Televised speech on the eve of the 13th Presidential election June 16, 2021

The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on June 16, 2021, by Imam Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the eve of Iran’s 13th Presidential election.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful


Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings upon our Master Muhammad and his pure, immaculate Household, particularly the remnant of God on earth. May God’s peace be upon Ali bin Musa al-Reza al-Mortadha, God’s great Guardian, in the amount that God knows, eternal peace as eternal as God’s Kingdom.

I congratulate all the dear Iranian nation and all those who are eager to make a pilgrimage to his shrine on this occasion of the celebration of Ten Days of Keramat (Dignity) and the birth anniversary of Ali bin Musa al-Reza (peace be upon him). Unfortunately, we have been deprived of making this pilgrimage for a long time. We are hopeful that God will increase His mercy and favor upon this nation due to the blessing of the prayers and intercession of this noble Imam day by day. God willing, the blessings due to the Iranian nation being in the vicinity of this holy grave will increase every day.


People’s duty with regard to the elections: Participation in the elections and what kind of participation

I am only going to talk about the elections today. In less than 48 hours, a determining event will take place in the country. That is the Presidential election and the Islamic City and Village Councils elections. Definitely, the country’s destiny for a period of time - in the areas of economy, cultural issues, security, health and the like - is dependent on what you the people of Iran will, God willing, do on Friday. This means that with your participation, with your votes, you in fact will determine the country’s destiny in all major issues.

The great task that people will do on Friday is primarily to participate (in the elections). The second thing is the type of participation and the type of choice. We hope God, the Almighty, will guide our hearts and the hearts of the Iranian nation so that we may participate in the elections in the best possible way.  


The effects of people’s participation in the elections and the reason behind the enemies’ opposition to their participation

In one of my recent speeches[1] with the nation of Iran, I mentioned that people’s participation has a deep root and a firm intellectual backing (supporting it). It is not just a political matter. It has many political benefits, but besides these benefits and more important than these benefits is the philosophy behind people’s participation in the system of the Islamic Republic. That is to say, in the Islamic Republic, “republic” is one part and “Islamic” is another. If “republic” is not a part of it, then the Islamic Republic will not be realized. On the other hand, there are many political aspects, and the political effects are productive and full of blessings, some of which I will mention later on. This is exactly why all the satanic centers of power in the world - those who oppose and bear animosity toward the Islamic Republic - are particularly against and opposed to the elections. In all our elections over these decades, their media has always been used as a political means to destroy people’s mindset toward the elections and to interfere in some way in the elections in order to prevent the splendor and glory of the Iranian elections from being shown.

Over these many years, all the elections have been held on time, even if they cannot see this. They haven’t been cancelled or postponed even one day. People have come to the ballot boxes and cast their votes. Of course, there has been hostile propaganda. This propaganda has always existed before and after the elections. Perhaps there is no other country in the world that can be found whose elections have been attacked by the enemies this much. For this election, which will take place on Friday the day after tomorrow, the US media, the UK media and their mercenaries who are working for these media have been working for several months now. They are working very hard in an attempt to try to throw doubt on the elections, downplay people’s participation and make allegations against the elections of the Islamic Republic in some way. They say all different kinds of things in this respect. 


Distancing the people from the (Islamic Republic’s) system: The enemies’ goal in opposing the elections in Iran

Well, their goal is for the elections to not be held as desired by the Islamic Republic. What does this mean? It means that they want the people to distance themselves from the system because a lack of participation in the elections naturally means people distancing themselves from the Islamic Republic. This is the goal they pursue. However, the people have not listened to them. I am not going to talk about a particular group that is repeating the words of the enemies in the media and in the internet these days. Experience has shown and the people have shown that they will do exactly the opposite of what the enemies want, in the case of elections, in demonstrations and in other matters. They will do so this time too, God willing. The same will happen again with God’s help. People will, God willing, participate and protect the honor of the Islamic Republic’s system.

I need to mention this point that in the world of politics - in the policies of the Islamic Republic’s system, the country’s policies, and all events even slightly related to politics - there are some truths that should be considered without taking political orientations and conflicts into account. Look at the funeral of our dear, honorable Martyr Soleimani for example. Well, this was a big event. In this case, the issue of political orientations was not a concern and everyone participated. Elections are similar. In elections, the issue of political orientations is not what matters. Everyone should participate. Everyone should take part because the country’s social system needs this participation and is influenced by it. I will mention some of these effects now.


Participation in the elections is a clear example of a good deed

I will mention some points about the importance of people’s participation. But before that, I would like to read this noble verse from the Qur’an to you. It is from the holy chapter Bara'ah, verse 120, “…nor do they gain any ground against an enemy but a righteous deed is written for them on its account. Indeed Allah does not waste the reward of the virtuous.” [9:120] In brief, the meaning of these two sentences I read from the Quran is that any action or measure you take that the enemies hate is a righteous deed before God. You can see that the enemies of religion, the enemies of Islam, and the enemies of Iran are strongly opposed to your elections. Therefore, participating in the elections is a righteous deed. All those who seek to perform righteous deeds - “Barring those who have faith and do righteous deeds…”[2] - and want to do good deeds, should know that participating in the elections is a righteous deed, which they can do.


The effect of people’s participation on increasing the strength and power of the system and the country

Now I am going to mention some of the points I have in mind. The most important point is that elections show people’s presence on the scene. What does the people’s presence on the scene mean? It means that the Islamic Republic enjoys public support. This has a unique effect on the strength of the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the power of the country. This shows that no other means or thing brings as much power as people’s participation does. Yes, we consider military, political and economic means to be sources of power for the country, but none of these bring power [to the country] as much as people’s participation does. The people’s participation makes the Islamic Republic strong in the real sense of the word. Well, those who speak fallaciously about the elections and you can see that in some of the statements they make in the newspapers and in the internet - with recourse to various false statements when talking about the elections to discourage people from participating in the elections - they truly strive to weaken the system. The foreign enemies who are also opposed to the elections strive to weaken the system. They know that if the people’s participation decreases and the country is weakened, they can bring insecurity to the country, expose it to terrorism, and turn the country into a parade ground for terrorists. These things happen when the country and the people’s support of it are weakened. Of course, they do not say this explicitly, but we hear different words about this in their statements and we can see that they strive to do this. They want the people’s participation to  be less so that the system will be weakened and so that they can throw the country into disorder to be able to interfere and to turn the country into a parade ground for their mercenaries. One can see this.


The reverse relationship between people’s participation and the enemy’s pressures

Another point is that if people’s participation decreases, the enemy’s pressures will increase in response. This means that these two have a reverse relationship in the true sense of the word. If public support decreases in the country, we will see the enemies applying increasing pressures in response. If we want the enemies’ pressures - economic pressures such as the sanctions and the like - to decrease or ease up, the solution is to increase people’s participation. And this public support should be shown to the enemy.


The elected President’s strength is ensured by full participation and his obtaining a significant majority of the votes

Another point that is also important is about the candidate who will be elected as President on Friday. If the new president is elected by a significant majority of the votes, he will have firm support, he will be a strong, powerful president and he can carry out great tasks. Our country, thank God, has many capabilities. There are many facilities and opportunities in our country. Using these opportunities requires sturdy, active, hardworking, untiring, strong people. The President gains this strength - besides the personal side - primarily and mainly from public support. If people’s participation reaches a desirable minimal limit and, God willing, the President is elected with a large number of votes, this will give him the strength to use these capacities in the right way.


The soundness of the elections in different periods

The next point I am going to make is about the soundness of the elections. I have previously mentioned, talked about and now am also emphasizing that fortunately during all these years, our elections have always been sound. Those who protest, [yes,] there may be some disruptions in some parts, but the elections in general have been sound with strong management. Clear evidence and strong support for this claim is that during these years, Presidents with totally different orientations have been elected in the Presidential elections of the Islamic Republic. Well, this shows that the elections have been sound. The elections have not been dependent on a particular political school of thought or a particular political orientation. No, they have been based on the law. Sometimes, a president with a particular political orientation has been elected, and after him another president with a totally different orientation has been elected. Therefore, our elections have been always sound.


Competition and disagreement between the candidates in the debates

Some say the elections are not competitive. (But no,) thank God, they are competitive. Well, you watch the debates and I have some points to make about the debates. I will talk about these after the elections. You watched how in the debates the honorable candidates showed that they are acting quite competitively. This means that there were disagreements between them both intellectually and in their speech, and each one of them had his own followers. Of course, this is one of the indisputable facts about our elections.

However, our enemies have always questioned the elections from the very beginning of the Islamic Revolution and up until now. From the day when the referendum of the Islamic Republic of Iran was held with more than a 98% turnout until now, they have questioned all the elections. Well, one does not expect the enemies to admit that our elections are sound. It’s interesting that there are some countries that are being managed based on tribalism in the middle of the 21st century. This means they are being ruled and run by a tribe, and there have been no elections. They have not even heard of elections. The people in these countries do not know what a ballot box is. They cannot differentiate between a ballot box and a box for fruits. They have never known what a ballot box is. But they (these countries) launch 24-hour TV channels to speak against our elections and to say that the Iranian elections are not democratic! This too is one of the interesting issues these days.


The rightful complaints of the deprived classes and their incorrect decision to not participate

One more point, which I believe deserves attention, is about some of those who are doubtful about participating in the elections, either they are doubtful or disheartened. They are from the deprived classes of society. They have reasonable expectations and complain that their expectations have not been met. There is the issue of livelihood, the issue of housing, the issue of employment. Yes, the authorities must really deal with these issues and they should have resolved these issues. They (the deprived classes) have complaints, so they are not eager to participate in the elections. They say “Imagine we participated in the elections. What is the use?!” I think they are right to complain, but their decision is incorrect. Yes, their complaints are reasonable and these complaints should have been dealt with. The next government must definitely put attending to these classes in society on the agenda. But the fact is that not going to the ballot boxes and avoiding the ballot boxes does not solve the problems. If these problems are to be solved, they will be solved by the people going, by us going to the ballot boxes, by us casting our votes, and by us voting for someone whom we believe can solve these problems. This will solve the problems. But if we do not vote because we have complaints, I believe this is not right. This is also an important point. Therefore, I accept the complaints but do not agree with not participating in the elections because of these complaints. The future government must also take the required steps in this regard.


The youth need to participate and actively encourage others to participate in the elections

Another point is related to the youth. I think highly of the youth and believe the youth are pioneers in all major issues of the country. Not only are they pioneers concerning the issues, but they also push others forward. The same should happen in the elections. I expect the youth, the dear youth of the country, to encourage people as much as they can to go to the ballot boxes, to participate in the elections and to be active in this respect, particularly in the case of those who are casting their first vote. In every presidential election, a large portion of the people includes those who are casting their first vote. Their participation in the elections is actually like them celebrating reaching the age of political responsibility. It is actually like a celebration they join for having reached the age of responsibility.


Avoid disheartening the society considering the nation’s various capabilities

The last point I am going to make at the end of my speech is that I see some want to dishearten the people and cause them to lose hope by making false analyses. We are not surprised at what the enemy does, but inside the country there are some who say things that make people disheartened and disappointed due to their pessimism and their weak analyses - weak in the real sense of the word. They don’t intend to do this, but they are disheartening the people. I say this is wrong. Feeling disheartened and having no hope have no place in our country. Our nation is a strong nation, a determined nation. The foundations of our country are strong. We are a powerful country. In the Second Phase of the Islamic Revolution Statement, I explained and I have also explained in various speeches that we are a great nation. We are a powerful country. We have many capabilities and these capabilities are evident to our enemies as well. Everyone knows this.


Examples of the capabilities of the Iranian nation and the youth

In different sectors, whenever our nation has worked hard, it has been able to accomplish great feats. This was the case for the Revolution too. This was the case in establishing the Islamic Republic. This is what happened in issues related to the Imposed War. The last case is related to the coronavirus vaccine. Our youth did not wait for the miserly foreigners to sell us vaccines. You heard the authorities say that they had bought vaccines from this and that global center and had paid for them, but they are not sending us the vaccines. I mean, this is how the world is. Our youth did not wait to witness this! From the very first days, they started working hard. They worked on (manufacturing) the vaccine in important ways until they made it. Yesterday, or two days ago, it was announced and they reported to me in writing[3] that they had manufactured the vaccine domestically. We are now among the five or six countries in the world that are able to produce the Covid-19 vaccine and we have good infrastructures in this field. They told me that they can manufacture about 50 million or 30 million doses, something like that. I do not remember (the exact number). And they said these can be distributed among the people. This is one of the vaccines that has been made as was announced a few days ago and this number of vaccines can be manufactured. There are other vaccines being produced in many other centers. They will also become available one by one, God willing. This shows our nation’s capability.


This is also true in the area of defense equipment. We needed defense equipment, which they would not sell us. I have mentioned this many times. Our own youth started working and now we have good, better and more effective equipment in our country than what we wanted to buy from them (foreigners). With these capabilities, with these efforts, with these strong foundations, this nation cannot be disheartened. Their efforts are useless. I think those who are making unreasonable analyses of the situation, which leads to disheartening the people, are doing something very wrong. Thank God, this nation has good capabilities.  


Some advice to those responsible for conducting the elections:

1) Making the necessary preparations to ensure the voters’ health

I have almost finished talking about the elections. I just want to give some advice to those responsible for conducting the elections, may God give them strength, that they must make the necessary preparations and predictions to ensure people’s health when they go to the ballot boxes because people want to participate (in the elections). This participation and going to the ballot boxes must not bring any harm to the health of the society and this requires certain preparations. Of course, the authorities have announced that they are working on this. I also emphasize that they must definitely work on this.


2) Solving the problem of a shortage of ballot papers in all parts of the country

Secondly, they have reported to me that one of the problems we have, which we have faced repeatedly in elections and about which there have always been complaints, is that sometimes in an election center they say there are no ballot papers left. Or suppose the elections start at 7 or 8, there are no ballot papers in some centers yet (for the people to vote). They must solve this problem. They should ensure that there are no centers without ballot papers, the ballot papers are made available without delay and that there is no shortage of ballot papers. This was the second point for which the necessary preparations need to be made.


3) Solving the problems involved in voting abroad

Thirdly, in reports from abroad, they have reported to me that in some of these countries - perhaps in a large number of countries – not all necessary preparations have been made in foreign countries. I ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior Affairs to make serious efforts to correct this matter and since there is not much time left to help the Iranians who wish to participate in the elections in foreign countries to be able to do so. This was the next point.


4) Dealing with violations

Fourthly, they must deal with any violations. This is what I wanted to say.

I ask God, the Almighty, to guide our hearts. Oh God, the hearts belong to You and are under Your control. Guide all the hearts toward what is good for this country and this nation.

May God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.


[1] This is referring to his televised speech on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the death of Imam Khomeini (may God sanctify his soul), which was delivered on June 4, 2021.

[2] Holy Qur’an, 26:227.

[3] Muhammad Mokhber (Head of the “Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order”) sent a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution announcing that this headquarters has obtained a license for manufacturing the COVIran Barakat vaccine and that it has launched a production line for this vaccine, which can manufacture more than 25 million doses monthly (at this time) and 50 million doses monthly by the end of August.


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