Imam Khamenei

That which brings sovereignty for a nation is knowledge

The US regime, which sees its existence to be dependent on domination and monopoly, imposes sanctions and exerts widespread pressures on any country that aims to achieve independent scientific progress. A clear example of this is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Here, is publishing some excerpts of Imam Khamenei's statements in this regard.

At a scientific level, where do countries who are obedient to the US stand vs. independent countries?

There are certain countries in the region which have been under the domination of America for more than 30 years. The governments in these countries have been servants of America. They have been obedient to America and they have been taking orders from it. What is their position? The Iranian nation has been putting up a resistance against America for more than 30 years. What is the position of the Iranian nation? In the face of 30 years of pressures by America, the Iranian nation has reached such a position - in terms of scientific, economic and cultural progress and in terms of international dignity, political influence and political power - that the people and government officials during the time of Pahlavi and Qajar regimes could not even dream of. [Feb. 16, 2013]


The Islamic Republic has shown that scientific progress is possible without relying on the US

The enmity of our enemies is rooted in the resistance of the Islamic Republic against global arrogance and against the hideous habit of dividing the world into the oppressor and the oppressed. Other issues are excuses. Today, their excuse is the nuclear issue. One day, their excuse is human rights and another day, their excuse is something else. They want to discourage the Islamic Republic from showing resistance against bullies, thugs, blackmailers and global oppressors. Of course, this will not happen. The people of Iran have proven their capabilities in different arenas. The people of Iran have proven that one can make scientific and social progress and achieve international influence and political dignity in the world even without relying on America. The Islamic Republic has proven this and they are unhappy about it. [May. 21, 2014]


They assassinate Iranian scientists to stop the scientific progress of the Islamic Republic

Maybe the main reason behind the pressure that they have exerted on Islamic Iran and the Islamic Republic throughout the past 33 years is that they wanted to prevent the formation of a model for the Muslim population of the region. This is because it is difficult to start a movement without having a role model. It is easy to start a movement when there is a model. When a nation becomes a model, when a movement becomes a model, it encourages others and helps realize potentialities. They wanted to prevent this from happening. They impose sanctions in order to make the country economically weak, hoping that others will look at our country and think that Islam brings about economic backwardness. They assassinate our scientists in order to thwart the scientific movement and prevent the Iranian nation from showing its impressive and advanced scientific movement to the world and the Islamic Ummah. And this scientific movement was inspired by Islam and the Islamic Revolution. They level allegations of political suppression, violation of human rights and other such things in order to mislead global public opinion. However, the Revolution has been shining brightly in spite of all these efforts, all this propaganda and all these spiteful actions. [Feb. 16, 2011]


The enemy’s threats only stop when a country progresses scientifically

We need to progress in scientific terms: this is our definite need. If we do not progress in scientific areas, the threat of our civilizational, cultural, and political enemies will remain a constant threat. That threat will cease and diminish only when we progress in scientific areas: I have stressed this frequently. It is 20 years now that I have been stressing this, and I have frequently recounted this hadith: “Knowledge is power.” [from Commentary on Nahjul Balaghah, Vol 20, page 319] Knowledge is power. From this viewpoint, too, outstanding personalities are significant. They can help science progress in the country, and they can help it reach a position of power and glory with the result that its vulnerabilities will decrease. [Oct. 17, 2018]


Scientific progress causes sanctions to be ineffective

I believe that even in the short run, sanctions will be counteracted with scientific progress. Today, the issue of sanctions is one of the issues which exists in people's minds. Imagine that we adopt a short-term and mid-term outlook and that we forget about our long-term future. Even so, if the country wants to counteract sanctions, we should know that - as the honorable gentlemen in this meeting pointed out - they will be counteracted by adopting a scientific outlook towards the issues of the country and by paying attention to science and to connecting science, industry and agriculture to one another. Today, sanctions are a tool in the hands of our enemies for humiliating our people. They use sanctions for exerting pressures on our national dignity and this is apart from the practical pressures which are related to living conditions. They humiliate our people through sanctions. This is the reason why we have repeatedly said in recent years that we should not place too much emphasis on the issue of sanctions. The arena is open for us to work in such areas. They will be counteracted by adopting a scientific outlook towards the issues of the country and by paying attention to science and to connecting science, industry and agriculture to one another. [Jul. 2, 2014]


That which brings sovereignty is knowledge

Knowledge is the secret behind the progress of the country. That is to say, knowledge constitutes the pivot of a country's power, power accompanied by progress. Science, scientists, students, and scientific environments are the target of many of the plots hatched today against the Islamic Republic. You should keep this in mind. Do not let the enemy's arrow hit its target. Do not let scholarly work stop. Among all the comments that were made here, knowledge and research are the most important. The wealth of the western world is the result of its knowledge. Its power is the result of its knowledge. Its current bullying is because of the knowledge it has. Money does not in itself bring about power. Knowledge is what brings about power. [Oct. 28, 2009]


The US regime imposes sanctions on nations because of their scientific progress

The people of Iran have been pursuing nuclear activities for the peaceful needs of the country. In a few years from now, we will need 20,000 MW of electricity generated by our nuclear resources and nuclear power. Apart from the amount of energy which is obtained through non-nuclear organizations, 20,000 MW has to be generated through nuclear resources according to the analysis of our experts and researchers. That was why the Islamic Republic took this path with scientific and practical measures. This was a legitimate, correct, harmless and safe course of action which contained no harm and danger for any nation and country.

However, the regime of the United States of America – which is concerned about the scientific progress of this nation and all other nations, which is not willing to let them make scientific progress and which does not allow nations to develop whether in scientific, practical or economic areas – imposed oppressive sanctions in the face of this legitimate and correct move made by the Islamic Republic. As a result of this, the officials of the country concluded that they negotiate and ignore part of their rights in order to lift sanctions and they did so. However today, despite all agreements, all commitments, despite the numerous talks that were held, the attitude of the United States of America towards these negotiations and towards their results is completely oppressive, thuggish and cruel! [Sep. 17, 2017]

You should not be intimidated by the west. Although it is true that today westerners are much ahead of us in terms of science and technology, you should not be intimidated by this. Why? Because you are better than them. That country that has an advanced technology, industry and that has different inventions and the like has begun its movement two hundred years ago, but you have begun this movement 35 years ago. Your Revolution is 35 years old. In the course of 35 years, you have managed to walk all this way and to achieve this rate of progress in the area of achievements. They were behind you during the first 35 years after their independence.

An example is America. America was nothing 35 years after its independence from the yoke of the English. There is a world of difference between America 35, 40 years after its independence and Iran 35 years after the victory of the Revolution. You are way ahead of them. It will take you a much shorter time to achieve this level of material civilization. And we have not even included spirituality from this discussion! Therefore, you should not be intimidated by them.

It was 100 years after the victory of the Americans over the English army and the independence of America that the well-known Statue of Liberty was built. And it was not the Americans who built it if my memory serves me right. I read in the past that it was a French engineer who came from France and built it. In other words, 100 years after their independence, the Americans had barely reached the point in the area of science, technology and industry to build this Statue of Liberty. A French engineer came from France and designed and built this statue. So, you are way ahead of them and you should not be intimidated. Potentially, you have much more capabilities than they do. You should advance and move forward. [Oct. 14, 2015]


Scientific progress is one of the areas where the Arrogant Powers fight against Iran

One of the main motives that encouraged arrogant powers to deploy their forces against us on the nuclear issue was this -- Now, they give other excuses, but they had a few main motives. One of those motives was the capability of a country to achieve progress in an extraordinarily sensitive arena such as the nuclear arena without reliance on America, England or any other power. This was very important to and dangerous for them and therefore, they did not want it to happen. And I am confident that if we let them, they will play games and create problems in the future on issues such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and various other scientific matters as well. Scientific, economic and civilizational progress is one of the sources of contention and conflict between the Islamic Republic and arrogance. [Apr. 20, 2016]


The enemy describes Iran's scientific progress as "threatening" because of its desire for domination and monopoly

Why does a certain group in the world consider the scientific achievements of our country as threatening? This is because they are monopolists. This is because they are domineering. They consider Iran as a bait. They intended to swallow up this country with all its resources and its prominent strategic position in the world. But the vigilance of the Iranian nation and the Iranian youth plus their talent and scientific achievements will stop them from doing so. And it is due to this reason that your technological advances, your nuclear energy plan, and other achievements make them annoyed. If the Iranian nation is carefree and our youth are thoughtless - if they do not seek employment, science, production, and innovation or if they spend their time on debauchery - our enemies will be delighted. This is what they want. They do not want Shiraz to be the center of scientific achievements. I previously mentioned that Shiraz is at the vanguard of industrial progress among the different cities and provinces of the country, and also that your youth, men, and women have gained global fame in some scientific areas. This is what our enemies are opposed to. They do not want our universities, our Islamic seminaries, our laboratories, and our production centers to flourish. They want such things as unhealthy relationships among boys and girls, lust, and debauchery to prevail in our people's lives. These are the things they want. But you acted against their will, and this is the reason behind the annoyance and the propaganda of the US and the Zionist regime. [May. 2, 2008]

Generating despair is a very grave danger. The others who do this – foreigners – do it in a carefully calculated way. Notice that they have written articles specifying that the scientific progress of Iran is a source of concern. They have written this explicitly, saying that the scientific progress of Iran is a source of concern. A source of concern for whom? It is clear: for colonialist, transgressing and power-seeking powers whose life depends on dominating the weak. They cannot bear seeing a country in a sensitive location like that of our country, liberate itself from weakness and achieve power and strength. This is a source of concern for them. They easily ignore the achievements and successes and some people really forget them as well. [May. 29, 2019]



  • Iran
  • knowledge
  • Science
  • Scientific progress