Imam Khamenei

Imam Khamenei sets 7 conditions for Europe to prevent breaching of their commitments

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on May 23, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the government officials of the Islamic Republic on the 7th day of the month of Ramadan.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds; peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure, immaculate and infallible household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

I welcome the dear brothers and sisters, the honorable officials of various sectors from throughout the country, and the political and managerial personalities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is a very important meeting. I thank Mr. President [Rouhani] for the excellent and strong statements that he made regarding different aspects and areas.

The month of Ramadan is a special opportunity for refreshing the spirit of faith, sincerity, and spirituality within ourselves. Fasting, reciting the Quran, saying prayers, reading supplications and listening to words of advice: a combination of these abilities creates an opportunity for our hearts to benefit from this spiritual and otherworldly environment, within the scope of our talents and capacities. Perhaps, it can be said that during the 12 months in a year, this month is like the two, three hours before dawn on a 24-hour basis. 

Those two, three hours before the morning Adhan [call to prayer] have a particular quality, during which time, one's spirituality and sincerity increases. Quranic ayahs insist on Muslims being awake during those hours, and this has also been mentioned in numerous narrations. This reveals that those two, three hours on a 24-hour basis have a certain quality which does not exist in other hours. Out of the twelve months of the year, the month of Ramadan is like those two, three hours: the month of Ramadan has this particular quality.

Well, this opportunity exists for all the people, but for the outstanding and managerial personalities of the country, this quality involves more privileges: this is because heavy responsibilities fall on our shoulders. Every day people are busy attending to their daily affairs, and they do not carry this heavy load. Their spiritual resource can push them forward, but when it comes to us – who have government responsibilities – if we do not strengthen our spiritual resource, we will not be able to do the necessary tasks and accomplish those heavy responsibilities.

Notice that Allah the Exalted says to the Holy Prophet – He says this to an honorable person like the Holy Prophet {p.b.u.h} – in Sura al-Muzzammil: "In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. Oh, you folded in garments. Stand to prayer by night, but not all night. Half of it or a little less and recite the Quran in slow, measured rhythmic tones," [The Holy Quran, 73: 1-4]. He says to the Holy Prophet {p.b.u.h.} that he should get up and pray, engage in supplication, and read the Quran throughout half of the night – more or less. Why should he? "Soon shall We send down to you a weighty message," [The Holy Quran, 73: 5]. Your job is difficult. You will encounter a difficult responsibility to undertake; therefore, you should be able to endure it. If you keep a vigil lit at night and engage in supplication [duas], you will be able to carry the load and transfer it to its destination; if you do otherwise, you will not be able to carry out your task. Our present condition is like this as well. My dear ones, if we do not strengthen our spiritual resource, we will fail at accomplishing our responsibilities. Wherever we are – ranging from this humble person, whose responsibility is heavier than everyone elses, to managers at various levels – we are all addressed by this ayah: "Soon shall We send down to you a weighty message." We should prepare ourselves.

Well, Mr. President [Rouhani] conducted a good discussion about the current issues of the country. I, too, will raise certain points about all areas. We are witnessing a particular era, the Islamic Republic has survived through different eras from the first day to this day, in every era, and there has been some experiences, trials, and important tests. The Islamic Republic has confronted these various events during various eras with complete power and steadfastness, and it has moved forward. Today, we are in another era, which will likewise be confronted with absolute power, capability, and acumen: the Islamic Republic will move forward. And we have certain experiences that we can benefit from and utilize.

A key point, regarding this particular matter, is that from the beginning of the Revolution to this day, we have endured the presence of an enemy right in front of us. From the initial hours of the Revolution, this enemy revealed its presence and expressed opposition [towards the IRI]: this enemy was the government of the United States of America. From the very beginning – of course, I mean after recovering from their initial confusion, following days when they had no clue as to what was going on – they began to oppose us and show their hostility. To this day, while we speak, the Americans [from the USA] have employed numerous plots, methods, and means of deception aimed at striking the Islamic Republic. Indeed, there is no hostile method that they haven't tried against the Islamic Republic!

They organized military coups; they provoked ethnic groups to turn against one another; they provoked Saddam into attacking and fighting against Iran. During the war [8-year Holy Defense War], they supported Saddam in various ways, and they imposed sanctions on us. The US government powers used their influence against Iran within the UN: they launched propaganda campaigns, day and night, and they used their knack for mischevious planning to further their goals [against Iran]. They used their Hollywood industry to make anti-Iranian films – and not just one or two. The USA launched military moves in various strategic regions: they shot down our passenger plane and attacked some of our centers in the Persian Gulf. The USA government has maneuvered all sorts of schemes against the Islamic Republic: they have mounted security, political, economic, propaganda, cultural and various kinds of oppositional operations. 

And the purpose of all their [USA's] maneuvering was to overthrow the Iranian government. If today, this idea [to overthrow] is being echoed in the statements of American officials, this is not a new concept: this was their goal since day one [of the revolution]. Their previous president [Barak Obama] who kept announcing that their goal is not to plot a coup, he even pursued a goal to overthrow [Iran's governing body]; of course, his motives were completely transparent. 

Well, what is important and, moreover, interesting about all these events is that all those attacks, plots, and schemes, against the Islamic Republic, have failed. Look at the Islamic Republic today; after the passage of nearly 40 years, it is moving forward with complete power, steadfastness, and various other capabilities--I might have referred to them, but Dr. Rouhani mentioned some of them for us. This means that everything the USA did – spending all their energy, money, and applying all sorts of methods with their time – has failed. They are like the infamous cat in the cartoon called Tom and Jerry [Audience laughs]. They have failed at all their attempts, which were numerous! Today we are in a new era, and they will fail again. Be aware, definitely and assuredly, the US will fail; the people of Islamic Republic will emerge from any event as honorable and glorious with their heads held high.

We have no doubt about defeating the enemy: I have no doubt about it. Everyone who is familiar with Islamic principals understands that "If you assist in the cause of Allah, He will assist you," [The Holy Quran, 47: 7] and "Allah will certainly assist those who aid His cause," [22: 40]. Here is another Ayah [Quranic truth] which was recited today: "There is no help except help from Allah" [3: 126]. These Ayah are evident, and there is no doubt about them. We know that the enemy will lose. We know that the fate of the current US president will be no better than that of his predecessors–the Bush duo, the other neocons, the successors of Reagan, and the rest of them. This one [Trump], too, he will be lost in history just like all the others; the Islamic Republic will remain honorable: we have no doubt about this.

However, on the basis of divine tradition, certain responsibilities fall upon our shoulders. The definite result that the Islamic Republic will progress and receive divine help should never allow us to ignore our responsibilities. Certain responsibilities fall upon us: if we do not carry them out, we cannot be so sure about those results; therefore, we must carry out our responsibilities. Today, we aim to talk a little bit about our current responsibilities so that this discussion can help us reach agreements, in different areas and at different managerial levels, as all officials are, thankfully, present. 

We will discuss the issues in two sections; one is in regards to our behavior when facing the US, the the JCPOA and those who make unreasonable claims against us: this is one discussion. Another discussion will be about how we should proceed within the country and what we should do to take firm steps so that we can reach desired results. These are two sections of the discussion. By Allah's favor, I will try to clarify these two sections within the available time that we have.

As for the first section, the necessary introduction to every decision is referring to one's previous experiences: "Anyone who experiences previously experienced matters will end up feeling regretful," [an Arabic proverb]. If we do not learn a lesson from past experiences, we will surely suffer a great loss. We should place experience within our sights: we should reflect on our own experiences and learn from them. A number of experiences are before us. If I mention four or five of them, you will confirm them all: they are in front of us. Past experiences are important in our decision-making today. They are also important for future generations and those who want to tackle multiple tasks in the future and help the Islamic Republic move forward with power, God willing. 

The first experience to reflect upon is that the government of the Islamic Republic cannot interact with the US. Why is that? It is because the US does not fulfill its own commitments. You cannot say that recent actions are just now carried out by the current US government and Trump. No. Even the previous administration--which held talks with Iran and whose Secretary of State participated in the European meetings for 10, 15 days-- was very similar to the present administration. Of course, they behaved differently, but they violated their commitments: they imposed sanctions as well. They [Obama admin.] acted against their commitments, too. The US government always goes against its commitments: this is not their first time around; events from the past confirm this.

All their [USA's] infringements against the the JCPO – as our diplomats say – violations to the body and soul of the Bar-Jaam. This [aforementioned] has been acknowledged by our honorable diplomats – who made this great effort and worked day and night for the JCPOA – on numerous occasions, during the term of the current US administration and the previous one as well. The officials said that the JCPOA has been violated; sometimes, the USA violated its soul, and, sometimes, they violated its body [framework].

Well, it is clear that, at least, the Islamic Republic cannot interact with a government that violates international treaties so easily and later on erases its signature, as if nothing happened, and then says that it wants to withdraw. They signed it with dramatic TV appearances, showing off the signature signing event, just to abandon the treaty. So, for those who kept asking us, many times: "Why are you not negotiating with the US, why are you not working with the US?"--There is an answer to your question! Of course, the US government behaves the same towards many other countries; it behaves the same exact way towards many other governments: we do not want to get into this subject. The Islamic Republic, at the least, cannot interact and work with the US government: this is the first experience we should learn from.

Iran was the committed and loyal party to this treaty: they [USA] have no excuse [for abandoning it]: the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed this, many times. Others have confirmed that Iran has been strongly committed. They [USA] have no excuse! Nonetheless, you have all witnessed them easily violate this international treaty. They violated their own signature: they took back their own words and said they do not agree with it. Well, one cannot negotiate with such a [fickle] government. It is not possible to trust, work with or sign an agreement with such a capricious government: this is the gist of the matter. 

Of course, when we said that they are not trustworthy, for us, this is only the proverbial illustration of the issue. When I look at regional issues and the issues of our own country, I see that they have acted in the same way towards others. From the year 1332 to 1357 – in other words, for 25 years – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was completely obedient to the USA. They treated him poorly, countless times. If you read the memoirs of Alam, you will see that he complains to his close companion about the behavior of the Americans. Of course, he did not dare do so in public or in direct conversations with the Americans. However, he was subservient to them till the end. After fate decided that the wretched and downtrodden Reza Pahlavi should leave Iran, they did not let him enter the US. However, for a while, he went and stayed there [in USA] for some time; but later on, they booted him out. They treated their close servant – who served them for 25 years – like he was nothing!

Hosni Mubarak had a comparable story [to Pahlavi]. During sensitive days, when the Egyptian Revolution had just begun, when it reached its peak, and when anything could happen at any moment, they [USA] supported him for one hour, then they rejected him several hours later, and a few hours afterward they changed their rhetoric once more. In the end, they [USA] abandoned Mubarak, and it was over for him: that was while Hosni Mubarak was completely dangling from their hands. He did whatever the USA asked for regarding Palestine and other issues. They are like this: the Americans are like this; the US government and the US regime operates like this. This is an experience.   

As for the second experience, to reflect upon, it is the depth of US enmity directed at Iran and the Islamic Republic. US enmity runs a deep, it's not superficial. Their opposition is not on the basis of an issue like the nuclear one, everyone has understood this much: the issue is way beyond this. Their problem is that they are opposed--deeply opposed--to a system which has risen, become refined, and evolved in this sensitive region; a system which is opposed to the oppression of the US; which does not show any consideration for the US; which expands the spirit of resistance in the region and which has raised the flag of Islam. Their problem is that they do not want this Islamic government and the Islamic Republic to exist.

Not only do the leaders of the US administration want this establishment to be crushed, but they also hate the people who support this establishment – the Iranian nation. One of the vice presidents of the US – not of this president, one of the former V.P.'s – openly said that they should uproot the Iranian nation, not the Islamic Republic! So, America’s issue with the Islamic Republic is not about some fight over nuclear capabilities or the issue of missiles and the like. No. There is another narrative behind the nuclear issue, the issue of missiles and other such issues. The reason why they highlight these matters – I might expand on this during my statements – is that they want to destroy the elements of power within the Islamic Republic. These concerns are all about elements of power in the Islamic Republic and elements of power for the Iranian nation: that is why they insist on them. This is yet another experience, and it is one that cannot be ignored. We should keep in mind that the US is the enemy of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic; its enmity is deep. The underlying problem is not about nuclear and atomic energy and the like, rather the issue is about the Islamic Republic.

The third experience is that complaisance in the face of this enemy – because of some seasonal expediencies that we have in certain cases – will not blunt the blade of US enmity, rather it will make him bolder: this is another experience to learn from. We should not forget that whenever we compromised, just a little, they advanced at a faster pace. The same sinister president who was the epitome of evil – the second Bush – called Iran "The Axis of Evil" because of the docility that the Iranian government of the time had shown towards him. He stood with pride as he called Iran, "The Axis of Evil" because some complaisance had been shown to him. In the present time, too, we protested against the sanctions they've imposed, the things that they've done, and the wrongdoings they've committed, but we did not make a practical or strong move: it was paying some of the price. In return, for paying such a price, you saw the US President and his Secretary of State entered the arena and spoke in a brazen, flamboyant, and shameless manner.

Retreating before them and displaying docility will have no impact on decreasing their enmity. If there is someone who feels that we should compromise with such an enemy so that he does not dispense enmity, the way to prevent him from manifesting this enmity is to avoid acting in an amenable manner or to avoid compromise with him. If you want to do something to prevent him from further enmity, very well, go find a way, but the best way to do so is to avoid compromise and retreat.

Of course, this is not particular to the US: Westerners are mainly like this. We will not forget – this is an event that unforgettable in our history – that at a particular point in time, our president [Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslimeen Hashemi Rafsanjani] who was an advocate of compliance in the face of the West, was summoned by a Western government – by Germany on the Mykonos case – because of some unreasonable and nonsensical claim against Iran: this incident revealed their shamelessness. There are other events like the Mykonos event as well. This is another experience to look back on. We should remember that the way to prevent the enmity of such enemies will not be gained by retreating, or by being acquiescent and the like.

Another experience is just the opposite of the aforementioned; in other words, resistance will greatly increase the possibility of leading the enemy towards retreat: this happened during nuclear talks. During the years 1383, 1384, 2004-2005, respectively, all of our nuclear facilities were closed. We had closed down the Isfahan UCF Factory because of our negotiations. The aim was to normalize the Islamic Republic's case: the case of Iran's nuclear issue. The more we retreated, the more they advanced. The more we complied, the more troublesome they became, until they said to the Iranian team: "Gentlemen, the guarantee that you give is only possible under one condition: you have to close down all your nuclear facilities. You have to close them all." --This was similar to something that happened in Libya. This was the real guarantee: "Otherwise, the guarantee that your nuclear activities are peaceful is not possible, in any other way. The only way is to destroy all your facilities." --They entered the arena like so. All the while, the Isfahan factory – which was a basic and rudimentary one – was closed: there was no nuclear enrichment, in any way or form. We were negotiating on having one to three centrifuges, but they said that it was not possible. They [USA] did not agree that we should have even one centrifuge!

Later on, we saw that they were making extravagant claims and behaving arrogantly; so, we said: "Game over!" We broke all the seals [nuclear]; we developed the UCF factory; we began enrichment in Natanz and later on in other cities. We continued with these promising operations until we managed to enrich our uranium by 20-percent. In other words, we began developing from a point of 3.5-percent enriched uranium--which was previously prohibited by the West--to producing 20-percent: this was achieved by our pious youth! You are all aware of the numerous achievements that they have accomplished. When we reached that point of production, they [the West] insisted – in one sense, begging – that we should end our 20-percent enrichment, and they claimed that in return, we can have five, six thousand centrifuges. These were the same people who were not prepared to let us have two or three centrifuges! They said, "It is alright. You can keep the enrichment process. You can have five, six thousand centrifuges in order to produce 3.5-percent enriched uranium."

Today, Dr. Rouhani pointed out that they – the UN and various other political organizations around the world – have formally recognized Iran's right to engage in nuclear enrichment. Yes, they have done so, but this does not originate from negotiations, rather it originates from our overall progress! Because we have progressed, moved forward and achieved enrichment at 20 percent, they have become satisfied with this state of affairs. Otherwise, if we were supposed to negotiate and earn this right, through negotiating, this would not have been achieved today, and it would have never been achieved. This is another experience, proving that you should pursue your own interests and move forward, with courage, in the face of greed from the other side and the opposing camp.

Another experience we have managed, which is equally important, is that Europe cooperates with the US on the most important cases. We do not intend to fight against the Europeans. We do not intend to oppose, disagree, or argue with representatives of these three European countries, but we should come to know the realities. These three countries [France, Germany, and England] have shown that they cooperate with and follow the US on the most important issues. Everyone probably remembers the indecent position played by the French Foreign Minister during the nuclear negotiations. In a game of "good cop vs. bad cop," they said that he played the role of bad cop. Of course, this role was coordinated with the Americans' agenda.

Another example stems from the behavior of the English, over the case of our right to purchase "Yellowcake," which had become certain of. In the [JCPOA], it was predicted that we could buy Yellowcake from a specific center and transfer it into the country, but the English prevented this. This proves that they cooperate and collaborate with the US: this has been the reality to this day. This was another experience that we should not forget. They promise us certain things, but in practice, we have not seen anything. In my opinion, we have not seen anything in practice. I do not recall one time that they stood up to the US – in the real sense of the word – to defend our rights.
Another important experience, in events related to the JCPOA, is the intertwining of the nation’s matters into the JCPOA, other agreements like it and other foreign matters is a grave mistake. We should not tie the issues of the country – the economic and other issues of the country – to something that is out of our control or act on something that is decided outside of the country.  

When we tie the economic issues and finance of the country into the JCPOA, then the result is that investors and entrepreneurs wait a few months on decisions foreigners will make regarding JCPOA. They wait a few more months to see if they stay in or withdraw from the agreement if they sign or not; and after they sign it, it's a matter of if they will be committed to it or not. This way, the active economic body of the country – the body which is run by the people – constantly waits for the signal of foreigners.

We cannot put the country's capacity on hold for the JCPOA–holding for some time for its implementation, and some time for their commitment, and non-commitment to it. And all this in the face of an enemy like the US! These are pieces from our past experiences. We should keep these experiences within sight and mind so they will not be repeated, so we will not be stung twice by the same snake in the hole, and so that we can completely benefit from these experiences in future events.

If we do not benefit from these experiences and instead satisfy ourselves with insignificant things, we will suffer a loss. As Mr. President pointed out, the Americans were really defeated in the eyes of the world in terms of morality, legitimacy, and political credibility. The US lost its credibility: this is a reality, and there is no doubt about it. However, I want to pose this question, did we begin the negotiations so that the US will lose its credibility? Was this the purpose of our negotiations? We began these negotiations with the purpose of lifting sanctions, but you see that many of the sanctions have not been lifted yet. In the present time, too, they are threatening to impose other sanctions on Iran. They are going to restore the secondary sanctions, which had been lifted on the basis of a clause in the JCPOA and the resolution passed by the UN Security Council, was this the end goal?

It is also assumed there is a rift now between Europe and the US. It is possible that a superficial and insignificant rift has come between them, but we did not negotiate for it. Did we negotiate for the purpose of creating a rift between Europe and the US? We negotiated so that sanctions would be lifted. The commencement of the negotiations was for the removal of unlawful sanctions. Continuing the negotiations was for this as well, and this should be provided. If this is not provided, the other things that have been achieved are not of great value.

And as I've said, the Europeans will not object: they will follow the US. They will help each other: "Likewise did We make for every messenger an enemy - evil ones among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception," [6: 112]. They help each other: they give messages to one another, help and provide psychological support for each other. These are things that we should consider as experiences of the JCPOA. 

I would like to raise an important point here: on the issue of the JCPOA and in defying conditions of the JCPOA, it is, definitely, necessary for political, managerial, press and cultural personalities to avoid blaming one another: you should not. Criticism – correct, fair, and wise criticism – is alright. Officials too should listen to criticism, but blaming one another, insulting, disrespecting, and leveling accusations should pass. There should not be polarity arising from JCPOA affairs. There are some courses of action that we need to adopt – I referred and will refer to these later on – and we should definitely do so; but unity, solidarity, harmony, and unanimity should not be violated on this matter: this is a fundamental point.

Now, considering all I've said, how should we face the JCPOA from now on? I have written down a number of points: the first point is that we should maintain a realistic evaluation of events in regards to confronting this issue. We should not satisfy ourselves with possibilities and the things that are mentioned by them [other members of JCPOA] without any clarity on the reality behind conditions or without any reliability. We should complete a realistic evaluation, and we should share it with the people in the same realistic manner. At the beginning of the negotiations, we had given an estimate, and we shared it with others, saying: “If we negotiate, a hundred billion dollars will enter the country." Well, this has some significance: a hundred billion dollars is a huge amount of money for our country: it is a significant amount of money which can completely resolve many of the problems within the country. This estimate and assertion were not realistic, however.

Now, the brazen US president continues to say they gave Iran 100--sometimes, he says 150--billion dollars! There is no way in hell you gave us so much money! When did you give any money to Iran? You did not give Iran one penny! We, officials, somehow believed this promise that we might receive our 100 billion dollars. Well, this was a bad assumption, an illusion that was not true. We must act now to plan for our future and to make our interests, and the price that we pay on that end, a reality. We should only understand the reality; furthermore, we should share it with our people outspokenly. 

I will tell you that today, the economy of the country cannot be developed solely on the basis of a "European JCPOA." The economy of the country will not improve in this way. There is ample evidence: some noteworthy Western companies are announcing that they will leave Iran; some have already left; some say that it is not clear what they will do. The officials of Western governments are going on about this: Germany is saying one thing; France is saying another; and yet, another country is saying a completely different thing. The matter of improving the economic affairs of the country cannot be improved through a European JCPOA. Of course, the European JCPOA is a separate issue, but it should not be relied on for improving Iran's economy; there are other ways to improve the economy, which I will refer to: this is one point.

The second point is that 13, 14 years ago, these European countries exhibited a big case of unreliability and insincerity on the nuclear issue. During the years 2004 and 2005, they were extremely dishonest with us! They promised us one thing, but they did not act on it. Actually, they went against it! They should prove that they have changed their ways: this falls on them. European governments should prove to the Islamic Republic that they are not as insincere and unreliable as they were on that day; they should make up for their damage: this is another important detail.

Another key point is that, over the past two years, the US has continued to violate the JCPOA: it did a number of things. As I have said, and according to the statements of our diplomats, the US has violated the soul and body of the JCPOA, but the Europeans remained silent. They [Europeans] should have stood up to the Americans: they should have complained about their actions. If they had raised a voice, then it would not have been so easy for the US to forget about its signature and announce its withdrawal from the agreement. They should make up for the negligence that they exhibited over the past two years.

The next point is that the US has violated UNSC Resolution 2231. The members of the UN Security Council should propose a resolution to the Security Council against this course of action adopted by the US. They should issue a resolution against the US as a country which has violated the Resolution 2231: this is just one of things that they should do. 

European officials must promise that they will not bring up issues regarding Iran's missiles and the presence of the Islamic Republic in the region: they should commit to this promise. If they say different things at different intervals of time or highlight the issue of Iranian missiles in some way, this is unacceptable! The heads of the three remaining countries, in the JCPOA, should promise and agree to not raise the issue of the missiles in any way.

They should also confront every sanction against the Islamic Republic. If the US says that it will impose sanctions on Iran, they should publically stand against those sanctions. If any agreement is going to be made between us and the Europeans, this is one of the conditions.

Additionally, everyone should come to know that, despite our insistence on the Europeans not bringing up the issue of missiles, the Islamic Republic will never give up its elements of power. One element of power is our defensive capability: defense at a distance. Another element of power is our strategic depth. Presence in regional countries and support for the people of the region is the strategic depth of the Islamic Republic: the Islamic Republic cannot give this up. No wise government will give this up. Another element of power is the social investment of the people: the people's unity, their gathering under the flag of Islam, and the movement of the Islamic Republic with the sentiment and honor of being Islamic and Muslim. These are qualities that form the basis and backbone of the Islamic Republic, which are a source of strength. Everyone should understand that no one will abandon these qualities!
Another point is that the Europeans must guarantee the complete sale of Iranian oil. If the Americans manage to damage the oil sales of the Islamic Republic, they should buy as much oil as the Islamic Republic wants to sell. It is possible that we, ourselves, welcome a decrease in the sell of oil: this depends on the policies of the administration. The administration might reach the conclusion that the less we sell oil and the more we make our economy move away from being oil-based, the more advantages it will have for us: we might reach this conclusion. However, if this does not happen, and if it is decided that we should sell oil, as much as we are today, the Europeans should definitely make up for it should the Americans' moves create any obstacle in our way. They should give guarantees that they will buy our oil.
The next point is that the Europeans should guarantee the receipt, payment, and transference of sums of money related to governmental and private businesses with the Islamic Republic. When we said that they should give guarantees, these are some of the guarantees: they should guarantee these things. As I said: we do not want to fight against these three countries, but we do not trust them. Our concern is not one of fighting and creating discord, rather it is about a lack of trust. We do not trust these countries, and this is based on our history. Therefore, these guarantees should be provided in a tangible manner.

Now, if the Europeans hesitate in response to our demands, then our right to resume the closed nuclear activities is protected. The officials of our nuclear organization should be prepared. Of course, I am not saying that they should resume 20-percent enrichment now, but I am saying that you should be prepared. Whenever the Islamic Republic deems it necessary and appropriate, it will resume the closed activities – which were closed because of the JCPOA. Those [closures] were the price that we paid for the JCPOA. When we see that the JCPOA is of no use, that we are no longer prepared to pay the price, then, naturally, one consequence is to resume all activities that had come to a stop. --These were some points related to the JCPOA.

The second portion of this speech is about our own domestic issues and our responsibilities, within the country, related to the economy. Presently, the number one concern of Iranians is the economic situation. By Allah's favor, the tasks and activities that the administration is engaged in should continue with complete power. The expansion of services and tasks that the administration renders should continue. Of course, the reality is that the economy of the country is not in good shape. Despite all efforts to improve economic conditions, the economy is not in an ideal state. Many people are living under extreme stress because of the economy's condition. You are more or less aware of the problems, regarding high prices and other such issues, many people feel them with all their being: this is a fundamental problem for the country.

In order to eliminate these problems, we should, primarily, confirm a few things deep within our hearts: first of all, we must realize that the economic problems of Iran are resolvable with reliance on the numerous capacities within the country: we must have faith in this: this is a reality that some people do not have faith in, and some are not aware of it. We have many great capacities within the country, which remain untapped; later on, I will quote the statements of some non-Iranian experts in this regards.

The second point that we must understand is that Western prescriptions are not trustworthy: I am not saying that we should reject them downright: I am not saying this, but we should evaluate them. We cannot completely submit to Western prescriptions, either in the area of the economy or in other areas such as our population. The subject of Iran's population exhibits an example of Western prescription; recently, the propaganda apparatus of the mischievous English government has prescribed something for Iran: it says that Iran would be a good country with a population of 30 million. Well, you can dream on! By Allah's favor, our population will reach 150 million!

The population policies of the country – the ones that we used to pursue – were faulty policies: I have said this before. Of course, the policies were correct in the beginning, but continuing them was not. It was wrong, and we showed negligence in this regard: we must make up for this. The same is true of the economic problems of the country: they will not improve with Western prescriptions. Until now, whenever we employed Western formulas during different years, we did not reap any benefits. In certain areas, we suffered losses. When the issue of reducing the population of Iran arose, in the 2000s, social justice was dealt a harsh blow and as a result, a rift appeared among the social classes. It might have had certain advantages, but we suffered major losses too.

The third point that we should pay attention to and believe in is that entrusting foreigners with different tasks, considering the promises that they have broken, should be at the level of necessity only. Only after we become completely disappointed with domestic resources, we should refer to others. We should prioritize domestic resources, which are numerous in my opinion.

The next point is about domestic capacities--which I've already mentioned. Domestic capacities are very large in number: an expert study has been conducted by the World Bank: this is not our own work. There is an expert study which has been conducted by the World Bank. They say that Iran is a reservoir of human and geographical potential which has not been exploited yet. Notice that they say Iran is the first in the world in terms of not using its human and geographical potential. This means that there are numerous potentials ahead of us, which we have not used yet. We have shown negligence in this regard.

Now, on to my next point: human capacities and the abundance of the workforce, particularly the young and educated workforce. In the present time, we have 10 million university graduates and more than four million students who are enrolled. According to some statements of well-informed personalities and friends in our administration, our country is advanced, on the world platform, in terms of our number of engineers. Our engineers are relatively larger in number compared to those in many great and well-known countries: these are some human capabilities.

As for geographical capacities: the proportion of the country, access to international waters, the number of neighbors, the regional market, and foreign transport routes are qualities that experts of the World Bank spoke about: these are the geographical resources which have not been tapped into properly.

As for human talents – the number of people at the age of work, the level of education, and the like – those same experts specified that if Iran benefits from these talents suitably, it will be among one of the most pioneering economies in the world. These are some capabilities, and we have a great source of wealth at our disposal.

Of course, natural sources of wealth were not mentioned in that expert assessment. It only touches on human and geographical sources of wealth – geographical resources and capacities. The issue of natural capacities and natural sources of wealth is also an extraordinary issue. Once, I said a few years ago [Supreme Leader's speech delivered on June 14, 2016, in meeting with government officials] that we form one percent of the world population; therefore, if we have one percent of the important and essential metals for our industries, it will be enough, but we have more than one percent. Among certain elements, our resources are more than three percent. Among certain elements, our resources are four percent and on certain other things, our resources are five percent. The sum of our oil and gas reserves is very large: we are the first amongst the world in this area. As for oil, we are the fourth, as for gas, we are the first. And when it comes to the sum of oil and gas resources, we are first in the world.

These are our resources and our capacities; these capacities should be used, and they can be used. We can sit and think about using these things or how to: we can think and plan; of course, these are not things that will be achieved all at once. It will probably take some time, but from the moment we begin, we will eventually reach results. Two, three weeks ago, we held a meeting here about the economic matters of the country. The honorable ministers from the three branches of our government were present: economic officials in the administration, the Majlis, and the judiciary branch were present as well. There was a fairly good discussion, and certain ideas were put forward. Of course, I am not an economist, but the statements were based on expert opinions. We discussed certain matters, and it was decided to pursue some structural changes.

Our friends in the meeting should pursue the same issues. Now that the heads of these three branches are present – the same gentlemen who were in that meeting are present today. This is my advice: if we pursue the same objectives that were discussed, decided upon, and stressed that night, economic matters will definitely improve, and we are sure of it. Later on, I was informed that our economic experts, and friends in the administration, approved of what was discussed that night and what was announced in the form of decisions.

I will remind you that our enemy has transferred its war room to the Treasury Department. Instead of the Department of Defense, the war room against us is now the Treasury Department: they are very active in this regard. They also performed in this same fashion in the past. In the years of 2011, 2012, when they began their sanctions – they thought they had imposed crippling sanctions; but, despite their foolish attempts, they could not injure the Islamic Republic – they were equally active. An American minister used to call each and every head banker in numerous countries:  they carried out these extreme measures: they were active day and night. 

I will tell you that in our country, too, a command center to confront the viciousness of this enemy should be established in the economic apparatus of our country: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should offer its support. It should help as a contributor, but this command center should be formed within the economic center of the administration: they should pursue this task there. Of course, the economy of resistance is the remedy to all of these problems, and it should be pursued seriously; but, today, considering the things that the enemy is doing, some special parts of the economy of resistance might have more priority over others, and they should pursue those sections.

On another note, in the area of the economy, is that a government-based economy does not pay off: the people need to be more involved. The policies in Article 44 of the Constitution should be taken seriously. I said the same thing to the previous administration, and I have said the same thing to Dr. Rouhani’s administration, on numerous occasions; but, I would like to repeat this: 'The policies of Article 44 of the Constitution should be taken seriously. You should involve the private sector. You should help the private sector.' The National Development Fund is there for this reason.

Dr. Rouhani pointed out that some parts of foreign exchange  revenues are not given to the administration; these revenues are transferred to the National Development Fund: this fund is available to the administration. Nothing about this is outside of the administration's hands. The Fund, itself, is in the hands of the administration. It is the administration which chooses the officials in charge of it. The policies of the Fund or taking any money from it is in the hands of the administration. However, in certain cases, when an irregular withdrawal from it becomes a necessity for the administration, and because there is not enough time to obtain the permission of the Majlis, they come and ask this humble person for permission so they use the money for a specific task. Otherwise, this Fund is in the hands of the administration. This Fund is important, and I strongly recommend that they not use the Fund for the current expenditures of the country. The money should only be given to economic activists in the private sector so they can get to work: the issue should be viewed from this perspective, and there should be such an outlook towards it.

The next point about the oil-based economy – in other words, overreliance on the sale of crude oil – is one of the fundamental flaws of our economy. I said this 20 years ago, and some of the officials in those days looked at me in a particular way: they smiled and ignored my statement. I said that we should reach a point where we can seal our oil wells whenever we wish, so much so that we will have the power to avoid exporting oil for three months and keep it for ourselves. I wish we could do this: this is possible. This should not be considered as unlikely.

It is said that we might lose our customers and the like, but there are ways around all of this. We should not be a prisoner of oil. Today, we are a prisoner of oil. We are in the clutches of oil, and oil is not in our hands. The production of oil is in our hands, but its price is in the hands of foreigners: the possibility to sell it is in their hands; imposing sanctions on it is in the hands of others. We are, in fact, very much prisoners of oil; however, it is oil that should be our prisoner. Oil should be under our control: this is a definite policy we must follow.

Oil is a national resource; so, of course, it will take many years for it to be exhausted, but it will be exhausted eventually. We have gotten used to extracting oil and selling it without any value added. We should at least work to create value added for it – for both oil and gas. Of course, we have created some value added for gas in petrochemical industries and the like, but oil is just going out of the country: these are our fundamental shortcomings. We should decrease our dependency on oil with each passing day: this is another crucial point.

The next point is that we should attach significance to a knowledge-based economy. The rapid growth of the economy will be possible through a knowledge-based economy: we have the possibility to do so today. There are many young Iranian who are prepared, educated, and knowledgeable: they can carry out these tasks. Sometimes, you see that a television shows a young entrepreneur, and one really enjoys listening to him. We really do like to see how such people enter an arena – agriculture, animal management, small industries, and the like – and they make great achievements with low investments, but with firm determination. Generating wealth with sharp insight and knowledge-based plans is another important issue.

The next point is about domestic production and supporting Iranian products. We should really attach significance to the issue of supporting Iranian products: this is a necessary and absolutely essential task. Government officials, officials in different divisions, and the armed forces – which are the main buyers: the main expenditures fall on them – should try to absolutely avoid the use of non-Iranian products whenever the Iranian counterparts exist.

Another issue is one that I've mentioned before: we should not tie the issue of the economy into the JCPOA and other such agreements. It does not help to say, "If the JCPOA is successful, the economy will improve, but if it does not work, the economy will be ruined." The JCPOA is only one issue. As mentioned, this issue should be tackled with a specific approach: it should be tackled with power, wisdom, and acumen. However, you should not mix it with the economy. You should not say that if it does not work, our economy will be ruined, or if it does work, our economy will improve. Well, you witnessed the signing of the JCPOA, but the economy did not improve! The economy requires other factors and elements to improve: it will not improve with the JCPOA.

A very important point here is that the policy of generating despair, and the illusion of a deadlock situation, should be seriously contested. It is the hostile Americans and Western policy that generates a feeling of being stuck in a deadlock; to create despair and hopelessness they are pulling all sorts of strings on that end: this policy should be confronted seriously. Injecting a feeling of incapability, hopelessness, and desperation is the definite design of the enemy. The enemy's goal is to take from the people a feeling of pride that exists within them: they aim to take away this feeling by spreading rumors, by telling lies, by magnifying the shortcomings, and by underplaying their achievements.

Today, the people of Iran feel proud. They feel proud, firm, reputable, and well-respected around the world. They have an influence on the region, they have done, are doing, and will continue to do important things. The people feel proud, but the enemy wants to take away this feeling away from them, and they want to portray their victories as defeat. Thanks to the Revolution and the self-belief originating from the Revolution, our people have displayed their creativeness. Throughout all these years, important tasks have been accomplished. Despite all difficulties – including the war and the sanctions – many tasks have been accomplished in the country: in the fields of agriculture, science, technology, health, and treatment; on the level of public awareness and international dignity; in regards to real, proper and trustworthy democracy; and on the expansion of public services throughout the country.

What has been done is very important and noteworthy in the real sense of the word. The enemy wants to portray triumphs as a failure because he wants to destroy the movement of hope and hopeful determination, which resolves all problems of the country. The country is, thankfully, strong. The Islamic Republic is, thankfully, strong. If we were weak, there would not be a need for so many implements against us. You can see that the enemy has created a front, and he has entered the arena with various weapons and devices. Well, what are these [weapons] for? If we were weak, there would not be a need for all their suicidal missions. The enemy is killing itself just to smuggle in all sorts of weapons into this region: including militarized, propaganda and economic related, and other such hard and soft weapons. It is evident that we are strong. Well, because we are strong he is doing his best, but he will fail, of course: in the same manner, which I've already discussed. Every time he has been defeated, by Allah's permission, this time, too, he will be defeated.

The summary of my points regarding the economic issues of the country is that thanks to its capacities, Iran can completely overcome economic problems. We should identify the capacities, we should find the capabilities, we should consider the experiences: above all, we should not forget about divine assistance. We are working hard for the transcendence of "Kalematullah" [God's words]. We are not seeking material power and the like. We want Islam to become honorable. We want to implement Islamic sharia in our society. We want to establish an exceptional government, and build a society and country which is managed by religious rules, in a world which is devoured by materialism, corruption, and various other deviations based on human impulses. We are after this [model previously discussed], and we have succeeded to some extent. And we have failed in some areas, but, by Allah's favor, we will try to succeed in those areas which we have not been successful in: this is our goal. With this goal, divine assistance is definite. Allah the Exalted has promised this, and divine promises will never prove to be false.

The last point that I want to raise is about the United Nations. In recent years, the United Nations has really not had a good performance: it has spoken, acted, and worked under the influence of the US, as you have witnessed. A secretary-general condemned the Saudi actions in Yemen, but the very next day he condemned his own condemnation, and he took it back. When he was asked about this, he answered that there are such and such pressures.

Pressures are of two kinds: the pressure of money and the pressure of power. Money is provided by the Qaruns [tycoons] of the Persian Gulf: their oil revenues and power is provided by the US. The United Nations has, unfortunately, been under the influence of the US; besides, it has shown great negligence towards the Islamic Republic which should be made up for. What I want to say, now, is that there are several human rights cases against the US which should be seriously pursued by the UN. These cases are unresolved and unfinished. Some of these cases have never opened up in the first place.

One of these issues is the burning of a center which belonged to the Branch Davidians: it happened during the term of Clinton. Why is this issue not pursued? Some people, some group, which is affiliated with the Christian denomination gathered in a building. The government was opposed to this for some reason which might be legitimate or not. We will assume that they had a legitimate reason. Well, what do governments usually do in such cases? They usually arrest and capture them, but the US government did not do this. They set the compound on fire, burning and killing tens of women, men, and children! Why is this not pursued? With this history, does the US have the competence to warn others on human rights issues? The UN should pursue this: this is an important and definite issue, and a case which should be pursued.

The second issue is the Guantanamo Prison Camp. Well, the Guantanamo Prison is visible to everyone. Why did the Americans capture some people and keep them there for several years without any trial, and under the most difficult circumstances? One of the reasons why Obama won the election was that he had promised in his election campaign to close down Guantanamo, but he did not do so. He held office for eight years, but the prison was preserved. In the present time, too, it exists. Even if we assume that it is closed today, the history of this prison and the crimes that have been committed there should be pursued. The United Nations should pursue this case. They capture and transfer some people – primarily from Afghanistan and other places – to that prison, and they keep them there for several years under the most difficult circumstances: in handcuffs, shackles, blindfolds, with terrible food and a very unhealthy environment. Is this a minor event? The United Nations should pursue this matter.

Another issue is the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. The methods of torture which have been committed in Abu Ghraib Prison are unprecedented among torturers around the world, like the Zionist regime which is the manifestation of torture. It is distinctive even if we consider the tortures which were committed by the Pahlavi regime, and that was controlled by the Israelis as well. The methods of torture committed in Abu Ghraib Prison were worse and more severe than all other examples. 

Well, now the Americans have been expelled from Iraq. The Abu Ghraib Prison fell into the hands of the Iraqis, but the case is still a case, and it should be pursued: this is a very important issue. There is a prison similar to the Abu Ghraib Prison which is located in Afghanistan. It is an American-based prison located in Afghanistan which was not controlled by the Afghanistan government, rather it was controlled by the Americans. The Afghanis used to complain about it. The Afghani officials were upset, and they used to bring this up with us, and everyone knew about this. The same things which were done in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons were done in this Afghanistani prison as well. They used to have some prisons in Europe, too, but we do not have a lot of information about them.

Another case which the UN should definitely pursue is the freedom of selling guns in the US with which so many crimes are being committed. You hear and witness that every day in schools, in universities, in markets, and on the street that a teenager, a man, or a woman fires a volley of bullets at some people because of some problem they have – they are extremely angry, or they are mad and have some personal problems. They kill eight, ten, twenty – more or less – people, and families mourn the loss of their dear ones. Why do they not stop this? The reason is that gun companies prevent this, and the US administrations are under the influence of these companies. This is a very important issue which should be addressed and pursued by the UN. 

Another issue is the criminal behavior of the US government and police towards African Americans. African American that are accused or suspected are condemned to all sorts of hardships. They are even shot to death, and there is nothing wrong with this according to the West! After such events, they fabricate some story in court and release the real sociopathic murderer: that poor victim’s blood was spilt with not justice. This can be pursued as well.

Another issue is the issue of creating DAESH, which was openly mentioned by the current US president in his election campaign. Of course, we were aware of this before. They had said that the US had a role in creating DAESH, and they had initiated the matter. In some places, they acted as intermediaries and in some places, they were directly involved. We had some information showing that they were helping DAESH in Iraq in various cases. The Americans helped DAESH sell oil and escape from the sieges that had been planted. They helped them in all these cases. Another issue is their assistance to the Zionist regime in the massacre of the people, the last example of which is the recent massacre in Gaza.

Another issue is helping the Saudi government on the massacre of Yemeni people and helping the Bahraini government in the crimes that they commit against their people. These are matters that the UN should get involved in. If the United Nations is the United Nations, if it is not an organization dependent on the US regime, it should get involved in such events. These are the tasks that the UN should carry out. Are these unreasonable expectations?

The Islamic Republic's statements are cogent, logical and provable. In all the areas that we mentioned, if we are accusing the US, we have cogent and convincing reasons. If we do not trust Europe, we have cogent reasons. Regarding domestic issues, if we believe that we should trust and rely on domestic capacities, there are sound reasons behind this. There are logical reasons behind the things that we demanded from the UN as well. This exact and thorough cogency and rationality is the thing that has, by Allah's favor, preserved the Islamic Republic with power and strength until today. 

And the power of the Islamic Republic has increased today, and it is not comparable to 20, 30 years ago. By Allah's favor, the movement towards power will increase in the Islamic Republic. And this will be accompanied by the power of domestic structure and the correct behavior of officials towards the people in economic, cultural, and other such areas. I hope that Allah the Exalted will help us move in the direction that we spoke about and that we aspire.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation more honorable on a daily basis. 

Dear God, approve of and strengthen sympathetic, enthusiastic and diligent officials. 

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, associate the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam with Your saints. Associate the dear martyrs of this path with the martyrs of the early Islamic era. Destine a good end for us. Make the month of Ramadan a month of spiritual transcendence and spiritual sincerity for us. 
Dear God, make what we said and heard serve You and Your cause, and accept this from us with Your generosity.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings


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