Imam Khamenei

Martyr Soleimani is a champion of the Iranian nation and of the Islamic Ummah

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on December 16, 2020, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the officials of the Shahid Soleimani Commemoration Anniversary and with the family members of that great martyr.

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 Muhammad, and upon his pure household, and may God curse all their enemies

Cultural endeavors of the Shahid Soleimani Commemoration Anniversary should be organized by the people themselves

First of all, I very much thank the brothers and sisters who organized the Shahid Soleimani Commemoration Anniversary and who also organized commemoration ceremonies for other great martyrs of the world of Islam, including the martyrs of defending the Holy Shrines. We could also refer to the event that the honorable family of our esteemed martyr organized under the name of “The Soleimani School of Thought”. All these are very good, necessary and beneficial events and by Allah’s favor, they should be pursued in a powerful, vigilant and careful way. All of you should do your best. As our Sardar [Sardar Hussein Salaami, the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps] mentioned, you should pay attention that the events related to our dear Shahid Soleimani be public events. In other words, it is the people themselves who should cooperate and show their creativeness in various cultural areas, as they did so during the burial ceremony and other such events. We should not confine the events to particular groups and orientations.

Shahid Soleimani is the champion of the Iranian nation and of the Islamic Ummah

What I wish to say about the martyrdom of our dear Shahid Soleimani – I will never forget his memory and that of Shahid Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (May Allah bestow paradise upon them) – is that the Soleimani martyrdom is a historic event. It is not a normal event that will be erased from historic memory. That event was recorded in history as a brilliant incident. Shahid Soleimani turned into the champion of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Ummah. This is a fundamental point.  Iranians are proud of themselves for the fact that a man rose from a distant village who turned into a brilliant personality and a champion of the Islamic Ummah as a result of his endeavors and self-edification. Later on, I will raise two, three more points in this regard.

Shahid Soleimani was the manifestation of courage, resistance, acumen, intelligence, self-sacrifice and spirituality

He is the champion of the Iranian nation because the people saw in him their own cultural, spiritual and revolutionary assets and values. While he was still alive and while he was pursuing his work – in a very simple manner and without any ostentation – the people would put up his photos on the street and they would feel proud of him. And when he was martyred, it was not only revolutionaries who commemorated him. Rather, people from all social backgrounds showed their sentiments towards him: even those who were not expected to show their feelings for a revolutionary figure. Why is that? It is because of this fact: he was the embodiment of Iran’s and the Iranians’ cultural values. This is really valuable.

From another perspective, he enjoyed a spirit of courage and resistance. Courage and resistance are among Iranian qualities. Humiliation, retreat, passiveness and other such negative qualities are the antithesis of our national sentiments. Those who claim to be nationalists, but who act in a weak and humiliated manner are self-contradictory. He was the embodiment of courage and resistance. Everyone could see and witness this in him.

We could equally refer to his acumen and intelligence. He was very smart. There are many points about this aspect of his. Long before its realization, he predicted the emergence of a so-called religious orientation that was inclined to a particular denomination and that worked against the Resistance and he shared his thoughts with me saying: “According to what I see in the world of Islam – he mentioned the names of some countries – a certain orientation is coming into being.” And after a while, DAESH came into being! He was a shrewd and intelligent person. When dealing with the affairs in the countries where he was involved, he would act in a very wise and judicious manner. I could easily feel this. Well, we were constantly in contact with one another about different matters. He was shrewd. This is another Iranian quality. This is another quality of our Iranian cultural assets.

He also exhibited a spirit of self-sacrifice and love for human beings. He did not attach significance to this or that nation. He loved all human beings and he sacrificed himself for everyone. Moreover, he was a man of spirituality, purity and piety. He was really spiritual, pure and mystical and he did not pretend. Well, these are a collection of valuable virtues and ethics. The people saw these in him and he embodied them. In the deserts and mountains of such and such countries, he faced different enemies and he embodied and reflected the values of Iranian culture. Therefore, he turned into the champion of the Iranian nation.

Shahid Soleimani: The code word for inspiration and for the rallying of Resistance forces in the world of Islam

On the other hand, we said that he was a champion of the Islamic Ummah. Why? Because with his moves and ultimately, with his martyrdom – his martyrdom also complemented his actions – he became the code word for inspiration and for rallying the Resistance front in the world of Islam. In today’s world of Islam, whenever some people wish to resist in the face of arrogant bullying, their role model and their code word is Shahid Soleimani. He is respected and commemorated in different countries. His photo is put up here and there, his name is chanted on every tongue and they hold different occasions in his memory. In fact, he taught the people how to use the resistance software and the fighting paradigm and he promoted them among nations. Well, these are very important and very sensitive roles. That is why he is an outstanding personality and a champion icon in the world of Islam.

Shahid Soleimani was the champion of defeating arrogance

Both during his lifetime and with his martyrdom, he defeated arrogance. These are not mere claims. These are facts that have been proven. He defeated arrogance in his lifetime. The reason being that the American president [Donald Trump] once said: “We spent seven trillion dollars in Iraq, but we gained nothing.” He even had to travel in the dark of night to pay a visit to an American base in Iraq.  The whole world believes that the US did not achieve its goals in Iraq and Syria – in particular, in Iraq. Why? Who was the agent behind their failure? It was Soleimani who was the champion. Therefore, he defeated them in his lifetime.

He defeated them after his martyrdom as well. The burial ceremony that was organized in Iran for him was really astonishing and unforgettable. The same is true of the burial ceremony in Iraq with the presence of millions of Iraqis. They bid farewell to his body in Najaf and Baghdad: with the participation of millions of people! He as well as Shahid Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were bid farewell. That ceremony and the following commemoration events astonished the soft war generals in the camp of arrogance. The outstanding and most influential generals in the soft war of arrogance were astonished to see that incident and they could not understand, in any way, the great movement that defeated them.

A hard slap across the face of the US: software victory [1] over the hollow power of arrogance

Of course, what happened following his martyrdom was the first hard slap delivered to the US. That great popular movement was the first slap delivered to the US and after that, our brothers delivered another one. However, the harder slap is a software victory over the hollow power of arrogance. This is a hard slap that should be dealt to the US. Our revolutionary youth and our religious personalities should shatter America’s hollow power with their determination and they should deliver another hard slap to it. This is the first slap. Another one is to expel the US from the region. This requires the determination of nations and the policies adopted by the Resistance front. They should fulfil this duty. This slap will be a hard one.

Of course, these measures are different from taking revenge on the assassin. The measures that I referred to are related to arrogance and the US in their entirety. Soleimani’s assassin and those who issued the order will pay the price. This is another issue in its own respect. Of course, according to a dear personality, even Soleimani’s shoes are worth more than his murderers’ head and even if his murderer loses his head, Soleimani’s shoes will still be worth more. This is true, but after all, they have done a wrong thing and we should take revenge against them. Both those who ordered his assassination and the assassins themselves should know that we will take our revenge in due time – at the proper time.

Some words of advice to officials and the people: Strengthening ourselves in the area of the economy, science, technology and the military

This is a good meeting that has been decorated with the name of Shahid Soleimani. Therefore, I will issue three, four pieces of advice, which are very important:

First of all, I wish to advise the officials of the country and our dear people to become strong. As our Poet from Khorasan said: “Go become strong if you wish to have the comforts of life” [from a poem by Ali Akbar Azadi Torbati]. You should become strong both in the economy, in science, in technology and in military defense. You should become strong. As long as you are not strong, the enemies will keep their greedy eyes on you. They will transgress against you. This is my first piece of advice, which is one that I have always offered. I myself will pursue the issue as long as I am capable of doing so and as long as God gives me the blessing to pursue it. Officials are also obliged to follow it.

Distrusting the enemy

Secondly, you should not trust the enemy. This is my definitive word of advice. You should not trust the enemy. You should not trust this and that’s promises with the purpose of smoothing the path of resolving the people’s problems and of building the future of the country. This is addressed to officials. Such promises are not made by good people. They are made by bad and malicious people and not even one out of 100 promises made by such individuals will be honored.

You should not forget the enmities. They showed enmity towards us. You witnessed what Trump’s and Obama’s America did to you. Of course, their enmity is not confined to Trump so much so that now that he is not there, we say that their enmity is over. This is not the case. Obama’s US behaved in a nasty way towards you too. They were mean towards the Iranian nation. The same is true of the three European countries. These three European countries showed absolute disloyalty and they showed their mean, two-faced and hypocritical face to the Iranian nation. This is the second piece of advice.

Preserving national unity

The third piece of advice is that you should preserve national unity. Our country needs unity: the Iranian nation’s unity. On many matters, the Iranian nation has a unanimous voice and a unanimous demand. However, officials can destroy this. It would be quite a feat on the part of our officials to shatter to pieces this unanimity and to destroy the nation. The officials of the country should do something to reinforce this unity. The three branches of government should work and cooperate together, in particular the heads of the three branches. If such solidarity, unity and cooperation are realized, national unity will certainly be strengthened on a daily basis. Well, one can negotiate. There are or might be certain differences. You should resolve them through negotiations. You speak about negotiating with the world. Very well, how is one able to negotiate with the world but not able to negotiate with domestic forces? You should negotiate with one another and resolve the problems. Some of the comments that we hear these days are a source of sowing discord, not unity.

Counteracting sanctions

The fourth and the last point: I have said this before as well, but I wish to repeat it again: lifting the sanctions is in the hands of the enemy, but counteracting them is in our own hands. Is this not the case? We cannot lift the sanctions on our own. It is the enemy who should do so. However, we ourselves are capable of counteracting the effects of his sanctions. Therefore, this takes priority and is the right course of action. We should follow the latter more. Of course, I am not saying that we should not be after lifting the sanctions. If we are able to lift the sanctions, we should not delay it even for one hour. Of course, there is a four-year delay. Since 1395, they have been intending to lift them all at one, but until today, not only have they not been lifted, but they have also increased. However, if we can lift them in a correct, reasonable, dignified, Islamic and Iranian way, we should do so. Nonetheless, you should not think too much about this. You should rather think about counteracting sanctions, which is an issue in your hands as you are capable of doing it. And you should follow the matter and cooperate with one another in a diligent manner. This is my advice to you. I will support the officials of the country, but provided that they are committed to the nation’s goals.

I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow on all the officials of the country the blessing to be able to accomplish great feats, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings


[1] Using soft power to overcome


  • Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
  • Qasem Soleimani