Ayatollah Khamenei

Laborers were always present in the events of the revolution and sacred defense

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 5, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the officials of the Labor Martyrs Commemoration Congress. The congress was held to commemorate 14,000 martyrs who worked as laborers.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Praising and commemorating martyrs from every social background and from every area in the geography of the country is really a good and outstanding deed. The fact that Allah the Exalted has drawn your hearts towards this task in order to take the trouble and organize this commemoration ceremony is a sign of divine grace. This shows that Allah the Exalted wants martyrs to continually and eternally be present in the country. However, there are some classes of society whose commemoration and martyrdom has an increased value. Laborers are an example in this regard. So, I am very grateful. I thank you honorable brothers in the society of laborers for pursuing this valuable task and for introducing labor martyrs.

In the arena of battle – during the sacred Defense era, before that during our fight against some groups, even further back during revolutionary activities and after that during various events which were a mixture of military and mostly non-military battles – we witness the footprints of laborers. I have said to our dear laborers in many speeches that since the beginning, the anti-revolutionary forces of the country had pinned their hopes on laborers so that they could somehow provoke them against the Islamic Republic. This existed since the first day after the victory of the Revolution.

I myself was directly involved with the affairs. Allah the Exalted developed events in a way that I was accidently present during an anti-revolutionary attempt to provoke laborers and I witnessed how laborers behaved. They rejected the anti-revolutionary forces in an insightful, determined, pious, committed and religious way. And this has been the case from that day on. One of the major activities of our enemies has been to create recession and obstacles in our factories and among our groups of laborers – particularly the big ones – so that they can provoke laborers. And our laborers have always resisted in the course of these years. They have always stood firm. They have always rejected the enemy in an insightful manner. And these events are very important.

And this has been the same in the arena of war. The things that we said were related to the non-military endeavors of laborers. However, they acted in the same way in military battles. Whenever, Imam (may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him) issued a call, an important part of the basijis who would move towards the front lines were our laborers. There were even some laborers whose life was dependent on daily labor. They had to work every day so that they could provide for their family at night. They had wives and children. Some of them were even providing for their parents, but some of them faced this issue with complete zeal and with religious and Islamic commitment. They put their daily lives aside and they joined the front lines. Great tasks were accomplished.

I really believe that if we had not witnessed such events with our own eyes in the arena of reality and life, it would have been difficult to believe it. Laborers displayed great courage. Our enthusiastic, pious and young laborers forgot about their modest incomes and moved towards the arena of war in order to fight. And when they spoke to them, they answered in a reasonable manner: "I have to go and defend my country and the borders of Islam so that the enemy will not become dominant. If he becomes dominant, we will neither have bread nor anything else."

And this was the truth of the matter. We can see such reasoning in the statements of our youth. So, praising and commemorating labor martyrs is a very good task. Drawing the attention of the masses of the people and public opinion in the country towards the self-sacrificing acts of this class of society in the arena of war is an outstanding task as well.

The tasks that you referred to and the plans that you have are good plans, but you should pay attention that formalities and the ceremonial aspect of the affairs should not play a major and important role because such formalities sometimes play a major role. You should look at the effect that you produce in your audience. You should primarily pay attention to this. If you produce an artistic work and write a book and the like, you should try to do this in a way that your works can influence the audience. This is important. Formalities are not very important.

I hope that Allah the Exalted will bless your tasks, that He makes the pure souls of martyrs satisfied with you and that He makes the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam pleased with you. I hope that by Allah's favor, you will succeed in accomplishing the tasks that you have undertaken. I hope that you will be successful, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy