Imam Khamenei

The Americans should leave Iraq and Syria, the sooner the better

The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on March 11, 2021 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the occasion of 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 Muhammad, and upon his pure household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

I congratulate all the people of Iran, the entire Islamic Ummah and all liberated persons in the world on the great and auspicious Eid-ul Mab’ath. Eid-ul Mab’ath is a joyous occasion for all the seekers of justice in the world and it is also an Eid of warning to the Islamic Ummah. Today, I will raise some points about be’that and I will also briefly discuss matters related the affairs of the Revolution.


Be’that and directing peoples towards bliss

In Mab’ath, on a day like this, the holy heart of the Great Prophet of Islam (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) became a place for preserving the most valuable divine trust – that is, divine revelation – and the heaviest responsibility in the world was placed on the mighty shoulders of that great personality: That of guiding humanity until the end. Of course, be’that itself was a great gift to the entire humanity.

Be’that means inspiring and sending someone. It means inspiring and sending a person chosen by God – a messenger of God. And this inspiration is accompanied by his connection with an infinite source of divine knowledge and power. This equals the great phenomenon of prophethood. In the next stage, the prophet’s inspiration will lead to the inspiration of human beings in general. In other words, after a divine messenger – all great divine messengers included – is inspired and sent on a mission, he embarks on inspiring, directing and propelling human groups towards a new direction and towards bliss. This is what be’that means.


Towhid is the greatest goal of be’that

There were certain goals, divine goals, in sending all prophets. Naturally, the Holy Prophet’s goal was a divine one due to his obedience to God. Therefore, all acts of inspiring and sending prophets had big goals the most important of which was towhid. Towhid was the big goal of be’that: “We assuredly sent among every people an apostle, with the Command, ‘Serve Allah, and eschew evil’” [The Holy Quran, 16: 36]. This holy ayah in Sura al-Nahl speaks of pure towhid. In Suras al-Araf and Hud, several prophets including Nuh, Hud, Saleh and others say, “Oh my people! worship Allah. You have no other God but Him” [7: 65]. Towhid is the first goal of the prophets’ be’that. Of course, as you know, towhid does not only mean believing, in our mind, that there is only one God, not two. Of course, this is part of what it means, but it also has another implication which is divine authority. Towhid means the complete authority of God in both tashri’ [legislative] and takwin [existential] worlds. God has authority in both. Divine rules should have authority in both the takwin world – in all [natural] incidents: “There is no power and force but that which comes from God” – and in the tashri’ world. All these incidents and rules originate from the power of the only God. This is the main goal.


Another goal of prophets: Creating a pure life

There are other goals as well: edifying humanity – in other words, purging humans of mental pollution and decadent impurities - teaching humans and raising their awareness. Another goal was the administration of justice: Running the human community with justice: “That men may stand forth in justice” [The Holy Quran, 57: 25]. We can also refer to a pure life: “To him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure” [16: 97]. What does this pure life mean? On the one hand it means humanity’s growth and blossoming in terms of intellectuality and knowledge and on the other hand, it means humanity’s mental calm, worldly comfort, security, welfare, bliss and above all, spiritual perfection and transcendence. This is what pure life means. These are the purposes of sending prophets. Of course, I am mainly discussing the great prophets because there were other prophets as well who were sent down to different parts of the world as the promoters of the truth.


The tools for achieving the goals of be’that

Well, as you see, these goals are very big and difficult goals. So, how are they achieved? Naturally, first they require an extensive planning for social relations and interactions. That is, if the Prophet of Islam and other divine prophets wish to attain these goals in whichever era they are, they must create social relations in line with these goals. The second issue is political power because those social relations cannot be engendered by a person isolated from others or by a person who merely admonishes people. What is necessary is power: Political power. Therefore, all instances of be’that are accompanied by a big political power as well as an extensive planning for attaining the goals.


Prophets’ plans and commands were based on the Divine Book

Therefore, with the arrival of a prophet, there will be a political system. In other words, the goal is to establish a political system. That which prophet managed to do it and which could not do it is another issue, but the general goal was to establish a political system in order to attain the goals with certain plans, social relations and various other human relations. In this political system, government was based on the Divine Book – on what Allah the Exalted sent to prophets through revelation: “Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed” [2: 203]. It means that the Book decides what people should do. The Book is the ruler in all social contracts and relations. This ayah is in Sura al-Baqarah. In Sura al-Maedah, God says, “Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein” [5: 47]. The Bible rules for the people of the Bible. In other words, the commands are based on the Bible. As for other prophets – for example in ayahs such as “If any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are unbelievers” [5: 44], “They are wrong-doers” [5: 45] and “They are those who rebel” [5: 47] – in all these, the source of all commands and all orders is the Divine Book sent down to prophets. The principles exist in the Book and all human plans should be formulated on the basis of those principles.


The implementation of divine commands falls on prophets

Well, these are the commands for ruling, but who should implement them? Without a manager and a commander, these commands cannot be implemented. So, there is a need for management and such management and leadership falls on the prophet himself. So, the Holy Prophet and all prophets – the Holy Prophet of Islam and other prophets before him – were managers and commanders in charge of implementing religious and divine rules in society, which are the products of their be’that and which are presented with a divine book.

Of course, this leadership and command is not always the same. In certain cases, it falls on the prophet himself and he undertakes the responsibility. As an example, we can mention Hazrat Dawud, Hazrat Suleyman and the Holy Prophet of Islam. These personalities were placed at the top of the government and undertook the duty to run the affairs. And in certain cases, the prophet appoints a ruler at the command of God such as the prophet mentioned in Sura al-Baqarah: “They said to the prophet among them: ‘Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah’” [2: 246]. The people were under pressure and they referred to their prophet, asking him to appoint a ruler for them and he did that: “Their Prophet said to them: ‘Allah has appointed Talut as king over you’” [2: 247]. So, Talut became their commander. The prophet was the commander and the main leader, but he might entrust the task to others. In this example, Talut was the selected representative and there are many examples in the history of prophets. And in certain circumstances, the prophet does not appoint a person, but he himself has an important and influential position in the government. An example is Hazrat Yusuf. He had influence in the government while he was not the absolute ruler and later on, the government gradually leaned towards his religion.


Religion Is a comprehensive plan for managing humanity’s life

Therefore, be’that has such a significance. It means sending prophets accompanied by a divine book and divine commands. The messenger of God implements the contents of the commands in different ways as mentioned before. There might be other ways, but we have not discovered them yet in the Holy Quran, but they might exist because after all, we do not have knowledge about all events in history. So, on the basis of this extensive approach, what is religion? With this approach, religion is the manager of humanity’s life. It is a comprehensive plan, not a personal plan and not merely a plan for the purpose of worshipping God. Some people think that religion only deals with personal matters and that various social, political and economic plans are outside the remit of religion. However, this approach shows that religion is comprehensive and it encompasses all matters.


Enmities towards religion due to its vast outlook

Naturally, with such an outlook, religion becomes the object of enmities. Evil individuals in all eras have opposed such a religion. They either tried to relegate its vast dominion to personal matters or to stand up against it publicly. The Holy Quran says, “Thus have We made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners” [25: 31]. This ayah is from Sura al-Furqan and it says that every messenger had enemies from among sinners and evil people. God says in Sura al-An’am, “Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy, evil ones among men and jinn, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception” [5: 112]. Therefore, when prophets are sent down with a formula to implement divine rules, then the corrupt, the arrogant, colonialists, thugs, looters and oppressors naturally oppose them. Because the prophet is against oppressing others, looting people’s wealth and dominating others in illegitimate ways, the evil ones in the world naturally stand against him.

Today, as you see, the enemies speak of something called “Political Islam” in their propaganda. Political Islam is the same thing that has taken place in the Islamic system of Iran – later on, I will expand on the great movement launched by our magnanimous Imam. And they have attacked political Islam as their main target. Political Islam means the kind of Islam that has managed to establish various economic, social, political, military and other systems with the formation of a government. It has also created a religious and Islamic identity for the nation. This is what we can say about religion. The Holy Quran’s definition of religion is something like this. And this role cannot be relegated to small tasks and to acts of pure worship. So, be’that is a great movement that provides humans with a comprehensive and liberating plan and that prepares them for a great movement.


Humans’ movement and inspiration is an outcome of prophets’ movement

Of course, it is not the case that the sending prophets and the guidance offered by them prevents people from action in the arena. It is not like that. As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration and the sending of prophets leads to the inspiration of peoples and society as a result of which, people are propelled into action. That is why the Commander of the Faithful says in a well-known sermon, “Then Allah sent His Messengers and series of His prophets towards them to get them to fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall to them His bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them the hidden virtues of wisdom” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 1]. So, prophets revive the hidden virtues of wisdom in humans. They awaken their nature and propel them into action.

There is another sermon in Nahjul Balaghah about the Holy Prophet which says, “The Prophet was like a roaming physician who has set ready his ointments and heated his instruments” [Sermon 108]. He had both ointments and heated instruments – in the past, they would apply heated instruments to a wound if it did not heal with ointments. In Arabic, the rod heated by the medics and put on the wound is called “mousim” or “meisam”. The sermon says that the Prophet “has set ready his ointments and heated his instruments.” And he “uses them wherever the need arises.” He puts them in whichever area that is necessary. The hudud that you see in Islam – punishments and other such issues – are the heated instruments put on the wound in order to help it heal. These were the matters related to be’that.


The Islamic Revolution is a continuation of be’that

As for issues related to the Revolution, the great Islamic Revolution in Iran revitalized the concept of be’that in the contemporary era. Allah the Exalted bestowed on our great Imam the blessing to highlight the continuous line of prophetic be’that with his creativity, courage, lofty thoughts and altruism. This is the same line of be’that. Well, this line used to be pale before that, but our magnanimous Imam managed to bring it to light and to show the comprehensiveness of Islam in practice. He showed that Islam is a comprehensive religion which encompasses one’s entire life. It was our magnanimous Imam who highlighted it.

He revived the social and political aspects of religion which had been consigned to oblivion: “To recall to them His bounties.” He was the embodiment of this sentence. Well, like the prophetic be’that, the Revolution was anti-oppression, anti-dictatorship and anti-arrogance and it was an advocate of the oppressed with every belief and religion. It was an advocate of the oppressed in the true sense of the word. It also advocated the underprivileged and the weak in every nation and with every belief and religious disposition. In all circumstances, our Revolution invited the entire humanity to the straight path of Islam. The fundamental movement of the Revolution is this.


The malicious in the world deploy their forces against the Islamic Revolution

Well, when this Revolution was formed and when it established a system, namely the Islamic Republic, the thing that happened to prophets was repeated again: The malicious deployed their forces against the Revolution as they did against prophets: “Thus have We made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners” [25: 31.] Sinners, the malicious and the arrogant in the world deployed their forces and fought against the Revolution. Of course, this was not something that we did not expect. From the beginning, we did not expect that they reconcile themselves with the Revolution. From the beginning, it was clear that such a thing would not happen: “This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true” [The Holy Quran, 33: 22]. It was clear that the likes of the US, the Soviet Union and other arrogant powers would confront it and that was exactly what happened.


The Islamic government only confronts the enemies of God and of the Islamic community, not everyone

Well, this confrontation definitely exists, but on this matter too, just like every other matter, they distorted the truth and told lies as they said that the Islamic Republic tends to show hostility against everyone. This is not correct and it is a lie. We learned from the Holy Quran that we should behave in a kind way towards those who do not show enmity towards the Islamic government. There is an ayah in Sura al-Mumtahenah, “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them [60: 8]. It says that you should be kind to the unbelievers who do not fight and show hostility against Muslims and that you should treat them fairly: “for Allah loves those who are just.”

And another ayah says, “Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them for friendship and protection” [60: 9]. This ayah says this. So, unlike their claim that the Islamic Republic is belligerent with everyone, we have no problems with those who do not show enmity against us, no matter what their religion and denomination is, and we even treat them kindly. Islam only insists on confronting the enemies: Those who show hostility, not those whose religion is not the same as ours.

Inside the country, a group of so-called intellectuals used the term “people of different thoughts” as people in disagreement with the Islamic Republic. I said in a speech that having different thoughts is not a problem [Leader’s speech delivered on November 2, 2003]. If you have different thoughts, it is alright. We have nothing to do with your thoughts, but you should not show enmity. The Holy Quran insists on the enemy and on enmity.

In Sura al-Mumtahenah, God says, “Oh you who believe, take not my enemies and yours as friends offering them your love” [60: 1]. Do not make friends with those who are My enemies and yours as well – they are both the enemies of God and of the Islamic community – and do not ally yourselves with them. We could also refer to the well-known ayah, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war.” After that, it says, “To strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies” [8: 60]. The purpose of strengthening oneself and building weapons is “to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies.” The goal is to intimidate the enemy, not those who do not show enmity. Therefore, Islam stresses that we confront an active enemy.

Well, we have experienced such enmities from the beginning of the Revolution. Since the first day of the Revolution, despite the fact that the Islamic Revolution showed forgiveness towards foreigners and others to a great extent, many plots were hatched against the Islamic Republic from the very beginning. Above all, it was the US and later on, others and their enmities have continued until today.


Important elements in confronting enmities

As I have always stressed and would like to stress again, two important elements are necessary for confronting these enmities. Two characteristics are necessary in the people: one is insight and the second is patience and endurance. If these two elements exist, the enemy will not be able to do anything. He will not be able to cause any harm and achieve any success in confronting the Islamic government. These two elements are insight and patience. As the Commander of the Faithful said, “And this banner will be borne only by him who is a man of insight, of endurance and of knowledge of the position of rightfulness.” This is in sermon 173 of Nahjul Balaghah.


Insight means being sharp-sighted and identifying the correct path

What does insight mean? Insight means being sharp-sighted and identifying the correct path. Sometimes you make a mistake. Naïve individuals and beginners are more likely to make mistakes, but even experienced people and veterans sometimes mistake the correct path. One should take care not to make a mistake in identifying the correct path. We should be able to find our way amid a mist of seditions. This is what insight means.


Patience means showing steadfastness on the correct path

What does patience mean? It means being steadfast on this path, not deviating from the straight path and insisting on treading it. This is what patience means. Patience should not be defined in the wrong way. It should not be defined in a different way. Mostly, the enemies and those who do not have enough knowledge define it in the wrong way. Patience means being steadfast, showing persistence and resistance and continuing the path without any stop in the middle. This is what patience in the face of enemies means.


Advising one another is one of the ways to protect society against the enemies

Well, if these two qualities exist, the enemy will not prevail. One of the ways to preserve these two qualities in society is to advise one another, as specified in Sura al-Asr: “(Except those who) enjoin each other to Truth, and enjoin each other to Patience.” The people should advise one another. This chain of advising one another should be held together. They should advise to the truth and patience. This will protect everyone. If the movement of advising to the truth, patience and insight exists in a society, that society will not be influenced by the enemy’s moves. However, this chain of advising one another - which protects believers - is cut off, then everyone will be harmed: “Verily mankind is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and enjoin each other to Truth, and enjoin each other to Patience” [103: 2-3]. If this movement of advising one another is absent, the “loss” part [of the mentioned ayah] will materialize. Well, the enemy is targeting this important factor.


The enemy’s goal in the soft war:  Cutting off the movement of advice in the country

In my opinion, the enemy is pursuing two goals in this soft war. Of course, there are some clear military, hard and violent wars as well, which are important in their own respect, but the cure for the soft war is more difficult and, in a sense, it is even more difficult than a hard war. In this soft war, the enemy is making two moves: One is to cut off the chain of advising one another to accept the truth and to show patience. The second is to distort the truth.

They have numerous propaganda tools with which they easily show various truths upside down. However, the effort to cut off the chain of advising the truth and patience is a dangerous thing. If they do something to prevent believers from advising and protecting one another and from giving each other hope and if this chain is cut off in society, this is very dangerous. This makes people feel lonely and desperate, it undermines one’s willpower, it weakens hope and it makes one lose the courage to take action. When the advice movement does not exist, these things happen. And naturally when such things happen – when one’s hope, determination and courage are undermined – lofty goals will gradually slip from our grasp, they will seem unattainable and they will be consigned to oblivion.

Our soft war officers should not let this happen. Once, I said that our youth are the officers of the soft war. The youth should not let this happen. They should nurture hope and advise others to resist and to avoid laziness and tiredness. These are the tasks that fall on our youth – who are the officers of the soft war, as I said earlier.

Today, cyberspace is an opportunity to that end. Of course, the enemies use cyberspace in other ways, but you dear youth should use it like this: You should use it to engender hope, to invite to patience, the truth, insight, tirelessness, activeness and the like. Well, these statements were about the first thing that the enemy does, which is to cut off the chain of advice and protection.


Distorting the truth

The second thing that they do is to distort the truth and to tell lies. And they tell lies so barefacedly and determinedly that anyone listening thinks they are telling the truth. They distort the truth by 180 degrees, doing so in a very calm, firm and unabashed manner. For example, it is six years now that America’s Arab ally has been bombarding the oppressed people of Yemen in their own homes, on the street, in the hospital and at school. It has laid an economic siege on them. It is cutting off their food, medicine and oil supplies. This has been happening for six years and of course, it happened with the US government’s green light. At that time, a Democratic government held office. They gave that cold-hearted, cruel and oppressive Arab government the green light to unfortunately behave in such a terrible way towards the Yemeni people. Well, this is the truth of the matter.

Now, the Yemenis – who are very talented people: The people of Yemen are very talented – have managed to forge some defensive weapons for themselves, either getting them from elsewhere or producing them on their own, by benefiting from certain opportunities in order to respond to this six-year-long bombardment. However, as soon as the Yemenis do something in response, they let out the cry of their propaganda, shouting, “They have attacked, they have assassinated.” All of them say this, even the United Nations. The United Nations’ action in this regard is really worse and more indecent than the US’ action. Well, the US is an arrogant and oppressive government, but why the United Nations? They do not condemn the other government for its six-year-long bombardment, but they condemn, chastise and attack the Yemenis because they have occasionally defended themselves and because their defense has paid off. This is one example of telling lies.

Another example is that the greatest atomic arsenal ever is located in the US: The greatest atomic arsenal! They might be keeping thousands of atomic bombs in their warehouses – I do not know – and they used them in the past as well. The only government that has ever used atomic bombs is the US government. The US massacred 220,000 people in the course of one hour in one single day! They did this, but they pretend outrageously that they are against the proliferation of atomic weapons. They are like this. They claim that they are opposed to weapons of mass destruction, but they are lying because the worst and most dangerous weapons of mass destruction are in their possession and they have used them as well. Nonetheless, they claim that they are against weapons of mass destruction.

The US supports a criminal who dismembers his opponent with a saw – all the world found out that the Saudis had laid a trap for one of their opponents and chopped him into pieces with a saw [referring to the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi] – and then they say that they are an advocate of human rights! In other words, they are prepared to distort the truth to such an extent and in such a shameless way. It was the Americans themselves who created DAESH. They themselves have acknowledged this. It is not we who are making such a claim. He who created it acknowledged it and he who stood as his [presidential] rival acknowledged it as well in an attempt to attack his rival. All of them acknowledged that DAESH had been created by the US. However, with the excuse of the existence of DAESH, they set up military bases in Iraq and Syria, saying that they want to fight against DAESH. They also provide DAESH with modern media resources and with money, allowing that group to usurp Syria’s oil and to sell it for their own profits. However, they say that they are fighting against DAESH. This is what they are doing: Displaying a false image.

They speak about Iran’s presence in the region with grudge, questioning Iran’s presence in Syria, Iraq and some other countries. That is while our presence does not take on a military form in any way and whenever there was actually a military presence, it only served a counselling function. In certain countries, there is no military presence whatsoever, there is only political presence. However, they speak about our presence with grudge and portray it as a big problem, claiming that it leads to instability. That is while this region is our region and wherever we went, we went for the sake of defending the legal government of that country. Our goal whether in Iraq or in Syria has been to defend the legal government and we did so with the satisfaction and request of those governments themselves. They magnify this situation, but they themselves enter Syria in an oppressive manner, occupy a certain area and build military bases. They built several military bases in Iraq as well. Portraying the truth upside down is their common practice and they have a similar performance in all areas. Of course, the Americans should definitely leave Iraq as this is the Iraqis’ demand and it is also in line with their law. They should definitely leave Syria and do it even sooner, the sooner, the better. So, this is what they always do.


Our responsibilities towards the Islamic Revolution

We should know that due to the heavy trust that the Islamic Revolution has placed on our shoulders and on the shoulders of the Iranian nation and because of the path of bliss that it has opened to us, we have certain responsibilities including advising to the truth and patience, identifying and resisting the treacherous enemy and refusing to surrender to and trust him. This is what I wanted to discuss today.


The necessity to thank the medical staff for their great endeavors

At the end of my statements, I wish to once more raise a short point about the pandemic. The year is over and the efforts made by the medical personnel of the country against the coronavirus have exceeded one year and I and the masses of the people deem it necessary to express our heartfelt gratitude to them. We will pray for them, we are grateful to them and we advise everyone to support them.

I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow His attention, mercy and blessings on our nation. I hope that Allah the Exalted will give an auspicious present to the Iranian nation, all the believers in the world and the entire Islamic Ummah on the occasion of Eid ul-Mab’ath. I hope that He will help us carry out our duties, make the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) pleased with us, help us benefit from his prayers, and make the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam and the pure souls of our great martyrs satisfied and pleased with us, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings