The Office of the Supreme Leader

Supreme Leader's Speech in Meeting with People from the Holy City of Qom

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on January 7, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with people from the holy city of Qom. The meeting was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on the occasion of the anniversary of the uprising 19th of Dey by the people of Qom.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I would like to welcome all the dear brothers and sisters, the honorable ulama and dear youth and I congratulate all of you, the entire people of Iran and the entire Islamic Ummah on the occasion of the auspicious birthday anniversaries of the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.) and Imam Sadiq (peace and greetings be upon him).

The first thing that I deem necessary to say on the occasion of the 19th of Dey - which is a historical, great and determining day - is a word of thanks to the dear people of Qom because they did not and will not allow this event to be forgotten. There were certain motivations for consigning to oblivion these great days and events. They are still working hard in order to consign to oblivion the determining and mostly honorable events of the Revolution such as the Sacred Defense Era and other such eras. They want to consign the 9th of Dey to oblivion as well.

Oppressors and tyrants wanted to eliminate the event of the Husseini Ashura as well, but Zaynab al-Kubra (God's greetings be upon her) did not allow this to happen. Our lady - Zaynab al-Kubra - made two moves in order to do this: one was made during her capture and her transfer to Kufa and Shaam where she made illuminating and enlightening speeches. The other move was making a pilgrimage to Karbala in Arbaeen. This was either the first or second Arbaeen. This move means that we should not allow the malevolent motives which intend to erase dear, influential and important eras from memories to be successful.

Of course, they will not be successful. As long as nations are alive, as long as truthful tongues speak and as long as religious hearts are motivated, they will not be able to erase these eras and events, as they have not been successful until today. In the early Islamic era, these hostile and spiteful motives prevailed for many years. After the passage of 170, 180 years from the event of Ashura, Mutawakkil - an Abbasid caliph - tried to destroy the pure grave of Aba Abdillah (a.s.). This means that the people of Iran should expect the enemies to continue - for quite a long time - their work, fitnas and malevolent plots in order to destroy the beauties of the Revolution. The enemy will not stop until it can either distort the Revolution or it can consign it to oblivion and do something to make the people of Iran themselves forget and show negligence towards their own movement, legacy and the great feat that they have accomplished. A person who does not know about his glorious past cannot create a glorious future for himself. The enemies are making this effort.

It is you who have kept the 19th of Dey alive. It is you who have kept the 29th of Bahman alive. It is you who have kept the 22nd of Bahman alive. It is you who have preserved, with particular motives, the 9th of Dey which is a similar event. This is a jihadi movement in the face of the enemies. They want to do something to distort and consign to oblivion the truths of the Revolution. They are spending money and working on this. Those who are familiar with the world of books, newspapers and articles can see what the enemies are doing. Today, they are trying to ornament and raise the status of the evil and malevolent Pahlavi regime - the corrupt, dependent, malevolent and oppressive regime that kept our country backward for many years and that created great problems for the people of Iran. Today, this is being done by the camp which stands against the Islamic Republic. Their supporters are those people who were opposed to the essence of the Revolution, who were against the revolutionary people of Iran and who are still strongly opposed to the peoples loyalty to the Revolution. Of course, they have not managed to achieve their goal until today.

They hoped to turn the second and third generations of the Revolution away from the Revolution, but they failed. It was youth - the third generation of the Revolution - who created the 9th of Dey which was a great event. They delivered a hard slap across the face of those who tried to make the Islamic movement deviate by creating fitna. Who did this? It was the youth, the third generation of the Revolution, who did this. Today, they have pinned their hopes on next generations and future youth because they know that these individuals are the main resource of the people of Iran. This desire exists within them. Until the time that you good youth and pious people are present in the scene, are motivated, have foresight, are aware of what you are doing, they will not succeed.

Well, what was the 19th of Dey? Everyone knows that the 19th of Dey became a turning point for the public movement of the people of Iran. The fire of this movement had already been fueled and it developed every day, but its appearance and its ignition began from the 19th of Dey by the people of Qom. This event led to many different movements until the people of Iran entered the arena unanimously. They accepted the invitation of our dear, courageous, divine and spiritual Imam (r.a.) and they confronted that corrupt regime.

What was the regime which the people of Iran confronted? Which people formed this regime? These are very important questions. I will refer to two, three characteristics of this regime. As I said, today there are certain motives for distorting facts. That is to say, they are trying to ornament and decorate the face of the ugliest, the darkest and the most malevolent rulers of this country in its recent history in a way that the people cannot discover the truth and in a way that they do not understand what they did to this Revolution.

One of the characteristic of that corrupt regime was dark dictatorship and suppression of the people with the cruelest methods. These methods may exist in other countries as well. We ourselves have witnessed up close what they did and how they behaved towards the people both during the time of Reza Khan - our fathers had witnessed it and they used to narrate it for us - and the recent era when we ourselves were in the middle of the arena. Of course, youth have not seen those days. There are many reliable sources about what they used to do to the people, revolutionary activists and those who even made a small criticism. They used to adopt extreme measures, torture the people, exert bizarre and strange pressures and put people in startling prisons. Some of these prisons exist today and people are greatly shocked when they go and visit them.

This was one of the things that they used to do. They used to preserve their power by behaving in an oppressive and dictatorial way and by exerting pressures on the people. The people who claim to support human rights today and who constantly repeat these ignominious claims used to support them with all their power. We cannot say that they were not aware of their oppressive measures. They were completely aware of them. It was the Zionists, the Americans and the CIA that created the hellish SAVAK. It was they who taught them their methods. How could they not know about it? Recently, it has become clear that they themselves have faced great problems because of these organizations. How can we add together the recent revelations about the behavior of the intelligence service of America towards its opponents and the statements that they make about freedom of expression, liberalism, democracy and attention to people's opinions? It is a strange world. This was one of the characteristics of that malevolent regime in our country: adopting extreme measures and showing utmost cruelty towards anyone who made the slightest criticism.

The second characteristic was their humiliating dependence on foreign powers. Of course, they deny this through the books that they write to acquit the evil Pahlavi regime, but it is not deniable. Reza Khan came to power at the command of the English. He had no other source of support. It was they who brought him to power and it was they who brought him down when they deemed it necessary. He came and left at the command of the English. Later on, the English brought Mohammad Reza to power and they managed to take affairs in their hands until the late 1320s. From the early 1330s, The Americans entered the arena and took all affairs in their hands. Policies were formulated by the Americans. Government officials used to do what America's interests dictated, whether in their domestic or in their regional and international behavior. They used to do exactly what the Americans wanted. This means the great humiliation of the people of Iran. This was one of the characteristics of that evil regime. This is why the Americans look at the people of Iran, the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic with such defiance, enmity and grudge. This is because they used to witness that era. They have lost such a country and such a system. Therefore, their enmity with the Revolution is endless.

The third characteristic of that malevolent regime was corruption: different kinds of corruption such as sexual corruption which included all courtiers and their companions. The stories about their sexual decadence are too embarrassing to mention. In those days, the people knew about their sexual corruption, but they did not dare mention it. Sometimes, it was leaked through foreigners. They used to say certain things about their sexual and financial corruption, not only among ordinary officials which can occur at any time, but also in the highest levels of the country. Mohammad Reza himself and his close friends were involved in the highest levels of financial corruption, in the biggest bribes, in the worst transgressions and in the most malevolent pressures on the financial resources of the people. They used to accumulate wealth for themselves by impoverishing the people.

Promoting corruption - including sexual and financial - and addictive and industrial drugs was done by the main elements of Iran's government in those days. The Swiss police arrested one of Mohammad Reza's sisters at the airport while she was carrying a suitcase full of heroin. The news spread throughout the world, but they whitewashed it very soon. Well, this disgrace was related to themselves and they covered it up. There was such a situation at that time.

Another characteristic of that regime was that it used to ignore the people. This was one of the most important characteristics of the taghuti regime. The people were not seen at all. During our youth in the previous regime, we never participated in an election, nor did we witness this from the people on the streets. This is because there was no election. Sometimes overtly and sometimes less overtly, they acted on their own. That is to say, they used to elect a bunch of mercenaries and through them, they made their own decisions in the Majlis and in the Senate. The people did not at all know who was in charge of affairs. There was no relationship between the people and the government. The political awareness that exists among the people today is the exact opposite of what existed in those days. That malevolent regime was completely separate from the people.

Other characteristics were lack of attention to scientific progress, promotion of national timidity and magnification of western culture. There was no progress in scientific work and there was no scientific movement in the real sense of the word. Through media, they accustomed the people to imports and this habit has unfortunately prevailed until today. The long-term habits that people acquire are not easily kicked. Instead of drawing the country towards reviving domestic production and reliance on the true resources of the people, they accustomed the people - with oil revenues - to imports. They changed the people's tastes, they destroyed agriculture, they destroyed the real and national industries of the country and they made the country completely dependent on foreigners and the enemies of our people. They humiliated the people, they undermined their capabilities by speaking about it and they magnified western culture. It was a deceptive and malevolent regime which incorporated all kinds of evil.

Well, the people used to feel this. The people of Iran are an intelligent people and they understand and feel truths, but this requires assistance, a loud cry and a religious heart that can bring them to the arena of fighting. Of course, revolutionary activities existed in different corners, but bringing the people to the arena was the job of a divine man and Allah the Exalted bestowed this divine man on the people as a gift. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) became the cry that contained all the requests of the people. The people responded positively to this cry. They laid down their lives, they made sacrifices and they entered the arena. They confronted this regime and they achieved victory.

The main reason behind the enmity of the enemies towards the Islamic government is that in a sensitive area of the world and in a rich country which enjoys a very important and strategic location - previously they had managed to revive and strengthen in this country an installed and corrupt regime which was dependent on themselves - in such a country, Islam, the people and popular ideals have replaced them. The reason behind their enmity is that the people in this country do not pay any attention to the requests of their enemies and that they are taking a direction which is the exact opposite of the direction that that regime used to take. The greatest service that the Islamic movement and the Islamic Revolution rendered was that it saved the people from that regime. Everything that has been achieved since then until today - national dignity, the great movement of the people, awareness, public wisdom, scientific progress, the outstanding position of Iran in the world and in the region and everything else - is because of the fact that that great obstacle was removed for the people. And this was done by the people themselves, by religion and by religious beliefs.

Today, the camp of arrogance is opposing and making efforts against this government. No one should think that the enemy will forget about its enmity because this is not the case. When you are strong and prepared and when you know the enemy and his plots, he will have no choice but to stop his enmity. But when you show negligence and trust the enemy, he will find the opportunity to follow his goals in the country. The pressure that is exerted by arrogance on the people of Iran originates from this great and endless enmity. Their enmity is endless.

The people of Iran have resisted and stood up against this enmity, they have preserved the Islamic Republic and they are moving towards ideals. Despite the wrong and miscalculated statements that are sometimes made about the people of Iran's failure to achieve anything on this path, they have made great achievements until today. The people of Iran have taken the path in a very good way, they have managed to resist the pressures of the enemy, they have managed to preserve themselves, they have managed to achieve growth and they have managed to get close to ideals.

We have said many times that we have not managed to grant Islam's requests completely. This is definite, but we have taken a long path in this regard. We have not been able to completely administer social justice in this country, but we have come a long way. These things should not be ignored. One day, the entire wealth of this country used to be divided among some aristocratic families and its spillover reached a few big cities. Today, all the areas in this country are benefiting from its resources. This great movement towards social justice and Islamic morality exists. We sometimes hear that there are some criticisms about morality. There is no doubt that today, we are far away from idealistic Islamic morality, but we have moved forward to a great extent. The people of Iran have come a long way on this path. These things should not be ignored.

Some people deny scientific progress in a silly way. Why do you do this? Our people have made scientific progress. This is not simply our claim. Our enemies and international scientific centers are testifying this. Now, imagine that some people deny these achievements and humiliate the people of Iran. This is wrong. Failure to see the great movement and progress that the holy Islamic government has achieved for this country is not fair and it is wrong. Of course, we have a long way ahead of us. We have not achieved our ideals yet. Islamic ideals are far beyond these things.

The same movement existed in the early Islamic era. At that time too, they were in the middle of the way. You should not think that in the early Islamic era and during the time of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and his successors, the people reached the peak of Islamic ideals. This was not the case. The important thing for a country is to start moving forward. Our people are moving forward. Therefore, it should not be spoiled by wrong statements. They should not do something to raise doubts in the people about the great movement that they have begun. Our people have moved forward and great feats have been accomplished. This is what the entire world is testifying. Those who come from other countries are testifying this. It is not only us who praise the people of Iran. Our opponents and enemies have done so as well. The people of Iran are being praised for their power, their resistance, their talents and the great achievements that they have made on this path. They admire the people of Iran.

Today, the first thing that is necessary for our people is national unity and solidarity. Creating division among the people, separating them from one another and chanting those slogans which create discord are wrong under any name. This is against the interests of the people of Iran. This is against the ideals of the people of Iran. The first thing that is necessary is unity and solidarity. The people should help officials and the administration.

Government officials too should know that reliance on domestic power and the power of the people is what can enable them to carry out their responsibility. I have always said to executive officials in public and private meetings that they should not pin their hopes on foreigners. It is evident that today, the enemies have created problems for the people of Iran by imposing sanctions. Well, if their condition for lifting sanction is something that your sense of commitment does not allow you to do, what will you do? If they say, "The condition for lifting sanction is that you abandon Islam, independence, scientific movement and such and such a glorious phenomenon" what will you do? You will definitely not accept it. Without a doubt, no official in the country agrees with abandoning such and such a major and idealistic value so that they lift sanctions. Of course in the present time, the enemy does not confront our ideals in an outspoken way. But if we retreat, it confronts them in an outspoken way as well. In the present time, it is not the case that the enemy confronts our values in an outspoken way and imposes conditions on them. However, we should be vigilant.

We should understand what the purpose of the enemy's offers, statements and moves is. Well, it is clear that no official likes to compromise with the enemies and to abandon ideals so that sanctions can be lifted or decreased. Well, now that this is the case, you should do something to make the country become immune to sanctions. This is the meaning of the economy of resistance. Imagine that the enemy's condition for lifting sanctions is something which you cannot agree with. Look at the issue in this way. Under such circumstances, you should do something to counteract sanctions. We have said many times that you should do something to reduce the country's dependence on oil as much as you can. In the present time, you can witness that in a short time, they have halved the price of oil. When we are dependent on oil, we face problems. This should be thought about. One of the greatest responsibilities of the officials of the country is to do something to prevent the progress of the country and the welfare of the people from receiving any harm if the enemy does not want to lift sanctions.

What is the way to do this? The way to do this is to rely on the inside and to benefit from the domestic forces of the country. There are certain ways. Experts and sympathetic individuals testify that there are certain ways for people to rely on themselves. This is the responsibility of executive officials and other officials of the country. They should not pin their hopes on foreigners. Foreigners sometimes like to exert pressures. The more you retreat, the more they step forward. If you take a step back, they take a step forward. Arrogance is not a system which is based on mercy, fairness, human values and consideration. The more you step back, the more they step forward. You should think of a fundamental solution for this.

And the fundamental solution is that you should act in a way that the country will not be harmed by the enemy's frown and sanctions. There are certain ways to achieve this. There are certain tasks that can be carried out. Of course, officials have carried out some of these tasks and they have paid off. It is possible to do certain things. It is possible to take this solution away from the enemy. Otherwise, if we are afraid that the enemy might say, "If you do not do this, sanctions will not be lifted", [then our efforts are useless]. In the present time, the Americans say with complete shamelessness, "Even if Iran makes compromises on the nuclear issue, sanctions will not be lifted altogether and at the same time". They are saying this openly. This shows that this enemy cannot be trusted.

I am not against negotiations. They can negotiate as long as they want, but I believe that we should rely on real sources of hope, not hollow and imaginary ones. This is what is necessary. Well, the officials of the country are thankfully busy working. They are trying and working hard. I believe that everyone should help organizations in charge. Everyone should help the administration because the task is difficult and demanding. Executive officials too should be careful. They should not create division among the people and they should not create uproar. Unnecessary statements should not be made. The solidarity, firm determination and faith of our people should be benefited in the right way. I hope that by Allah's favor, the path of this country will open up.

I will tell you that as we are significantly different from the first day of the Revolution - we have moved forward to a great extent and we are much better than what we were 10, 20 years ago - the people of Iran will definitely take this glorious path on a daily basis. By Allah's favor and grace, the people of Iran and you youth will witness the day when your arrogant, bullying, oppressive and rude enemies will have to show humility before you.

God's mercy be upon our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) who showed us the path of resistance, reliance on God and wisdom. God's mercy be upon our dear martyrs who moved on this path and God's mercy be upon you dear ones, youth and motivated individuals who have continued this path until today.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
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