The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 21, 2019 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a large gathering of pilgrims at the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (as) in the city of Mashhad. The meeting was held on the first day of the year 1398.
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, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household - those who guide the guided, and who are infallible - especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
Allah, bestow as many greetings upon Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha - as Your knowledge encompasses. Bestow Your greeting upon him, one that is as permanent as Your dominions and Your authority. Allah, send as many greetings to Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha – as Your knowledge encompasses. Send Your greeting to him, a greeting that is as permanent as Your glory, Your greatness and Your magnificence
I would like to congratulate you on the birthday anniversary of the Leader of Justice and the eternal Commander of the Faithful throughout history – Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib - which is the real Nowruz. Also, I wish to congratulate you on the arrival of the new year and the Nowruz eid. Beautiful Iranian taste has chosen this day as the beginning of the new year and the Iranian solar year – the Iranian hijri year – begins from the outset of spring and from Nowruz.
Also, I would like to congratulate the enlightened hearts of the mutakefin [those who engage in itikaf] on the occasion of the days of itikaf [an Islamic practice during which one retreats a particular number of days to the mosque for prayers and studying the Holy Quran]. I hope that God’s mercy, blessings and attention to the pure souls of our mutakefin will be extended to all the people of Iran and all individuals from different social backgrounds – particularly our youth.
I thank Allah the Exalted for giving me another opportunity to meet with you dear people, residents of this city and pilgrims in the shade of the light of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ridha (as).
I have prepared four issues to discuss with you dear brothers and sisters and I hope that I can discuss them with you dear brothers and sisters in brief. One issue is about the current year – the year 1398. Another matter is about our issues with the west and western governments. The third matter is about the economy and this year’s slogan which is boosting production and the economy. And the fourth and last issue is a word with our dear youth about the issues of the country, future affairs and the affairs of the Revolution.
As for current issues, one witnesses that some spokespeople, writers and pundits have referred to this year as the year of threats. I do not agree with this in any way. I believe that by Allah’s favor, the year 1398 is the year of opportunities: the year of abundant resources and achievements. Of course, those who say otherwise and constantly speak of threats are knowingly or unknowingly under the influence of the bragging expressed by the enemies of this nation. In addition to what they do in reality, the enemies of this nation have also waged a psychological war. They express certain viewpoints and they boast. These boasts and brags should be understood for what they are. Throughout the year 1397, they were making the same boasts and they were trying to make some people lose heart.
One of those first-rate idiots, whom I introduced a while ago [Supreme Leader’s speech in meeting with the people of Qom, delivered on January 9, 2019], said in the beginning or in the middle of the year 1397 that if they- the US- get out of the Bar-Jaam [JCOPA], there will be riots in the streets of Iran and that the people will not even be able to buy bread. Another one of those first-rate idiots said that in the year 2019, these American gentlemen will celebrate Christmas in Tehran. Well, these are the statements they made.
I do not know. There are two viewpoints: one is that their analysis about regional matters and the affairs of the country is so weak and shallow and that they actually say these things seriously. In other words, such statements originate from foolishness. Another viewpoint is that they want to wage a psychological war in a malicious way. They promote these ideas in global media in order to wage a psychological war. It is not clear to me which viewpoint is correct. Both might be correct: both foolishness and malice.
I said that the year 1398 is the year of opportunities. I wish to explain this a little bit. At the moment, the main problem of our country is the economic problem and the issue of the livelihood of underprivileged classes. Part of this problem is related to the sanctions imposed by western powers– the US and Europe. And part of it stems from our internal shortcomings and our own managerial weaknesses. Sanctions can become an opportunity– later on, I will expand on this. And witnessing these shortcomings and weakness can provide us with precious experience for the future and for the management of the country in the future. Both these can be opportunities.
Sanctions can be an opportunity. Why? Because experience has shown that whenever the revenues of countries benefitting from natural resources such as oil decreases, they think of implementing economic reforms and they become motivated to develop these reforms. They become motivated to liberate themselves from dependence and they adopt appropriate measures. This happens when the revenues from natural resources are reduced. Later on, when those resources return to their prior state and when their financial resources increase again, they forget about continuing those reforms. So, the pressure stemming from a decrease in the revenues of natural resources has this great advantage, not only for us but also for all countries similar to us because it will save them from dependence on this natural resource, from being a one-product country and from this oil-based economy.
One of the main problems of our economy is that it is based and dependent on oil. This is really the truth of the matter. In the present time, extensive research is being conducted both at a governmental level and at a research-based and academic level in order to find ways to manage the country with non-oil revenues. This is a very important and good measure. When oil revenues are abundantly available to us, neither government officials nor others will naturally think of doing something else.
We have tangibly and vividly experienced something similar to this in the area of the defense resources of the country. In the Sacred Defense Era, during the war that was imposed on us, the materialistic powers of the east and the west– both capitalist and socialist and communist powers– would give the best weapons and resources to Saddam, while our hands were tied. As everyone knew at that time, they would not even sell us barbed wire. This was of course difficult, but this difficulty made our youth, our thinkers and our talented and creative personalities think of liberating us from our dependence on foreign weapons.
By Allah’s favor, today our condition in the area of defense resources is better than almost all countries in the region. Our enemies too are stressing this. They too are acknowledging this in order to use it as a tool to exert pressure. Of course, it will not be used a tool to exert pressure. Despite their foolish desires, we will continue to strengthen our defense capabilities. At that time, if they had sold us weapons, if they had given us tanks, missiles and ammunitions, we would not have thought of producing them on our own.
Well, if we had had them, we would have continued to be dependent and our need for others would not have been removed, similar to many other countries in our region which you are familiar with. Their countries are a warehouse of weapons, but these weapons belong to others and their use is contingent on the willpower of others. They themselves have neither power nor the scientific and practical capability to use them correctly. We would have become like them.
Today, by Allah’s favor, this is not the case. Therefore, need generates movement and motivation in us. When we cannot access oil revenues in their completely, we will naturally search for alternatives. This is a task that has been initiated and by Allah’s favor, it will produce results. The Iranian nation will taste the fruits of these endeavors later on. They will witness the results in the future.
I stress that we should not keep nagging about the sanctions. We should not have high expectations of those who impose these sanctions – the US and Europe – either. In the section related to the west, I will explain why. We cannot expect anything from them. We should sit and devise the plans for confronting sanctions and we should pursue them seriously. This is our responsibility. This is the responsibility of government organizations, of the research committees in the legislative branch and of our youth, thinkers and intellectual personalities in the country.
They should examine and find the ways to confront sanctions by considering the affairs of the country. There are many ways to confront the oppressive and malicious sanctions imposed by the enemy. Of course, I have received a report showing that high-ranking executive officials are preparing the ways to confront sanctions. They should address it in a more serious, urgent and practical way. The affairs of the country should not be delayed.
Today, everyone agrees that the enemy is waging an economic war against us. Everyone knows this. Of course, I have always repeated that the enemy is at war with us, but some people would not believe it. However, today everyone believes it. All officials have realized and agreed that the enemy is at war with us. War is not only about cannons and guns. Economic wars, security wars, intelligence wars and political wars: these are all different forms of wars and they are sometimes more dangerous than a military war. The enemy is at war with us.
Well, this war manifests itself through economic matters. Today, everyone has accepted this. Of course, we should defeat the enemy at this war and by Allah’s favor, we will defeat him. Yes, we will defeat him, but this is not enough. However, I want to say something else and my demand from all the various activists of the country – including in the government, in universities and among the people – is something else. What I want to say is that as well as defeating the enemy, we should create deterrence. This is what I want to say. Sometimes, you defeat the enemy, but he waits for another opportunity to deliver another blow. This confrontation is of no use.
We should reach a point which has a deterring effect. In other words, the enemy should feel that he cannot damage our dear country from the area of economics and that he cannot pressure the nation. We should reach this point: deterrence. This is possible. I would like to mention the military again as an example. Fortunately, we are in such a condition in the area of the military. One day, the enemy’s planes would bombard our cities at a high altitude while we could not do anything about it. We did not have enough defensive weapons. He used to fire missiles, but we did not have any weapons to respond.
After that, we developed our defense capabilities. Today, our enemies – at least the ones in the region or the ones who have forces in the region – know that the Islamic Republic can confront and strike every enemy in the region with its accurate and active missiles. They have realized this. This is deterrence! This means that the enemies who are sometimes tempted to launch a military attack should realize that it is not possible, that the Islamic Republic has a mighty fist and a strong hand which can retaliate. This is deterrent power. We should reach this point in the area of economic matters. So, this is an opportunity which is available to us because of the sanctions imposed by the enemies. Today, we can work on this. This was the first matter.
I said that we should not pin our hopes on westerners. Now, I want to enter into the second discussion which is about our confrontation with western powers and governments. We have many things to say in this regard. What I want to say is that in order to gain this deterrent economic power, we should completely forget about the help and cooperation of westerners. We should not wait for them. This is because westerners have shown that they cannot be expected to help. We can expect them to hatch plots, to act in a treacherous way and to stab us in the back, but we cannot expect them to help, to show sincerity and to cooperate.
Whenever you see that westerners help a government and a country, they are in fact preparing the ground for their own work. Westerners used to help the taghuti [Pahlavi] regime, but they were not actually offering help to him, rather they were helping themselves to sell their own weapons. They were serving their own unconditional dominance over the country’s oil. They were helping 60,000 military advisors in the country. The day when the Revolution achieved victory, there were about 60,000 American forces in the country –mainly in Tehran. They would feed from the public funds of Muslims and they would work for themselves. If they help somewhere, they are in fact serving their own goals and their own cause. They cannot be expected to help.
This is not particular to us either. It is not the case that westerners behave like this only towards the Islamic Republic or towards Iran. It is not like that. Western countries behave like this towards all countries which they can bully. Notice that three centuries of colonialism – the colonialism of weak countries – crushed hundreds of millions of people. It destroyed their lives and exerted great pressure on them. The Europeans – at that time, the Americans were not there – used to colonize Asia, Africa and Latin America and suck up their resources. They would loot their wealth, would prevent them from making scientific, practical and technological progress and would keep them backward. The phenomenon of colonialism was not particular to us. It happened to all those countries which could be bullied by those powers.
As for Iran, they began to deliver their blows from the mid-Qajar era. In the Iran-Russia wars, the English betrayed Iran. They entered the scene as mediators, but they stabbed us in the back. They acted in the same away on the issue of the tobacco monopoly and on the issue of Amir Kabir and the way they treated him. It was the pressures of the English and European embassies in Tehran which forced the foolish king to shed Amir Kabir’s blood, thus eliminating a man who could have transformed Iran. They behaved in the same way on the issue of bringing the dictatorial regime of Reza Khan to power. The Europeans and the Americans behaved in the same way on the issue of eliminating the government of Mosaddeq. They acted in the same way in different economic, political and security matters, on the issue of the imposed war and after that on the issue of the sanctions. We should not forget these events.
Westerners have always behaved like this towards us. We cannot have any hope for their help. On the recent issue, the issue of the Bar-Jaam, what was the duty of the Europeans? Well, a seven-sided agreement had been signed– six countries on one side and Iran on the other side. One of the parties– the US– got out of the deal. What was the duty of the other parties? Their duty was to stand up against the US and to state that they would be committed to the deal. Their duty was to lift sanctions completely. They should have stood firm, but they did not do so with different excuses. Not only did they not stand up against the US, but they also got out of the deal in practice, despite the fact that they would constantly say to us that we should not get out of the Bar-Jaam. They have even imposed new sanctions on Iran. This is how Europeans behave. What can we expect from them?
Recently, it is constantly being said that they have created a financial channel. Well, it sounds more like a joke! Of course, it is a bitter joke. This financial channel does not make any sense. There is a world of difference between what constitutes their duties and what they are saying in the present time. On our last international issue, the Europeans stabbed us in the back, just like what they did in the past. They betrayed us. They cannot be expected to do anything. We cannot have any expectations of them.
I will tell you that this is how things are, generally speaking. This is the result of extensive study and it is based on our own experiences and those of the others: I will tell you that politics and power in the west and in western countries – mainly the US and European countries – are oppressive, bullying, illogical and greedy. They know nothing about logic. Logic is not in their vocabulary. Deep inside, western politicians are savage individuals in the true sense of the word. You should not be surprised at this. They wear a suit, they wear a tie, they put on perfume and they carry a Samsonite brief case, but they are savages and they act in a bestial manner in practice.
Notice that in the recent incident in New Zealand during which Muslims were killed, an individual enters two mosques and fires many rounds of bullets at tens of individuals, killing and martyring more than 50 people in the process. Well, is this not terrorism? The Europeans– neither their politicians nor their press– were willing to refer to this as a “terrorist act”, rather they referred to it as an “armed attack”. Is that an “armed attack”? What then is terrorism? Whenever a crime is committed against even one single individual who is favored by them, they rally all human rights efforts and label it as a terrorist act in order to confront it, but in such a clear and vivid case, they do not call it a terrorist act. They are like this.
I do not know of a country in the region and perhaps in the world which is as bad as the Saudi government. The Saudi government is despotic, dictatorial, oppressive, dependent and corrupt. They provide nuclear resources for such a government. They have announced that they will build a nuclear power plant for them. They have announced that they will build centers for producing missiles. It is alright there, because that country is dependent on them. It is alright because it belongs to them. Of course, they are only announcing this. Even if they build such things, I personally will not be unhappy because I know that in a not-too-distant future, it will all fall into the hands of Islamic mujahids! [Crowd chants: “Death to America!”]
Therefore, malice and mischief is in the nature of western powers and there is no difference between the US and Europe in this regard. Of course, the US is more malicious. For different reasons, the US is more malicious and it is not particular to the person who holds office in the US administration, rather their whole politics is based on this. They delivered a report to me showing that in recently, the US Congress– these are interesting figures– has either passed or presented 226 bills and drafts against the Islamic Republic in the years 1396 and 1397. Two hundred and twenty six bills in order to show their opposition and malevolence against the Islamic Republic! This is malice.
Of course, I have a complaint about our own Majlis: how many bills and drafts has our own Islamic Consultative Majlis presented or passed against US malice? So, western powers are like this. We cannot have other expectations of them.
Of course, some people inside the country embellish the image of westerns. They justify malicious acts of westerners. They airbrush their image and prevent public opinion from realizing how much malice and malevolence exists in the nature of these apparently decent governments - governments such as France, England and other such governments. There are people from the press and the media among them: the likes of Taqizadeh. During the time of taghut, an individual like Taqizadeh said something like this: that Iran should become westernized from head to toe. He meant that the lifestyle in Iran should be westernized. Today too, new Taqizadehs make such statements. Of course, they do not say it with such naked clarity, but that is what they mean.
Those who keep injecting and promoting western thoughts, western lifestyle, western methods, and western nomenclature in our literature, our thought system, our universities and our schools are the new Taqizadehs. Those who stand behind the 2030 Education Agenda – the 2030 Education Agenda means turning the Islamic lifestyle into the western lifestyle – are today’s Taqizadehs. Of course, by Allah’s favor, our pious youth and our revolutionary people will not allow these Taqizadehs to establish their ideas.
You should pay attention to this point. I am saying this because some people misrepresent my statements. These comments do not at all mean breaking off our relations with western countries. It is alright to establish relations. During the term of different administrations and throughout all these years, I have always encouraged administrations to establish relations with different countries: with our neighboring countries, with Islamic countries, with different movements and orientations and with European countries, all in different ways. In the present time, I still believe this. It is alright to establish relations, but what is problematic is following and trusting others. What I am saying is that we should not trust them.
Many or at least some of our problems originate from trusting westerners. There is nothing wrong with establishing relations. You can establish relations, but you should know the other side. You should not confuse the path and take the wrong direction with their smiles, their deceit and their false statements. This is what I am saying. Otherwise, it is alright to be in contact. Of course, fortunately, our government officials have reached the conclusion today that one cannot take the same path as that of westerners. They have felt this. In the future, our behavior and conduct might differ as a result of this new knowledge, God willing.
Now that we have spoken about the west, I would like to add that there are two opposing orientations about the west, both of which are wrong: one orientation is based on unreasonable bias and prejudice and reluctance to see western positives. Westerners launched a good movement in the area of science. They endeavored hard and they made progress with persistence. The same is true of technology and some behavioral traits. I have spoken about them at length in different speeches. These things should not be denied. We should learn every good thing wherever it is in the world.
I have mentioned frequently that we have no objections to being pupils. We will learn from anyone who knows more than us and this is alright with us. However, we should not be pupils forever. Therefore, having a reactionary attitude towards the west and having an unreasonable bias against the west which makes us reject whatever comes from that region – no matter what it is – is renounced by us.
The opposite point to this is “westoxication”. Westoxication is a grave danger. In the heart of the westoxicated Pahlavi regime, an intellectual who was deep-rooted in religious matters – the late Jalal Al-e Ahmad who was the son of a clergy and who had deep religious connections: he used to be in contact with us and he would express his respect and love for Imam [Khomeini] during his exile – brought up the issue of westoxication. Today, the issue of westoxication is an important issue. We should not forget it. Therefore, both prejudice and bias on the one hand and westoxication on the other hand are wrong. As I said, the west cannot be trusted. We should keep in contact, but we should not rely on them. We should benefit from their science and their positive aspects, but we should not trust them in any way. This is what I wanted to say in this regard. This was the second matter.
Now, let us move to the matter of the economy. Now that we cannot trust the west, what should we do for the economy of the country? The issue of the economy of the country is an important issue. This is what I want to say in this regard: for the blossoming of the country’s economy, we need an endeavor which is both jihadi and scientific. The issues related to the economy of the country will not be resolved with laziness, with lack of energy and with lack of motivation. A jihadi endeavor should be made. Jihadi management should dominate the economic affairs of the country and decision-making. We should make a jihadi endeavor.
Jihadi endeavor means an endeavor accompanied by effort, tirelessness and purity. In other words, we should clearly see that such individuals do not work for the sake of filling their own pockets and that they work for the people and for God.
An endeavor should be like this as well as being scientific. They should sit and find the correct ways with scientific and precise methods. They should be knowledgeable and competent and they should have different resources at their disposal. Such individuals should sit and work. If this happens, the economy of the country will definitely be in full blossom.
I am not an economist, but I study and I ask for their viewpoints. I listen to their viewpoints carefully. Our experts believe that the capacities of the country for developing the economy are very rich and complete capacities. We have no shortcomings. Our human resource capacity is very good, our natural capacities are very good and our geographical capacity is also very good. In the statement on the ‘Second Phase of the Revolution’, I explained some of these capacities. So capacities exist and furthermore, there is money in the country.
Also there is constant complaints about cash liquidity. Of course, this is correct. If liquidity does not receive attention, it will deliver a blow. However, if it is managed efficiently and if it is guided towards investment, it will help the country blossom and it will develop the economy. Therefore, there is an abundance of capacities in the country.
Some executive organizations have performed well. Some people think that no tasks have been carried out. This is not the case. Some executive organizations have performed well in different areas including in the area of agriculture, water, soil and areas related to developing underprivileged regions and infrastructural tasks. Of course, in some areas too, this is not the case. There is lack of energy and negligence in some areas. Sometimes, tasks are carried out with delay.
In a letter which I think was written to me in the year 1393 or 1394, a high-ranking official said that they were preparing a bill related to reforming banking transactions and the banking system in general – one of our economic problems is the problem related to the banking system – and he said that the bill would be examined by the Majlis a few months later. However, they have reported to me that after the passage of four years, that bill has not yet been delivered to the Majlis. Well, this is a long delay and holdup!
The units that have performed well should be rewarded and encouraged and the units that have delayed work should be warned. I myself have issued warnings in this regard. I say these things in public and among the people only when I have already discussed them in private with the gentlemen themselves. These issues should become an inseparable part of public opinion and they should turn into a public demand.
Production should be supported. We named this year, “The Year of Boosting Production”. This year should be the year of boosting production. Last year, when I brought up the issue of supporting Iranian products, a good movement was launched. The people and some producers gave it a good reception. I have been informed that when the people – the majority of the people - go to different stores, they ask for Iranian goods and products. When the salespeople bring their foreign counterparts, they do not accept it. This means progress. However, I cannot claim that the slogan was completely acted on. The reports do not confirm this. Therefore, the slogan of supporting Iranian products continues to be equally important, but the main and the most important issue is to boost production.
If production is boosted, then there will be a huge transformation in different areas. If production is boosted, it influences employment and inflation, it affects the balance of the budget and it helps increase the value of the national currency. Notice that all these are our important economic problems. Experts and those who are well-informed about economic matters confirm that if production is boosted in the country, there will certainly be such advantages and results. This should be accomplished and it should be included in the agenda: both in the agenda of the administration and the Majlis, and in the agenda of those who have the capability to enter the arena of production.
We know certain individuals who had money and resources, who could have put the money in the bank to benefit from the interest without any trouble for many years, but they did not do so. Instead, they invested it into production, saying that they want to help the country move forward. Such people will be rewarded by God! The people who act like this will be rewarded by Allah the Exalted.
Producers, investors and economic activists – honest and sincere economic activists – should be assisted. Those who generate wealth for the country should be assisted. There should be an endeavor to improve the business environment. This should be done with necessary laws, methods and procedures.
Another condition is that we should be wary of those who take advantage of the situation. Some individuals took advantage of the situation and they continue to do so. Opportunists exist and there are different types of them. Just as Iranian creativity and the Iranian innovative mind can be utilized in good ways, it can also do mischief from time to time. One witnesses mind-boggling methods for taking advantage and we see it in the reports. Well, officials should be careful. The executive branch, the judiciary branch and other supervisory organizations should watch over the matter.
I discussed the matter with the honorable President. He said in one of his public speeches that they want to sell such and such a factory. I said to him that they should be careful because some people buy the factory from you not with the purpose of continuing the work and boosting production, rather they buy it in order to sell the machinery, fire the workers and turn the land into a skyscraper! One should be wary of such individuals. One should be wary of such opportunists.
Some people establish banks by benefiting from the law for establishing banks – one of the wrong measures adopted in the country was to allow people to create banks one after another – and then, they collect the people’s money, set up fake companies, give the people’s money to their own companies as debt, loans and banking facilities and thus fill their own pockets. They do such things. We should be careful of such people and we should not ignore them.
If they are prevented from doing these things and if we support honest entrepreneurs instead and boost production, then the problem of unemployment will be solved on the basis of what experts say. The problem of inflation, poverty among underprivileged classes, the banking system and the value of national money and even the issue of the administration’s budget deficit will be resolved through a boost in production. These problems can be solved this way. Therefore, the issue is an important one.
And when I speak about production, I do not only mean industrial production. Industrial and agricultural production, stockbreeding, developing large, medium-sized and small industries and even developing handicrafts, home-made products and animal husbandry – breeding livestock in villages – will greatly help the expansion of public welfare in societies. They should plan for such tasks. Of course, knowledge-based companies play a big part in this regard. They should receive due attention.
Unnecessary imports should be prevented. One of the important areas and articles of the economy of resistance – which I brought up and which is being discussed at length and clarified by others including the officials in the government and other individuals – is the issue of domestic production. And the condition for boosting domestic production is curbing unnecessary imports. They have reported to me that they are doing such and such things for the economy of resistance and that they have prepared such and such plans. Very well, surely these reports are compatible with reality. In other words, they have really done these things, however they have not showed themselves in reality.
The reason is the existence of imports. One witnesses that the market is full of imports. This will lead to the failure of domestic production! They import those goods which are produced inside the country. This will cause domestic production to fail. Officials should prevent this. These are important matters. If this happens, the economy of resistance will be implemented in the true sense of the word.
To sum up, I stress that government organizations should focus on boosting production this year. If there is a need for certain laws, they should ask the Majlis to take action. If there is a need for the presence of the judiciary branch and other supervisory organizations, they should ask them to take action and to cooperate – they gather in the meeting that I mentioned: the meeting between the heads of the three branches of government. Production should be boosted no matter what! This was the third issue.
My last point today is addressed to the youth. It is actually addressed to all the people, but particularly to the youth. First of all, I want to mention that the response to my statement on the Second Phase of the Revolution – the statement on the occasion of the 40th year of the Revolution – given by people from different social backgrounds including academics, the masses of youth, students, seminarians, the clergy and others was a very appropriate and gladdening response. This shows that there is a need for elucidation and that the level of preparedness throughout the country, particularly among youth, is good. The officials of the country should make the most of this preparedness. What I want to say to youth is that they should shoulder both small and big responsibilities. This is the cure to the problems of the country. In the second phase of the Revolution, we should place the country’s progress on the shoulders of the youth.
In the first phase of the Revolution, it was Imam who guided the people, but it was the youth who launched the movement and who turned on the engine of progress. It was they who launched the movement. Today, your efforts are focused on ensuring the independence and dignity of the country. It is you who are paying the price for it today. The price that the Iranian nation and our youth are paying is with the purpose of achieving complete independence – in different areas – national dignity and the dignity of the Islamic community.
Future generations will benefit from your achievements. In the past too, youth accepted to pay the price for fighting against the taghuti regime by going to prison and being beaten until the Revolution thankfully achieved victory and the taghuti regime was destroyed. Or during the imposed war, families paid the price for defending the country and so today, you are living your life with complete security. Today too, you should pay the price for standing up against the enemy so that future generations will benefit from your achievements.
The main point that I want to raise is that what should happen in the second phase of the Revolution is primarily gaining an understanding about our assets and taking them seriously. We should know what assets we have and we should take them seriously. We should know our advantages and capacities and those of the country and we should be serious about them. We should utilize them and benefit from them. The country has extensive capacities. Secondly, we should identify diseases and pests. We should identify the ways that the enemies use to penetrate and we should stand up against them in a serious manner.
Today, the second phase of the Revolution is this: identifying capacities and assets and benefiting from them. Similarly, we should identify maladies, rifts, shortcomings and setbacks and we should roll up our sleeves to solve them.
You should know that the west and the US have reached the conclusion that if the Iranian nation wills something, it will definitely achieve it! They have reached the conclusion that they cannot fight against the national willpower of the people of Iran. If they will something, then creating obstacles and mischief will be of no avail. So, what should they do? They have reached the conclusion that they should do something so that the Iranian nation no longer wills anything, to do something to weaken its willpower. They are thinking of this.
Today, billions of dollars are being spent in the world in order to create a rift in the political and religious beliefs of our youth with the purpose of destroying its determination to move and to rise. They want to destroy our willpower. They want to prevent you from making a decision. Their effort is focused on preventing the willpower of the Iranian nation from being shaped in the direction of progress, confrontation and the establishment of an Islamic society and an Islamic civilization. They know that if this willpower is solidified, it will certainly achieve its goals.
Of course, they did so in the past – many years ago – as well. During the time of the taghuti regime, they used to promote the idea among the youth of the country that if you want to achieve civilization and progress, you should put aside religion. They would say that religion, piety and religious faith is not compatible with science, progress and the like. Today, they should open their blind eyes and see that our best, our greatest and our most advanced industries – we are at the top of the list in these industries and competing with top-tier countries in the world – are being developed by youth who read Dua Kumayl, who say night prayers, who engage in itikaf, who are interested in Dua Nudbah and who are very pious! We are top of the table in advanced industries in today’s world: in nanotechnology, in nuclear technology, in missile-related technologies, in biotechnology and other advanced technologies in the world. We are on the frontline of such technologies.
The main people who do these tasks are pious youth whom I know up close. Youth should increase their efforts in the arena of science, intellectuality, politics and hard work. They should not attend to trivial and unimportant matters. They should not attend to matters which lead to discord. They should pursue unity, focused work and pious and jihadi actions. They should highlight our borders with the enemy in the areas which were discussed today. They should not create borders with insiders and with domestic forces because of slight differences of opinion.
As Imam said, they should let out all their cries on the enemies and on America! The administration, the Majlis, the judiciary branch and others should help youth as much as they can in order to achieve this progress. And I will tell you – as I have told you many times – that by Allah’s favor and grace, the future of the country will be very much better than our present-day condition!
Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make what we said and what we do serve You and Your cause and accept it from all of us
Make us the real soldiers of Islam and true mujahids on the path of the truth.
Send our greetings to the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). Help us benefit from the prayers of that noble personality.
Associate the pure souls of the martyrs and the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam, with their saints
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 21, 2019 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a large gathering of pilgrims at the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (as) in the city of Mashhad. The meeting was held on the first day of the year 1398.