A group of academic elites and top scientific talents met with the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution—Ayatollah Khamenei— at the Hussayniyeh of Imam Khomeini on October 9, 2019.
In this meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei urged Iranian academics and officials to accelerate the pace of scientific growth of the country, while praising the current developments, His Eminence asserted: We are among the top countries of the world in some nascent disciplines, but that does not convince us, and it is not enough. The scientific movement in the world is fast-paced, and we have important backwardness since the past. Now, of course, [ in Iran] both science and the commercialization and industrialization cycle of science have advanced.
Referring to a visit to the Exhibition of Iranian Knowledge-based enterprises, the Leader maintained: Yesterday there was an exhibition here; I witnessed the enthusiasm, confidence and self-esteem. Out of the several thousand knowledge enterprises, there were only 30 companies present. We have 4000 knowledge-based enterprises now; that should reach 400,000. Of course, the legal infrastructure of these companies must be provided first; and the barriers should be removed.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that science without ethics is hazardous to mankind and held: Science will deviate if it departs from an upright culture. Nuclear science, as it was not coupled with a culture of humanity, led to the development of nuclear bombs and to this day it poses a threat to the world.
The Supreme Leader elaborated on Iran’s willful refraining from the development of nuclear weapons and asserted: We decisively and bravely refrained from it even though we had the ability. Both making and stockpiling atomic bombs are wrongful because using them is forbidden based on religion (haram).
Ayatollah Khamenei went on to say: Science can be dangerous if it does not go along with an upright mindset and culture. That is why we believe that academic elites must seriously pursue "religion" and "national values".
His Eminence further called for the application of Iranian national and religious values by adding that: We should live and think within the framework of our Iranian values, and follow the Iranian Islamic model of progress in science, too.
The Leader encouraged independence while learning from those advanced in science and said: We seek science and we are willing to be learners [to learn from others around the world], but we do not want our universities to merely replicate the model of foreign institutions like a certain American university. In imitation of the culture of the world's top universities, if we only copy them, the scientific renaissance would be lost.
Ayatollah Khamenei called the art of the Islamic Revolution as granting courage to men and women, the young and the elderly to enter challenging realms, including engaging in scientific fields and stated: Using the scientific capacity in various sectors of the country has led to "enhancing defense capability", "advanced medical treatment and disease control", "technical and engineering fields", "biotechnology and the production of durable products with nanotechnology" and "peaceful nuclear technology".
The Supreme Leader regarded the gathering of the "great cultural Iranian academic elites" - the elites of the vast territory of the Iranian culture in previous centuries - an example of the high potential of the elite community, and added: Connecting and gathering elites in the West Asian region, the Muslim world, the Axis of Resistance, and even bringing together the truth-seeking intellectual in all countries, including the U.S. and Europe, can lead to some kind of institutionalization that promotes "pure and ethical knowledge" and "upright thinking."
Ayatollah Khamenei criticized the reluctance in offering the third path that rose from the Islamic Revolution to the world and held: Our path is neither socialism nor liberal democracy. By the grace of Islam, we have offered a third way to nations, and we should, by rational words and good action, increasingly attract hearts to this beneficial way for humanity and save nations from the increasing influence of decadent Western culture.
Ayatollah Khamenei described the results of "comparing the scientific advances of universities in the last forty years with the pre-revolutionary era" as astonishing and added: This great move is, of course, at the beginning of its path, but it will reach the climax, by God’s grace and thanks to the efforts of the elites and youth. This is the perspective that should be adopted by young Iranians.
Finally the Leader of the Islamic Revolution described trust in God, piety and spirituality a true and growing hope, and advised the young academic elites: Purify your hearts as much as you can, and always keep in mind the Almighty God, in your words and actions, then you will feel God's help and assistance in your continuous progress.