Imam Khamenei

The 11th Majlis is the parliament of people’s hope

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on July 12, 2020 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the MPs of the eleventh Majlis. The speech was delivered via videoconference with the participation of the speaker of the Majlis and other MPs.


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 thank God for bestowing on the Iranian nation the blessing to form the Islamic Consultative Majlis in the specified time and to send their MPs-elect to this important and influential assembly. I also thank God for allowing me to have this meeting with you considering the present conditions – the disease and the restrictions that it brings – and to raise certain points with you. I thank Dr. Qalibaf, the honorable Speaker of the Majlis for having raised very good and important points. I ask God to bestow on you – the Speaker, the presiding board and all the MPs – the blessing to pursue these matters through legal procedures, God willing, and to reach the desired results.

First of all, I wish to speak about your Majlis. After that, I will raise certain points about the current conditions of the country. Later on, I will offer some words of advice to you MPs and finally, if there is enough time left, I will say a few things about the current issue of the country – the coronavirus.

As for the first point which is related to the Majlis, the important point is that this Majlis – the eleventh one – is the parliament of the people’s hope and expectations. It is the manifestation of the people’s hope. Why is that? It is because the people came to ballot boxes and voted for you, honorable MPs, in dire economic circumstances. They did so in dire economic circumstances. Besides, at that time, there were various waves of propaganda by foreign enemies, and to a little extent, by some individuals inside the country. There were certain discouraging statements and discouraging propaganda which would naturally prevent the people from participating in the elections. Despite those circumstances, an acceptable number of the people – a good percentage of the people considering other elections in the world – came to ballot boxes and elected their representatives – you MPs. Why did they do so? It was because they were hopeful. Despite all the elements joining hands to discourage the people from participating in the ballot, from believing in the Majlis itself, and from participating in the elections, the people voted, with hope, in favor of the formation of the Islamic Consultative Majlis and they elected you. Therefore, this Majlis is the manifestation of the people’s hope and expectations. This is a very important point.

Besides, the present Majlis is one of the strongest and most revolutionary parliaments in the post-revolutionary era. Thankfully, there is an abundance of motivated, religious, capable and young forces. There are many educated and revolutionary youth among you – youth who are competent and who are not foreign to executive matters: among you, there are youth who are both motivated and capable, and competent – and there are also revolutionary veterans from previous terms among you. In your Majlis, there are a number of managers who have done and who are familiar with executive work. They are completely familiar with executive work and their existence is precious among you. Moreover, we can see legislative veterans in your group as well. These are individuals who were present in the Majlis in previous terms and who know what parliamentary methods are. The combination of these three groups of people – the youth, the executive managers and the legislative veterans and experts – has thankfully created a very good, efficient and competent group of people. Therefore, this Majlis is a very good one.

Fortunately, it is sensitive about revolutionary matters as well. During the past one month and a half, we have clearly witnessed that the present Majlis is sensitive when it comes to revolutionary matters. You have speeded things up as well both in the formation of the presiding board and in the formation of specialist commissions and appointing their chairpersons and heads. Thankfully, you have accelerated the execution of matters and all these are praiseworthy.

Well, you have four years ahead of you, which is not a short time, but which is rather a long time. Of course, you are not executives, but you are the builders of a railway for executive work. You can exert great influence on the issues of the country and on its future progress and you can do so in the course of four years, which is not a short period of time. Heavy duties fall on you dear ones who are being addressed by this humble person. In the next part of my speech, I will discuss certain things with you as some words of advice. These were the points about the Majlis.

As for the general condition of the country, well, there are certain problems in the country which you are aware of: I am speaking of economic problems. As for cultural problems, this is a separate issue which requires another discussion. Today, I would like to stress economic problems. There are many economic problems in the country, but the country enjoys strength. This is very important. Yes, there is a disease, but this patient’s body is strong and he has a great defensive power and therefore, he is capable of getting over the disease. If you liken the country to a human body, these problems – as I mentioned before – are like a disease, but the risks and the dangers are not equal for everyone. For example, corona exists in the country, but the threats that it poses are not equal for everyone. If you are old and ill, if you do not have stamina and if you have had previous conditions and illnesses, the disease will be more dangerous for you. When a doctor sees such a patient, he will not have much hope. However, if the patient is young and vigorous and if he does not have a background of previous conditions – for example, if he is a strong athlete – he might be affected, but the risks are not grave. When the doctor sees such a patient, he will treat him with more hope. Therefore, the country suffers from a malady, but these maladies will be nullified with certain capabilities which I will enumerate later on.

The main economic problems, which I described as a disease, are inflation, the devaluation of national currency, the existence of unreasonable prices, the problems with production centers, and the existence of foreign sanctions, whose role should not be ignored. All these have created livelihood problems for lower and middle classes of society. These maladies exist, but the country enjoys vigor. Why do we say that the country enjoys vigor? This is because of the extensive capacities that exist in the country, some of which were enumerated by Mr. Qalibaf. Some of these capacities are related to natural resources and some are related to human resources. As you see, it is because of these capacities that while there are the harshest sanctions and pressures against the country in the area of the economy, the country has managed to establish several thousand knowledge-based companies, carry out hundreds of infrastructural projects and accomplish the great feat of establishing the Persian Gulf Star Refinery during the time of sanctions and despite a decrease in oil revenues.

It has managed to accomplish such an astonishing feat and many other feats in the area of energy, water and electricity. As you can see, many projects are being inaugurated. These achievements are real and they exist. Work is being done. In the area of military industries, astonishing projects are being carried out. The same is true of aerospace industries. Our enemies and our opponents – the same people who have imposed the sanctions hoping to bring Iran to its knees with them – are acknowledging and admitting that they have failed and that the country continues to stand on its feet. This shows that the country enjoys vigor.

The things that I mentioned are only some of the capacities of the country. There are also other capacities such as mines, forests, an excellent geographical location, climatic diversity, a rich history, national identity and other such capacities. All these are important and fundamental capacities, some of which are particular to our country. In other words, no other country possesses them, but we do thankfully. These are material capacities, but there are spiritual capacities as well. I insist that we pay attention and utilize these spiritual capacities. We should do something to activate them – in the case of those which need to be activated. Almost all spiritual capacities in our country are rooted in religious and revolutionary faith. People have deep religious and revolutionary faith and this brings about certain capacities and capabilities in the country that can be benefitted from. Throughout the Revolution – in the early days, in the imposed war and in the present time – we have witnessed examples of these capacities.

 The most recent example of these important national capacities, which are rooted in revolutionary and religious faith, is the timely and selfless presence of the people in the first wave of the coronavirus disease. Was it a minor achievement? The medial staff of the country were the frontline warriors and behind them, there stood an enormous number of people and youth who entered the arena in different places and in different forms and who rendered services. As it happens, their work was influential in soothing the Iranian nation’s pain during the confrontation with this dangerous disease. In the movement of religious assistance, the people were asked to help the underprivileged classes of society. Of course, even if we had not said that, the people would have entered the arena on their own. They had entered the arena before we said so. However, after the announcement, they participated in a comprehensive manner throughout the country and you have already seen what great endeavors were made and what valuable services were offered to families with modest means. And this movement was launched on the verge of the auspicious month of Ramadan. These are the spiritual capacities of the country which are really important.

Another example of the capacities, which transpired shortly before the disease, is related to the people’s dazzling moves in bidding farewell to Sardar Soleimani. You witnessed what the people of Iran did in Tehran and in various other cities and how they treated that important issue – the martyrdom of an outstanding martyr. It is wrong to think that the move was based on pure emotions. Of course, emotions had a part in it, but the movement far surpassed emotions. It was an indication of the people’s faith in jihad. The people manifested that they believe in jihad in the arena of resistance and that they have faith in their fight and in the resistance against arrogance. The people showed that they respect a personality who was the embodiment of Iran’s national and jihadi power.

Shahid Soleimani was the manifestation of this power. He used to show off Iran’s national power to the enemies of the country and the Revolution throughout the region. He was the manifestation of the spirit of national power and the people respected this. This is a very important matter. Such a capacity is really valuable. It showed how much the people appreciated their national hero. It was a punch delivered on the mouths of those who rant and rave about this brilliant personality and who talk rubbish: people such as American officials and other such individuals in the world. There are many other examples of these spiritual capacities and of the spiritual presence and preparedness of the Iranian nation, all of which are rooted in Islamic and revolutionary faith. Therefore, they cannot be denied. If someone wishes to deny them, it looks as if they were trying to deny the existence of sunlight in the middle of the day.

Notice that in the course of all these years, whenever the Islamic Republic faced a problem, the people entered the arena. When some individuals launched a move, at the provocation of the enemies, to harm the system – whether in the years 1378 and 1388 or in subsequent years – it was the people who rushed to the middle of the arena and who disappointed the enemy. Is there a capacity higher than this? Is there a better form of vigor? Such is the vigor of the Iranian nation. Therefore, when we see these realities, we understand that the country enjoys vigor in the face of all these incidents.

Our problems really stem from our own mistakes and negligence: “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of the doings that the hands of men have earned” [The Holy Quran, 30: 41]. We ourselves showed negligence and carelessness in certain areas. For example, we did not attach significance to production and to investment and all of a sudden, our factories broke down and we faced problems in the area of production. Well, when you do not work, the consequences of this will be evident. When we officials showed negligence and carelessness throughout the past years, these are the results that have ensued. If the idea and spirit of self-sufficiency and national confidence – which has thankfully spread among the public, in particular among educated and determined youth – if the trust in domestic economic forces continues to thrive, if the forlorn hope of receiving help from the outside – which is sometimes witnessed inside the country and which conditions the economy of the country to be dependent on foreigners’ decisions – is undermined and shattered and if national trust is boosted, then in my opinion, all the economic problems that exist today will be eliminated and overcome. Therefore, we should benefit from the country’s vigor. If you follow up the matters pointed out by Mr. Qalibaf and others, doing so in a serious way and within the remit of parliamentary duties and within the legal procedure, all these problems will be eliminated, God willing. I am confident that all these problems can be resolved.

As for the responsibilities of you dear MPs – which is today’s main discussion – I wish to raise brief matters and offer certain pieces of advice. The first piece of advice is: dear brothers, dear sisters, you should purify your intentions and work for the sake of the people. In parliaments all over the world, many things are said in the name of the people, but they do not really work for their people. A corrupt parliament is a parliament in which personal and partisan preferences matter more than national and popular matters. This is the first matter and the first word of advice. For the sake of God and with really pure intentions, you should decide to work for the people.

You should not get carried away either. Sometimes, certain things arise that drag one towards a particular direction. This should not be the case. You should look and see what your duties are and what you can do to the benefit of the people even if it is against the existing sentiments. Under such circumstances, it is alright to pursue your decisions. You should not become over-excited, as they put it, and get carried away.

Another matter is about your oath. The oath that is proclaimed in the beginning of the Majlis is a shar’i oath and it is by no means just a ceremonial one. This is an act of swearing that brings about certain commitments. When you took an oath, you made a pledge to guard the sanctity of Islam and to protect the Revolution’s achievements. These issues have been specified in the text of your oath. Therefore, you should be seriously committed to it. In other words, you should guard the Revolution’s achievements and be committed to your pledge of protecting the sanctity of Islam. If you violate it, you will be subjected to shar’i and divine questioning. On Judgment Day, Allah the Exalted will question us. Besides, this is not an ordinary oath either. Of course, if you commit the latter, you should atone and you will be questioned by Allah the Exalted, but taking an official oath is really different from taking an oath for a personal matter because an official oath is related to a public and popular matter, for which we will have to definitely answer to God. Therefore, this is a very important oath.

My next word of advice is that you should pay attention to key matters. You should give the priority to fundamental matters. Sometimes, it is necessary to attend to peripheral and secondary matters, but we should not give these matters such attention that it will prevent us from moving towards key and fundamental matters in a serious and concentrated manner. For example, if we wish to mention the key matters in the area of the economy, we can refer to production as a key matter. I also named this year “The Year of Surge in Production.” We are now in the fourth month. It should be shown that a surge has been brought about this year. The issue of employment is another key matter which is of course interconnected with production. The issue of curbing inflation is another key matter. You should identify the reasons behind this chain of inflation and high prices and then you should attend to them. The management of the monetary and financial system and the independence of the economy of the country from oil are other key matters. These are fundamental matters in the economic domain.

As for social matters, the issue of housing is a seriously important and key issue. In the basket of household expenditures, housing and accommodation plays a very important role. The issue of youth’s marriage is very important as well. It is one of the matters that should not be ignored in any way. Certain methods to facilitate youth’s marriage should be envisaged. Some of these methods do not require spending money, they only require decision-making and attention. The issue of childbearing and population is very important. This is an issue that I have stressed and repeated many times in recent years, but when I look at the results, it unfortunately becomes clear that these emphases have not produced results. These matters require the passing of laws and they need to be seriously pursued by executive organizations.

We should attach great significance to childbearing and we should be wary of ageing. I have nothing to do with foreigners. The enemy is the enemy, but when we see some narrow-mindedness inside the country – I read somewhere, “An ageing population is alright” – this is problematic. How can the ageing of the population be alright? One of the most valuable sources of wealth for a country is the existence of a young population. Thankfully, from the beginning of the Revolution until today, we have benefited from it. If we are supposed to be deprived of it in the future, we will certainly fall behind others. The issue of managing cyberspace is among our key matters. As it happens, this is not a long-term goal, rather it is a short and a mid-term goal that needs to be dealt with. And there are other such key matters. You should pay attention that you should not get involved in peripheral and trivial matters.

Another piece of advice is about cooperation and interaction with other branches. In my opinion, the general guideline for interaction is this: the duty of executive and judiciary branches is to implement your ratified bills in a careful and thorough way. In other words, delaying the implementation of the bills ratified by the Majlis should not be allowed. They should not disregard the bills ratified by the Majlis. Therefore, those two branches should implement your bills. And the Majlis should play its interaction part by ratifying bills on the basis of the capacities of the country. There are many things that one wishes to ratify. This is a very good desire, but the capacities, capabilities and realities of the country are not in accordance with some bills. Therefore, you should pay attention to the capacities of the judiciary and executive branches and to the capacities and realities of the country. You should ratify bills according to these capacities. In my opinion, this can bring about a good interaction between the three branches of government.

You should be careful about your relationship with executive officials as well. This is because your work requires being involved with executive officials. One of the good tasks carried out in the past one month and a half has been the presence of the honorable ministers in the Majlis to explain the affairs in their division and section. However, these relations with executive officials should be based on both legal and on shar’i principles. In other words, it is your right to question and to impeach as specified by the law, but insulting, cursing and slandering are not rights. These are not your rights and some of them are even religiously haraam. It is not at all appropriate to insult, curse and slander a minister. Therefore, you should differentiate between your duties and what is forbidden for you. Sharia and the law have specified certain things for you as your responsibilities and they have forbidden certain things for you as well. You should both pay attention to the “dos” and to the “don’ts”. You should not behave in an emotional and unreasonable manner. You should behave in a calm, reasonable and justifiable manner although it sometimes involves strong measures. Sometimes, it occurs that you do not at all accept what the other side says. In other words, you reject them a hundred percent. There is nothing wrong with this, but you should voice your opposing views in a way that those who look from the outside think you are doing the right thing. This means that you should behave with equanimity and wisdom.

Regarding cooperation with other branches and with executive officials, there are two other points that I deem necessary to discuss. One is that experience in the course of many years has shown that confrontations, rows and skirmishes at the highest levels is detrimental to public opinion in the country as it disturbs the people. Of course, the people expect you, the administration and the judiciary branch to tell the truth and to pursue justice, but they do not expect you to have angry disputes and to attack one another. The people do not like this at all. Tension at the top levels of the government bothers and upsets the people and it exerts a negative impact on public opinion. 

The second point is that the treacherous enemy and this camp of enmity – which is not confined to the US: the US is the most vicious and brazen member in the camp of enemies, but it is not particular to the US as the enemy is comprised of a whole front of hostile members – has focused all its energy on forcing the Islamic Republic into retreat. Of course, this is one of our glories. The fact that powerful political and economic fronts in the world have joined hands to confront you is indicative of the power that exists in you. If you were not strong, they would not need to gather all these armies, forces and extras to fight with you. This shows that you are strong. However, the reality is that the enemy has brought all its forces to the arena. It has brought all its economic, political and promotional forces to the arena.

As you see, every day or perhaps every two, three days, these American tacky squealers – their Secretary of State, their President and others – do not miss a chance to say something against Iran. They mention Iran either in an interview or in a so-called international congress. And if there is no other medium, they nag, prattle and blather about the Islamic Republic of Iran through a zionist podium. Well, this shows that they have seriously decided to bring to the fore all their propaganda resources. As well as economic resources, they have brought these resources to the arena as well.

What is our duty in such circumstances? Our duty is to strengthen domestic unity and solidarity which is a sign of unanimity in the face of the enemy. Yes, we have some differences of opinion and disagreements. Some of us may not agree with others among us, but when it comes to the enemy, all of us join hands and all of us say one thing, let out the same cry, adopt the same measure and make the same move.

Of course, I consider the supervisory role of the Majlis to be very important. The supervisory role of the Majlis is really a fundamental and vital role and there should not be any indifference towards it. However, I believe that this role should be played in a serene, wise and reasonable manner and without any tension and trivial disputes.

I would like to raise another point which is both addressed to you and to executive officials. Both of you should pay attention to it. The last year of administrations is normally a sensitive one. Well, I have ample experience in this regard. The fourth year of administrations – particularly, if it is the fourth year of the second term – is a very sensitive year. Normally, if they are not careful enough, things will be in a mess. First of all, all administrations have the responsibility to work until the last day and the last moment. I firmly believe that administrations should work hard and fulfill their duties until the last day when they are in office and after that, they should entrust affairs to the next administration. Of course, I believe that they should do so by delivering a report about what they have done, just like an engineer who entrusts work to another engineer by giving him a description of what he has done until that moment. Therefore, they should endeavor hard until the last day. In these sensitive circumstances – when the administrating is in its last year of office and the Majlis is in its first year of activity – both of you, the administration and the Majlis, should manage things in a way that work will not be lying idle. You should take care to manage things in a way that the important affairs of the country will not be negatively affected.

My last point about the Majlis is that you have two very important centers, each of which is important in its own respect. One is the research center of the Majlis which is an expert center of great significance. You should reap maximum benefits from it. In the past too, the Majlis fortunately benefitted from this center in many cases. The center has sometimes offered vital expert opinions to the MPs, so it is a very important center.

The second is the supervision center which supervises the behavior of the MPs. It is a few years now that the center has been established. It is very important as well. Of course, all of you are very good and I hope that Allah will reward all of you. However, it is one issue to be good, but it is quite another to remain good. We should try to remain good. All of us make mistakes. God forbid, it is possible that we slip up. All of us – including me and you – are like this. We should both take care of ourselves and others: “Except such as have faith and do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual teaching of the truth, and of patience and constancy” [The Holy Quran, 103: 3]. The supervision center, which is in charge of supervising the behavior of MPs, does what has been mentioned in this ayah: “Except such as havefFaith, and do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual teaching of the truth, and of patience and constancy.” It enjoins to do good and forbids against evil. It fulfils social responsibilities and social commitments towards others, which is what exists in Islam.

The last word is about the coronavirus. First of all, the recurrence of the virus makes one really sad. When you turn on the television and hear that 180 or 220 – a figure related to a few days ago – have passed away, your heart is broken and you become really sad. Such a large number of individuals lose their lives in the course of just 24 hours! Even thirty was too many. When the death rate decreased, it was about 30, which was nonetheless a lot. Each of those 30 individuals had dear ones and they were others’ dear ones. They had a father, a mother, a wife, children, brothers and friends and now, they have to mourn the loss of their dear ones. Now, if this figure reaches 150, 180, 200 individuals, this is really a source of sorrow and grief. I strongly ask all those who can play a role in this regard to play their role in the best way possible.

Well, the medical staff of the country fortunately made sacrifices. Words fail me when I try to explain the sacrifices that they have made. A large number of them were infected themselves and some of them lost their lives in the way of serving the people. These services are really valuable and important. However, it was not only the medical staff who rendered services. The different groups of people who make decisions, those who implement these decisions and those who provide backup have played a role as well. A large number of our youth participated in the endeavor in the first months. They supported and helped the medical staff of the country. The masses of the people helped as well.

However, when I see on television that some people walk on the street while they refuse to do one single thing – wearing a mask – then I feel embarrassed to face the nurse – nurses and physicians together – who makes such sacrifices. This is while that young or elderly individual is not prepared to wear a mask. These simple measures should be adopted! This is my first advice in this regard. I strongly ask all those who can do something in this regard – including the executive officials of the country, the individuals who can play a part and the masses of the people – to be active in this regard so that we can cut off this chain of infection in a short period of time and that we can help the country reach the shore of salvation. In the beginning, we were one of the best and most successful countries in this area. However, today, this is not the case. Of course, we continue to be ahead of many other countries, but today, we are not at the level that we used to be in the beginning and this bothers me. This is one point.

The second point is that following the emergence of the coronavirus, lower and even middle classes of society really received a blow in terms of their livelihood problems. The endeavor that began right before the month of Ramadan – the pious movement that everyone participated in – was a great endeavor as it managed to help certain families have fewer concerns. Today too, I believe that this movement of cooperation and charity should be re-launched by our dear people. Of course, it has not come to a halt, but it is necessary to accelerate it a little bit so that you, people, can cheer up the environment of the country, gladden some children, provide financial help to some families and liberate certain parents from the concerns they have about their children’s livelihood. This is what the people can do. Now, how this should be done and managed, this is something that cannot be managed in a focused and organized way. These are tasks that are carried out by the masses of the people throughout the country. Thankfully, we have a large country and a large population. Therefore, the movement can be launched at an extensive level. Everyone can help within the scope of their capability.

And it should not be said that such and such a family received help and charity in two, three different ways. Well, so much the better! Of course, if they can do it in an organized and systematic way, it will be better, but if it is not possible, it is alright. Even assuming that a family receives help from two, three different places, this is alright. They should not complain that such and such a family received help twice, saying that this is not good considering the dire economic circumstances. They should try not to leave anyone out, that’s it. People should take care not to leave anyone out so that everyone can receive help. This freshens up the country, blesses the affairs and helps God bestow His grace on you.

One of the things that I would like to stress – this is the last point – is the issue of praying and supplicating. From the beginning, I said that public supplication is a very important issue in this incident. Praying is not particular to the seventh dua of Sahifa Sajjadiyyah, which was recited and acted on by many. You should read various prayers. You should ask God to help and you should supplicate to Him. In particular, youth – who have sincere and pure hearts like fresh water: some hearts are shining and brilliant – should pray as their prayers can be answered. By Allah’s favor, saying prayers for even as long as half a night can eliminate a hundred plights and disasters. I hope that God will bestow success on all of you and that He will make the immaculate soul of Imam and the pure souls of martyrs pleased with us.  

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings