Leader's speech on 26th demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.)

 The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 4, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the occasion of the 26th demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.). The speech was delivered at Imam Khomeini's shrine.

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 and Prophet, the beloved of our hearts, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

O Allah, be for Your representative, the Hujjat, son of al-Hassan, Your blessings be on him and his forefathers, in this hour and in every hour, a guardian, a protector, a leader, a helper, a proof, and a watchful eye until you make him reside on the earth, in obedience , and cause him to live in it for a long time.

Dear God, bestow on him, on his descendents, on his followers, on his people, on his special ones, on all those who obey him, on his enemies and on all people of the world what You brighten up his eyes with and what You make his heart happy with.

In the beginning of my statements, I would like to show my respect to the great Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). All Ibrahimi religions believe in an end-times savior. All Ibrahimi religions believe that someone will emerge who will save the world from the morass of oppression and cruelty. In Islam, the name of this savior has been mentioned. All Islamic denominations refer to this divine person and this great and extraordinary individual as Mahdi. Perhaps, there is no Islamic denomination that does not believe Mahdi (a.s.) will emerge. He is a descendent of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). Islamic denominations have even specified the name and epithet of that Hazrat. The characteristic of Shia ideology is that it completely and clearly introduces this personality. It considers him as the son of the eleventh Imam - Hazrat Imam Hassan Askari (greetings be upon him).

From the viewpoint of Shia historians and writers, his birth date is completely clear. Most of other Islamic denominations have not specified his birth date or they have not accepted it, but the Shia prove the existence and birth date of that great personality with strong and cogent reasons. Some people have dismissed the possibility of the existence and survival of a person over this long time. This is the only question that opponents have raised regarding the issue of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). However, the Holy Quran dispels this doubt with its clear words. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) says about Hazrat Nuh, "We sent Nuh to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty" [The Holy Quran, 29: 14]. This does not mean that he lived for 950 years. It apparently means that his mission - to invite people to God - lasted for 950 years. Therefore, this questioning is groundless.

The greatest characteristic of this belief among Shias is that it engenders hope. The Shia community is not only reliant on its past history. It is hopeful about the future as well. A person who believes in the issue of Mahdaviat on the basis of Shia ideology does not empty his heart of hope even in the most difficult circumstances. There is always a ray of hope in the heart of such a person. They know that this dark era and this era of oppression and illegitimate domination will definitely come to an end. This is one of the most important results and achievements of this belief.

Of course, Shia belief in the issue of Mahdaviat is not confined to this point: "People all over the world feed from his blessings and the heavens and the earth gain strength thanks to his existence" [Commentary on Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 4]. Belief in Mahdaviat is like this. This bright flame and this shining light has existed in Shia societies in the course of past centuries and it will continue to exist. By Allah's favor, the anticipation era will come to an end. Yesterday was the birthday anniversary of that great personality. I presented this short description - with the purpose of showing our respect for that Imam (r.a.) - among you dear brothers and sisters on the occasion of this auspicious birthday anniversary.

Of course, what I have prepared to discuss with the dear brothers and sisters who are present in this great and magnificent ceremony and also with people of Iran on the occasion of the 14th of Khordad is a discussion - as usual - about our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). We have said many things in this regard, but there is still room to speak about that great man. Today, what I want to discuss with you is about distorting the personality of Imam (r.a.).

Can characters and personalities be distorted? We usually use the term "distortion" for texts and documents, but can personalities be distorted as well? Yes, they can be distorted. Distorting personalities means that the main elements and constituents of a personality - such as the personality of that great person - remain unknown or that they are defined in a wrong, deviant and superficial way. All these things are related to distortion of personalities.

If a personality who is a role model, imam and leader and whose behavior and words are instructive for future generations is distorted, this will inflict a great loss. Imam (r.a.) should not only be considered as a respectable personality in history. Some people want this. They say, "Imam was an honorable personality in the history of this country. He was active and valuable once, but he passed away and his time is over now. We will continue to respect him and mention his name with great admiration. This is the only thing that we will do." Some people want to introduce Imam (r.a.) like this. They want to present such a portrayal of him. This is wrong.

Imam (r.a.) is the embodiment of the great movement that the people of Iran began and with which they transformed their history. Imam (r.a.) was the founder of an intellectual, political and social school of thought. The people of Iran accepted this school of thought, path and roadmap and they moved forward on it. The continuation of this path depends on gaining a correct understanding of it. Without knowing Imam (r.a.) - that is to say, knowing his principles - this roadmap will not be known. It is evident that our discussion is about Imam's (r.a.) intellectual principles. Our discussion is not about his temporary decisions which are confined to a specific time and location. Our discussion is about the main structure of our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) thoughts. We want to gain a correct understanding of this.

Imam was a great faqih. He was an outstanding and great faqih, philosopher and expert on theoretical mysticism. He was an outstanding personality on these matters and in scholarly areas, but Imam's (r.a.) outstanding personality is not dependent on either of these things, rather his main characteristic is manifest in this ayah: "And strive in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him" [The Holy Quran, 22: 78]. With his outstanding scholarly capabilities, he entered the arena of jihad in the way of God. He continued this jihad until the end of his life and he created a great movement, not only in his own country, but also in our entire region, in the entire world of Islam and - in one sense - in the whole world. The product of this movement was a unique product.

In the history of our country, two great and unprecedented tasks were carried out by Imam (r.a.). One was the destruction of a structure which was based on a cruel and unreasonable hereditary monarchy. This hereditary monarchy had a millennium-long history in our country. This old and derelict structure - on the basis of which some people took over the government with the power of their swords and armies and then passed it to other people in a hereditary way - was a wrong and unreasonable tradition that dominated our country for several thousand years. The first task that Imam (r.a.) carried out was to destroy this wrong structure and to entrust affairs to the people.

The second great task that our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) carried out was to create a government on the basis of Islam. This was unprecedented in the history of our country and the history of Islam after the early Islamic era. The great jihad that our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) did brought about such a valuable product. Therefore, it is really necessary to say that "He strove in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him" [Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 33, p. 18] which also exists in the Holy Quran: "And strive in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him". Like other saints, this great man was a manifestation of "He strove in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him".

Of course, I should say in parenthesis that this great man's jihad was not merely a political, social and intellectual jihad, rather besides all these forms of jihad, he engaged in inner jihad as well. He engaged in jihad against one's self and he preserved his constant relationship with Allah the Exalted. This is another lesson. It is not the case that we will have the right to ignore this part of jihad if we want to enter the arena of intellectual, scientific, political and military jihad. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) used to show humility before God, shed tears, read duas and rely on Allah the Exalted.

He used to repeat this part of Dua Sha'baniyya in his Sha'ban speeches: "Oh God, bestow upon me the perfection to separate myself from others and to join You. Enlighten our hearts with the light of seeing You so that our hearts tear the veils of light and join the mine of greatness" [Iqbal al-A'mal, Vol. 2, p. 687]. Such was his behavior, his tears at sunrise, his supplication, his prayers and his constant relationship with God. This condition formed the spiritual source of support for the continuation of that great man's jihad. We should remember this concerning our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) jihad in the way of God.

Imam's (r.a.) intellectual system enjoyed all the characteristics of an intellectual, social and political school of thought. First, it was based on a monotheistic worldview. All his activities and all his thought processes were based on monotheism which is the main infrastructure for all Islamic thoughts.

Another characteristic of this intellectual system - which has turned it into a school of thought in the real sense of the word - is that it was up-to-date. It addressed all the issues which were related to human societies and the Iranian society in particular. The addressees of Imam's (r.a.) intellectual system used to feel this. In Imam's (r.a.) intellectual school of thought, opposition to tyranny and arrogance was the most important matter. This is what the people of Iran and other Muslim peoples felt tangibly. This was why his invitation was promoted everywhere.

Another characteristic of this intellectual school of thought was that it was lively, dynamic and practical. It was not like other intellectual philosophies and theories which contain beautiful words, but which are not practical in the arena of action. Imam's (r.a.) logic, thoughts and path were practical. His path could be implemented in the arena of action and this was why it achieved victory and moved forward. This path changed the path of our country's history.

We people of Iran were an inferior people who were drowned in goalless-ness and despair. We were a dependent people. We were a people who had been kept backward on purpose. They used to impose both their thoughts and culture on our people. They used to take our economic resources and they made us sink in a quagmire of ugly habits. We used to be such a people, but Imam (r.a.) turned us into a motivated, hopeful and dynamic people who enjoyed great goals. Today, the people of Iran are dynamic, motivated and hopeful and they are moving towards great goals. Of course, we are far away from reaching our goals, but the important point is that we are moving towards them. The important point is that our people enjoy energy and the determination to make progress. The important point is that our youth believe that they can reach these goals, that they can completely achieve social justice, that they can bring progress and wealth to this country and that they can help us become an advanced and powerful country, as befits our historical identity. Today, this hope moves like a wave through our country and our youth are moving in this direction. We have saved ourselves from intoxication and drowsiness. This was done by our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) movement. It was done by that great man.

If the people of Iran want to reach these goals and continue this path, they should gain a correct understanding of our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) path and principles and they should not allow the personality of Imam (r.a.) to be distorted. Distorting his personality is distorting his path and changing the straight path of the people of Iran. If we lose, forget about and - God forbid - deliberately sideline Imam's (r.a.) path, the people of Iran will receive a slap across their faces. Everyone should know that the insatiable stomach of global arrogance has not ignored our country in any way. A large and wealthy country that is located in a sensitive global crossroads is very important to deceitful powers in the world. They have not abandoned their greed and they have not closed their eyes to our country.

They will retreat only when you people of Iran gain such power and make such progress that they become completely despondent. It is here that the danger of distorting Imam's (r.a.) personality becomes significant. If Imam's (r.a.) personality is distorted and if it is introduced in a bad and wrong way, all these grave dangers will threaten the people of Iran. It is here that the danger of distorting his personality should capture the attention of the officials of the country, the intellectuals of the Revolution, Imam's (r.a.) old students, those who are interested in his path and all youth, scholars and academic and seminary personalities. They should consider this as a warning. Well, this was an introduction to my statements.

Even during Imam's (r.a.) lifetime, there were efforts to distort his personality. On the one hand, this was done by the enemy who tried since the beginning of the Revolution to introduce Imam (r.a.) in his worldwide propaganda as a strict and harsh revolutionary - like the ones that existed in great and well-known revolutions in the world such as the French revolution, the Marxist revolution carried out by the Soviet Union and other well-known revolutions. He was introduced as a strict and violent person whose eyebrow wrinkles did not open at all, who was merely interested in confronting his enemy and who had no feelings and flexibility at all. They used to introduce Imam (r.a.) like this, but it was wrong.

Yes, Imam (r.a.) was decisive and determined and he did not falter in his resolve - I will expand on this matter later on - but he was the manifestation of affection, grace, kindness, sympathy and love for God and for His servants, particularly for the oppressed and underprivileged classes in society. From the first day, this was what the enemy used to do in his worldwide propaganda against our Revolution.

And on the other hand, some people inside the country used to distort Imam's (r.a.) personality, whether knowingly or unknowingly. They used to do so even during his lifetime. They used to ascribe any opinion that they deemed appropriate to Imam (r.a.). This was while it had nothing to do with him. The same orientation has continued after his demise. Some people have gone as far as describing Imam (r.a.) as a liberal who had no boundaries and limits in political and even intellectual and cultural areas. This is completely wrong as well.

If we want to identify Imam's (r.a.) personality in the real sense of the word, there is a certain method to do so. If we follow this method - I will say what it is - the problem will be resolved. If we do not do so, some people may introduce Imam (r.a.) according to their own interests and opinions and some others may deem it necessary to present another portrayal of him on the basis of other interests and other events that may occur in the world. This should not be done. Imam's (r.a.) popularity among the people is a permanent thing. The enemy could not destroy it. For this reason, the issue of distorting Imam's (r.a.) personality - which has influenced the hearts of many people inside and outside the country - is considered a grave danger.

The way to prevent this distortion is to reinterpret Imam's (r.a.) principles. Imam had certain principles and guidelines. These principles have been announced in different statements which were made during his 10-year Islamic government and before that, during the 15-year revolutionary era. Imam's (r.a.) principles can be found in these statements. When we put these principles and guidelines together, a system will be formed which belongs to our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). This is Imam's (r.a.) character.

I am not saying that you should pay attention to any peripheral matter. Imam's (r.a.) life - like other individuals' - had some peaks and troughs. Certain events took place during his lifetime, each of which had some characteristics. So, we are speaking about fundamental matters in his life, those matters which are undeniable and which are among Imam's (r.a.) clear principles. In the course of many years - before and after the formation of the Islamic government and before, during and after the eight-year imposed war - Imam (r.a.) repeated these principles in his statements. Of course, we should not choose these principles in a selective and exclusive manner. I will only refer to five, six of his principles, but I would like to add that Imam's (r.a.) principles may be more than this. Experts and those who have the capability to pursue this task should pursue it. They should take a look at Imam's (r.a.) statements - thankfully, his statements and speeches have been published and they are available to everyone - and find these principles.

Today, I cannot refer to all those principles that can be derived from Imam's (r.a.) statements. So, I will only refer to five, six of them. But I do not want to behave in a selective manner. Therefore, I ask other individuals to take a look and find other principles. The ones that I want to speak about today form a clear part of his logic, school of thought, path and orientation.

The first matter about Imam (r.a.) is that he proved original Muhammadi Islam and rejected American Islam. He differentiated between original Islam and American Islam. What is American Islam? In our own time, during Imam's (r.a.) lifetime and at all times - as far as we know, in the future too the situation will be the same - American Islam has only two branches: one is secular Islam and another is reactionary Islam. Imam (r.a.) always placed those who had secular thoughts - that is to say, those who wanted religion, society and individuals' social behavior to be separate from Islam - on an equal footing with those who had a reactionary outlook. The latter means those who adopt a backward outlook that is not understandable to broad-minded individuals. It means those who are prejudiced about their wrong principles. This is the meaning of being reactionary. Imam (r.a.) always mentioned these people together. If you take a look today, you will see that both of these kinds of Islam exist in the world of Islam and both of them are supported by bullying powers of the world and by America.

Today, the deviant DAESH, al-Qaida and other such orientations are supported by America and Israel. Some other orientations that work in the name of Islam, but that know nothing about Islamic action, fiqh and sharia are supported by America as well. From the viewpoint of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.), original Islam is one that is reliant on the Book and the Sunnah. This is achieved with clear thoughts, with familiarity with the developments of the time, and with scholarly and well-established methods - those methods that are developed by Islamic seminaries. It is not the case that we do not pay attention to the method of istinbat [derivation] and that anyone can open the Holy Quran and derive the principles of social movement. This is not the case at all. There is a certain method which is scholarly and well-established. There are some people who can pursue this method. This is original Islam from the viewpoint of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). Of course, not everyone who knows this method is able to do so.

They should also have clear thoughts, be familiar with the developments of the time, know the needs of human and Islamic societies and have knowledge of the enemy and his methods for showing enmity. Only then will they be able to identify and introduce original Islam. The kind of Islam that is practiced by "court akhunds" - Imam (r.a.) repeatedly used this term to refer to such people - the kind of Islam that is promoted by DAESH, the kind of Islam that is indifferent to the crimes committed by the Zionists and America and the kind of Islam that is dependent on America and great powers and that acts with America's signals have their heads in one trough. They all meet in the same place and Imam (r.a.) rejected all of them. The kind of Islam that Imam (r.a.) introduced is against all these [fake] kinds of Islam. Imam's (r.a.) followers should draw a line between original Islam, and reactionary and secular Islam. They should identify and pursue original Islam. This is one of Imam's (r.a.) principles and it is not something that he spoke about only once, rather this is evident throughout his statements.

The second principle is reliance on divine assistance, trust in the truthfulness of divine promises and - at the opposite end of the scale - distrust of arrogant and bullying powers in the world. This is one of the constituent elements of Imam's (r.a.) school of thought: reliance on divine power. Allah the Exalted has given certain promises to believers. Those who do not believe in these promises have been cursed by God: "For them is the curse of Allah" [The Holy Quran, 9: 68] and "Have you not seen those who befriend a people who have the wrath of Allah?" [The Holy Quran, 58: 14]. Who have "the wrath of Allah"? Those "who imagine an evil opinion of Allah. On them is a round of evil. The wrath of Allah is on them. He has cursed them and got hell ready for them. And evil is it for a destination" [The Holy Quran, 48: 6]. Belief in divine promises and their truthfulness is one of the elements of our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) thinking. Allah says, "If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you" [The Holy Quran, 47: 7]. We should trust and rely on this promise.

On the contrary, we should not at all trust the false promises that the enemies and arrogant powers in the world give. This is completely visible in Imam's (r.a.) actions, behavior and statements. This reliance on and trust in God's power helped our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) to be outspoken in announcing his revolutionary positions. Imam (r.a.) used to speak in an outspoken manner. He was candid in expressing what he believed in because he relied on God. This does not mean that he was unaware of the fact that powers did not like what he said and that they became angry. He was aware of it, but he believed in divine power and assistance.

He did not show considerations for anyone in the face of events. He responded to one of the letters that had been written to him. In general, he probably responded to two of the letters that had been written to him by the heads of arrogant governments or those connected to arrogant governments. He responded to that letter with complete outspokenness. This was broadcast by the IRIB. Of course, Imam (r.a.) spoke politely, but he announced his definite and clear positions in those letters. Such reliance on God spread in the veins of the people like blood. As a result of his behavior, the people too began to rely on Allah the Exalted, believe in divine assistance and enter this path. Imam's (r.a.) distrust of arrogant powers made him ignore their promises. The president of America - Reagan, who was a powerful president - used to write letters and send messages and agents to Imam (r.a.), but Imam (r.a.) did not pay any attention to him. He did not respond to his letters. He did not care about the promises that Reagan gave.

On another occasion, one of the governments that was dependent on America had given a promise about ending the imposed war. Hundreds or thousands of billions was mentioned, but Imam (r.a.) did not pay any attention and he did not trust them. In the present time, we are feeling this on different matters. We can see that it is not possible to trust the promises that arrogant powers give. We can see that we cannot trust what they say in private meetings. We can feel this. Imam (r.a.) made this one of his main principles: trust in God and distrust of arrogant powers.

Of course, this does not mean that he broke off his relationship with the world. Heads of countries sent congratulatory messages to Imam on different occasions and Imam (r.a.) used to respond to their messages. Such relations existed at an ordinary and polite level, but he had no trust in arrogant and bullying powers and their followers and cohorts.

The third principle was belief in the people's determination and power, and opposition to government-centrism. This was one of the main guidelines of Imam's (r.a.) movement. In those days, there was an effort to entrust all economic tasks to the government due to some wrong interpretations of events, but Imam (r.a.) issued warnings many times. These warnings are clearly visible in his statements. He said that tasks should be entrusted to the people. He trusted the people on economic matters. He trusted the people on military matters. Everyone should pay attention that from the beginning Imam (r.a.) supported the army. The person who prevented the dissolution of the army was Imam (r.a.). Despite this, he established the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and later on, he established Basij. He also turned the military into a popular orientation. On economic matters, he relied on the people. On military matters and on matters related to the construction of the country, he relied on the people as well. He established Construction Jihad. He also relied on the people on promotional matters. Above all, he relied on the people on the issue of elections. He relied on the people's votes in the management of the country and in establishing the political system of the country.

Our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) government lasted for 10 years. For eight years out of these ten years, the country was at war. The cities used to be bombarded and our military bases were at war. Perhaps about 10 elections were held in the country throughout this time, but no election was delayed even for single day. At all stages and in all circumstances, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) stressed that elections should be held on their scheduled date. In some countries, it is common to declare a state of emergency, but Imam (r.a.) did not do so even for one single day because he attached great significance to elections. On the day of elections, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) was among the first people who showed his presence at the ballot box. He believed in the people and he held the people's votes, thoughts and decisions in deep respect in the real sense of the word.

He may not have agreed with the people on certain matters, but he respected the people's votes and he considered them as respectable and valid. This was one of his principles. He did not stop at this point when it came to the people. He used to describe the people as officials' benefactors and patrons. Imam used to repeat that the people are our benefactors. On some occasions, he described himself as the people's servant. He used to say, "If I am called ‘the people's servant', it is better than being called ‘the leader'". This statement is brilliant. It indicates the outstanding position of the people and their thoughts, votes and presence in Imam's (r.a.) mind. The people too gave an appropriate response. They showed their presence on the scene. When he called the people, they showed their presence with all their hearts and souls. This was a mutual relationship. Imam (r.a.) trusted the people and the people trusted Imam (r.a.). Imam (r.a.) loved the people and the people loved Imam (r.a.). This mutual relationship is natural.

The fourth point is about the domestic issues of the country. Imam (r.a.) was an ardent advocate of the weak and underprivileged classes. He used to reject economic inequality in a very serious and severe way. He used to reject aristocracy with bitterness. He was an advocate of social justice in the true sense of the word. Advocating underprivileged classes of society was perhaps one of the issues that he repeated the most in his speeches. This was one of his clear and definite guidelines. Everyone should try to uproot poverty. Everyone should try to liberate underprivileged classes from poverty. Everyone should help them as much as they can. On the other hand, he used to warn the officials of the country about living the life of a courtier. This has also been mentioned in the Holy Quran: "And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged their own souls" [The Holy Quran, 14: 45]. He used to prevent everyone from living the life of a courtier.

He used to stress that officials should have trust in the loyalty of underprivileged classes. He used to repeat many times that it is the residents of slums, the poor and underprivileged classes who fill the scenes despite their poverty. They do not even complain and they participate in dangerous arenas. On the contrary, those who were well-to-do would in fact complain more if there was a problem in a certain area. From the viewpoint of Imam (r.a.), the loyalty of middle and underprivileged classes was an outstanding phenomenon and he placed great emphasis on it. He also stressed the necessity of using public funds in the correct way and avoiding extravagance. This was another fundamental guideline that Imam (r.a.) had: the issue of administering social justice, advocating underprivileged classes, avoiding an aristocratic lifestyle and taking action in this direction.

The fifth point is about foreign affairs. Imam (r.a.) was in the camp which was against international bullies and arrogant powers and he did this in an outspoken way. He showed no considerations for them. This was why in the confrontation between bullies, arrogant powers and the thugs of the world, and the oppressed, Imam (r.a.) was in the latter camp. He used to announce this in an outspoken way and without any considerations and fear. He was an ardent advocate of the oppressed all over the world. He did not compromise with arrogant powers.

"The Great Satan" was an astonishing term that Imam (r.a.) coined. The ideological and practical implications of the term "The Great Satan" are very vast in scope. When you consider someone and some organization as "Satan", it is clear how you should behave and feel towards them. Until the last day, Imam (r.a.) had the same feeling towards America. He used to use the term "The Great Satan" and he believed in it with all his heart and soul.

On the contrary, from the beginning, there were some people who did not pay attention to the fact that America was the feeder of the taghuti regime which was overthrown by the people of Iran. The people of Iran overthrew the taghuti regime, but there were some people in those days who supported the Americans' presence and activities - even the activities of specific American organizations - inside the country. The major disagreement between the interim government and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) was over this matter. We witnessed this up close. They did not pay attention that America was the feeder of the taghuti regime. This regime is overthrown now, but that feeding system still prevails and it is still active. If it is given an opportunity, it will resume its activities, it will deliver a blow and it will find and take advantage of our weak points.

They did not pay attention to this, but Imam saw it. His position on the issue of the Den of Espionage was based on this outlook. Some people in the world did not pay attention to this point either and as a result, they received a blow. Now, we do not want to blame and criticize anyone, but this was the blow that some people received because although they overthrew reactionary and arrogant regimes, they ignored the backup forces. Imam (r.a.) saw this backup force from the first day and he confronted it. So, until the end of his life, Imam's (r.a.) position was against America and its political and intelligence system.

On the contrary, Imam (r.a.) supported and defended Palestine in the course of these long years. He defended Palestine and Afghanistan. The day when the Soviets entered Afghanistan, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) adopted a decisive and determined position against the Soviets despite the fact that we were involved with America's enmity. Usually, when governments are in conflict with a certain side, they compromise with other sides. Even some governments which had a western orientation did not adopt the decisive position that Imam (r.a.) did. But our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) supported the people of Afghanistan and Lebanon without any consideration. He offered his support to the Palestinians in a very genuine and honest way. This was Imam's (r.a.) logic in confronting arrogance.

With this position, it is possible to understand global events and know what the correct position is. Today, we are as much opposed to the savage and oppressive behavior of DAESH in Iraq and Syria as we are to the oppressive behavior of America's federal police inside their own country. Both of them are the same. We are as much opposed to the siege of Gaza which is an oppressive siege against the oppressed people of Gaza as much as we are opposed to the bombardment of the innocent and unsheltered people of Yemen. We are as much opposed to the strict measures that are adopted against the people of Bahrain as much as we are opposed to the attacks of American drones on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was Imam's (r.a.) logic.

Wherever oppression exists, there are two sides: the oppressor and the oppressed. We advocate for the oppressed and we are opposed to the oppressor. This was the position that Imam (r.a.) adopted in an outspoken way and this was one of his main guidelines. Today too, the issue of Palestine is a major issue for us because of the same reason. Everyone should know this: the issue of Palestine will not be removed from the Islamic Republic's agenda. The issue of Palestine is the arena of an obligatory and necessary Islamic jihad for us and no event will separate us from it. Some people may not be carrying out their duties on the scene of Palestine, but we distinguish between them and the people of Palestine. The people of Palestine and Palestinian mujahids continue to have our approval and support.

Another main guideline in Imam's (r.a.) thoughts was the issue of the independence of the country and rejection of arrogant domination. This is another important chapter. Last year, I said to the participants of the same ceremony, "Independence means the freedom of a people". This is the meaning of independence. If some people chant the slogan of individual freedom, but speak against the independence of the country, this is a contradiction. How is it possible that people's individual freedom is respectable, but that the freedom of a people and a country in the face of sanctions, opponents and foreigners does not enjoy this respect? This is not understandable and acceptable at all. Unfortunately, there are some people who theorize about rejecting the independence of the country. They sometimes define independence as isolation. Sometimes, they say that today, the independence of countries is not considered a value. They sometimes write about such things. And these ideas are reflected in society. Some people move like this. This is a grave mistake and a very important and dangerous error.

Imam (r.a.) believed in the independence of the country. He believed in the rejection of foreigners' domination over the country. Over the course of these years, many of the activities that our enemy did against the country and the people were for the sake of undermining the independence of the country. He has targeted our independence whether through sanctions or threats. Everyone should be vigilant. Everyone should know what the enemy's goals are. This is another fundamental guideline.

Another fundamental guideline in Imam's (r.a.) thoughts and path - this is the last issue that I will address - was national unity and attention to discord, whether discord based on religion - Shia and Sunni - or discord based on ethnicities such as Fars, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Lurs, Baluchis and the like. Creating discord was one of the enemy's definite policies. From the beginning, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) placed unique and peerless emphasis on national unity and the solidarity of the people. This was one of his guidelines. Today, we should pursue this guideline. Today, you can see that the policy of creating discord in the world of Islam is one of the main policies of arrogance. Americans have gone as far as speaking about Shia Islam and Sunni Islam. They support one and attack the other. This is while from the beginning, the Islamic Republic adopted a similar outlook towards different denominations. We have behaved towards our Palestinian brothers - who are Sunnis - in the same way that we have behaved towards our Shia brothers in Hezbollah of Lebanon. Everywhere, we have acted in the same way. This was our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) outlook inside the country.

In the world of Islam, the Islamic Republic's outlook is an Ummah-building outlook. The Islamic Republic thinks about the Islamic Ummah. When second-rate servants of America bring up the issue of the "Shia Crescent", this shows seditious policies. When the Americans get along with takfiri and seditious groups in Iraq and Syria despite their widespread propaganda - most probably, they help them secretly as well, but their agents support these groups in an explicit manner - this shows that the role of creating discord is an outstanding matter from the viewpoint of the enemies of Islam and Muslims and the enemies of the Islamic Republic. Everyone should pay attention to this. Both Shia and Sunnis should pay attention to this point. They should not be deceived by the enemy's game. The kind of Sunni that is supported by America and the kind of Shia that is exported from London to the whole world are similar to one another. Both of them are Satan's brother. Both of them are the agents of America, the west and arrogance.

Harmony and unanimity - that we stressed in the beginning of the year and that we repeated over and over again later on - is based on this. Inside the country, brothers and sisters from various ethnicities and denominations should form a united hand as they have thankfully done so until today. They should not allow the enemy to penetrate into the territory of the world of Islam. The same thing should be done at a large scope. Both Shia and Sunni brothers should know that an enemy is threatening the entity and existence of the world of Islam. This is another fundamental guideline.

I mentioned seven principles that Imam (r.a.) had, but without a doubt, his principles are not confined to these. Other people too should look for other principles. However, no one should ascribe whatever they like to Imam (r.a.). What we ascribe to Imam (r.a.) should exist in sources about him and they should exist in an abundant, repeated and constant manner like the seven principles that we referred to. When you take a look, you will see that these principles exist throughout the statements - from the first to the last - that Imam made over the course of these years. These are his principles. Other people too should search and find other principles with the same method. Imam's (r.a.) attraction and repulsion was on the basis of these principles. We too want to have attraction and repulsion. We want our attraction and repulsion to be on the basis of these principles.

Everyone should know that the purpose of the different gestures that the enemy makes - sometimes, they frown, sometimes they smile, sometimes they give some promises and sometimes, they threaten us - is to dominate the country. The enemy wants to return to the era when he had unconditional domination over the country. Because Islam is seriously opposed to this return and because it is a resistant force against this plot of the enemy, they are opposed to it. The enemy is opposed to Islam because he knows that Islamic teachings and rules have built a solid dam against him. He is opposed to our people because they have stood up against him like a mountain. He is more opposed to anyone among the people who shows more resistance against him. He is more opposed to religious individuals, revolutionary organizations and foundations and hezbollahi people because he knows that they are a solid and strong dam against the enemies' penetration.

The enemy is after domination. He is doing his best to prevent the Islamic Republic's Islamic movement which is a source of support for the progress, development and transcendence of the people of Iran. A veteran American politician said, "Takfiri and terrorist groups do not matter to us westerners. They can exist and there is nothing wrong with this. What is important to us is Islamic Iran because Islamic Iran is after creating a great civilization". Of course, he used the word "empire"- and the hell he did [audience laughs]! He went on to say, "This is why we consider Islamic Iran to be opposed to us and to be our important enemy". This statement shows us the significance of building the Islamic Ummah.

This was what we wanted to say to you dear brothers and those who have come from distant places and cities. I would like to welcome you and I hope that you are not tired. I hope that God will protect all of you.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household, shower Your mercy and blessings on these great and courageous people. Dear God, shower Your mercy and blessings on this great man and Imam who opened this enlightened path to us. Dear God, help us be sincere followers of this path. Make us martyrs on this path. Make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) satisfied and pleased with us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings