Leader's Speech to Residents of the Holy City of Qom

The following is an excerpt from a speech delivered by the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in a meeting with thousands of faithful residents of the holy city of Qom from various social strata on January 9, 2006. The meeting was held on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Qom residents' uprising against the former Pahlavi regime in 1978.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear brothers and sisters from the holy city of Qom! You are quite welcome to this gathering. I hope that divine grace and blessings will be bestowed on every one of you and all the honorable residents of Qom, especially the esteemed families of martyrs and war-disabled veterans who are present at this meeting. I also hope that you will enjoy increasing divine favor as time goes by.

The memories of the epical events of Qom, especially the great event that took place on this day 28 years ago, will never be removed from the minds of the Iranian people. The holy city of Qom was the cradle of the Islamic movement in 1963 and also the originator of the great Islamic Revolution in 1978.

Today, we commemorate the unique and unprecedented event that took place in Qom 28 years ago and pay tribute to the memory of the innocent people who were martyred in that event. We also pray to Almighty Allah to grant those martyred loftiness of position in the hereafter and bestow further success on the residents of Qom, who have preserved and manifested their spirit of devotion and dedication over many years, especially in the Sacred Defense era and the following years.

Tomorrow is the day of Arafa, a great day of prayer and supplication and a day of remembrance and invocation of the Almighty. The Iranian people, especially youngsters, should highly value the day of Arafa and try to make the most of it by seeking proximity to Almighty Allah.

Communion with the Creator opens the way for human beings. It imbues them with motivation and determination and evokes divine blessings and assistance on them. The result will be advancement on the genuine path to the establishment of Islamic values. Try to avail yourselves of the precious opportunity provided by the day of Arafa.

Thanks to the Qom residents' devotion to Islam, their uprising has now led to an Islamic awakening movement throughout the world. Today you can see that in every part of the Islamic world, there are calls on the part of people, especially youngsters, academics and intellectuals, for the enforcement of Islam and its dominant status in society. This situation did not exist in the past.

Almighty Allah said in the Holy Qur'an, "Have you not considered how Allah sets forth the parable of an immaculate word (being) like an immaculate tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven, yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord? And Allah sets forth parables for men, so that they may be mindful." (14: 24-25)

What Qom residents did was an immaculate word. The great task performed with utter sincerity and devotion by the late Imam was an immaculate word. It has now flourished and borne fruit - something nobody could even think of.

Imam Khomeini often stated that 'we are duty-bound to fulfill our religious responsibilities, whatever the outcome may be.' This is an indication of utter devotion to religion for the sake of Allah. The late Imam's heart was devoid of any desire for power or material enticements. He performed his religious responsibilities, which was his mission in life. As a result, Almighty Allah rewarded him for his sincere performance of duties by disseminating his name and remembrance throughout the world.

In those days, there were no propaganda tools at the disposal of the incipient Islamic system. However, in every part of the Islamic world and even outside the Islamic world, the name and remembrance of Imam Khomeini was very much alive. This is the way Almighty Allah confers blessing on the immaculate word and helps it advance and flourish.

It is true that the enemies have made every effort for many years to obliterate the path that was initiated by the late Imam. But today, some 27 years after that great movement which culminated in the victory of the revolution and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the fragrance of serving the public based on revolutionary principles has filled the air, and the slogans of serving the public, accountability to the people, avoiding extravagance and administering social justice are once again among prevalent slogans.

This is a blessing of the revolution. Although there are still some individuals calling on the Iranian people to submit to the wicked enemies, our people have decided which path to take.

Considering that some scholars from the Islamic Seminary of Qom are attending this cordial meeting, I would like to draw their attention to an important point: a revolution, like any great perennial social movement, requires intellectual fuel, without which it will come to a halt. With the emergence of new events and developments in the world, new questions and ambiguities are also crossing the minds of people and being presented in various circles. It is mostly the duty of scholars with profound knowledge of Islam to offer answers to these questions and ambiguities.

Today, owing to the earnest efforts made by Islamic theologians and scholars at universities and Islamic seminaries, more elucidations and newer concepts have been presented compared with the first few years after the victory of the revolution about the foundations of the Islamic system. This intellectual support is expected to continue. Presently, you are the focus of attention of many nations in the world.

One day leftist views were dominant in the world. Marxism and socialism attracted the youth in particular. But today this is not the case. One day nationalist views and radical nationalisms appealed to some in the world. But today these ideologies have become outdated. And one day Western liberalism, the ideological foundation of capitalist states, aimed to dominate and spread throughout the world. But today Western liberal democracy has become disgraced because of the actions performed by the United States.

The same thing is also true about Europe. European countries also do not tolerate any words and views contrary to their national interests. They do not even tolerate the headscarves of Muslim schoolgirls. They would not ensure the security of their citizens if they are Muslims or if they are of a racial group not regarded as white. This is what Western liberal democracy is.

Those who are claiming that the whole world belongs to them and that they are the ones who should present a global ideology for all nations in the world are acting in such a manner in Europe and the United States. They would no longer be able to manipulate other nations through their empty claims and slogans.

The mottos of administering social justice and preserving human dignity are still alive. These slogans, which have emanated from Islam, belong to the Islamic Republic. The bright path that was opened by the Iranian nation's movement - the path that originated from the Iranian people's religious faith and votes and emerged as a religious democracy - is still appealing and attractive. Today, other Muslim nations and their intellectuals are studying the slogans chanted and developments taking place in the Islamic Republic; they are closely following the developments in this country.

The enemy of the Iranian people, which is global arrogance embodied by the United States, has currently bogged down in a quagmire. The United States has suffered political defeat in Iraq. This is a reality also acknowledged by U.S. officials. The reason is that what has happened in Iraq is contrary to what U.S. officials had wished for. The United States has also experienced defeat in Palestine, since the butcher of Palestinians who intended to suppress the Intifada in three months was himself destroyed by the Intifada.

The U.S. has also faced failure in the implementation of its regional plans such as the 'Great Middle East' plan or the 'Road Map' plan. This is the reason why the United States is presently exerting pressures on Syria and Lebanon. U.S. officials intend to infiltrate into the countries neighboring the Zionist regime and from there find a way into other Islamic and Arabic countries. If Syrian and Lebanese nations and their political leaders exercise vigilance and prudence, the United States and its Western allies will once again bog down in a quagmire.

The Iranian people, including youngsters, scholars, academics and intellectuals, have steadily made progress over the past 27 years. The present condition of our country is not comparable with its condition 27 years ago. Despite all the hostilities and negative propaganda spread by the enemies, the Iranian people are expressing stronger adherence to revolutionary principles, an instance of which was observed in the recent presidential election in our country. In that election, the Iranian people voted in favor of slogans such as the administration of social justice and adherence to the late Imam's path and Islamic values.

Fortunately, the officials of the Islamic Republic have taken many positive measures to carry out their election slogans and fulfill their promises to the public and give fresh impetus to revolutionary values and principles. The firm will and determination manifested by government officials and Majlis deputies to enforce Islamic and revolutionary values is indeed worthy of praise and admiration. This is the most valuable and pleasant gift for our nation.

Today, by divine favor and assistance, the Iranian nation and government have attained a higher standing on the international scene compared with the past.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has tabled some logical proposals, one of which is inviting European and non-European countries in the world to participate as partners in Iran's nuclear fuel program. It is quite clear that the Islamic Republic would not relinquish the Iranian nation's indisputable right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Nobody would be able to renounce the Iranian nation's right. This is something belonging to the Iranian people, and nobody would be able to deprive our nation of this legitimate right.

Our scientific achievements are a result of the efforts made by young talented Iranian scientists. Such achievements are not confined to the field of nuclear technology, as in many scientific areas Iranian specialists have achieved considerable progress, thanks to their perseverance, innovation and creativity.

There was also another proposal presented by the Islamic Republic with respect to human rights, suggesting that if there are concerns in this regard - and we are also concerned about the condition of human rights in European countries - the two sides dispatch delegates to conduct a simultaneous study of the condition of human rights in prisons and courts and the way civil rights are observed in Europe and Iran.

It is to the benefit of European countries to accept these two logical proposals, which have been presented by our honorable president. The reason is that their acceptance will not only result in the removal of existing concerns, but it will also help to strengthen links and promote cooperation between the two sides.

Today, it is considered an obligatory act for our people to preserve their unity and also preserve their faith and confidence in the path that they are treading and the bright future that is awaiting them. The Iranian people from various social strata and different political groups and factions should try to boost their unity and solidarity.

Fortunately, today, there is unity and deep harmony among officials of the Islamic Republic. This is something quite valuable. Of course some malicious efforts have been and are being made to undermine this unity and congruity, but to no avail. Such efforts will not succeed in the future either.

Individuals and various groups and factions should not engage in squabbles over trivial differences. They should prefer national interests over anything else. Brawls and disputes will encourage the enemies to escalate their plots and machinations against our nation. But unity and solidarity will counteract such plots and pressures.

The Iranian people should also preserve their belief and confidence in their Islamic and revolutionary path. Over the past years, the enemies have been spreading negative propaganda with the intention of discouraging and dispiriting the Iranian people and causing them to surrender and submit to the arrogant powers. Of course they usually try to achieve their goals through their agents, some mercenary writers who disseminate the venomous propaganda of the enemies through their abject hired pens. But such attempts have so far proved futile and will not succeed in the future either.

Indeed, the history of this country imbues our people with hopes and self-confidence, since at a time when the world was dominated by two superpowers, the United States and the former Soviet Union, our nation managed to cope with the difficult circumstances occasioned by war and economic sanctions and attain a high level of science and technology at the present stage. Therefore, the Iranian people are confident of their capabilities and thus feel hopeful.

Those who are currently talking about an economic blockade and threatening to impose economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic have over the past years imposed sanctions on our country whenever they could. Even presently, certain European countries are still refusing to hand over to us the commodities that were purchased from them under the former regime. Is an economic sanction anything more serious than this?

In reaction to these sanctions, our youngsters relied on their innate potentials and capabilities and made every effort to achieve self-sufficiency in various fields in order to fulfill the requirements of our nation. For an independent nation, there is no alternative but to rely on its own resources and fulfill its requirements by applying its own capabilities.

If we had continued to rely on others and beg them for our basic necessities - as it was the case for many years under the former regime, the situation would still be the same today and we would not be independent and self-sufficient.

When those countries imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini expressed happiness in this regard and welcomed their action. The late Imam's reaction was quite meaningful, since because of those sanctions the Iranian people turned to their own resources and stood on their own feet.

Today also those countries are threatening to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The situation is still the same, and sanctions are not going to have any adverse effect on our country and nation.

Dear brothers and sisters! The path that was initiated by the residents of Qom has now become smoother and more charming and motivating than in the past, thanks to your deep faith and devotion. You should try to preserve your faith, commitment and unity, as these are the qualities which evoke divine grace and favor. I hope you will enjoy increasing divine favor as time goes by.

I pray to Almighty Allah to bestow His assistance and success on you all. I also hope that you and the entire Iranian nation will benefit from the immaculate prayer of His Holiness Imam of the Age - may our souls be sacrificed for his sake.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings