuals like me. The sincerity, courage, and clear revolutionary movement which exists within you and which is felt in action–not only in words–attracts everyone. I have also felt this, in the real sense of the word, since the first time I've visited Azerbaijan and Tabriz–there have been many trips.


I shared something with Imam Khomeini at that time, during the time of my presidency I visited Tabriz; later on, I went to Imam and said that Tabriz is of a different nature. The people of Tabriz display a different kind of revolutionary truth which is more enthusiastic, powerful, and thundery than other places. Despite the fact that all the people of Iran had the same revolutionary enthusiasm in those days, Tabriz was different. Today, I have met with you, dear Tabrizi people, and with people from various cities of Azerbaijan; therefore, I would like to discuss a few issues. Of course, I address all the people of Iran by these statements.


One issue is about the Revolution and the main function of the Revolution. Another issue is about the problems of the Revolution. If there is time, the next issue will be about the priorities and preferences that the Revolution dictates, at this point in time, and that we should observe. The next issue is about the future of the Revolution.--These are important and necessary topics of discussion. And it seems that this is the best place to discuss these issues, as you—who are revolutionaries and advocates of the Revolution in a true sense—have gathered in this place. The best thing to do is to discuss such issues with individuals of your caliber.


As for the issue of the Revolution and its function, the Revolution was a great movement, and I believe that after the passage of nearly 40 years, we have not correctly understood the dimensions and greatness of this Revolution. Later on, when others sit back and look at the Revolution's shape from a distance, it becomes clearer what this Revolution was about and what it has done [for Iran]. The Revolution has had numerous functions. The services that the Revolution has rendered for Iran are many. There is a long list in this regards.


Now, the enemies want to deny these services, but these are clear facts. The most important task that the Revolution has carried out–which is a fundamental task–is turning the monarchic system into a democratic system.--This is the most important task that the Revolution has carried out! And the Revolution was inspired by Islamic teachings, not by the schools of thought introduced by this or that theoretician with the shortcomings and contradictions that exist in their ideals. The Revolution was inspired by Islam and the Quran: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil [The Holy Quran, 3: 76]."


The divine system is against the Taghuti [tyrannical] system, the Islamic Republic, and the Islamic Revolution defined the divine system to mean religious democracy.--The Islamic Republic represents this. It turned the Taghuti system into a democratic system: this is the most important task.


Democracy means that the people are the essence of all things. The essence is the people and not only in electing the ruler. This is because, as soon as we speak about democracy, everyone's mind switches to the ballot boxes–of course, this is correct; electing the president, the assembly of experts, in fact, electing the leader himself and electing various organizations is carried out by the people. The approach is determining and correct, but it is not the only component of democracy.


What's important is that democracy involves giving the people the power of voting and decision-making in all life affairs: this is the exact opposite of what existed in this country before the Revolution, and the suppression lasted for several centuries. For several centuries, this country used to suffer from the tyranny of Taghuts [tyrants] and Sultans. The people did not have political roles [the people lacked power]. It was the main Taghut and the other Taghuts surrounding him who were decision-makers: it was an absolute dictatorship. The people were merely an instrument for the Taghuti dictator to issue orders. After all, a person who wants complete rule and to control others has to issue out those orders to someone, and that someone was comprised of the whole nation. Their only use of the people was to rule over them [for the sake of being in control].


Now, during the mid-Qajar era, another condition was factored in, which allowed foreign domination, influence, and colonialism. These elements did not exist prior to that era. For example, during the Safavid era, or during the time of Nader Shah and others there was tyranny, but there was no foreign influence. But, at the turn of the mid-Qajar era--the late Nasser al-Din era and onwards--foreign domination entered Iran. To be exact, British infiltration into Iran began during the 1800 centennial of the Christian calendar. The representatives of the Indian government–which comprised of an English government–had entered Iran at that time. I have referred to this event in some of my speeches, I have spoken in detail on this matter; therefore, I will not discuss it further. Foreign influence was accompanied by tyranny: foreign domination became a factor for the domination of Taghut rule.


Foreign influence became so powerful that the Qajar dynasty–under influence of the British crown–was ousted by Englishmen and replaced with another dynasty. And it was the British who brought Reza Khan to power. Later on, they removed him from power--for some reason. Then they replaced Reza Khan with his son. After that incident, Americans entered Iran during a mid-Pahlavi era. Americans controlled everything, in Iran, at that point. Thousands of U.S. agents, freely, entered the country. Now, Democracy is the opposite of what I just described: it does not allow this form of tyranny to exist. Democracy does not allow foreign domination over other countries to exist: this defines a democracy.


As I said, earlier, upholding a democracy does not only involve political management of a country: it requires rendering services out to cities and villages: it requires reviving that spirit of carrying out great tasks throughout the entire country. An example and true manifestation of this model of democracy are both witnessed in the formation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Constructive Jihad, and Basij mobilization forces. Suddenly, a reality like Constructive Jihad was created, through it many great tasks, in Iran, over the course of a few years have been carried out. The same is true of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Basiji forces. These developments resulted from the presence of the people. Democracy includes cultivating the people's talents: the human capacities of the country. Our youth did not witness those days, but the elderly did. Back then, we used to have in Iran doctors from the Philippines, India, and other countries; those doctors did not work in our villages and remote cities. No. Sometimes, doctors from the Philippines worked in the cities, too.


A country which used to be weak, in terms of human resources, has made such great progress: it has become a sought-after axis of healthcare in the [Middle Eastern] region. To treat painful diseases, people from nearby countries come to Iran: they receive treatment in our hospitals, by our physicians. Human capabilities have emerged in our country to the extent, of which, all of a sudden Iran is ranked fourth or fifth among two-hundred plus countries in terms of scientific breakthroughs. --These advancements reveal a democracy: democracy results in reviving talents! When the people step up to the plate, and when they are entrusted and listened to, great achievements become the result. --When this happens, national self-confidence is revived among the people. The people progress in scientific and industrial fields, in newly-emerged sciences and political influence throughout the region. All these developments occur as a result of the people's presence and their influence on events in the country. This way, the country and the people achieve greatness.


Presently, you may notice that some country, which is dependent on the U.S., sells 10 million barrels of oil per day. There is a lot of money in its [Saudi Arabia] treasury, but its nation, overall, is poor and underdeveloped. There is no mention of the people's achievements in that country! The only ones seen from that country, as representatives, are a few Taghuti individuals: they are in charge of all affairs; but, there is no trace of their people on the map. Not one can say that the people of that particular country made some small scientific advancement or launched a progressive movement. But, where there is a religious democracy–like that of the Islamic Republic–the people become prominent in the eyes of others' around the globe.

That [great achievements] is why the enmity of the enemies is directed at the people of Iran. Today, the hostility of the Americans is not directed at this humble person [Ayatollah Khamenei refers to himself] or government officials, rather it is directed at the people; because the people are in charge of all affairs within Iran. All things that have angered and outraged the enemies are related to the performance of the Iranian people and their greatness. In a real democracy, the significance of a nation increases; in other words, the people find their identity along with public and global credibility. The people achieve dignity and respect: none of these things existed during the time of Taghut; however, during the time of the Islamic Republic, these accomplishments came into existence--thanks to the Revolution.


The result of our democracy is in the progress of our country. The achievements are extraordinary: thus, we have named the fourth decade of the Revolution, "The Decade of Progress and Justice." Progress has been achieved in the country, in a real sense of the word. For now, I cannot say the same of justice: we are behind on the platform of justice; there is no doubt about it. We, ourselves, acknowledge and admit to our shortcomings when it comes to instances of justice in our country. In "The Decade of Progress and Justice," we should have succeeded in both progress and justice. Yes, we have succeeded in the area of progress: progress has been achieved in many ways; but, in the area of justice, we must work and endeavor harder than ever. We must apologize to Allah the Exalted, and to our dear people, for we have these problems concerning justice. But, by Allah's favor, with the determination of competent, pious men and women, we will progress in this area. But, when it comes to material progress--to be fair--important tasks have been carried out.


Progress does not involve allowing foreigners into a country to take its resources, then merely building structures in return for this transaction: such transactions do not equate to progress. Some people see these countries that surround us, whose wealth comes from oil, and they notice that there are elaborate airports and towers there: however, this is not progress! If foreigners invade, take the money from a country, and humiliate its people by building a "tower" for it: this is not progress; this is backwardness; this is a total loss! Today, the tallest tower in the region rises over the most incompetent country!--This does not equate to progress. Progress occurs when a country and its people join the front lines, using their own power, determination, decision, knowledge, and capacity: this is progress, and this has, thankfully, occurred in our country.


Today, we are an axis of power in the fields of medicine and medical treatment; we are among the top countries in the world. We make decisions on regional issues. We have developed great skills within the field of nuclear sciences. We have developed great skills in nanotechnology and biotechnology. We have a high ranking status throughout the world in the area of cyberspace-related technologies. All of these accomplishments constitute progress. And our young ones are waiting for their chance to soar, [rightly so] as they are extremely talented. We, managers, have shirked our duties here to some extent: if we cooperate more with the youth, they will soar much higher in scientific and technical fields, in areas related to public services, and in various other fields--just as they are soaring high in spirituality today.


We have made great progress in the realms of security, defense, agriculture, health, science, transport and the like. Thankfully, our ability to progress has been great. During "The Decade of Progress and Justice" the progress made was exceptional: all of this resulted from the Islamic Revolution. Of course, because we are weak in the area of promotion, advertising, people around the globe may not know of Iran's achievements, but the enemies know very well about our accomplishments. I will tell you, we are strong in many areas, but we are also weak in the area of publicity. We have been inactive, weak, and unimaginative in the area of advertisements: we must progress. Nonetheless, our enemies and those who observe all affairs see the achievements of Iran. They know how much the country has moved forward.


Moreover, the Islamic Revolution has accomplished great feats: it liberated the country from a state of disaster; it saved the people from being subservient and humiliated. Today, our people stand proud: this is the most important achievement for a country and a nation. Of course, there are many such other achievements--a long list of them; however, as I've said, we are weak in the field of promotions. Therefore, I advise officials to provide accurate reports on the varieties of achievements within the country; they should not do so in a language of exaggeration. They should not only prepare a verbal report: they should execute this task in a practical and articulate manner; therefore, those who have doubts and are unaware of these achievements become more familiar with them. Of course, not all people are unaware, but some create doubt, intentionally. Hence, by establishing adequate promotions, the people around the world will become familiar with the outcomes of the Revolution: these are some thoughts on the Revolution.


As for the problems of the Revolution, because there is little time and we are close to noon, I will only raise a few points. One of the greatest dilemmas to occur in a revolution is retrogression. What does it mean to be retrogressive? It means undermining and causing a movement to decline which the Revolution began and the people followed at an accelerating rate with revolutionary power; but, when retrogression occurs the people retreat. Almost all the great historical revolutions that we know of–for example, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and revolutions carried out in Africa and Latin America–were afflicted with this plight during the initial years, without any exception. And in none of those revolutions, was there a case of revolutionary statements that would not change, in any way, for 40 years.


However, we managed to preserve our revolutionary statements. But, some things are dangerous: it is my duty to speak to our dear people about these dangers. If we move towards aristocratic lifestyles, this is moving towards retrogression. If we focus our attention on wealthy and greedy classes of society instead of paying attention to underprivileged classes, this is moving towards retrogression. If we rely on foreigners instead of relying on the people and if we pin our hopes on foreigners, this is moving towards retrogression: this must not happen. The intellectuals of our society should be careful: the managers of society should be careful. The managers of the country should be extremely cautious in this regard. The people, too, should pay close attention and examine our behavior and the behavior of managers with sensitivity: they should do so with sensitivity.

Retrogression is a dangerous phenomenon. When retrogression occurs, this means that although the same revolutionary people are in charge that they have turned back their direction or path. It's as if the Revolution had been carried out and they [the revolutionaries] left, so we've replaced them! The Revolution was not carried out for this purpose [for retrogression]! The Revolution does mean transformation; it does mean changing the direction of a path; it does mean taking lofty goals into consideration, advancing towards them: if we forget these goals, then it is no longer a revolution.


Some individuals think that the Islamic Revolution solely belonged to the year 1979 and that, today, it is over: This is a false belief. The Revolution just began in 1979, it did not come to an end that year. The beginning of change and reform in [Iranian] society took place during 1979. It took place on the "22nd of Bahman"--which was only a starting point. Gradually, the movement of the revolution should persist, deep and wide, inviting in more comprehensive and intelligent thought. It should never end. And it should not be the case that when we say someone is revolutionary that the people think of them in a negative light; it should not be the case that when we say an individual is revolutionary that they are unintelligent or absent-minded: neither are practical. The management of our country is respectable. The Constitution is respectable; all principles of the Constitution should be observed. The Revolution has been created in this mold [the constitution], so this mold should be considered worthy of respect: This is necessary.


If one believes that the Revolution can still be meaningful minus a well-formed system or government, this is a mistake. Certain individuals feel as if they should have a critical outlook on every subject: on all events and all sectors of the Islamic government--in the name of the Revolution! This outlook is not practical. The Revolution means embracing a revolutionary system: a system built upon the ideals of the people, the Imamate (P.B.U.T), and upon religious democracy with revolutionary goals and orientation. These stipulations should be carried out. Fortunately, we do not have a shortage of revolutionaries; and among all the masses of people, the Revolution is, thankfully, as popular as a current coin. Among managers, too, those who are the advocates of the Revolution, in a real sense of the word, are not few in number.


During one of my trips at the time of my presidency, I visited an African country. Years – seven to ten years – had passed from the victory of the revolution in that country. The head of government was an African man who was formerly the leader and commander of the revolution, and after that, he had become the head of the government. I noticed that the head of the country – who was our host – behaved in the same manner as a Portuguese general who used to rule over the country before him: the parallels in their behavior was uncanny.


Apparently, that country had a history of colonialism by Spain and Portugal. A Portuguese military official used to rule over their country for many years. Now the African gentleman, who was the head of the government, behaved just as the Portuguese did. What kind of revolutionary victory was this? His outlook towards the people, surrounding individuals, and his audience were the same as those who once oppressed him. The representatives of the Islamic Republic behave differently. Thankfully, the Islamic Revolution of Iran has been different [from the oppressors] to this day, and it will be different from now on. If officials adopt an aristocratic lifestyle and seek exclusive privileges, if they show disinterest towards funding the public and ignore underprivileged classes of society, these are anti-revolutionary performances! All the organizations of the Islamic Republic must move forward by honoring the goals of the Revolution.


Well, another important matter which stands out today concerns the economy. I’ll tell you that all officials, well-informed personalities, and masses of Iranian people perhaps believe that, today, one of the most pressing issues of the country regards our economy. Hence, what can be done to improve the economy of our country? One solution is to center our reliance on the people. This calls for the Economy of Resistance. We have announced this solution, and all the officials of the country confirmed their willingness to support it: no one objected. Of course, some complaints are heard from some corners of the country, but when the policies of the Economy of Resistance were announced, all Iranian officials confirmed that this is the only way to resolve the issue.


The Economy of Resistance does not mean being confined to or “imprisoned” within the country. Some should not prematurely claim [in opposition], "We want to be in contact with the rest of the world." There is contact with the entire globe in policies relating to the Economy of Resistance. However, it is stated that people should be trusted: this is an economy that grows from the inside and looks to the outside. The economic movement bubbles from the inside; it rises from the people's talents, resources, and investments. Measures should be adopted to make these investments, talents, and capacities end in increased labor and production and creating wealth inside the country: this challenge requires intelligent measures. We should not pin all our hopes on the outside world. Of course, if we want the domestic economy to develop, we should have good exports, appropriate imports, and solid economic relations: there is no doubt about it.


Foreigners can make investments inside the country: I am not opposed to the investment of foreigners, but these affairs must be in the hands of domestic management. Our domestic managers should make important decisions in regards to foreign investors. Crucial affairs of Iran should not be entrusted to foreigners. If this is done, the managers of the country will lose control; therefore, instructive measures have taken place in this regard.


The leader of a well-known regional country -- I won't mention where from, but it was a fairly advanced Asian country that made good economic advancements and enjoyed a high rate of economic growth -- came to Tehran and visited me roughly 13 years ago. It was at a time when that grave earthquake occurred throughout East Asian, and it hit the economy pretty hard. The man who visited me was a leader from one of those disaster-struck countries. While in Tehran, he sat beside me. When he spoke, one of his first statements was: "We became beggars overnight!" When the economy is dependent on the investment and willpower of a Zionist, Western, or U.S. investor, this is what happens. The head of a developed country, which enjoyed economic blossoms and a high rate of economic growth, told me they became beggars overnight! --This is one outcome of reliance on outsiders.


We have witnessed the results that come from relying on foreigners, ourselves, regarding the issue of JCPOA. We trusted foreigner delegates on the issue of nuclear negotiations, but we did not benefit from our trust. Fortunately, I see that Iranian officials have behaved in a satisfactory manner: I should certainly thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs. His attitude towards the U.S.’s malevolence and the Europeans' contradictory behavior has been sharp and decisive. Some of the Minister's remarks have been broadcasted while some have not, but we are aware of what he says.


Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs behaved in a firm and respectable manner: officials of Iran should confront foreign diplomats with such a mighty demeanor. In foreign proceedings, they should exhibit our national dignity. Furthermore, reliance on foreign powers is a dangerous practice. Reliance on foreign bodies helps them [foreigners] gradually dominate the fate of a country by applying various methods of deception. Foreign bodies should only serve to benefit the country, not relied on and trusted: this is a very important matter that all officials of the country should heed.


We are on the verge of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Revolution. Forty years is not a long time. For the history of a nation, 40 years is not long rather it is short. During these 40 years, our people made many endeavors: they walked on ridged rocks. Since the first year – almost since the first day – we were under sanctions. These sanctions have been pursued and persistent in different ways, and they have increased in number as well. Everything that has happened – all of Iran’s achievements – have emerged during a time of sanctions. We were under sanctions, and we made such great achievements: this reveals the capability of the Revolution and the Iranian nation.


We have certain priorities: we should prefer a jihadi form of management to the old and dilapidated bureaucracy: this is one of our priorities. We should insist on a jihadi form of management. The officials of the country in the executive branch, in the judiciary branch, and in different divisions should pursue a jihadi management. Jihadi management does not mean lack of discipline; rather, it means moving forward with acumen and pursuing important task day and night.


In the area of domestic policy, we should prefer the masses over partisan minority groups and the like. The majority of the people are a first priority to consider.


Moving on to the issue of public services, we should give more thought and effort towards improving conditions of the underprivileged, oppressed groups, and remote areas in the country over the wealthy class. Fortunately, over the course of these years, many areas which never witnessed any sign of construction and development have received some attention. Both organizations in charge and those organizations which are not directly in charge have paid attention to these areas. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, for example -- in Sistan and Baluchistan – have rendered out many public services, despite the fact that they are not in charge of public services. But, the services rendered to the people by the Guards Corps in underprivileged areas are eye-catching: these tasks exist, and they should be pursued. All the organizations of the Islamic Republic of Iran should observe this priority.


As for defensive measures of the country: all methods and instruments which are needed, presently and in the future, should be pursued and updated. We should not hesitate, for one single moment that Iran should move ahead towards obtaining what it needs to defend itself, even if the entire world is opposed to our decision! Political leaders who are constantly threatening human civilizations with deadly atomic and nuclear weapons are now sitting somewhere, criticizing the Islamic Republic for their missile program. Well, what is our missile program to you? These missiles are means to our own defense, and they give Iran the capability of protection. Iranians should be able to defend themselves. Some world leaders say that we should not possess defensive armaments so they can torment us as often as they would like.


Of course, we, ourselves, consider certain weapons as haram [religiously prohibited] and we do not pursue them – such as nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. We will not pursue wide-range, destructive weapons; but, we will not hesitate or have doubts about what is necessary for Iran.


Regarding the realm of foreign policy, we should prefer the East to the West and neighbors to distant countries. We should choose nations and countries that share common interests with us: this is just one of our priorities today.


Now, on the economy, employment is one of the most pressing issues and production is another that we must challenge. Therefore, I called this year "The Year of Production and Employment." Many efforts must be carried out to improve production and employment in Iran. All officials of the country should work harder when it comes to making improvements in these two areas. Certain tasks have been carried out this year, and they have released some statistics, but what is desired requires more effort. We have to do something to improve the rate of employment and domestic production in Iran: this is how we cure our economy.


I would like to say something about the future of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well. First of all, the youth should prepare themselves: they should always be ready in terms of scientific, ideological, and revolutionary motives. Iran's youth serve as an engine for progression within the Revolution: this has been the case since the beginning of the Revolution until this very day. Fortunately, today, we have more youth who are determined and insightful than we did at the start of the Revolution: we do not have as many, rather we have more! The insight and depth of understanding encompassed by our younger generations are greater than the Revolutionary youth of the past: we do not suffer from shortcomings in this regard: this, thankfully, exists. Dear youthful Iranians, you should prepare yourselves: teenagers who are entering into young adulthood should prepare themselves. Revolutionary thought, motivation, insight, and action are among the many elements that our youth should remember.


Everyone must come to realize that the Islamic Republic is strong. [Indeed,] the Islamic Republic is mighty. The reason for Islamic Republic's strength is due to several greedy and malicious governments from around the world that have been trying to destroy and annihilate the Islamic Republic--for 40 years--but they have failed at their own game! Consequently, the reason for the increased power of the Islamic Republic is because of its fight for survival over the past four decades. Despite the existence of an unfavorable environment, unfavorable circumstances, and great enmities, the Islamic Republic thrives: which reveals that [the Islamic Republic] once a sapling has turned into a mighty tree today, which the enemy cannot shake or uproot. Its structure is one of great strength; it will become even stronger. You [Our enemies] should come to terms with this: the Islamic Republic will become stronger!


We are aware of the threats, and we hear their absurd reactions. We hear their public announcements, and we even learn of some of their assertions made during their private gatherings. We know all about the plots they are hatching against us, but despite all these things, I would like to repeat what Imam once said: "The U.S. cannot do a single thing!"


I am very happy to have seen you. "Send greetings on my behalf" [speaking in Azeri] to all dear people of Tabriz.


 Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings


  • 2018-02-20 23:05
    Excellent article. May Allah bless you & give you a long life.
  • 2018-02-20 23:05
    Excellent article. May Allah bless you & give you a long life.
  • 2018-02-21 01:18
    Mash'Allah baseerat