In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
You are very welcome. It was a very sweet and desirable meeting and it is always like this for me. From my viewpoint, this meeting ended right now; I mean, I was satisfied and benefited by this meeting. First of all, I saw you, I heard what you said, [and] that perseverance and motivation and spirit, which one fortunately sees among young people, I felt this in you; and I [also] took advantage of what you said, that is, I was really benefitted by them; therefore, I reaped my own benefit from this meeting. Now, it is my turn to say a few words. I should not forget those people who are not present in this meeting in this year. A large group of brethren and sisters, dear ones, [and] elites should have naturally been in this meeting, [but] this did not take place due to the situation and conditions. I also send my greetings to them as well.
I always, when I am among the youth – especially the young elites – in the first place, I feel thankful [to God]; I thank the Almighty God. [As put by the Quran,] “And whatever you have of bounty - it is from Allah.” You are God’s bounties for us; [and] are considered as a divine gift for those who are concerned about the [Islamic] establishment. For us – those who have lived long – you young people are really a divine favor and a divine bounty; thank [God for that]. Secondly, [I feel] hope [when I see you]; the future of the country is important to us, [and] the perspective that is before our eyes is important to us. [Therefore,] when one sees you, he finds hope in that this future, will, God willing, be realized in the way that we hoped and aspired.
Our country’s manpower – as explained by Mr. [Sourena] Sattari – is a unique manpower in the world. The gist and climax and the most prominent part [of the Iranian manpower] is the country’s elites; these [elites] can inspire any human being with a sense of commitment. When they move on the right path and their orientation is a good one, a sense of commitment comes to life in all those people who know and see them. Therefore, I am deeply and strongly a believer in elites; I mean, I have respect for you, elites. My hope and request is that the National Elites Foundation and Mr. Sattari [the president of the foundation] himself, who is in the administration and is a vice president, make an effort, so that, the country’s officials will believe in elites in the real sense of the word. One of my expectations is that [officials must] believe in elites. First of all, they [must] believe that we have elites; secondly, they [must] believe that this elite [class] is able to change the country’s fate in the way that would be acceptable and satisfactory and exhilarating for all. Some of our officials are overcome by negligence in this regard; they must be taken out of this negligence. Well, I say a few words about the issue of the [National] Elites Foundation and the issue of elites and the likes of these and will also say a few words about political issues at the end [of my remarks].
The first issue or the first point is that scientific progress makes the country powerful. Our dear presenter read out a hadith today, [which says] science is the sultan; the “sultan” here means might; [therefore,] science is [a source of] might [for any country]. Anybody who has it will have a powerful hand and anybody not having it will see a powerful hand [dominating] over him; that is, he will be subdued. This [is the real nature of] science. Today, you see this; because of the science that they have earned, Americans and Europeans have been able to conquer the entire world. You know that America, Britain, France and many [other] European countries – even small [European] countries – managed to conquer countries for many years, [and] in some cases for centuries, wreak havoc to them and devastate them; they managed to gain supremacy over nations and dominate them [and all this was] because of science; they sought science. We were negligent, [and] lagged behind the scientific progress despite that [exemplary] historical background [and] despite that brilliant talent! [However,] others moved ahead; we must make up for this [negligence].
Well, a group of western-minded people have launched a propaganda since a hundred years ago [claiming] that if you want your country to become developed and [if you want] Iran to move ahead, you must become subordinate to the West – [this is] Western-mindedness; the same concept of Western-mindedness, which late [Iranian writer, Jalal] Al-e Ahmad put forth and wrote [a book] about. This was a wrong idea. Now, with regard to some of those people who promoted this idea, [their intention] was treacherous, [but] in some cases it was not treacherous, [but] was out of ignorance. [Even] today, there are still people who follow suit with them – and one must say [are] their scum – [and] promote the same ideas that “we must progress as subordinate to the West.” No, [this is not true, because] for fifty years, the country lived as subordinate to the West during the Pahlavi era; for fifty years! For a while, in the middle of Reza Khan’s rule, [Iran] was subordinate to Germany, [and] then for a while [the country] was subordinate to America until the end [of the Pahlavi rule]. What progress did the country make? What the country did gain except for misery, except for backwardness, [and] except for the annihilation of the fundamental assets of the country? No, [progress] is not possible and cannot be achieved as subordinate to the West; that person who says that the country may progress as subordinate to the West is a traitor, if they know what they are saying; [and] it is also possible that they are [just] ignorant.
So, what have we got to do? We must do away with dependence. Of course, dependence – has many forms – [and includes] political, economic, [and] cultural dependence; [however,] its basis is political dependence. First of all, [all kinds of] political dependencies pave the way for other forms [of dependence]. Well, political dependence will naturally cause the [foreign] culture to infiltrate, [and the foreign] economy to infiltrate [into the country] and lead to dependence in all sectors, even in the security sector; just as it was like this under the monarchial regime. [At that time,] we were dependent [on foreigners] in the security sector as well, we were, a priori, [dependent on them] in the economic sector, and it was the same in the cultural sector. Well, the political dependence was eliminated due to the blessing of the [Islamic] Revolution; [however, getting rid of] other forms of dependence is hard and difficult; it needs [much] effort. This is not something that I would say today, [because] when I was the president, I said this in the Friday Prayers sermon that our political dependence has been eliminated, [and] praise be to God, we have been saved [in that sector], [but we] are [still] dependent; we are dependent in economic terms, [and] are dependent in cultural terms; [therefore,] we must think on this issue. Dependence leads to misery.
Let me tell you that when one looks at these [books of] memoirs, which have remained from the time of [former Iranian monarch,] Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – [and] I have read many of these books [of memoirs] – [he sees] that there have been cases when this tyrant Mohammad Reza Shah had been very angry with Americans. [In some cases,] he swears at them and uses profanity [against them]. Of course, [he did this] at a private room and [when he was alone] with his close aides! It was like that person who went on the roof [of his house] and swore at that police officer in a remote city; he [Iran’s shah] was also like this; he backbit [Americans] at a private room, but at the same time, if the British ambassador or the American ambassador sent a message, put a phone call to him, or issued an order, he was there with his arms crossed across his chest [as a sign of obedience] ready to carry out that order; he had no choice; he was forced [to be like this]. This is [the real face of] dependence [on foreigners]; [and] this must be done away with.
Well, fortunately, from a political standpoint, dependence has been totally eradicated in our country, but a lot of effort must be made [to do this] in other sectors and one of the main elements [which show us] the way out [of any form of dependence] is this very scientific progress, which is being realized by the likes of you. Therefore, there must be no obstacle on the way of [the country’s] scientific and technological progress. State-run bodies, public organs, [and] activists in various cultural sectors and the likes of these, must not create any obstacle on the way of the scientific progress [of the country] and, praise be to God, there are huge potentialities, examples of which you observed in this meeting, and I come face to face with many of these examples at various stages. I am either informed [of these examples] or read reports on them or feel them in person; I know that the potential [for scientific progress] in extraordinarily high and we can move ahead. This is the first point.
The second point is about the condition of the [National] Elites Foundation and the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology]. Praise be to God, [the foundation] has greatly advanced and has improved. Many things have come about in these few [past] years, which have made conditions of the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology] and the [National] Elites Foundation better. Knowledge-based companies have grown exponentially. It was in the [Iranian calendar] year 93 (2014-15), when I talked emphatically in this very meeting about knowledge-based companies. Fortunately, at the present time, knowledge-based companies have undergone a good growth spurt, [and] good investment has been made [in them]. Scientific boards [and] scientific cells – and again this was one of those things on which I emphasized – have, praise be to God, come into being in universities. Intellectual orientations toward raising elites have been rectified. Many of these points, which you, friends, mentioned here, are taken note of by officials of the [National] Elites Foundation and the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology], which they have discussed with me and, in fact, a rectified and complete method and manner and route is going to be brought about and followed up on.
These [realities] exist, but at the same time, I am not satisfied; not that I am not satisfied, [but I mean that] we cannot suffice [to this]. We have still a long way [to go], [and] we are very far from the desirable point. This is the same thing on which I emphasize both [in my talks] with Mr. Sattari himself, and with officials who are [concerned with this issues], and also with you dear elites. In the area of scientific progress, we must not be content with sporadic activities in that given university or that given research institute or the likes of these; a trend must be built [in this regard], [and] a [clear] procedure must be created; a current must come into being in the country with regard to [promoting] science and scientific progress; [this issue] must turn into a current, [and] turn into a procedure, which cannot be stopped. It must not be like that if this given administration came [to office] and had a special taste, it could have an [unwanted] impact on the country’s scientific progress and, for example, cause a weakness, or if that given state official came [to office] and had a different opinion, likewise [he would be able to change this course]. [Different] managerial tastes and approaches and methods should not affect the country’s scientific progress; [and] this [goal] would be [only] achieved when a procedure is created.
As for knowledge-based companies, regulations governing these companies must not be downgraded. Take care that regulations in knowledge-based companies be high regulations [in terms of quality]. It should not be like that we only increase figures. The budget allocated to science and technology must not be reduced, [but on the opposite] must increase. Of course, friends told me that this innovation fund is facing a problem; God willing, I will give [necessary] recommendations [to concerned officials] and emphasize that this problem must be solved. Of course, financial resources must be managed in a correct way.
Another point is about scientific papers. Fortunately, in quantitative terms, we have a high number of papers, but this is not enough and I must even say that this is not of high importance either. The important point is the quality of [scientific] papers. As I have heard and has been reported to me, in terms of quality, we are not doing good with regard to papers; [therefore,] we must increase the quality [of such papers], [and at the same time,] qualitative indexes must grow and instead of [merely] increasing the number of papers, the relationship between [these scientific] papers and the country’s problems must receive attention, which of course, this was also expressed in the remarks made by some of our dear students [in this meeting]. They have told me themselves and this is also my opinion that scientific and research papers must serve the country’s needs and these needs must be explained to elites as well, [because] many elites may not be aware of the country’s needs as they exist.
Another point in this regard about which I have already notified to Mr. Sattari is that that the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology] and the [National Elites] Foundation must pay attention to centralized work; I mean that, in fact, they must work as a headquarters and take advantage of all different organs in the country, which can play a role in the field of science and technology. [They must] both take advantage of the two ministries that are related to higher education, and of the [Islamic] Azad University, and of ministries, which are related to industry and related to oil [sector], [because] these [ministries and organs] have abundant facilities, and these facilities can be put at the service of the progress of science and technology, and the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology] can do this by relying on its managerial status. By the way, the elite [person] must be urged to work; an elite person must feel that his presence is beneficial; I mean that he must have the feeling of being beneficial. This is that thing, which makes an elite content, makes him happy, makes him steadfast, [and] keeps him in the country. [An elite person must] understand that he is useful [and] is beneficial to his country. They must be asked to work [hard], and in my opinion, this [goal] can be achieved through this very centralized work.
Another point is that we must do something about the country’s industry, which now, from discussions that these friends did here, I found out that a large part [of the country’s problems] is related to this problem. The country’s industry is plagued with the plight of assembly [of foreign products], which is an age-old plight. When the issue is the issue of assembly, innovation does not seem very meaningful anymore; when there is no innovation, then there is no scientific activity and scientific work anymore; [and] when there is no scientific work on agenda, the relationship between industry and university, on which I have been putting so much stress, will not be realized. If industry and university get connected, both university and industry will progress; this is quite clear.
Of course, I have raised this issue of [the need to establish a] relationship between industry and university with [various] administrations since a long time ago, [as a result of] which, this Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology] was established due to my pressures and insistence, in order for the relationship between industry and university to be realized. However, the relationship between industry and university would be realized in the real sense of the word only when the industry feels that it needs university; when [industry is based on] assembly [of foreign products], such a feeling of need does not exist. Industry must be reminded of [this necessity]; just in the same way that one of our good friends, who talked [here], noted that industries must be required [to establish this relationship]. Well, requiring the industries is one issue, [while] the feeling of need by the country’s industry is another issue; this feeling of need must be developed. This [goal] would [only] be achieved when this old problem is solved. Over a time interval of, for example, ten years – [because] we do not want to be too hasty on this – this issue of “turning our view from assembly to innovation” must be established in [domestic] industry and this [viewpoint] must become dominant in the country over a time interval of ten years.
The next point is about the issue of elites and the [National] Elites Foundation and the likes of these, [according to] which cultural activities must be considered as important within the foundation; this is a very important issue. We must pay attention that technology brings with it a [foreign] culture [into the country]; technology carries culture; this [issue] cannot be ignored. When we take a technology from others, in fact, we have imported their culture as well. It is true that we seek technological independence – there is no doubt about this and this must be realized – but at the end of the day, this [issue] is like [the case of] connected vessels; there is give and take in all fields. Therefore, [necessary] importance must be attached to the issue of culture. We need to attach significance to the issue of culture and do correct and smart cultural work in the [National] Elites Foundation and the Vice Presidency for Science [and Technology].
Another point, which is the last point in this regard, is that dear elites, they themselves must take care of themselves; [therefore, try to] take care of yourselves. One of these dear ones pointed out that a war is going on and in war, we have martyrs and we have those who are injured. He is right; there is a war [going on]. More dangerous than physical assassination is brain and intellectual assassination. Sometimes they assassinated and martyred our scientists – you witnessed this after all – but worse than that and more bitter is when they take our scientists as captive; our scientists must not be taken into captivity. [Ensuring that] this [will not happen] is first of all a duty for an elite and the elite himself must take care of himself. This is what the concept of piety means, which has been repeated so many times from the beginning of the Quran to the end of the Quran – [the concept that the Quran is] “the guidance for those who are pious,” comes at the beginning of the Quran and has been repeated time and again up to the end of the Quran. Piety means taking care of oneself, [and] protecting oneself [against any harm]. It is like this in all fields; [therefore,] this [goal] must be pursued.
Now, [it is time to talk] about politics, which I mentioned [at the beginning of my remarks], [and] I want to say a few words about politics. As said before, political dependence is a dangerous thing. Political dependence makes one submissive [to foreigners]. [The concept of] “being under domination,” which has been mentioned [in Islam] about science, becomes more serious when it comes to political dependence; “being under domination” means that one will really become submissive. When a nation is politically dependent, it will have to concede to its submissiveness; [and in this way] it will become submissive. Well, I said that scientific progress is against this dependence. Now, I want to say that our enemy is extremely angry with our might, with our movement, [and] with this very motivation that you have for scientific progress and advancement of the country; the enemy is angry. [Therefore,] in any way that it can, from afar and up-close, the enemy has been painstakingly monitoring the situation in the country and is greatly concerned about the increasing might of the country. It is very clear for all international observers that the present-day Iran is poles apart [and very different] from Iran as it was forty years ago. We were a low-grade and undeveloped country and nation and were condemned to [obey] orders of this and that [foreign power]; [however,] today, [we are] an effective, influential country and are moving on the road to [increased] might – both scientific might [and] political might – and are still moving [along that road]; this is quite evident.
The enemy is upset and angry about this. Of course, the main enemy, that is, that enemy, which is more persistent in the arena against Iran and Iranians, is the regime of America; the people of America are not an issue here. The reason is the same that was mentioned earlier; for many long years, these [Americans] owned this country and everything in this country was under their control, [but] the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic took it from them; therefore, they have been angry since day one and were upset and imposed sanctions [on Iran] and hatched plots and used harsh rhetoric. This issue is not particular to the present time [either], [because] they started [taking] these measures since the first day [following victory of the Islamic Revolution]. At that time, neither the nuclear energy was a problem, nor the missile [program of Iran] was a problem, nor the issue of [Iran's] influence in the West Asia region – [or] Middle East as they call it – was a problem. Such things did not exist [at that time], but they started a fight [against Iran] due to this very issue [of having lost their dominance on the country]; it is [quite] clear. Well, we managed to repel the US domination; that is, [we managed] to totally curtail America’s domination over this country; political domination, security domination, [and] economic domination; we cut the hands of America [from Iran].
In addition, we have grown in power in spite of America’s animosity; this is very important! This is a very important thing in the world that nations would see that it is possible for a nation to grow and move without being under the influence of [world] powers, [and] can even grow and move and stands on its own feet and progress despite animosity of [those] powers; we have shown this in practice, [and] this [is another issue, which] also makes them angry. The Iranian nation turned into a role model for [other] countries and nations by showing that it is possible to stand against superpowers and not be afraid of them and, at the same time, march forward.
You know that these military advances and this very missile [program] and these things, about which they are now so angry, all of these took place in the sanctions period; I mean, we were under sanctions; complete sanctions. And anything that has happened, [it] has happened in this period [of sanctions]; this is what makes them surprised and makes them upset. They gave me a report a few years ago [according to] which an Israeli and Zionist general, belonging to this very Zionist regime, had written an article [about this]. At that time, we had just tested a missile; one of the missiles, which were tested a few years ago. Well, this person was an expert [and] he understood [importance of that test]. They see [our tests] through satellite [imagery] and the likes of these [and] understand [and] can correctly assess [what we do]. [The Zionist general had written that] ‘I am really surprised, [and] I am amazed that Iran has been able to pull off this job. I am an enemy of Iran, but admire Iran, which has been able to pull off this job despite these heavy sanctions, which are imposed on it, [and it is surprising that] it has been able to do such a thing’; this was the general theme of what he said. Well, the enemies are seeing this.
Of course, I do not want to spend time to give a response to nonsensical remarks and brags of this charlatan and insolent president of America; this is really not necessary. Well, they said [what they wanted] and the country’s officials answered, [and] they answered well, [and] answered correctly. [Therefore,] I do not want [to answer him]; I mean, this is, in fact, a waste of time that one would want to talk about his remarks! However, I want to tell you and all those who will hear this: know the enemies, know the enemies. One of those risks, which threaten every nation, is that it would not know its enemies, [and] does not consider its enemy as enemy; either consider it as a friend or impartial; this is a very big risk. This is slumber [of nations]. [Therefore, you try to] both know the enemy and know his hostile methods; see how he exercises his animosity. We must not be overcome with negligence; if we become negligent, we will be plundered; if we become negligent, we will be taken by surprise; [therefore, try] not to be negligent. [The first Shia Imam, Hadhrat Ali] Amir al-Mo'menin (PBUH) says – this is in Nahj-ul-Balagha – that “by God, I am not like that hyena that is put to sleep by the sound of stones and stakes pounding around it;” [he says] ‘I will not be like that animal, which usually when they want to put it to sleep, they sing a song and he goes to sleep; I will not go to sleep, I am awake, and I know what is going on around me’. This is what we have been urged to do. We must not fall asleep, [and] must not become negligent.
Of course, let me tell you this; our enemy is afflicted with mental retardation; well, I will explain [this] a little more. Not only this guy, their boss, [but also] their [entire] ruling system is really afflicted with some sort of mental retardation. They want to take the young, faithful, revolutionary, active [and] advanced Iran back in time to [for example] fifty years ago; well, this is naturally not possible; it is clear that this cannot be done! I mean, in their imagination, they want to create for this country the same conditions, which these [Americans] had created for this nation fifty years ago; well, is this not [the sign of] mental retardation? They think like [they did] fifty years ago, [because] they cannot understand what has happened here. Important developments have taken place in this region. Of course, the most important [of regional developments] is the Islamic Revolution and the creation of the Islamic Republic establishment, but well, other important developments have also taken place around us; [but] these [Americans] cannot understand this correctly. Since they cannot understand [regional developments], they are doomed to fail. There is no doubt that wrong calculations will cause them to fail; their calculations in Iraq were wrong, [and this is why] they were defeated [there]; their calculations in Syria were wrong, [and this is why] they were defeated [there]; in the region [which is situated] east of us, likewise – now I don’t want to mention all details – [but] their calculations were [also] wrong [in that region], [and this is why] they were defeated [there]; [it has been like this] up to the present day. The same [is true] about our won country as well; [I mean,] for forty years, they have been showing hostility toward us, [but] they have been punched in the mouth, [and] have been defeated; why? Because their calculations are wrong, [and] because their understanding of the reality is erroneous; they lack a correct understanding [of regional realities].
Well, America – I mean the [political] system of America, [and] the political regime of America – is, of course, a very wicked and bad thing; it is like what late Imam [Khomeini] said [that the United States] is the Great Satan; it is indeed the Great Satan. The root cause of insecurity in the region is America; these cases of insecurity, which you observe, their root cause is America.
America is the agent of the global Zionism. There is a dangerous [and] evil network in the world known as the international Zionism; America is their agent. America is the enemy of independent nations; America is behind most cases of wickedness and warmongering and massacres [both] in our region and in many other parts of the world. America [is] like a leech, [which] intends to suck up everything that nations have and the life of nations; this is [the true face of] America; [and] this is [the true face] of the political system of America at the present time.
Now, whether those people who created this political system knew that it would end up like this or not, it is a different issue, but America today is like this; during these recent years, this has been the condition of the administration and government of America. America is the main complicit of Zionists in crimes that they have committed; both in Palestine, and in Lebanon, and in Syria, and in other parts of the world. America is the creator of Daesh and this active [and] armed Takfiri current; this was clearly admitted by this very person [who is now the US president] during his election campaign. One of his objections to Democrats was that ‘you have created Daesh!’ He owned up to it himself! Well, now you expect that force, which has been able to block [the progress of] Daesh not be subject of their wrath? They created Daesh for a purpose. Now, you see that they make speeches, [and] shout out against the IRGC [Islamic Revolution Guards Corps], which has been able to block Daesh; well, this is a natural thing [for them] to do after all. When you know the opposite side, [this] appears quite natural to you.
Well, therefore, they are angry with us. [If you want to know] the reasons behind their anger, as I said before, one [reason] is that their hands have been cut [from Iran]. And at the present time, [their anger is] because the Islamic Republic has been able to undo America’s plans in the Middle East; I mean, in this West Asia region, for which they had many plans and had. The Islamic Republic has been able to thwart their schemes in Lebanon, their schemes in Syria, [and] their schemes in Iraq. With regard to the defeat of Zionists at the hands of the Lebanese Hezbollah [movement], well these [Americans] were behind that case, [and] it was then that the foreign minister of America said that the Middle East was going through labor pains; they thought that something big was taking place.
Well, now let me give a few recommendations to political and press and cultural activists as well as the country’s officials with respect to these recent issues and these measures that they took. First of all, nobody must have any doubt that this time around, Americans will be once again punched in the mouth and will be defeated by the revolutionary nation of Iran; rest assured that this will [certainly] take place, just in the same way that it has been like this in all cases [that have taken place] during these past few decades, when they have faced off with the Islamic Republic and have been defeated. This is one point.
Secondly, the president of America is demonstrating imbecility, but this must not cause us to ignore the enemy’s deception and trickery and conspiracy. The enemy must never be underestimated. [It is no problem] if we say that someone is, for example, imbecile, [and] is a fool – [just as they usually] say; [and it is] among these things that are said and may also be correct – but at the same time, this issue must not cause us to ignore the enemy’s ploy. [On the opposite,] everybody must be present in the arena with foresight; [and] everybody must be present in the arena with awareness, with vigilance, [and] with complete preparedness. There will be no military war, but there are things whose importance is no less than a military war. We must be careful [and] see what the enemy is doing and what it wants to do; we must [be able to] predict [the enemy’s moves].
The third point is that the enemy is opposed to the might of the Islamic Republic. The enemy is opposed to anything that is an element and source of power in the Islamic Republic. In spite of the enemy, we must try to boost the elements of power in the Islamic Republic. One [of these elements] is the science, which you are dealing with; this is really an arena for struggle, [because science] is the source of the country’s power. Another [element] is the defense power; this very issue of [Iran’s] missiles and these remarks, which they [make when they] clamor [against Iran, are examples in this regard]. This defense power must be increased day by day, and of course, it is being increased, [and] will continue to increase on a daily basis despite their dismay. The third [element] is the economic power; we must pay attention to economic power. Economic power cannot be obtained by being dependent on this or that [country]. Since old times, not just now, I have frequently said that I agree with all kinds of investment by foreigners in the country, [and] I have no objection to it; it is no problem [whether] it is Western or European [investment]; however, the country’s economy must not rely on a pillar, which may become shaky, for example, with one bawl of somebody like Trump; it must not be like this. That reliable pillar for the country’s economy must be related to [resources that we have] within the country and inside the country; our economy must be endogenous; I mean, the same Economy of Resistance, whose policies have been declared and must be followed up on. Therefore, this is also a point that all factors and elements of power must be bolstered from within [the country]; the defense power, the power of [getting engaged in] regional bargaining and the likes of these.
Fourthly, no attention must be paid to the enemy’s suggestions. It suggests certain things. [For example,] in the case of the JCPOA it created the impresstion that if we reached an agreement, hostilities [against Iran] would cease, [but] if we did not reach an agreement, they would continue to be hostile to us. Well, we reached the agreement, [however,] the hostilities were not eliminated, but were [even] intensified. It was the suggestion of the enemy that if we did not reach an agreement or dawdled, such and such would happen. [We must take care that] today, they would not come up with another allegation that if we do not reach an agreement with regard to that given case – for example, if we do not reach an agreement in the case of the country’s presence in that given region – such and such may happen [to us]. No, these are the enemy’s suggestions. We must evaluate our expediency by ourselves, find it by ourselves, understand what is expedient on our own; [and] do not listen to the enemy.
Fifthly, [the fact that] I put so much emphasis on [bolstering the country’s] defense power comes from our experience; we have experienced [this]. There was a time that this country – this very [city of] Tehran, [in which] now, praise be to God, you move around with ease of mind and with security – was under [the fire of] Saddam’s missiles; many of you, perhaps, were not born at that time. We had no means to defend ourselves, [while] everybody helped Saddam. America helped Saddam with these very missiles and with defense tools and even with maps of the war theater; its satellites and others helped [Saddam in his war against Iran]. France [also] helped [Saddam]; France also gave both missiles and aircraft [to Saddam]. Germany helped [Saddam as well]; it gave chemical substances [to Saddam]. You know that the army of Saddam used chemical weapons in many instances. [Just see] how many chemically-injured war veterans we have, [and] how many of them have already died! The material [for making chemical weapons] was given to these [Iraqi forces] by Germany.
Germany provided them with chemical substances, so that, they would make chemical bombs. Sometimes, it might have even given chemical bombs to them. They all helped [Saddam], [while] we were empty-handed, [and] had no means [of defense]. [Therefore,] we started to think that well, we must produce some means of defense. We started [to do this]; in fact, we started from scratch. If I tell you and depict for you – now, unfortunately, there is not [enough] time – what was the first thing, which we could launch, whose range was about twenty kilometers, it may make you laugh! They had made [something] like a downpipe, [by the means of] which we could, for example assume, launch an RPG rocket in some way using this downpipe, which for example, could fly about fifteen kilometers or twenty kilometers; [our missile program] started like this. Then we managed to boost our capabilities. When our capabilities increased and the enemy saw that we could retaliate in kind, it stopped [firing missiles at us]; this is our experience. If we do not boost our defense power, our enemies will be emboldened, will become rude, [and] will be encouraged to attack us. [Therefore,] our defense power must be such that the enemy would not be encouraged to take any steps [against us] and do anything wrong.
Sixthly, well, European governments have put emphasis on the issue of the JCPOA. He [Trump] had said that ‘I will tear up [the JCPOA], [and] will do such and such’ – he had made some nonsensical comment – [and] these [European governments] condemned him, [and] said no, you must not tear up [the JCPOA] and [things] like this. Very well, this is good; I mean, we welcome this degree [of support from Europe] and it [is] good, but this is not enough that they [simply] tell him that ‘you do not tear up the JCPOA’. Well, the JCPOA is to their benefit; it is both to their benefit and to America’s benefit; [therefore,] it is natural for them not to want [the JCPOA] to be torn up. Of course, we have also said that as long as the other side does not tear it up, we will not tear it up, but if it tore up [the JCPOA], we would tear it to shreds! Now, I had previously said something else. Well, therefore, this amount [of support from Europe] is good, but it is not enough.
First of all, European [countries] must stand up to America’s practical measures. In the event that he does not tear up [the JCPOA], but violates it – for example, through these sanctions or these measures, which now they expect to come out of their Congress – Europeans must stand up to him; [I mean,] France [and] Germany. Now, we do not expect much from Britain! They must stand [against Trump]; it would not be sufficient for them to [simply] say that we are opposed [to Trump’s measures].
Secondly, they must avoid interfering in our fundamental issues, like [Iran’s] defense prowess and the likes of this; they must not repeat America’s claims [against Iran]. It is meaningless for the European governments to say the same thing that he is saying about why Iran is present in the region – well, [we continue to be present] in spite of you. Why [Iran] should not be present? Or [when] he objects [to us and says] why you have a missile [with a range of] two thousand kilometers or for example assume, three thousand kilometers, they would say the same thing. What it has to do with you? Why you [yourselves] have missile? Why you have atomic missile? Why you have atomic weapon? If they want to interfere in and talk about the defense power of the Islamic Republic, no, we will not absolutely take this from Europeans; and they must not accompany America in his bullying and in the wrong claim that it makes; this was the sixth point.
Seventhly, economic officials must take the Economy of Resistance seriously. Domestic production, prohibition of imports, [and] preventing smuggling; these are among top [economic] priorities. This year, is the year of [boosting] employment. At the present time, we are actually in the second half of the [Iranian calendar] month of Mehr; I mean, more than half of the year has already passed. With respect to employment and with regard to domestic production and national production, activities [of concerned sectors] must increase; [such activities] must be doubled, [and] any lags must be made up for. For a while, we were busy with elections and election remarks and so forth, [and] some time has passed [in this way]; [officials] must make up [for this lapsed time], so that, we will be able to get somewhere in this regard. I said that we welcome foreign investment, but do not pin our hope on what foreign investor does, because he is not reliable.
A foreign investor comes [into the country] today, [but] causes problem for us tomorrow because of an incident. Foreign investors [are free to] come [to Iran and] make investment, but the country’s economy must rely on domestic issues. Domestic potentialities are not few, [but] are numerous and the first steps, which must be taken, are clear and good steps and Mr. Sattari pointed them out. This logic is also a correct logic that our economy is an oil-based economy, [and] is an economy based on [natural] resources – that is, [an economy in which our] assets are simply sold and [its money is] spent; because it is [just an] asset after all – [and] this [condition] must change. [Our] economy must be based on added value. Even the precious stones that we have – [including] precious construction stones, which exist in our country – many of them are like this [and] are exported abroad without being processed, and this is a very strange thing and some of our ministers have really failed in these fields. Well, this few points are about political issues.
The last point is addressed at you dear youths, which I have written down here. Young people, [try to] take advantage of [any] opportunity. At the present time, there is an opportunity for you to be able to build the future of your country. Your time is different from the time when we were young. Our youth was an insecure time, [and] was a difficult time. At your age, we were either in prison or under pressure, or under torture, or in exile. Then, when the revolution became victorious – from those early years [after victory] of the revolution – it was work and endeavor round the clock; there was no [time to] rest; [there was] always [work to do]. I became president after a couple of years; out of those people who were with me, some of them did not become the president, [and were] busy endeavoring and working, [and] I who became the president, [was] endeavoring and working in a different way. I mean, we really went through hard times at a time that we were your age and a little while after your age. You are not like that, [because] you are [living] in security, in tranquility, in a scientific opportunity, [and, therefore,] have ability, are being encouraged, [and] are being respected. Appreciate this, [and] take advantage of this opportunity. The precious gem of youth is at your disposal and this is the same precious gem, about which the Almighty God will ask us on the Resurrection Day [and will ask] that how you spent your youth? One of those things about which we will be asked is how you spent your youth? We must answer.
You do not forget your divine and conscience-based duty; make as much effort as you can. And [have no doubt that] your efforts will be beneficial; I mean, if the country is on the wrong path, you can take it back on the right path; [and] if there are problems in some places, you can resolve those problems. Fortunately, the [general] orientation of the country is a correct orientation; of course, there are many problems here and there, but the [general] orientation is correct; [therefore,] you can resolve [the existing] problems, [and] you can help so that orientations are not changed for the worse, are not altered, [and] are not diverted [from the right path].
This is what you, young people – the scientist and scholarly youth – can do. Take advantage of this opportunity, [and] know that, God willing, the Almighty God will help you. [As the Quran says,] “And those who strive for Us, We will surely guide them to Our ways.” When you strive on the path of God, the Almighty God Himself will guide you. [The Quran also says,] “And whoever believes in Allah, He will guide his heart.” God will guide your hearts toward that work that you ought to do. [Therefore,] you [try to] orient your intentions toward feeling of duty and doing that duty and [make sure that your intentions are] divine intentions; God willing, God will also help you. And I am certain that during future decades, when, God willing, all the country’s affairs will be in your hands, at that time, you will see before yourselves an Iran, which will be much better, much advanced, much orderly and much more organized than today and, God willing, you will manage it.
Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings