Imam Khamenei

If they want Iran to resume its JCPOA commitments, the US has to remove all sanctions

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 7, 2021 (Bahman 19th) by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, during a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The meeting was held in commemoration of the historic pledge of allegiance of the Air Force to Imam Khomeini on the 8th of February of 1979.

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, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

You are very welcome. I am happy and I thank God that I have another opportunity to meet with you dear, diligent and prominent brothers on such an important day, which is one of the days of Allah.

The 19th of Bahman event was one of the wonders of the Islamic Revolution

The 19th of Bahman of 1357 is one of the wonders of the Islamic Revolution. In fact, the Revolution has not had a shortage of these wonders as it has seen thousands of them over the course of these years. One of the first and most important ones was the 19th of Bahman. The fact that an important part of the taghuti army separated itself from that army and pledged allegiance to Imam and to the people was a very important event. That event encouraged the entire army to join the Islamic Republic. As for army commanders, when they witnessed the reality, they had no choice but to declare their neutrality. That was while their neutrality was meaningless. How could a taghuti army be neutral about the defense of its taghuti regime? However, they declared their neutrality because they had no other choice as they saw that almost the entire body of the army had joined the people. That was like a miracle. It was really a miraculous phenomenon.

The taghuti regime mainly relied on its army and on SAVAK because they did not have any bond with the people and they did not rely on them. Outside the country, they relied on the US and inside the country, they relied on the army and on SAVAK. And as it happens, it was that point of reliance and hope for the devils that turned into an important factor in destroying the devils themselves. This is undoubtedly a miracle. As a matter of fact, one of the most important factors in the victory of the Revolution was the army joining the people. If that had not taken place and if a conflict had arisen between the people and the army, we would have witnessed horrible disasters. The fact that the army – and the air force played a pioneering role in that – joined the people helped the Revolution to achieve victory without the emergence of surprising, grave and unpredictable problems.

The failure of the Americans to launch a coup in the beginning of the Revolution

Of course, the Americans had pinned their hopes on the army until the last moment. They thought that the army could stand against the Revolution and they had planned a coup beforehand. You might have seen this in some sources, but this is definitely and absolutely true: the coup was supposed to be launched in the month of Bahman. The coup had the duty to arrest the leaders and pioneers of the Revolution to suppress the people ten times more violently than the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad.

It had the duty to remove all human obstacles ahead of it and it had been masterminded the US. The well-known General [Robert Ernest] Huyser, who was an outstanding American agent in NATO and who used to come to Iran a lot, says in his memoirs that he had been allowed by General [Harold] Brown – the US defense minister in the Democratic administration of the time: as it happens, at that time too, the government that held office in the US was a Democratic administration – to prevent the overthrow of the Shah regime by all means possible, even at the cost of killing tens of thousands of people. Such a coup was supposed to be launched. However, one of the things that foiled that satanic plot was the move made by the air force: their allegiance to Imam. Perhaps, the youth who came and pledged allegiance to Imam – I was present there and I saw it up close – did not have any clue that their move would be so significant.

The miscalculation made by the US in examining the situation of the country, the people and the army

Well, there is a noteworthy point here which is instructive for us in the present time and also in the future: in examining the situation of the country, of the army and of the people, the Americans made a grave miscalculation. This is an important point. They made a miscalculation. Their false hope about the army originated from their miscalculation and this surprised them a great deal. They were surprised because they made that miscalculation.

In the documents that have been published after many years, they have acknowledged that until a little before Bahman of 1357, they could not foresee the overthrow of the Shah and the Pahlavi dynasty. They did not have any clue at all! More importantly, until a few days before the 22nd of Bahman, the Pentagon announced that the fall of the Shah’s regime is impossible. This means that they made many mistakes and miscalculations. They used to say that the army had complete control and that any ouster would be impossible.

Of course, the Iranian army was even more important than the Shah to the Americans. They believed that even if the Shah died, he was only one person and he could be replaced with another person. However, the army was really important to them and they counted on it to a great deal. However, the same army – which was so important to the Americans, on which they worked so hard and where they had 40,000 American advisors in those days – turned into an important factor in the defeat of the taghuti regime and the destruction of American hopes in Iran. God says in the Holy Quran, “But the wrath of Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected” [59: 2]. They received a blow from an area which they did not expect at all.

The US also made a miscalculation in the 1388 sedition and on the issue of sanctions

Of course, they continue to make such miscalculations. In other words, the Americans have continued until today to make miscalculations regarding the issues of Iran and their political calculator is really not working. They do not understand our issues and they do not know our nation. They do not know the Iranian nation yet and that is why they constantly make a mistake. For instance, the Americans made a mistake on the issue of the 1388 sedition. The Democratic president of those days [Barak Obama] officially supported and defended the sedition because he thought that it would put an end to the Islamic Republic once and for all, but that was a miscalculation.

The same is true on the issue of sanctions. With their unprecedented and comprehensive sanctions – as they sincerely said, similar sanctions did not exist throughout history – they thought that they would bring Iran to its knees. Well, it was a miscalculation and they had a false hope.

One of those first-rate fools, whom I referred to once, said two, three years ago [John Bolton] that they would be celebrating Christmas of the year 2019 in Tehran. They were hoping that the Islamic Republic would have been ousted from power by Christmas 2019 and they would be celebrating it in Tehran. However, that person was thrown into the garbage bin of history and his boss was literally kicked out of the White House. They were both thrown into the garbage bin of history, but the Islamic Republic thankfully stands on its feet in a glorious manner.

The factors leading to success in the face of the enemies

Well, one should not oversimplify things. Yes, the enemy is making miscalculations, but we should know that the problems with the enemy’s calculation system will not necessarily bring us success. We should work and endeavor hard. The people’s presence on the scene and their belief in the necessity to show their presence, trust in divine promises on the part of the people and officials and mutual cooperation have all been and will be effective. If our magnanimous Imam had not ordered to disregard the curfew imposed on the 21st and 22nd of Bahman, things might have developed in a different way. In other words, one cannot produce results by sitting idly and watching the spectacle, hoping that the enemy will make a mistake. One should work hard, be present in the arena of action, trust in God and work diligently. We should constantly formulate plans in response to the enemy’s plans. This is officials’ responsibility. We should increase the elements of national power, one of which is the Armed Forces. We should produce power and then show it in practice as well.

That is why I have always stressed that religious and popular Armed Forces – thankfully, our Armed Forces including the Army, the Guards Corps, Basij and the Police Force are both religious and people-based forces – should be strengthened. This is one of the duties of the officials of the country and of course this act of strengthening the Armed Forces should be compatible with regional and international circumstances and it should be on the basis of priorities. I have always said this to military personalities and the officials of the country.

Fortunately, in the past couple of months, the Army, the Guards Corps and the Ministry of Defense have put outstanding achievements on display: Both our own people and people all over the world watched the recent military maneuvers. Satellites recorded them and people praised them and some expressed their surprise as it was really impressive, particularly during the time of sanctions.  This is because our access to information, to substances, to resources and to equipment outside the country is completely limited. However, with such restrictions, our Armed Forces – including our Ministry of Defense, our Army and our Guards Corps – managed to accomplish such a great feat. This is in fact an act of implementing the Commander of the Faithful’s edict. In a well-known order to Malik al-Ashtar, the Commander of the Faithful said: “The army is, by the will of Allah, the fortress of the subjects… and the means of peace” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 53]. The Armed Forces are a source of national security for the country.

It is a source of pride if a country can ensure its national security with the help of its own elements, children and armed forces and if it does not wait for others to do so. Of course, you should pay attention that strengthening the Armed Forces is not confined to providing equipment and resources for it. Equipment and resources, and the organization of the forces are parts of the duty, but another important part is strengthening morale, faith and spiritual power in the hearts of the Armed Forces. Strengthening the Armed Forces means all these things. The spiritual aspect is certainly part of it as well.

The big mistake that some countries make: asking the US to provide them with national security

The grave mistake that some countries make is to ask the US to provide them with national security. They do not have the capability and determination to do it on their own, nor do they have a correct understanding of international issues. The result is that they spend billions and they are humiliated and insulted and in sensitive times, their security is not ensured in any way. In sensitive times, the person on whom they had pinned their hope stops supporting them.

You witnessed that following the incident taking place in Egypt, Tunisia and other such countries, the US stopped supporting them despite the fact that those at the top of power in those countries were loyal to the US. What could they have done in the face of the people and their movement? The same thing happened to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. When he fled the country, he wanted to stay in the US for a while, but the Americans threw him out and he was forced to go to Panama and to such and such countries. The Americans did not keep him there. He had worked for them so hard and he had rendered so many services to them, hoping that they would help him. When we pin our hopes on others, this is what happens. When we rely on our own power and ask God for help, when we wish to ensure national security on our own, the result will be the kind of dignity that the Islamic Republic thankfully enjoys. Therefore, the enemy’s miscalculations, which I referred to, is an important point.

Becoming intimidated by the enemy and pinning one’s hopes on foreigners are grave mistakes

Such miscalculations exist in the area of economic matters and other areas as well. We should pay attention to this matter and benefit from it. However, we should be careful about our own mistakes too. We should be vigilant about our own errors too. I wish to refer to one of the mistakes that some people among us might make: that we become intimidated by the enemy’s power. This is a grave mistake. This is one of the mistakes that we might make. Another is to pin our hopes on him. Because of our circumstances, we might want to pin our hopes on foreigners regarding part of our affairs – economic, political and international matters. That is while such foreign countries wish to transgress, loot our resources and interfere in our affairs. This will be a great mistake. Of course, I do not want to suggest that we should exaggerate our domestic power. We should see the reality, but we should also try to improve upon it. In any case, I strongly recommend that we not become intimidated by the enemy no matter what capabilities we have. If we become intimidated, we become dysfunctional.

America’s decline in terms of reputation, power and its social system

And those who have an unrealistic opinion about the power of the US and of some other powers should pay careful attention to these realities. Global powers kick up a lot of fuss and exaggerate their capabilities, but this is not the truth of the matter. Regarding the recent incidents that took place in the US – Trump’s defeat in such a humiliating manner and the issues surrounding it, which are not minor issues.  It was not just about the decline of an incompetent president, rather it was the decline of America’s reputation, power and its social system.

This is not something that I am claiming, rather this has been acknowledged by themselves. Outstanding political personalities announced that the American system is rotten from the inside. This has been said by the Americans themselves following the recent incidents. They said that America’s social system is rotten from the inside. This is a big statement. Others said that the post-American era has begun. These are their own comments and as a matter of fact, it is true. Surely they have economic problems, but their main problem is the decline of their social and political system. This shows that they are completely vulnerable.

Covering up the American decline with the help of its news empire

If the incident that occurred in the US had occurred in any other country in the world, in particular in countries which are not on good terms with the US, would they have stopped covering it? The news empire in the world is in their own hands and consequently, they are trying to cover it up and portray the image that the issue is done and dusted, but it is far from over. The issue is a very important one and it will continue to have consequences. The US has really declined and that is why the governments dependent on the US in the region, particularly the Zionist regime, are nervous and perplexed. The recent nonsense spoken by the heads of the Zionist regime originates from their fear, nervousness and anxiety because of what has happened in the US. Of course, they have understood it correctly. The world is witness to the fact that the US has declined on a domestic and international level.

The US and the three European countries do not have the permission to set terms for the continuation of the JCPOA

As for the issue of sanctions, well, today they are saying certain things! Both the Europeans and the Americans make certain claims. First of all, no one in the Islamic Republic listens to the nonsensical comments made by underserving people – whether in Europe or in the US. They make nonsensical comments, but no one listens to them. Secondly, if we wish to be reasonable and speak reasonably, it was the US and the three European countries which violated all their JCPOA commitments. Therefore, they do not have the right to set any terms and conditions for the JCPOA. They did not fulfil any of their JCPOA commitments. Only during a short period of time did they temporarily lift some, but not all, sanctions. However, later on, they restored and even intensified them. Perhaps, they increased them by two, three times. Therefore, they do not have the right to set terms and conditions in this regard.

The definite policy of the Islamic Republic regarding the JCPOA

The side which has the right to set conditions for the continuation of the JCPOA is Iran. The reason is that from the beginning, Iran honored all its commitments. The Islamic Republic honored all its JCPOA commitments, but they violated theirs. Therefore, we have the right to set terms for the continuation of the JCPOA. Recently, we set a condition and no one will go back on it: the condition is that if they want Iran to return to its JCPOA commitments – some of which have been canceled – the US has to lift all sanctions. And not just in words and on paper, rather they have to lift them in practice. After that, we will verify and see if they have really been lifted. Then, we will return to our JCPOA commitments. This is the definite policy of the Islamic Republic and it has been approved by all the officials of the country. Therefore, we will not retreat from this policy.

Unity between officials and the people will eliminate many problems

My firm recommendation is unity. The officials of the country and the people in charge of the main issues of the country should have unity. The people should preserve their unity. Fortunately, thanks to unity, the Iranian nation has managed to eliminate many problems. From now on too, this unity should exist. Officials should move forward in a harmonious and unanimous manner. The Armed Forces too should carry out their important duties and they should continue to produce power in the true sense of the word, God willing.

 Surely in the shade of God’s grace and the prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake), the future of the people and country of Iran will be much better than today. I hope that God will help our nation benefit from the blessings of the martyrs’ blood forever and that He will make the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam satisfied and pleased with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings