The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with the participants in the 6th General Assembly of the Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly and the 8th summit of the General Assembly of the Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
الحمدللَّه ربّ العالمین و الصّلاة و السّلام علی سیّدنا و نبیّنا ابی القاسم المصطفی محمّد و علی آله الاطیبین الاطهرین المنتجبین سیّما بقیّة الله فی الارضین.

I welcome you respectable attendees; dear brethren and sisters; both brethren and sisters from the Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly (PBUH) who are present here, and those brethren and sisters who are related to the Islamic Radio and Television Union, and the esteemed families of martyrs who are present here; I ask the Almighty God to help you take advantage of its blessings.
I am willing to mention a few points about the Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly and the Islamic Radio and Television Union. But as for the Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly, the importance of this assembly is because of its attribution to the Ahlul-Bayt [Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)’s progeny]; because the Almighty God has used a totally clear expression about the Prophet’s progeny in the Quran, which this expression has been rarely used about other groups in the Quran and that [expression] is this, “Allah really intends to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.” The factor introducing the Ahlul-Bayt is their purity and divine purification for them; well, this purification has many aspects. If a group attributes itself to the Ahlul-Bayt, they must abide by certain requirements – this is what I’m saying – there are requirements to which they must abide. The effort made by the [Shia] Imams (Peace Be upon Them) was focused on striving toward these few goals: firstly, to keep alive the true teachings of Islam, [and] the principles and fundaments of Islam; [their effort was aimed] to keep these [principles] alive. The [purpose of the] efforts made by tyrannical and despotic governments of the [Islamic] ummah has been to either obliterate the Islamic teachings or to alter them, change them, [and] distort them. One of the most important moves taken by the [Shia] Imams (Peace Be upon Them) has been to resist against this [effort]; [and] to preserve the Islamic teachings, [and] to revive the Islamic teachings.
Another measure taken by the Imams (Peace Be upon Them) was to execute the divine commands. [They] endeavored to execute the divine commands, both at a time that they had control of the government, and at the time when they were away from the government and the power. Their effort was focused on realizing the divine commands in the society. Another step taken by the Imams (Peace Be upon Them) was to struggle on the path of God, which you read in the prayer special to their pilgrimage that: “I testify that you have struggled on the path of God in a way that was deserving;” that is, they spared no effort in their struggle on the path of God; they struggled on the path of God with all their existence, with all their power, [and] with all their capacity.
An important part of this struggle [on the path of God], which is a separate chapter per se, has been the struggle against the oppression and the struggle against the oppressor. The life of the Imams (Peace Be upon Them), from beginning to the end, is [summarized in] the struggle against the oppressors, [and] the struggle against the oppression. The reason for those pressures and poisonings and martyrdoms and the likes of these has been this very issue; because they struggled against the oppression and oppressor. This is the life of the Imams (Peace Be upon Them). Now we, who want to be the followers of the Ahlul-Bayt, must observe these things. We must propagate the Islamic teachings; [we] must consider the execution of the divine commands as one of our own goals; [we] must struggle on the path of God with all our existence; [we] must fight against the oppression, fight against the oppressor, [and continue to] struggle; this is a duty for us. Well, struggle [on the path of God] is not limited to military conflict; struggle [on the path of God] encompasses all kinds of struggles from cultural struggles to political struggles to economic struggles; these are all included under the general title of struggle. [Our] mind should not be simply directed toward military conflict; sometimes it is possible for a military conflict to break out in some place, but not all of it is struggle [on the path of God].
In my opinion, today, the [best] example of struggle [on the path of God] which is before us Muslims, us the followers of the Ahlul-Bayt, is to fight against the plots of the arrogance in the Islamic region; this is the biggest struggle today. The arrogance’s plots must be fought against. These plots should be first recognized; first of all, the enemy’s true intentions should be understood, [to] know what it is going to do; then we must sit down and make plans and fight against the enemy’s goals. [And this] is not only limited to the state of defense and passivity. Struggle includes both defense and offense. Sometimes it is necessary for one to maintain defensive positions, [and] sometimes it is necessary to take offensive positions; in both states, the goal is to fight against the plots of the arrogance, which is the basic and main enemy in this region and across the Islamic region, especially in this region, which is West Asia. This region that Europeans insist to call the Middle East, that is, they compare [the position of] the orient [and] the east to that of Europe. One place is the Far East, one place is the Middle East, and one place is the Near East; just [see] the arrogance of Europeans! From the beginning, this place has become known as “the Middle East;” the Middle East is a wrong name; here is West Asia. Asia is a big continent, [an] we are located in West Asia. This region is a very sensitive region; this is a region [which is] important in strategic terms, important in military terms, important in terms of underground reserves, [and] important in terms of connecting three continents – of Asia and Europe and Africa -; this is an important region. They have plans for this region, have schemes; we must see what these schemes are and counter them; this is [the true meaning of] struggle [on the path of God]. The Quran tells us, “And struggle for Allah in a way that is deserved [to struggle for Him].” today, this is the struggle for Allah.
Plotting against the Islamic world and this particular region is nothing new; since many years ago – since one hundred years ago, from the time of the World War I onward – this region has been subject to tremendous pressures of the arrogant powers; now, one day it was Britain, one day America, [and] one day in a [different] period [it was] France; the arrogant powers have been busy here for one hundred years or more. However, these pressures and these plans and these plots intensified since the time of the victory of the Islamic Revolution; because the incident of the victory of Islam in an important country, a great country, [and] a sensitive country like Iran flummoxed the arrogance. At first and for some time, they had been stripped of their power of analysis – I followed up on the issues and saw this – they were flummoxed at first. When they pulled themselves together later, they started [to exert] pressures. The Islamic Republic of Iran was the center of the pressure. Their purpose in the first place was to prevent repetition of this experience in other countries; they pursued this [goal]. Therefore, they decided to mount pressures on Iran; now we have gotten used to the enemy’s pressures for 35 years; the Iranian nation has gotten used to pressures: threat, sanctions, security pressure, [and] various political plots; we have been faced with all kinds of pressures for 35 years – this [pertains to] the period [following] victory of the revolution in Iran; however, after the [breakout] of the Islamic Awakening movement, which started four [or] five years ago in North Africa – Egypt and Tunisia and some other places – this intensity of action was doubled on the part of enemies; that is, in the real sense of the word, the enemy was confused, was perplexed, [they] did take many measures and [those measures] have continued up to now. Of course, they think that they have suppressed the Islamic Awakening movement, [but] my opinion is that the Islamic Awakening movement cannot be suppressed. It is true that they have taken steps, but this movement still exists; now, a little sooner or a little later, it will find its [rightful] position. At any rate, they have intensified their efforts in the past few years; have taken many steps, and have entered new factors into equations.
Let me say this first: the enemy that I talk about is not an illusionary and imaginary creature. What I mean by the enemy is the arrogance system; that is, the arrogant powers; powers whose very survival depends on dominating others, interfering in others’ affairs, [and] taking control of financial and vital resources of others; these are arrogance; or in other words, the leaders of the hegemonic system. We have a title in our political literature and it is the hegemonic system, which means dividing the world into the dominant and the dominated; this is the hegemonic system. Those people who are leaders of the hegemonic system, they are the enemy. If we wanted to bring an external example for it, it would be the regime of the United States of America. The regime of the United States of America is complete manifestation of the hegemonic system. Of course, there are some others, however, the most objective, the clearest and the most obvious of all is the regime of the United States of America, which has no share of human ethics, [and] when committing crime – all kinds of crime – it knows no bridle and hides. They conceal this crime and this pressure and this violence very easily under a smile, under [the guise of] conventional terms, [as well as] good and beautiful words. This [US regime] is the manifestation of that [hegemonic system]. Therefore, the enemy that I say is this.
The enemy’s plot in this region is mostly based on two pillars – of course, it has many ramifications, but these two are more important – one is sowing discord, [and] the second [one] is infiltration. This is the basis of the enemy’s plot in this region: to create discord; discord among governments and then discord among nations, which more dangerous than discord among governments is discord among nations; this means to make nations suspicious of one another and create bias [among them]; under various names; now, sometimes it was the issue of pan-Iranism and pan-Arabism and pan-Turkism and such things, [and] another day is the issue of Sunni and Shia and Takfiri and the likes of these; [therefore,] they create discord under any excuse. This is just one instance of their plots on which they are diligently working.
Of course, the Britons specialized in this regard; they are specialists in creating religious difference and Americans have learned from them and today are working wholeheartedly [to this effect]. These Takfiri groups that you see are all made by these [countries]. Of course, I said this a few years ago, [and] some people had doubt [about this, but] today Americans themselves are owning up to it; are admitting that they have created ISIS; they admit that they have also created that Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Nusra Front], [and] they have created the Takfiris; they made them and a bunch of naïve Muslims, though honest, were deceived by them; this is [the] important [point]. The point that is a big lesson for us and we must pay attention to it is that sometimes a person with an honest intention works inside the enemy’s plot due to lack of insight; this has happened. A clear example of this is the case of Syria. When in Tunisia, [and] in Egypt, despotic governments were toppled with Islamic slogans, Americans and Israeli agents immediately decided to take advantage of this formula to annihilate the resistance governments and the resistance countries. [Therefore] they went for Syria [and] a bunch of naïve Muslims lacking insight fell for their plot [and] took the situation of Syria to the point that you observe for four [or] five years a country has been plagued with such a turbulence and it is not clear when it is going to end; this was what the enemy did and the naïve Muslim fell for the enemy’s plot and filled in the enemy’s puzzle. This happens in many cases. They created the Takfiri groups, they created the insolent, killer, and tyrant groups and threw them at the Islamic ummah and try to make this look like a religious war. I tell you that these differences that you see today in Iraq and in Syria and in other places where effort is made to show them as religious conflicts, are by no means a religious conflict, [but] are political conflicts. The war in Yemen is a political war, not a religious war; they lie that it is the issue of Shia and Sunni while it has nothing to do with Shia and Sunni. Some of those people who are losing child and woman and infant and hospital and school under Saudi bombardments in Yemen are Shafi’i [Sunnis]; some of them are Zaidis; it is not the issue of Shia and Sunni; the conflict is a political conflict, [and] is the conflict of policies.
Today, such a situation has been created by them in the region; they have sown discord; [every] effort should be made to do away with these differences. I have clearly and openly told everybody [that]: we extend the hand of friendship toward all Muslim governments in the region; we have no problem with Muslim states. Of course, our relations with many of the neighbors, in fact, most of our neighbors, are cordial and brotherly relations; in north, in south, in west and in east, countries that are around the Islamic Republic of Iran, have good relations with us. Of course, some [countries] have more or less differences [with us], show obstinacy and do mischief – of course, this [situation] exists – but on our side, our goal is [to have] good relations with [our] neighbors; [with] governments and especially [with] nations. Relations between our country and nations are good relations.
Of course our conviction is to remain committed to principles and fundaments. We say that principles must be preserved. It was due to commitment to principles that our venerable Imam (Khomeini) could drive the Islamic (Revolution) to victory and preserve the revolution and stabilize the Islamic Republic; [he] was committed to principles. One of the principles is “… [the faithful] are strong against unbelievers, and  compassionate towards one another.” We have no plan to reconcile with enemies, [or] with the arrogance, and have no plans to be enemy and hostile to [our] Muslim brethren; we are bent on friendship and cordiality and fraternity; because we believe that we must be strong against unbelievers, and compassionate toward one another; this is the lesson of our venerable Imam [who taught this to us]; this is unwavering line of the Islamic Republic. When supporting the oppressed, we don’t look at the religious orientation of the opposite side; and we have not [done this]; this was the line of the venerable Imam. The way that Imam treated the Shia resistance in Lebanon, he treated the Sunni resistance in Palestine in the same way, without any difference. We provided the same support, which we accorded to our brethren in Lebanon, to our brethren in Gaza [Strip]; without any difference. They were Sunnis, these are Shias. The [main] issue for us is to defend the Islamic identity, to support the oppressed, [and] the issue of Palestine; today at the top of the regional issues of Muslims is the issue of Palestine; this is the main issue for us. The same [principle] holds water for our hostilities; the venerable Imam fought against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was a Shia outwardly; [and] in the same manner, he fought against Saddam Hussein who was a Sunni outwardly. Of course, neither he was a [true] Shia, nor this [one] was a [true] Sunni. Both of them were strangers to Islam, but outwardly this was a Sunni, [and] outwardly he was a Shia. Imam fought both of them in the same way. The issue is not the issue of Sunni and Shia and religion and the likes of these; the issue is the issue of the principles of Islam: “Be an enemy to the oppressor and help the oppressed.” This is Islam’s command. This is our path; [and] this is our line.
Intensification of differences in the world of Islam is forbidden. We are opposed to actions that are taken by some Shia groups, which cause discord. We have explicitly said that we are against any insult to sanctities of Sunnis. A group from this side, [and] a group from that side fan the flames of hostilities and intensify them; the intensions of many of them are good intentions, but they lack insight. Insight is necessary; we must see what the enemy’s plan is. The enemy’s plan in the first place is to cause discord.
The second plan of the enemy is infiltration; they want to make such inroads into Islamic countries and into countries in this region that [its effect] would continue for tens of years to come. Today, America does not have its past credibility in this region; they want to rebuild this. In our country, they are following the same goal; this is also what they intend to do in Iran. In line with their illusions, in the course of nuclear negotiations – this agreement whose fate is neither determined here, nor in America; neither here is clear that it would be rejected or accepted, nor it is clear if it would be rejected or accepted there – their intention was to use these negotiations and this agreement as a means for infiltration into the country. We closed this way and will continue to close this way categorically; [we] would neither allow the economic infiltration of Americans in our country, nor their political infiltration, nor their political presence, or their cultural infiltration; with all our power – which, thank God, this power is a high power today – we will counter [this]; we won’t allow this [to happen].
It is the same in the region; they also want to infiltrate into the region; they want to pave the way for their presence and pursue their own goals in the region. But through the divine assistance and power, we will not allow this to happen as far as we can. Our policies in the region are the opposite of America’s policies. The territorial integrity of regional countries is very important to us; territorial integrity of Iraq and territorial integrity of Syria is quite important to us; they [Americans] seek disintegration [of these countries]. I had previously said that Americans seek to disintegrate Iraq, [but] some people were surprised. Recently, Americans themselves clearly noted that they seek disintegration of Iraq! They want to divide Iraq; [and] if they could, they want to divide Syria [as well]; they want to create small and obedient countries; [but] through the divine assistance and power, this will not happen. We defend the resistance in the region; we defend the Palestinian resistance – which one of the most prominent chapters in the history of the Islamic Ummah during these years has been the Palestinian resistance. Anybody who fights against Israel and pounds the Zionist regime and supports the resistance, we support them; [we will provide them with] all kinds of support that will be possible for us; we will provide all kinds of support that will be possible for us to anybody who fights against the Zionist regime. We support the resistance, we support the territorial integrity of [all regional] countries; we support all those who resist against the divisive policies of America; [and] we are opposed and against all those who cause this division.
We do not accept a Shiism whose center and propaganda base is in London; this is not the Shiism that [Shia] Imams (Peace Be upon Them) propagated and wanted. A Shiism, which is based on creating division, [and is] based on paving the road for the presence of the enemies of Islam, this Shiism is not [true] Shiism; this is deviation [from true Shiism]. Shiism is complete manifestation of pure Islam, [and] is manifestation of the Quran. We support those people who help unity [among Muslims and] are opposed to those people who act against unity, [and] we support all the oppressed. We will not quit the arena due to allegations that say “you interfered in the issue of Bahrain and the likes of that;” we have not interfered in any way, but we support them. We feel sad about the [situation of] oppressed people of Bahrain, [and] we feel sad about the people of Yemen, pray for them, [and] will help them in any way we can. Today, the people of Yemen and the Yemeni nation are really oppressed; they [the enemies] are ruining a country because of their arrogant and political goals, [and are doing this] in a foolish way. Political goals can be also pursued in another way, [but] these [countries] are pursuing these political goals in a foolish way. For us, the developments in Yemen are painful and [the same is true about] many incidents [that take place] in the Islamic world; in Pakistan and Afghanistan and other places, there are also many incidents [taking place] which are really painful. The Islamic world must find a remedy for these [incidents] through vigilance and insight.
As for the [Islamic] Radio [and] Television Union, I must say that this union is very important. This work that you have started – establishment of this union – is a very important work. Look! Today in Muslim countries, at least seventy percent or eighty percent of people are committed to religious fundaments and Islamic ideas; you look at the Islamic countries; people are committed; people accept their religion. [Now look at] these radio [and] televisions that must represent the demand of people, to what extent they show commitment to religion in Islamic countries? This distance is amazing; this gap is amazing. Seventy percent of people, [or] eighty percent of people have religious tendencies, then in the same countries, radios and televisions do not move in line with religion and do not reflect what people demand; this is very [strange]; they reflect the same thing that is wanted by the dangerous media empire of the arrogance.
Today, the [global] arrogance has created a huge media empire; in line with their whims [they] distort the news, hide them, express lies, influence [other countries’] policies in this way; [and] then they continue to say that we [are impartial]! This British radio claims that ‘we are impartial’; they are lying, what impartiality? They are moving right within the framework of arrogant and colonialistic policies, both American policies, and British policies; both audio media, and print media, and news agencies, and strange communication media that have come into being today, all of them are serving their policies; are serving the arrogance, are serving Zionism, [and] are serving their goals. Something must be done to counter this dangerous empire and this huge media mafia which is today controlled by American and Zionist capitalists and companies. This work that you are doing, is just the beginning of a movement; this movement must be followed up, must be strengthened, [and] must be intensified day by day, [and you must] add to your partners and your allies. 
And God willing, a bright future is ahead. Let me tell you that despite all ranting by the arrogance and the strenuous effort – from financial and military and political and security viewpoints – that the arrogance and the allies of the arrogance and the proxies of the arrogance are making, in this region and across the Islamic world, the future undoubtedly belongs to Islam; day by day, God willing, the dignity of Islam will increase, [and] the power of Islam will increase. Of course struggle [on the path of God] must be made and struggling humans, struggling men and women, [and] struggling youths are, thank God, numerous across the Islamic world. We must appreciate them, and must orient our slogans, our moves, our words, [and] our activities in this direction and certainly, the Almighty God will help [us]. “If you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and plant your feet firmly.”

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings.