Leader's Speech at the Inauguration of President Ahmadinejad

The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in a decree issued on August 3, 2005, endorsed Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the sixth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The decree on the endorsement of President Ahmadinejad was read at the inauguration ceremony by outgoing president Mohammad Khatami. The following is an excerpt from the speech made by Ayatollah Khamenei at the inauguration ceremony, which was also attended by top government officials, high-ranking military commanders, a number of the honorable families of martyrs and the foreign ambassadors posted in Tehran.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the grace and favor of Almighty Allah, today is an auspicious and blessed occasion for the Iranian nation. Divine mercy was a reward for the striving of our nation, since the honorable Iranian people performed their religious and national duty as before and displayed their timely and strong presence on the scene.

In my capacity as a servant of the Iranian nation, I consider it my duty to once again express my sincere gratitude to Iranian citizens for their glorious and spectacular presence at the polls. I am also grateful to Almighty Allah for the grace and favor He has bestowed on our nation, and I kneel before the Almighty in deep gratitude.

The great blessing of public participation is a gift presented to the Iranian nation by the Islamic Revolution. For centuries, governments took power in this country and then were replaced by other governments, but the Iranian people did not play any role in choosing the officials of their governments and in deciding their political fate. The Islamic Revolution changed this trend and paved the way for public participation in our country.

The democracy in Iran is a real democracy relying on religious faith. The Iranian people are motivated by a sense of religious duty to participate in elections, and they vote for those candidates whom they consider to be the most competent and the best for the office.

The Ninth Presidential Election, like the previous elections, was held in an enthusiastic, sound and glorious manner, for which praise is due to the Almighty. However, the enemies of our nation, who are also the enemies of Islam, are not willing to acknowledge the existence of this healthy democracy in our country.

Before the election, the enemies made every effort and left no stone unturned to dissuade the Iranian people from going to the polls. The propaganda machinery and mouthpieces of the arrogant powers launched a negative propaganda campaign long before the election to discourage the Iranian people and undermine their presence on this scene of glory and honor.

The last of such attempts was U.S. president's outrageous and, of course, foolish move. In a statement issued one day before the Election Day in Iran, he explicitly urged the Iranian people not to participate in the presidential election. But the Iranian nation once again displayed its independence, wisdom, courage, commitment and devotion to its national interests.

Indeed, the prudence and awareness of the Iranian people and their proper understanding of the country's exigencies at any time are worthy of praise and admiration. Our nation is a brave, vigilant, faithful and motivated nation. Let the enemies say whatever they want. The Iranian nation has found its way, and it is determined to advance with strong will and resolution.

U.S. officials did not stop casting aspersions on our presidential election even after they noticed the massive turnout and magnificent presence of the Iranian people at the polls. A U.S. official recently said that the United States does not recognize the existence of democracy in the Islamic Republic. Passing such remarks about other nations only stems from the wicked and arrogant nature of the 'Great Satan' U.S.

The Iranian people do not approve of American democracy either. A democracy that relies on the wealth of Zionist capitalists is no source of pride and honor and imparts no valuable lesson to other nations.

The real democracy is the one that originates from religious faith. As was shown in the 9th presidential election, the Iranian people's participation in general elections is motivated by a sense of national and religious responsibility. They vote for a candidate whom they consider to be the most committed, faithful and dedicated.

Besides, the candidate who is elected president by garnering the majority of the people's votes will be indebted to nobody except Almighty Allah and the people. This is the meaning of democracy.

The Iranian people should highly value this divine blessing and try to preserve it by maintaining their strong presence on various scenes, including the scene of choosing their government's high-ranking officials, and different decision-making areas.

Our esteemed president made some good remarks today. The promotion of justice is the most basic and pivotal principle of a divine movement. Justice has been the major goal pursued by all prophets and prominent reformists in the course of the history of mankind. It has also been and continues to be the main slogan and noble objective of the Islamic Revolution and our Islamic Republic system.

However, justice has also its own enemies. They are the ones who benefit from injustice, the ones who further their illegitimate interests through injustice. The world's bullies and arrogant powers are among those who are opposed to justice and equity.

Some try to condemn justice as extremism. Justice is different from extremism. Advocating truth, respecting civil rights, countering those who enjoy undeserved privileges, preventing oppression and restoring the rights of the oppressed are what justice means.

There are many individuals in a country whose rights will be violated if they do not receive legal support form judiciary and other responsible state organs. The most important duty of a government that seeks to administer social justice is to pay special attention to the deprived strata. It should make use of the most efficient modern and scientific methods to dispense justice in society.

The goals which were mentioned are indeed noble objectives, and they can be accomplished through ceaseless efforts and perseverance and by utilizing talented and energetic human resources and workforce that exist in our country abundantly.

Nevertheless, I would like to advise the esteemed president to avoid rashness in his measures. The goals and objectives should be earnestly pursued, but there should not be any rashness in this respect.

The honorable Iranian people should also avoid rashness in presenting their demands and expectations. They should allow the new government, which is determined to serve the public in the best possible manner, to pursue important goals such as the administration of social justice, the promotion of public welfare and the accomplishment of full-scale scientific and technological development based on appropriate planning and within the framework of the 20-year perspective document, which enshrines the country's macro policies for the next two decades.

The accomplishment of these lofty objectives is not something impossible. They can be attained through vigorous efforts, trust in Almighty Allah, reliance on the people and the utilization of our remarkable young, dynamic manpower.

It is also necessary to make use of modern scientific methods. But this should not be confused with using imported Western prescriptions in various economic, cultural and other areas, most of which have already been abolished and discarded. The utilization of advanced scientific methods should be in conformity with the exigencies and requirements of our country and in line with our expediencies.

We should make more serious efforts in the field of science. We should try to create more links between our scientific and academic institutions and our technological and industrial centers. We should work toward the fair distribution of resources, facilities and opportunities. Above all, we should try to find the most feasible and practicable methods for achieving these goals.

The Iranian people expect the new president and government to make every effort and be serious in the pursuit of the above objectives. Based on my knowledge of the people's expectations, I believe they would like to see firmness of purpose, seriousness and determination in the performance of government officials.

The accomplishment of certain goals will require years of incessant efforts. Knowing this, the Iranian people will be pleased and satisfied as long as they notice that the top officials of their government are making vigorous and unceasing efforts for the progress and development of their country. Iranian citizens expect sincere services from their government, and this is a right and legitimate expectation.

As regards Iran's foreign policy, it should be noted that the Iranian nation has always been and will continue to be a peaceful nation in the world. The Iranian nation bears no animosity toward any other nation. The history of Iran bears witness to the fact that in all the wars that our country has been involved, the Iranian people have just defended their independence and territorial integrity against some foreign aggressors.

The Iranian nation has never waged war against other nations and countries. But our people have always strongly defended their rights and their independence and will continue to do so in the future. The world's bullies and arrogant powers, especially the 'Great Satan' U.S., should bear in mind that the Iranian people would not pay blackmail to any power.

The officials of the Islamic Republic are not entitled to forego the rights of the Iranian nation. We have no right to do so. We are duty-bound to defend the Iranian nation's rights, including their political and economic rights. We should try to safeguard the high status of the Iranian nation in today's world and in the international arena.

Thank God, the Islamic Republic has shown that it is capable of doing so. Today, the Iranian nation enjoys a high status in the region and also on the world scene and in the international arena. The Iranian nation aims to further enhance its status.

We have respect for our neighbors, and we are in favor of brotherly relations and cordial ties with our neighboring states and also with Muslim and friendly countries in this region and in other parts of the world.

The Iranian nation will not use its strength and power to weaken other nations and countries. But our nation will use its power to protect its interests and, by divine favor and assistance, will act firmly and strongly in this regard.

I would like to offer a friendly recommendation to the esteemed president: always try to preserve and boost your spirit of eagerness to serve the public. If an official uses his power and authority in serving the people and sacrifices his own comfort and personal pleasures, his service will be like an act of worship.

This spirit of eagerness to serve the public, humbleness and modesty before the people and acknowledgment of the Iranian nation's dignity and grandeur is a great blessing, which you should try to preserve. Do not forget the Almighty even for a single moment.

We have achieved the present success by the grace and favor of Almighty Allah. We should try to act in such a way as to benefit from further divine mercy and blessings. We should try to evoke divine favor through remembrance of and trust in the Almighty as well as serving the public with dedication and commitment.

Through divine favor, problems will be solved and obstacles will be removed easily. If we sincerely work in the way of Allah, divine assistance will be bestowed on us.

Power in itself is neither a blessing nor a blight. If it is used in the way of Allah and for the benefit of the people, it will be a blessing. But if it is used to further one's personal interests and satisfy one's whims and material desires, it will be a blight and affliction.

Those officials who use their power and position to a amass a fortune and further their material gains will not be able to serve the people in an optimal manner, since their personal interests will clash with the interests of the people.

The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (peace and greetings be upon him), told ibn-Abbas, one of his companions, that he considered the intrinsic worth and value of rulership to be less than that of a pair of patched shoes, unless power and authority was used to restore violated rights and administer justice.

If this is the case, the power and authority associated with rulership is of great worth and value because it is used to advocate truth and administer justice. Also, firm action should be taken against those who try to undermine this authority. That is what the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) did. This power is a divine blessing.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the outgoing president, our dear Mr. Khatami, and his colleagues in the government. Over the past eight years, they rendered valuable service to the Iranian nation. All the previous governments also made vigorous efforts for the progress and development of our country.

Today, our country enjoys numerous capabilities and facilities and great potential, which should be utilized to eliminate poverty and deprivation, promote the people's welfare and raise their standard of living. Vigorous and ceaseless efforts and firm action against corruption will pave the way for the accomplishment of the above objectives.

I pray to Almighty Allah to bestow assistance and success on our esteemed president and other government officials in performing their momentous responsibilities, and also to grant the Iranian nation victory in all arenas.

I hope that by divine favor and assistance, our words, deeds and intentions will be purely for the sake of and in the way of Allah.

May Almighty Allah associate the immaculate soul of our late magnanimous Imam Khomeini, who was in the vanguard of and the driving force of our great movement, with the souls of prophets and saints.

I also pray to the Almighty to bestow His grace and favor on the pure souls of our beloved martyrs and to remunerate their honorable families for their great patience and fortitude.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings