The Office of the Supreme Leader

Leader’s Remarks in Meeting with People of East Azarbaijan Province

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

I welcome all of you, dear brethren and sisters, especially the honorable families of martyrs, esteemed clerics, respectable officials, [as well as] all dear people and youths, who have come this long way and have spread the fragrance of the faith and enthusiasm and motivation that is special to you in our Hosseiniyeh (religious gathering place). This greeting is, in fact, addressed to all people of [the city of] Tabriz and all people of Azarbaijan.

In fact, the day of Bahman 29 (on Persian calendar, corresponding to February 18) in every year is a sweet and pleasant day of us – I mean for this humble one – and [on this day] I revive up-close my memory of all that I have always seen and felt and known from the dear people of Azarbaijan and the people of Tabriz; that is, the same enthusiasm and motivation and faith and vibrancy and vigilance. The big advantage of a group of people is that they would be informed, be vigilant, be steadfast, show innovation in their activity, know the [right] path, do not be afraid of the risks ahead and continue to march forward, and all these [characteristics] exist in you, the dear people of Azarbaijan and the people of Tabriz, and [these characteristics] have been seen [in you] and frequently experienced; I thank God [for this]. Indeed, whenever I see this fervor and sentiment and these words and expressions that are telltale [signs] of profound and enthusiastic faith, I praise God, [and] thank God; [because] these are the sign of the divine assistance. Almighty God tells his Prophet (PBUH) in the Quran that “He is the One who supports you and those who believe with His assistance;” [He tells Prophet that] ‘God helped you with his [divine] assistance and through the resolve and determination and powerful hands of the faithful, and steadfast steps of the faithful; this is the role of the faithful. The role [played by all] of you, young people, you dear and highly motivated people, is such a great role that God expresses in the Quran.

The day of Bahman 29, is an unforgettable day; of course, the people of Azarbaijan and the people of Tabriz have many unforgettable days [in their history] and this [issue] is not special to the day of Bahman 29. In our contemporary history, in the history close to us and in the period of constitutionalism, [even] before constitutionalism, [and] after constitutionalism, there are days every one of which, if [properly] explained [and] described, will be a cause of honor for a nation; these [days] belong to you, belong to Azarbaijan and belong to Tabriz. Of course, we have not worked enough [on these days]; these huge popular movements must be expounded, retold, [and] repeated in various ways through art, explanation and publicity; [but] fairly speaking, we have been somehow lazy in these fields. However, Bahman 29 is so alive that despite all our laziness, it does not lose its luster, if not increasing it on a daily basis. The people of Tabriz made a move on the day of Bahman 29, whose role in the awakening of the Iranian nation and in the huge movement of the Iranian nation was an exceptional role.
Well, thank God, the people of Azarbaijan have not stopped; during long years – from the [Iranian calendar] year [13]56 (1977-78) up to the present day, which from that day up to now, 38 years, [or] 39 years have passed; during all this period – this people have been present in the frontline of jihad and struggle and steadfastness and activity; these are value; this is the same thing that this nation needs. This is the same thing on which the future of the country depends. This also exactly holds water for [the day of] Bahman 22 [which marks anniversary of the Islamic Revolution’s victory]; the Bahman 22 must become more lively, more brilliant and more prominent day after day [and] year after year; this is what our country needs.

 And I deem it necessary to thank from the bottom of my heart the great nation of Iran for the epic it created during this year’s Bahman 22 [demonstrations]. Those centers that estimate populations – [and their] estimates are close to reality – have reported to me that this year’s population, almost in all cities of the country, was remarkably more than last year’s; in your Tabriz, it was a high percentage point higher than last year; it was the same in some other cities [as well]; these [figures] are estimated by responsible and reference centers that report to me. This is very important, [and] this is very valuable. This shows that people have not made the slightest dent in their firm resolve; [and] that in a situation when the dominant world powers, [and] oppressor and arrogant powers, who are focused on the Islamic Iran, are making all their effort to make people forget the revolution, [and want to] either make [people] totally forget [about the revolution] or make it very weak and insignificant in the mind of people. This is the effort that is being diligently pursued by the world powers today and under such conditions, the Iranian nation is exactly acting the opposite of what they want and is holding this ceremony more vibrant than every [previous] year.
Well, the feast of the revolution may be blessed on you people and is, thank God, blessed; the feast of Bahman 22 was a public festivity across the country. Before the Bahman 22, I said that we have two eids [festive occasions] ahead of us: one is the eid of revolution, which was [marked] on Bahman 22, [and] another one is the eid of elections; elections are also a great eid for the country. I have said a lot about elections; not just these elections of next week, [but also] in all elections across the country, I have said what has been necessary in the course of time [and] will continue to say and will continue to discuss [this issue]. It will not make me tired and impatient to tell the truth and, God willing, I tell you people what is needed [for you to know].
The Islamic Revolution put an end to the era of the humiliation of the Iranian nation; the Iranian nation was humiliated by foreigners and [world] powers before [the Islamic Revolution]; it was scientifically humiliated, was politically humiliated; [and] was socially humiliated. What dominant powers and mostly America wanted during these last years [of Pahlavi regime, they] dictated it to leaders of the Pahlavi regime and they exactly acted upon it; before America, the British played this role in the country. The Islamic Revolution came [and] did away with this intolerable humiliation and gave dignity to the country and to the nation, gave independence [to the nation] and brought up its humanity. When a nation has a sense of identity, then its talents will thrive and this happened [about the Iranian nation]; talents thrived, [and] the country progressed. Today, the country is among the most dignified countries in the world; [and] the Iranian nation is among the most honorable nations in the world [even] in the eyes of its enemies, let alone its friends; this is not tolerable for our enemies. This is intolerable for America, which one day here was like its backyard, and for the Zionist regime, which once here was its resting place and they [Zionists] came here to rest; for enemies of the Iranian nation, [the fact] that a nation would outspokenly stand and express its firm views against the [world] arrogance without any consideration, and inspire courage in other nations, is not tolerable; therefore, they do all they can. [But] till when this enemy’s effort will continue? Until you, the Iranian nation, gain so much power that you would be able to disappoint them; the entire enemy’s effort is aimed at preventing you from reaching this stage. All the disputes that you saw they launched over the nuclear issue, all what they say about human rights, [all] threats they make, [and] sanctions that they imposed and again threaten [us] that [they] will impose [new] sanctions, are aimed at decelerating this nation in this path on which it is moving with high velocity, and to stop it; of course, the motivation of the Iranian nation is such a motivation that will not wane [and] will not lose steam with such things.
Well, the issue of elections is ahead of us; the things that I see, [and] the things that I feel, I have to discuss with our dear nation. [There are] some things that I must discuss with esteemed officials and I do [discuss them]. [However,] some remarks must be taken into consideration by the public opinion of our nation, and I have the duty to say them to our nation: the enemy is looking to keep our public opinion ignorant of its goals and its ominous intentions; [therefore] they work out plans, devise separate parts in different places in order to connect those parts together, [so that] their main plan and conspiracy would be realized; we must not allow [this to happen]. Who must not allow it? The nation. The country is yours, the country belongs to the nation, [and] our dear nation owns the country; it must not allow [enemies to carry out their plots]. However, the likes of this humble one are duty-bound to inform the dear nation. I see that with regard to elections, enemies are making effort; they want elections to be held in the way they want. Of course, their ultimate desire was for elections not to be held [at all]; a few years earlier in a [certain] period [of time], they even made an effort in [the vain] hope that they would be able to do something to prevent elections from being held; Almighty God did not allow [that plot be realized]; [therefore,] they have no hope in it [anymore] and know that their effort to stop elections in the country will get nowhere; this is why they want to sway influence over elections and scuttle elections in any way they can; people must be aware and act just the opposite of what they [enemies] want.

One of the measures that they diligently pursue today is to defamne the Guardian Council; look dear brethren and sisters! Defamining the Guardian Council has [its own special] meaning. Since the outset of the revolution, Americans were strongly opposed to some basic points in the country and in the establishment of the Islamic Republic one of which was the Guardian Council. They tried [and] made efforts and took advantage of some domestic figures, who were ignorant and inattentive, so as to be able to dismantle the Guardian Council – of course, they could not and [still] cannot [do this] – [and] are now determined to cast doubts on decisions made by the Guardian Council. What does this measure mean? Our dear youths must pay good attention to this; when decisions of the Guardian Council are questioned and there are claims that these [decisions] are illegal, what does it mean? It means that elections, which are forthcoming, are illegal [as well]; when elections are illegal, [and] are against the law, what would be the result? Its result would be that a Majlis (parliament), which is formed on the basis of these elections, is [also] illegal; the meaning of Majlis being illegal is that during four years [of its term] any law, which passes through this Majlis would lack credit and would be discredited; this means holding the country in a void of Majlis and a void of law for four years; defaming the Guardian Council means this and this is what the enemy wants. Of course, those people who are in unison with the enemy inside [the country] most of them do not know what they are doing. I do not accuse anybody of treason; they are not aware, [and] do not pay attention, but this is the truth of this issue. Defaming the Guardian Council, [the fact] that we cast doubt on the Guardian Council and say that its decisions have been against the law, is not [just] defaming the Guardian Council, [but] it is [actually] defaming elections, defaming Majlis, [and] defaming four years of legislation in Majlis; [enemies] are pursuing this [goal]. Just see how cunning they make their plan. I must say this to the public opinion; the public opinion must know this; that person who talks against the Guardian Council, does not understand and does not pay attention to what he is doing, but this is the work. The enemy’s effort is focused on depriving the Islamic Republic of religious democracy – this unique phenomenon, this novel phenomenon, [and] this attractive phenomenon for Muslim nations – [and] this is [the main goal of] their effort. If they had been able, they would have stopped elections, which they could not and will not be able to do; if they could, they would have done away with the Guardian Council or rendered its supervision ineffective, which they could not. Now that they have not been able [to do this], [they] have resorted to these methods, [and] are making recourse to these methods; [therefore,] we must be vigilant.

Majlis is very important; [and] the Islamic Consultative Assembly is a very important position. Why? Because Majlis lays tracks for administration’s movement. Assume administrations as a train, which must move over a rail track; this rail is laid by the Islamic Consultative Assembly through its laws. Of course, administration and Majlis cooperate in passing law; administration submits bills, [and] Majlis modifies that bill, corrects it, [and then] approves it. This rail is laid and the administration must move over this rail. If Majlis pursues people’s welfare, social justice, [and] economic opening, [and also] pursues progress of science, progress of technology, [and] pursues national dignity and independence of the nation, [then] its track laying [action] would be oriented toward these goals. [However,] if Majlis is in awe of the West, is in awe of America, [and] pursues rule of the aristocratic current, [then] its track laying action would be oriented in these directions; [and] would make the country miserable. These are [reasons behind] the importance of Majlis; is this [an] insignificant [matter]? As [late] Imam [Khomeini] said, importance of the Majlis is that it must be at the helm of all [the country’s] affairs. The meaning of being “at the helm of affairs” is not that in the executive hierarchy, Majlis can play a part or a Majlis deputy can play a part; no, Majlis has no role in the executive hierarchy; it is for the huge apparatus of administration, which is the executive [power]; however, Majlis determines the course [of administration’s movement], it sets the course; [and various] administrations are obliged and forced according to the law to move along this course; [and] to move along this track. Well, who is supposed to lay this track? Who is supposed to do this track laying? In which direction, this track is going to be oriented? This [is the point that] clarifies the importance of being a Majlis deputy and Majlis deputies. Well, of course, the enemy does anything it can. This is about the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

The Assembly of Experts is even more important than this in terms of its basic and infrastructural importance. The Assembly of Experts has nothing to do with the everyday affairs of the country, but the [main] issue [there] is determining the leader. Who they are going to choose as leader, [and] who is going to be the main decision-maker and policymaker in the country? This depends on what [kind of] people are at the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts is that assembly, which determines the leader when it is necessary. [Therefore,] if it is a popular [assembly and] attached to the revolution, attached to the nation, aware of the enemy’s plots, [and] resistant and steadfast in the face of the enemy, [it would] act in one way, [and] if God forbid, it is not like these things, it would act in a different way. Therefore, the enemy is very sensitive about the Assembly of Experts now.

A British radio is giving instructions to people of Tehran to ‘vote for that given person, [and] do not vote for that given person!’ What does this mean? The British are missing their intervention in Iran. Once, when the king of the country wanted to make an important decision, he called the British ambassador and asked him whether ‘I do this or not’. The British once interfered in the country’s affairs like this; after that Americans [interfered in Iran’s affairs], [and] for a [certain] period, both of them [interfered]; today, these [interfering] hands have been cut off; today, such interventions have been blocked due to blessing of the revolution, [and] the blessing of the people’s vigilance; [the British] are missing [those times], [and are] now giving orders to people through the radio to vote for that given person, and do not vote for that given person. [The fact] that I say people should enter elections with insight, with awareness, [and] with knowledge, is for this reason. [People] should know what the enemy wants; when you know what the enemy wants, you act differently; this is obvious. The importance of these elections are for the reason that these elections, like this demonstration [which was held] a few days ago – [on the occasion of] Bahman 22 (anniversary of revolution’s victory) – are symbol of the vigilance of the Iranian nation, are symbol of defending the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, are symbol of defending the country’s independence, [and] are symbol of defending the national dignity. [The fact] that I tell the entire Iranian nation to be present, to take part [in elections], [and] to express your views, is for this reason; [this] issue is [a very] important [issue]. Our enemies are reckless enemies; at their top is the dangerous and far from humanity Zionist network, which dominates Western governments and powers; [and it] especially [dominates] Americans.

A Zionist network – not the Zionist regime; the Zionist regime itself is just a piece of the arrogant collection of America – who are businesspeople, are wealthiest people in the world, [and] the world propaganda [machine] is controlled by these [people], world banks are controlled by these [people], [and] unfortunately, they sway control over many countries; sway control over the American government, sway control over America’s policy, [and] sway control over policy of many European countries; [therefore, we] must be vigilant in the face of these [people]. Americans act according to their viewpoints [and] act according to their wills.
Now, over this nuclear case and these nuclear negotiations – which, well, things were said, remarks were made and this lengthy course [of talks] reached its end – just two days before this [day], once again, an American official said ‘we will do something that major capitalists and investors of the world would not dare to go and invest in Iran’. Just look at [the depth of their] animosity! This is [the true face of] America. One of the goals of those who pursued these negotiations – and fairly speaking they endeavored and made great effort; these people who carried out these [nuclear] negotiations, they really worked hard, broke a sweat, [and] really spent time [on the negotiations] – was [bringing about] economic opening [in the country] through [attracting] foreign investment; [however,] today, Americans prevent even this [from happening]. They have said [this] many times so far; once again, yesterday or the day before yesterday, two [or] three days before this [day], another one of them once more said ‘we do something that investors would not dare go invest in Iran’. [The fact] that I have said many times that Americans cannot be trusted, this is its meaning; when I say these [Americans] are not trustworthy, this is its meaning.
American politicians protest that why during demonstrations in Iran and in gatherings in Iran, people say “Death to America.” Well, [when] you act in this way, what do you want the Iranian people to say? This is your past, this is your history, [and] this is your behavior today. Your animosity is even without any cover. Yes, they smile in private meetings, shake hands, talk kindly and softly, [and] use good language; [however,] this is about diplomacy of private meetings; it is not important, has no value, [and] has no effect on the reality. The reality is that they sign the contract, do the negotiations, bargain for two years, [and] when the issue comes to an end, say ‘now we do not allow [the agreement to be carried out]’ and threaten that ‘we want to impose new sanctions’ in order for foreign investor to get scared, hesitate and stay away [from Iran]. [And] they say this quite clearly! This is America; in the face of this enemy, you cannot close your eyes, you cannot trust. This [would suffice about] how they keep their promises and their lack of trustworthiness. Dear nation of Iran! Your opposite side is such an element; [therefore,] you need to be vigilant, [and] need to be aware. We do not want to cause unnecessary troubles   for us; some people should not say ‘you keep forcing America [to do something] and incite it; no, America needs no inciting, [because] America is the enemy. America once owned Iran, [but] the revolution has come and taken this [country] out of its hand; [therefore,] it does not want to relent until it reestablishes its domination. This is America.

The [best] remedy for the country is people’s vigilance, maintaining people’s faith-based motivations, taking advantage of highly motivated and faithful youths, and strengthening the country from within; this is the only way. The Iranian nation must grow strong from within; its economy must grow strong, its [capacity for creation of] science must grow strong, its managerial apparatuses must grow strong, and most important of all, its faith must grow stronger on a daily basis. This is the remedy [for existing problems]; [and] this is the same way that the Iranian nation has treaded up to the present time. And [there were] enemies [who] wanted to uproot and annihilate this revolution at a time that it was just a slim sapling and they could not [do that]; today that slim sapling has turned into a strong tree, [and as put by the Quran:] “like a purified tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [are high] in the sky; it produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord.” Today, revolution is [like] this [tree]. Today, the enemy does not even dare think about eliminating the revolution. [I advise] people [to] maintain their unity, maintain their solidarity, [and] maintain their unison in defense of the revolution and the principles of the revolution and the ideals of the revolution. The esteemed country officials, who are interested in the fate of this country, [must remember to] do [their] job for the sake of God and for God’s satisfaction [and] for people; [they must] trust and rely on domestic forces.

Of course, I have said that the Economy of Resistance is endogenous and outward-looking. [However,] I have never said to erect a fence around the country, but [I said] don’t forget this endogenous growth. If the national economy does not grow and spurt from within, it will not get anywhere. Yes, interaction with the world in economic fields is very good, but [it must be] a smart interaction and an interaction, which would mean endogenous growth of the economy. The solution is for the nation to stand [fast], [and for] officials [to] stand [fast] and move with awareness and with vigilance. Dear youths! Through divine assistance and with God’s Grace, you will see that day when America and [even powers] bigger than America and all the allies of America would not be able to do a damn thing vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran.
O Almighty! Bestow your mercy and favor upon this dear nation. O Almighty! Increase these motivations, these faiths, and this abundant spiritual zeal in this country on a daily basis. I thank you dear brethren and sisters. I also offer my greetings to all dear people of Azarbaijan and people of Tabriz; convey my greetings to them.

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