Leader's Speech to Air Force Servicemen

The following is the abridged text of a speech delivered by Grand Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, in a meeting with a large group of Air Force servicemen, including high-ranking and commanding officers, on February 7, 2005. The meeting was held on the occasion of the Iranian Air Force Day and on the 26th anniversary of the momentous event in 1979, when a group of Air Force personnel paid allegiance to the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini.

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The 19th of Bahman (February 7) of every year is one of the sweetest days in the Ten-Day Dawn Period for me, since it is a meaningful, memorable and inspiring occasion. The meaning and content of this event is not merely that a certain group paid allegiance to our magnanimous Imam at the time of hardship, although this was also important in itself. The significance of the matter is much greater than this. It indicated the depth and extent of knowledge and awareness of all social strata about the goal that they pursued and the path that they followed.

Contrary to the spiteful analyses of those trying to portray the great revolution of the Iranian people as a movement that was devoid of awareness and understanding, the fact of the matter is that the revolution of the Iranian people was inspired by awareness. A strong proof of this is this same event that took place on Bahman 19th.

A group of devoted and motivated military servicemen who were members of the Air Force, a military force that received special attention from the former regime and was totally controlled by that regime, entered the scene of struggle at one of its most crucial junctures while wearing their military uniforms and carrying their IDs. They knew what they were doing. They were aware of the significance of their action as well as the threats that were involved. They showed in practice that the revolution of the Iranian nation was inspired by awareness.

They made it clear that the open-minded Iranian people in all social strata were opposed to the domination of their country by outside powers, even if those powers exercised their domination by proxy and through their puppet regime and agents in this country. This is why this memory is very significant, perpetual and conveying a message. The Iranian nation is also proud of the fact that it did not give up its prudent struggle in the face of storms of opposition and adhered to the revolution all through until victory.

It is worthy of mention that our revolution is the first great revolution in the history of the world's major revolutions over the past centuries that has preserved its direction for such a long time. This is something unprecedented. In the late 18th century, only around 15 years had passed since the French Revolution when this revolution, which had been staged against despotism, turned into a very dreadful dictatorship in France itself! In their revolution, the French people had risen up against tyranny and struggled against monarchy and an imperial regime.

However, only 15 years had lapsed since the French Revolution when a king much more tyrannical and authoritarian than the Bourbon kings, who had been deposed by the French people, took power and established an empire with absolute dictatorship. After that for about half a century or over half a century, France was faced with constant turbulences and dominated by various rulers. Different kings took power and held the French nation exposed to constant terror. This was the fate of a revolution that was known in the world as the French Revolution.

The Russian revolution was diverted from its path much sooner than 15 years after its formation. A revolution that had taken power with the help of the masses changed into a dictatorship, which lasted for many years and was then inherited to Stalin's posterity. The people in that vast country did not have even the least control over the major part of their personal life, let alone the political and social affairs and other affairs of their government and country.

This is also the fate of other revolutions in the world. Even the less important revolutions that emerged in the world also suffered a similar fate. If one studies history books, he will come across many wonders and surprising facts.

The first revolution that relied on people for its victory, continued its path with the help of people, and did not change its goals and principles was the Islamic Revolution of Iran. This revolution was staged in the name of Allah and for the sake of justice, independence and freedom. It has since continued its path with the same goals and slogans, and by the grace of God, it will preserve its goals and principles.

Among the main factors contributing to the identity of our revolution were the independence and the identity of the Iranian people, the factors that had been disregarded over the fifty years of the Pahlavi rule and before that during around half a century of Qajar rule in this country.

This large country, this talented nation and this great wealth were totally at the disposal of alien powers and subjected to their policies. One day they were the subject of competition between Russia and Britain, and another day they were under the influence of Britain. They were finally dominated by a stronger thief than these powers, namely the United States of America.

The Iranian people, including their intellectuals who were aware of their country's condition and felt mentally distressed as a result and the common people who suffered the consequences of this situation, seriously pursued the goal of restoring their identity and independence and not being subjected to the policies of other countries. Today, the hostility toward our revolution stems from the fact that it helped the Iranian people fulfill their objective.

If you watch the political developments in the world and hear the remarks of the arrogant powers' spokesmen, you will notice what their focus of attention is. Of course, they raise the slogans of supporting human rights and combating terrorism - with regard to Iran, they also falsely claim that this country aims to produce nuclear weapons and use nuclear energy for military purposes, and they express concern in this respect - but the fact is something else.

The arrogant powers are not opposed to dictatorship. Today, they are assisting those countries that have opened no window to their people's freedom of choice, and they are raising no objections to these dictatorial governments. The United States itself has supported many governments that seized power through military coups, helping them to maintain their power. Therefore, it is clear that the arrogant powers do not care about dictatorial regimes.

As for terrorism, they have fomented terrorism themselves. The same individuals who are often mentioned by the U.S. officials as the world's most notorious terrorists have been fostered directly or indirectly by the American Central Intelligence Agency. This is not something hidden from the eyes of the world's political analysts. This is a fact known by everybody.

One day they thought the presence of these terrorists at our country's eastern borders would weaken the Islamic Republic. Thus, they spent money, and also provided training and weapons. A few years ago, when the butcher Ariel Sharon, a wolf in the garb of a human, took office, he openly said that he intended to assassinate such and such Palestinians. The U.S. officials supported him. They did not say that terrorism was wrong, especially when it was state-sponsored terrorism.

Therefore, they are not opposed to terrorism. They have assassinated their opponents in the past and will continue to do so in the future. What bothers them is something else.

The U.S. officials have now revealed their true intentions. A few days ago they said that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not agree with U.S. policies and is opposed to them. They went on to say that they could not tolerate such a regime! Now it is clear what the problem is. What bothers the United States is that a country and a nation that have long been subjected to U.S. policies are now resisting the covetous demands of that country and of other arrogant powers and through their courage, strength and firm stances are creating this belief in other Islamic countries that it is possible to stand up to the arrogant powers.

The U.S. officials expect the Islamic Iran to follow U.S. policies and submit to the demands of the world's arrogant powers. This is tantamount to global dictatorship.

Those powers that claim to oppose tyranny and dictatorship are themselves the most despotic and tyrannical regimes in the world. Even in the case of Palestine, it is the U.S. officials and nobody else that are to blame for the Middle East issue not having been resolved yet. They claim that Iran is preventing the settlement of the Middle East dispute! But it is in fact the U.S. officials that are doing so. Disregarding a nation has no result except this. You are trying to eliminate the Palestinian nation with a several-thousand-year historical background from the political equations of the region, something which is not possible. This is why you are experiencing defeat and failure. You are supporting and backing up a rabid dog that is attacking Palestinian men, women, children, the young and the elderly. It is clear that the Middle East issue will not be solved in this manner. One should be naïve if he thinks that it is possible to trample a nation and still expect them to do nothing in the face of oppression, tyranny and pressure. This is not possible.

It is a few years now since the beginning of the Intifada in Palestine. The young Palestinian generation that is the motive force of the Intifada will not be diverted by worldly enticements. It is not possible to put out the flame of the Intifada, unless you recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and opt for the solution to the issue of Palestine that has been presented by the Islamic Republic.

This solution calls for holding a referendum on the future of Palestine among all the Palestinians who belong to this land, and for the establishment of a government based on the results of the referendum. The established government can then decide about the non-Palestinian immigrants currently living in Palestine.

Today, human societies have attained such an intellectual level that they understand the meaning of global dictatorship, and they feel its pernicious burden on their shoulders. The great Iranian nation and many other Middle Eastern and Muslim nations are among those that have gained such awareness and understanding.

The present U.S. maneuver is already doomed to failure. The United States aims to homogenize and appropriate the Middle East. In other words, U.S. officials want to present the Middle East to the usurpers of Palestine. This is not possible. The farther they proceed, the more they will sink in a quagmire.

Today, the elections in Iraq, which U.S. officials deceptively try to portray as their own success, indicate the failure of U.S. regional policies in the eyes of the world's intellectuals. If a referendum is held in any Islamic country, the people will vote for individuals like those who won the elections in Iraq, namely individuals supporting Islam and their national identity and opposing the United States.

The Iranian nation is standing firm. The rallies and parades staged on the 22nd of Bahman (the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution victory), which are the manifestation of our national power and solidarity, will discourage any hostile country, no matter how militarily and politically powerful it is. The rallies staged on Bahman 22 every year have often caused the enemies to back off in the past. By the favor of Allah, the same thing will also happen this year. The Iranian people are determined to continue the path of revolution, which is the path of freedom, independence and attaining lofty Islamic ideals.

The personnel of the Air Force indicate the resistance and perseverance of the Iranian nation. The Air Force personnel have displayed great achievements in the past years, for which we should be thankful to God.

Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Air Force servicemen did not have an opportunity to fulfill their potential. However, owing to the Islamic Revolution, the Air Force personnel have revealed their capabilities to the Iranian people and evoked great praise and admiration from them over the past years, especially during the years of the Sacred Defense. The Iranian nation would never forget the valuable services rendered by the Air Force servicemen in the course of the Sacred


You should try to improve your capabilities as much as you can and take greater strides. Like a living body whose every organ is alive showing signs of vitality, try to be more productive and more innovative in all arenas.

The future belongs to you. The Iranian people have trodden a difficult path. They have advanced on many difficult passes toward the peak of success, to which they are now very near. This is the destined fate of a nation that tries hard and knows what it is doing and where it is going. You have a considerable share in this success.

I am happy that once again I had a chance to meet a group of Air Force servicemen. We had a very good meeting. The chorus also sang a very meaningful and rhythmic song and performed very well.

I pray to Almighty Allah to bestow further success on you all and assist you in performing your duties.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings