The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in President Hassan Rouhani’s endorsement ceremony

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

(Arabic prayer)
This is a very important meeting and [these days] are important and determining. The coincidence and concurrence of this ceremony and this meeting with the auspicious birth anniversary of Hadhrat Ali ibn Mousa al-Reza (Thousands of Salutes and Hails Be upon Him) is a good omen and blessing for the enthusiastic hearts of the Iranian nation. I hope, just in the same way in which that Honorable One stated the famous Silsilatul Zahab hadith in this very country of ours and in cities close to [the city of] Tous, [that is,] in [the city of] Neishabour, and introduced monotheism as the basis and fundament of religion – [by saying that] the phrase ‘there is no God but Allah’ is my fortress and he who enters my fortress will be immune from my punishment – God willing, we would as well be able to establish monotheism and the truth of monotheism in our life, both in our personal life, and in our social life, and in the pillars of the Islamic Republic establishment. 
This meeting is important from two viewpoints. One viewpoint is that it marks the start of a new era of management in the country and there is hope that, God willing, those officials, who will enter the field of [executive] action along with the esteemed and elected president, will satisfy the nation and make them happy through new innovations, [and] with capabilities that exceed [those of] the past [administrations], and will meet these very demands and things that the esteemed president said in his detailed statements.
The second viewpoint is that this meeting stands as a symbol of democracy. This is the twelfth such meeting since the outset of the [Islamic] Revolution up to the present day; that is, the Iranian nation has played its role in electing top-echelon managers of the country twelve times since the onset of the revolution; this is a very important issue. Elections by people and selections by people have also given birth to ten [terms of] the Islamic Consultative Assembly [Iran’s parliament], [in addition to] five [terms of] city and village councils, [and] five [terms] of the Assembly of Experts; these are all blessings of the revolution. Our young generation [must] not forget [this]; we have experienced the pre-revolution era with all our being. We have seen with all our being the dictatorship [that existed in this country before the Islamic Revolution], people being marginalized, [and] disregard for people in issues related to government; [however,] our youths have not seen [this]. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, people played no role in the management of the country and determining managers. [At that time,] bosses, kings, monarchs and those close to them came and went, [but] people just stood by, [and] played no role [in this process]. [However,] the Islamic Revolution arrived and brought people out of the margins [and] into the main context [of politics]; [as a result,] people took control [of the country’s affairs]. Since the outset of the revolution, this is the twelfth time that the result of people’s choice for the management of the executive branch has been made clear; therefore, [this] meeting is an important meeting.
Let’s commemorate our honorable Imam [Khomeini] as these achievements by the Iranian nation are the blessings of firm determination, profound faith, [and] endless insight of the honorable one as well as unparalleled bravery of that great man. We officials and the rest of [the Iranian] people must take more pride [in the fact] that we are [living] in a period of time in which the Almighty God chose a great man out of this country, who managed to make this [human] ocean wavy. This issue is not an insignificant job, [and] is no small matter. [Imam Khomeini] managed to totally change the direction in which the country and the Iranian nation moved. For years, [and even] centuries, [there was] a monarchial rule, [and] inherited government [in this country]. And in these later years, [under] the Pahlavi government, in addition to ignominy of the monarchial rule, there was a double ignominy in the form of intervention [in the country’s affairs] by foreigners. Reza khan was enthroned by Britain in the country and he was also taken away by the British that put his son, Mohammad Reza, in his place. Then through the coup d’état on august 19, 1353, Americans were in control of everything. They determined our king, determined the prime minister, and determined the country’s officials; this is how conditions in our country were. This system [of government] was changed by the honorable Imam. It was him, who entered this arena. It was because of his firm determination, his profound faith, his unique courage, his trust in God, [and] his trust in people that he managed to create these [new] conditions.
Well, in this nearly 40-year period, there has been an interlocked chain of officials, who have made effort, took troubles, took initiative, did their work, [and] played their role in their own turn and for their own share. Today, the result of the work done by totality of the officials of the Islamic Republic establishment over [a period of] about 40 years is available to officials, who, God willing, will start their work as of today after they are officially inaugurated. Those who are given a responsibility – the colleagues of the esteemed president – must add to this national asset and hand it down to the next generation [and] next managers, so that, this movement, God willing, will become more expansive and its radius will increase day by day. The [Iranian] nation and government have done great things in these four decades. During this period, an abundance of scientific and executive and practical and intellectual infrastructures have come into being in the country, which were absolutely not extant before the revolution; [I mean,] these huge infrastructures did not exist before the Islamic Republic establishment.  These infrastructures are springboards for this nation toward the future. Accumulated experiences and abilities garnered through performance [of various officials] during these [past] four decades are available to officials today. New generations have been raised with revolutionary thinking and full of motivation and are ready today. At the outset of the revolution, we did not have so many personalities ready for management [of the country’s affairs]. [However,] praise be to God, at the present time, those young people who are ready in order to play their role in management of various sectors of the country are plentiful; these [young people] have been raised by the revolution. The effort made by these active men and effective statesmen through these four decades has provided the nation with this huge product.
What I’m saying is that the country’s officials have been, praise be to God, able during this decade to cooperate with the world. Despite [the fact] that enemies have always wanted to isolate the Iranian nation, the Iranian nation has not become isolated and has worked with the world and, at the same time, has seriously countered the hegemonic and arrogant [world] system, [and Iranian people] have been able to withstand [all kinds of enemies’] ploys. And, of course, the enemy is still busy. One of those points, which I insist on repeating and not allow to slip out of anybody’s mind, is the presence of the enemy and the enemy’s ploys. Amir-al-Mo’menin (PBUH) says, “He who falls asleep, [must not forget that] his enemy is not asleep, [and] a warrior never sleeps.” [So, remember that] if you fall asleep in your bunker, in the bunker opposite of you – where your enemy is – somebody may be awake, [and] work against you; [therefore,] you must not fall asleep, [and] must not forget to be watchful with regard to all affairs. Officials are foremost addressees of this statement. The enemy is busy showing hostility, [and] takes various steps [in this regard]. However, by the Grace of God, [and] through God’s assistance, the Iranian nation and the country’s officials have been forged in the crucible [of past decades’ experience].
They imposed sanctions on us. Of course, sanctions cause problems for our country, [and] there is no doubt about this, but sanctions also caused us to open our eyes to our own potentialities. We enjoyed a lot of potentialities, [but] we did not know [about them], [and] neglected them. When we were put under sanctions, we realized our potential. We looked [at the country] and found existing domestic potentialities and took advantage of them. Today, despite the enemy’s will and demand, we are strong; we are strong in political terms, are strong in military terms, [and] are strong in security terms. Today, despite all these sanctions, [and] despite all this animosity, the Islamic Republic is much more powerful and stronger than the early years [after victory of the Islamic Revolution and] this means that we have taken advantage of the ploy that the enemy has used against us in the benefit of the country and in our own benefit. Enemy’s explicit hostilities have made us more resistant. Not only explicit hostilities; [because] some [enemies] show clear hostility – like those who are currently in office in America and some other places – [but] hostilities shown by some [enemies] are like a cast-iron hand covered with a velvet glove, and I had already explained it; that is also one form of hostility. In the face of these hostilities, by the Grace of God [and] through God’s assistance and guidance, we have become more resistant, [and] our self-confidence has increased. Today, we are much stronger than early years [after victory of the Islamic Revolution]. We know how to deal with the enemy as well. Today, through God’s assistance, the Iranian nation has learned ways of countering the enemy’s ploys; officials [also] know [these ways], [and] know how to deal with the enemy, and they are doing. [However,] we have more potentialities as well while are not afraid at all of the enemy and the enemy’s ploys.
We have many shortages, [and] we do not ignore this [fact] and do not deny it. However, let’s also not deny that plentiful potentialities are also at our disposal. We can take advantage of these untapped and unused potentialities through God’s assistance. You officials of the country – especially that group [of you], which God willing will be formed soon around the esteemed president and will make up the cabinet and the executive branch – are at the helm of such an establishment with such high potentialities; [you must] know this. The Islamic Republic establishment and our dear country is an establishment with high potential and full of potentialities and full of talents; these talents must be identified one by one and be taken advantage of. By relying on the revolutionary identity – this is a very important point – [and] through devout work, through people’s support, [and] through reliance on huge material and spiritual assets, which are available to you today, you can take the country ahead and I recommend three major goals [for you to achieve].
The first goal is to pay attention to people’s problems. At the present time, economic and livelihood problems are the first priority. This is the first goal out of these three goals, which must be simultaneously pursued; this is the first [of those three goals]: [that is,] attending to domestic issues, paying attention to people’s problems, [and especially] the issue of [people’s] livelihood and economy; [efforts] which [are made to achieve] this [goal] must reach an acceptable point, God willing, during these [next] four years.
The second goal is expansive interaction with the world. This is my regular recommendation, and is quite the opposite point to what our enemies and the world hegemonic [powers] seek to achieve. We can have extensive and expanded contacts with the world; [we can] both help other nations and governments and take advantage of their help. This is how social human life fares: [through] cooperation, empathy, collaboration, [and] interaction with the world; our territory, our geography, [and] our plentiful potentialities make this easy for us.
And the third goal [is that you must] appear strong and powerful in the face of any hegemony, regardless of who that hegemonic [power] is. At the present time, the most aggressive and most shameless [of all hegemonic powers] is the regime of the United States of America; you must appear strong in the face of these [hegemonic powers and] appear powerful. By relying on national might [of the country] and help from this people, you will be able to block their stratagems and head them off. Four decades of experience with international activities shows us that the cost of submission in the face of bullying powers is much higher than the cost of steadfastness in their face. Submission to bullying of bellicose powers will bring misery to nations and countries, block ways to their progress in the real sense of the word, take them away from human values, [and in short,] entail heavy costs. Through the divine assistance and through the divine power and help, we did not choose submission to the [global] arrogance and the hegemonic system, did not submit [to them], did not reach a compromise with them on their demands [and] today, we are more capable and more powerful than the past, [and] our potentialities today are much higher than the past. We have stood against them, [and] have not submitted to them; this is a very important experience. Of course, we have offered martyrs in doing this, [and] we have had sacrificing people. We have [also] lost valuable and prominent personalities, but the Islamic Republic establishment has progressed, has continued to move, [and] has given more prominence to its slogans.
I have a few recommendations for the esteemed president as well as those brethren and sisters, who will work with him in various sectors, [and I expect them] to take these recommendations into account. Consider this responsibility [and] this capability as a trust, just in the same way that Amir-al-Mo’menin (PBUH) said that this [responsibility] is like a trust incumbent on you: “and verily, it is a trust entrusted to you.” This responsibility is a divine trust, which has been made available to I and you. [Therefore, we] must keep this trust, [and we] must be trustworthy. This honorable verse [of the Quran, which says:] “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due,” is not just [about] these material [and] tangible trusts; this important spiritual trust – which is this responsibility [that has been entrusted to you] – is a higher example of those [trusts that the Quran mentions].
The next recommendation is that our time is short, [but] we have got a lot of work to do; [therefore,] priorities must be observed. Both with regard to expenses and with regard to planning and all other kinds of work, first look and take priorities into consideration. Yes, today, the priority is this very point that was mentioned by the esteemed president; [I mean,] the issue of justice. The issue of eradicating poverty and uprooting corruption is among our topmost priorities; give precedence to these [priorities]. There are other works [as well], which must be attended to in the next step.
The next recommendation is that try to move according to a plan. The sixth [development] plan is a comprehensive plan; [its implementation] has started during the current [Iranian calendar] year. Of course, we lag behind, [because] last year was the year in which [implementation of] the plan was expected to start. The sixth [development] plan is an important plan. [Any] movement [by state officials] must take place according to the plan, with due care and [after] projecting all possibilities; significance must be attached to the plan.
My next recommendation is that we must consider the unity of the nation as important. Whatever we have results from the unity of the nation, from the unity of the nation among themselves and the unity of the nation with officials and executive officials of the country; [therefore, try to] maintain this unity. Do not allow tensions to rise, [and] prevent detrimental divisions from coming about. People have different tastes and different viewpoints. Very well, let’s allow people to lead a peaceful life along each other despite their different tastes and opinions. Difference of tastes and difference in viewpoints does not necessarily mean argument and conflict. [People] can lead a good life along one another, [and] have different tastes as well. Stoking tension must not be allowed. Do not be upset by opposite viewpoints. If the opposites of you have a viewpoint, [or] if they have a criticism, let them criticize, [and] give voice to opposite views; one must not be upset [because of such differences]; after all, there are difficult works [to be done for running a country]. Our works are not without a flaw as well, [and] some people may criticize us; let’s accept criticism – in the sense of tolerating it – [and let’s] tolerate [criticism].
Go among the people, be connected to people without any intermediary, [and] listen to people; this is among very important tasks. Those reports, which are being given to me, even if those reports are honest, they are very different from what one observes and see when he comes face to face with people and goes among them.
Appreciate revolutionary and highly motivated forces; I recommend [this] to all officials. Faithful, highly motivated and revolutionary forces are those people who protect the country, defend it, and take the bull by the horn in difficulties; let’s appreciate these [forces].
When it comes to making international decisions, remember that the enemy has done all it can in order to annihilate you. Some officials of those governments, which are faced and deal with us, are explicitly saying this today; they clearly say that they are bent on annihilating the Islamic Republic establishment; bear this in mind. Some others conceal this, [and] do not say it, but it is the reality that [this intention] exists [among them]. “International interaction” must not make us neglect the point that there are enemies that are bent on annihilating us. They take advantage of any excuse as well. You launch a satellite carrier missile into the space, [and] all of a sudden you see that they have launched such a hue and cry in the world. When you do a scientific work, a technical work, [and] a work, which is necessary and very ordinary and normal for a country, you see that they make a fuss; these are signs of which we must be more watchful.
The [best] answer to such behavior is strong and devout and calculated work; [I mean, the best] answer to these hostilities is to become stronger. What I mean by becoming stronger is not limited to military and security fields. Of course, you must become strong in those fields, but you must [also] become strong in the field of economy, become strong in the field of culture, [and] become stronger and more profound in the field of maintaining [your] Islamic and revolutionary identity day by day; this is [the best] answer to hostilities of the enemy.
My last recommendation [is that] put your trust in God and believe the promise of divine support; [as the Quran says:] “If you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” In another verse, [the Quran says:] “And Allah will surely support those who support Him;” [and it says this] with emphasis! You are treading the path of promoting religion, reviving religion, [and] establishing the rule of God’s religion; this is the divine support. So be sure that the Almighty God will support you. Do not remain idle in the face of anti-religion moves and breaches of law, do not remain indifferent, and know that, God willing, the future belongs to you. 
O Almighty God! [We] swear you by [Prophet] Mohammad and Mohammad’s Household to make us successful in obtaining your satisfaction. O Almighty God! Help this new administration – the 12th administration – and entire servants of the country succeed in fulfilling important duties that they shoulder. O Almighty God! Make our days, our life, our hours, [and] the years of our lives productive for us; [and] do not make them source of pity for us. O Almighty God! Resurrect the clean souls of our martyrs, [and] the purified soul of the honorable Imam with your Chosen Ones.

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