Imam Khamenei

US officials are charlatans and terrorists

The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on March 22, 2020 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the occasion of Nowruz and Eid ul-Mab’ath.

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 (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) and upon his immaculate, pure and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

Allah, bestow as many greetings upon Your representative – Ali ibn Musa - as Your knowledge encompasses. Bestow Your greeting upon him, one that is as permanent as Your dominions and Your authority. Allah, send as many greetings to Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha – as Your knowledge encompasses. Send Your greeting to him, one that is as permanent as Your glory, Your greatness and Your magnificence.

Every year, we used to hold the New Year ceremony in the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha (greetings be upon him) in the company of the dear people of Mashhad and the dear pilgrims who would show their presence in that city from throughout the country and thus, we would ornament our Nowruz with that gathering. However, this year, we are deprived of that.

“Although we are far from you, we speak in your memory

Distance is of no significance in a spiritual journey”

[from a poem by Hafiz]

In my opinion, wherever we are, we should recite the special salawat for Imam Ridha: “Oh God, send Your greetings to Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha, the pious and pure Imam and Your Hujjat for everyone on earth and beneath the ground. He was truthful and he was a martyr. Send Your abundant, complete, blessed, consecutive, uninterrupted and successive blessings upon him, such blessings that you have sent upon one of Your best saints.”

I would like to congratulate you on the auspicious Eid ul-Mab’ath. Today is one of our greatest Islamic eids. Also, once more, I would like to congratulate all our people on Nowruz and on the arrival of spring.

Mab’ath is a very great day. We should understand the significance of Mab’ath. The Holy Prophet’s be’that is an event through which Allah the Exalted made other prophets pledge their allegiance to him: “Behold, Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: ‘I give you a book and wisdom, then comes to you an apostle, confirming what is with you. Do you believe in him and render him help.’” [The Holy Quran, 3: 81].

According to this holy ayah, Allah the Exalted took the covenant of Great Prophets throughout history so that they would both believe in him when he would rise on such a day and help him as well. Well, it is clear what believing in him means. As for help, it means that they should introduce him to their people, their ummah and their followers and ask them to join and believe in him. This is the least assistance that prophets could offer. God demanded that they make this vow.

Notice that there is an ayah in the Quran which says, “Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own scriptures - in the law and the Gospel” [The Holy Quran, 7: 157]. In other words, the name and the characteristics of our Prophet have been mentioned in the undistorted versions of the Old and New Testaments. There is another ayah where God quotes Hazrat Isa as saying, “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “Oh children of Israel, I am the apostle of Allah to you, confirming the law which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’” [The Holy Quran, 61: 6]. Hazrat Isa mentions the name of that great personality. So, this is such a great event.

It has been mentioned in Nahjul Balaghah as well, “till Allah deputized Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets.” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 1]. It means that Allah the Exalted took a pledge from prophets so that they would treat him like that.

Well, be’that contained very important content. I wish to speak about this content briefly and then, I will relate it to our present-day conditions because it is significant to us in practice and in action and it is not just based on mere belief.

Be’that and divine revelation clarified certain truths for the people. It clarified some truths for humanity. If humanity and various human societies believe in these truths and commit themselves to them, they will attain a good life. What does “good life” mean? It means a sweet, beneficent, desirable and pure life. Its purity lies in being desirable and sweet and in keeping humanity on the straight path and pushing it forward until it can benefit from all beauties and good things, both in this life and in the hereafter. This is what a good life means. If hearts are familiarized with these truths and commit themselves to their requirements, the good life will surely await them.

Well, part of these truths is about the epistemological system of Islam. The epistemological system of Islam means the viewpoint of Islam about the universe, about humanity and its role in the universe, about the Holy Being of God and divine characteristics and names which are reflected in Dua Kumayl: “… And by Your blessed names which have been manifested in all the foundations of this universe.” It has also been mentioned in the dua of the month of Rajab, “And Your earth and Your sky are imbued with them.” These are very important truths about humanity’s path in this world and in the hereafter and these truths constitute the epistemological system of Islam. Islam teaches them to humanity, making them vigilant and awake by doing so.

Another part of these truths is the ideological system of Islam, which is a set of values established by Islam. In other words, it has introduced them as values. The masses of people and human societies are obliged to approach them and to move them forward as their happiness lies in them. The values cover concepts ranging from individual characteristics – such as patience, endurance and forgiveness: these are personal traits – to public and life-building qualities such as freedom, social justice, human dignity and lifestyle. These are among the Islamic values mentioned by Islam and explained to us people.

Some people mistakenly think that these common concepts – social justice, freedom and the like – have been imported into the world of Islam by the west or that Islamic thinkers have acquired them from westerners. This is completely wrong. It is not longer than three, four centuries that the west has become familiar with these concepts. It has become familiar with them since after the Renaissance whereas Islam has clearly expressed them in the Holy Quran 1,400 years ago. The difference between the west and Islam in this regard is that when westerners brought them up, they never acted on them genuinely – they neither acted on freedom nor on social justice. They introduced them, but they did not implement them. However, these concepts existed in Islam in the first place and they were also acted on during the time of the Holy Prophet.

Obviously, the sentence “And I am commanded to judge justly between you” [The Holy Quran, 42: 15] is in the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet was commanded to administer justice which is the same as social and comprehensive justice. There is another ayah which says, “We sent aforetime our apostles with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of right and wrong) that men may stand forth in justice.” [The Holy Quran, 57: 25]. This means that the essence of sending all those prophets, messengers and books was to administer justice – social and economic justice – among the people. Therefore, these are old concepts originating from Islam.

As for freedom, the comment by the Commander of the Faithful (greeting be upon him) in Nahjul Balaghah, was made a thousand years ago before westerners brought up the issue of freedom in countries such as France and other countries. He says, “Do not be the slave of others for Allah has made you free.” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 31]. What is clearer than that? It means that humans are free. Freedom involves all kinds of liberty. There is another well-known quotation which says, “You treat the people like slaves while God has created them free.” This is addressed to some of the commanders of that era who treated the people like slaves while God made them free. These are Islamic teachings. There are many of these concepts in Islam. There are many words in Nahjul Balaghah in this regard. The same is true of other Islamic sources.

Therefore, this is the chain of values and teachings and the epistemological and ideological systems of Islam. Behind these concepts, there stand rules and the “shall” and the “shall not”. All the Islamic rules – whether the individual or the collective ones –  originate from these concepts and they are compatible with them. In other words, all the obligations that Allah the Exalted has defined for Muslims originate from those main epistemological concepts and ideological values, which help one tread this path. Well, this is a collection given to people in be’that as a gift.

Well, if we wish to realize them, if we intend to implement these concepts in the ideological environment of society in the true sense of the word, if we want these values to show themselves in the actions and behavior of the people and if we decide to realize the rules which are a means of progress and movement, this requires the existence of a political power. Without a political power, bullies will not concede, the lazy will not budge and the agents of bullies and of arrogant and wealthy people will follow them. That is to say, the goal of prophethood will not be attained. That is why, the Holy Quran says, “We sent not an apostle, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah.” [The Holy Quran, 4: 64]. This is not particular to our prophet, rather it is about all prophets. They should be obeyed in the land. People should obey them. That is why when the people of Yathrib met with the Holy Prophet to invite him to Madinah, Hazrat accepted their offer of pledging their allegiance to him.

Pledging one’s allegiance means accepting someone’s authority and the terms that they set. When the Holy Prophet entered Madinah, the first thing that he did was to form a political and social power. In other words, he established a government. Therefore, this is one of the requirements for prophethood. Of course, prophets have many enemies: “Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy - evil ones among men and jinns.” [The Holy Quran, 6: 112]. When they establish a government, a foreign enemy emerges as well as the domestic enemies. With the formation of the government, foreign enemies enter the scene as well the domestic ones. This is clear because without politics and without political power, foreign enemies do not care very much what you do. If someone says something, they will not follow it up. However when they achieve political power, then that foreign enemy – who is opposed to justice, to freedom and to the rights of everyone for living well and independently – will naturally mount an opposition.

Well, this is what I want to say today: I want to say that this is exactly the same prescription that Imam Khomeini (may God bestow paradise on him) used. It is exactly the same as the Holy Prophet’s be’that. The teachings are the same teachings that the Holy Prophet announced to the people on behalf of Allah the Exalted. The values are the same and the rules are the same. Movement towards realizing these rules required strong faith, firm determination and a heart reliant on God, all of which were present in Imam. Allah the Exalted helped to launch this movement.

Of course, Imam knew that Islamic faith flowed deep in the heart and soul of the Iranian nation and that the people of Iran were pious. Of course, this requires a separate discussion, but it is already proven that both on that day and in the present time, the people of Iran had and continue to have strong religious faith and that faith has deeply infiltrated into their hearts despite the opposite claims that exist. Thankfully, this is one of the characteristics of our nation.

Imam knew this and that was why he brought up the issue of Islam, the Islamic government and the Islamic system as the ground was prepared for him to do so. Imam was familiar with the ground. The ground was the extensive oppression and the infinite corruption of the Pahlavi regime. They were dependent, corrupt and oppressive, without any real human understanding in them and this would spill over into the people. Everyone could see the situation around that corrupt and cruel system. That was a good reason which Imam benefitted from to realize the miracle of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic. The establishment of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic was truly like a miracle which materialized. It was thanks to this great movement.

The initial Islamic community – the community established by the Holy Prophet in Madinah - comprised of a few thousand people from Madinah: the people living in Madina did not probably exceed seven, eight, ten thousand people when the Islamic government was formed in the beginning. It was established thanks to the Holy Prophet’s guidance, rules and teachings, which were offered to the people as a gift. Despite the fact that after the demise of the Holy Prophet, a series of fundamental problems arose in between, the movement was so deep-rooted and solid that it moved forward in a powerful way on a daily basis. It became stronger on a daily basis, so strong that in the fourth century of the Hijri calendar – this is a historic fact - three hundred years after the Holy Prophet’s be’that and the emergence of the Islamic community, the Islamic community was the largest one in the world in political terms. It had the strongest army in the world. In the area of science and culture, it had the most advanced scientific and cultural level throughout the world. Three centuries after be’that, the Islamic community did something to achieve this status in the area of the military, politics, science and culture.

What is interesting is that this status belongs to an era when illegitimate and corrupt caliphs like the Bani Umayyad and the Bani Abbas were in power. If the Imams or the people appointed by them had been in power, the achievements would certainly have increased ten times more than what was achieved then. This is how Islam moved. It ran in the nature of Islam to progress and to become strong.

Today’s version of affairs is the same. If we move and act sincerely, if we do not show laziness and if we avoid being narrow-minded and naïve, we could help Iran reach the same summit. Of course, helping Iran reach scientific, cultural, industrial, military, political and other such peaks is our short-term goal. Our long-term goal is to achieve the Islamic civilization, which is a different matter.

And we should not be surprised at enmities. Well, we have many enemies and we should not be surprised at this. As I mentioned, Allah the Exalted said in the Holy Quran “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” [The Holy Quran, 6: 112]. There are enemies from among both jinn and humans and they help one another. The security services of many countries work together against us: “Inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception.”

In the early Islamic era, during the Battle of the Confederates, all the enemies of the Holy Prophet from among Arabs – from all tribes in Makkah, Taif and other places – formed an alliance and they also made the Jews living in the outskrts of Madinah join them. It was a very astonishing event, but Muslims were not surprised. The Holy Quran says, “When the believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: ‘This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.’ And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.” [The Holy Quran, 33: 22].

When they saw the enemies deploying their forces against them, they said that Allah the Exalted had informed us of the existence of the enemies who would attack us. Now, they have come. So, the enemy’s move made us strengthen our belief because what Allah and His Messenger said is true. The prediction of Allah the Exalted and of His Messenger came true and “And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.”

Today, our enemy and the enemy of the Islamic Republic is the United States. Of course, we have many enemies, but the most malicious and hostile one is the US. US officials are liars, treacherous, shameless, greedy and charlatans. If you listen to their words and look at what they do, you see that they speak like charlatans. An assortment of  ugly immoral qualities are manifested in their behavior. As well as these, they are oppressive and cruel – extremely cruel – and they are terrorists. All the qualities of the righteous and the good are seen in them at once [said with sarcasm]! What stands before us today is such an enemy.

God ordered His Prophet to confront enmities. Since the beginning, Allah the Exalted ordered His Prophet to show patience. In Sura Muddathir, which is one of the suras sent down in the beginning of be’that, God says, “But, for your Lord's sake, be patient and constant.” [74: 7]. In Sura Muzzammil, which is also one of the first suras sent down after be’that, God says, “And have patience with what they say.” [The Holy Quran, 73: 10]. The command to show patience has been repeated frequently elsewhere in the Quran as well. There are two ayahs which say, “And stand steadfast as you are commanded.” They exist in both Sura Hud and Sura al-Shura. Therefore, instructions have been given in this respect.

Now, what does “patience” mean? “Patience” does not mean sitting idle and waiting to see how events pan out, rather patience means resisting, showing steadfastness and refusing to change one’s calculations as a result of the enemy’s deceptions. Patience means pursuing the goals that we have set for ourselves. Patience means moving forward and continuing the path with high morale. This is what patience means. If such steadfastness and resistance is accompanied by wisdom, acumen and consultation with others – as is stressed by the Quran: “Who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation” [42: 38] – then, victory will surely follow.

Of course, I can say with absolute confidence that the Iranian nation is a patient nation. They have shown that they are patient. Of course, we officials have sometimes acted in an impatient manner, but the people have not. The people have been completely patient. The past 40 years have proved this in a tangible manner. Some of our so-called intellectuals have unfortunately shown impatience and some of them went as far as to cooperate and to speak in harmony with the enemy because of their impatience. Of course, only some of them were like this.

The opposite point to such individuals is the youth who are thankfully very large in number, and who will continue to grow in number on a daily basis, God willing. They are active in the arena of culture, science, technology, politics and international understanding – in other words, they correctly understand international issues. Such youth are in contrast with those individuals and as I said, they are thankfully increasing every day. So, showing patience means not giving up, not becoming weak and not having doubts, and stopping the enemy with courage and wisdom and subjugating him. The Holy Quran says, “If there are twenty among you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.” [The Holy Quran 65, 8]. Ten of you could confront a hundred of them and twenty of you could face and defeat two hundred of them. This happens under certain circumstances. In some circumstances, you can confront ten times as many, in certain circumstances twice as many.

I have said in my recent speeches that the country should become strong. Strengthening the country is one of our goals. This is one of the main guidelines of be’that. This concept has been taken from be’that and from the Holy Quran. The Quran says, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war.” [The Holy Quran, 8: 60]. It means that we should increase our power as much as we can. At first glance, power might seem to mean “military power”, but its scope is much wider than military power. Power has very broad dimensions. It has economic, scientific, political – it is political independence which prepares the ground for political power – and promotional dimensions. With the passage of time, there will be other arenas for strengthening the country and the nation.

For example, today, preserving the young population of the country is one of the means of power. That is the reason why I stress the issue of increasing the birth-rate so much. In the present time, our country is a young country. If the birth-rate is not at a sufficient level – which is the case in the present time – then in a few years’ time, the young population of the country will decrease. Then, a country that has few youths will make little progress. So, this is one of the means of preserving the young population of society. Another means of power is cyberspace, which is vital today. Today, cyberspace dominates the lives of individuals throughout the world. There are some people who do everything they need to do through cyberspace. Power in this area is vital. Another is power in the area of health and treatment. Thankfully, our researchers, doctors and experts have made many achievements in this area.

As for the “surge in production” which I brought up this year, it is in fact one of the means of power. Production should witness a surge, not merely a boost in production which was the slogan of last year. Boosting production means making a move in production that has already been made, but this is not enough. We need much more. We need a surge in production. Of course, there are certain requirements for realizing this surge in production. The issue is not only about factory and workshop owners making an effort to produce more, rather it needs all organizations in charge to do their job which includes preventing smuggling and unnecessary imports, giving producers incentives and seriously putting on trial those who take advantage of executive financial resources. There are numerous tasks like this, but if they are carried out - by Allah’s favor, they should be carried out this year – the surge in production will materialize.

Of course, these days, we are faced with the spread of a rampant disease and pandemic. This virus is inflicting casualties and advancing in almost all countries in the world. Now, some countries announce what is happening in their countries and some do not. One understands from what they say that some of their statements are not very compatible with the reality. The virus is progressing. This disease is the manifestation of this ayah, “Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits of your toil.” It both causes panic – some people are really afraid – and creates economic problems. Besides, it inflicts loss, and it causes casualties and other damages. However, after that God says, “But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” [The Holy Quran, 2: 155]. Patience is necessary here as well. Here, patience means doing the right thing and acting in a reasonable manner.

Of course, the honorable officials in this area have given certain instructions which should be acted on, God willing. Everyone should comply with them. These instructions are for the sake of saving your own lives and those of other people and for controlling this dangerous disease. Therefore, everyone should carry them out.

One of the issues related to the coronavirus, which will be good to speak about, is that American leaders have said several times that they are prepared to help us in the area of treatment and medication. They have repeated several times that all we need to do is to ask them to do so and then they will help us with medication and treatment. It is a strange comment to say that we should ask them for treatment and medication. First of all, you yourselves have shortcomings in that respect. The news that comes from the US and the statements that the Americans themselves make – the mayor of such and such a city, the head of public health in such and such an area and the head of such and such a hospital – reveal explicitly that they themselves have formidable shortcomings both in terms of preventative measures and of medication and the like. If you have anything and if you have ample resources, you could use them for your own sake!

Secondly, you Americans are accused of having produced the virus. I do not know how legitimate that accusation is, but when such an accusation exists, which reasonable individual can trust you with medication? Your medication might become an instrument for further spreading the disease. You have no credibility and you are not trustworthy. The medicines that you prescribe or export into our country might make the virus last even longer or prevent it from being controlled. If this accusation is legitimate and if you have produced the virus, well, you are capable of doing these things! Or if you want to send some people here as doctors and physicians, they might want to come here and see, up close, the effects of the poisonous virus that they have produced on the ground! This is because it is said that some forms of the virus have been created especially for Iran through their familiarity with Iranian genetics, which they have acquired in different ways. Well, such individuals might come here and see how it has worked with the aim of gathering information and intensifying their enmity. Therefore, this proposal is not something that anyone in Iran can accept.

My last words with the Iranian nation: my dear ones, our 40-year experience shows that the country has the capacity to confront challenges on every level. The country benefits from extraordinary capacities for confronting and overcoming all the issues, problems and challenges that have arisen until now or that may arise from now on. The capacities of the country are many. The important point is that these capacities be identified by officials and then, pious individuals and motivated youth be employed in every area. These individuals should be young, motivated, pious and religious. This is because it is highly unlikely for those who are religious would show betrayal compared to those who do not believe in religion. This is what makes us closer to our goal.

I would like to reiterate again that everyone should act on the instructions given and announced by the officials of the National Anti-Corona Headquarters. They have even cancelled religious gatherings. Well, it is unprecedented in our entire history to cancel all religious gatherings in places such as holy shrines and public and Friday prayers. It is unprecedented, but there was no other option. They have determined it to be an expedient measure and this is how they acted. The people should observe the instructions so that Allah the Exalted will help the Iranian nation, all Muslim nations and the entire humanity get rid of this plague as soon as possible.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings




  • coronavirus
  • COVID19
  • domestic production