Rafed English

Leader's Speeches

Leader's Speeches

The following translation of an important speech by the dear Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the Majlis election was done by a foreign news agency, although the translation seems to be more or less OK, its accuracy has not been checked with the original text. As long as we have no better translation, we publish this one.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate ...

I hope that this year, God willing, the Hajj is performed as in previous years, or even better than before. This is an important religious duty ...

The Hajj on the one hand is the symbol of spirituality, of the relationship with God, of the understanding of the people's hearts of divine verses and of the people getting closer to God. On the other hand, it is the symbol of unity and solidarity of the Islamic ummah, of the removal of barriers among the ummah and of the putting away of differences and splits created either by the enemy or by fanaticism. The Hajj is a step towards the establishment of a single Islamic ummah ...

I consider it to be my duty here to thank our dear people from the bottom of my heart for the glorious epic that they created on 22nd Bahman 11th February, revolution anniversary this year. This is very important: when all the enemy's propaganda mouthpieces were trying their utmost to alienate the people from their past, from their revolution and separate them from their Imam Khomeyni and make them forget their imam - believing they could create certain new values among the people - you could see that when it came to 22nd Bahman, in Tehran and in every large city and small town, even in remote areas and villages, the people came onto the streets. No-one had to invite them, neither were there financial gains to be made. They people come onto the scene here, and this is because of that very same spirituality. Let me say this: those who are plotting against us, those who are lying in ambush, they are waiting to see a small sign from the people of Iran to make them hopeful that the people no longer care about the revolution. They are really lying in ambush. They are, however, confused: on the one hand, they listen to certain remarks and read certain newspaper headlines which may show that spirituality has ended in this country, show that no-one talks about the revolution or the imam; show that everything has been forgotten. They become happy when they see this, they think this is the case. But when it comes to the people's presence on the scene, when it comes to 22nd Bahman, they suddenly see a great popular flood shouting the slogans of Islam and the revolution; remembering the imam; honouring their glorious past. They get confused, they don't know what to do next. They are, therefore, constantly going to and fro, not knowing what to do ...

I think I should say a few words about the elections on this occasion. Elections are not just political phenomena. Elections symbolize the people's participation and restoration of their rights. Elections symbolise a country's national capability and power. That is the meaning of elections. Today, throughout the world - it does not make any difference whether it is our country or any other part of the world - it is important what percentage of people who could vote take part in the elections and vote. From the point of view of the people of the world, analysts, and world policy-makers, a system in which the largest number of people go to the ballot box and cast their votes has stronger foundations than others. This shows the strength of a system. Praise be to God, we have always demonstrated this in the various elections which have been held over the years. The people maintained a strong presence.

Our people have the right to determine the fate of their country themselves. That is their right as well as their duty. They have the right because the country belongs to them. The people must form their own legislature and choose their own law-makers. They must have a free choice and they must make the right choice. They must choose their officials in accordance with the law. That is their right. It belongs to the people. However it is their duty as well. One cannot say that one does not want to use one's right. No, the fate of the system depends on using and acquiring that right. That is their duty. Everyone must participate. That is the divine right which the Islamic republican system has been able to provide to our people. We did not have this right in the past. In the systems we had in the past, the people were deprived of such a right and they could not use it. The Islamic republican system has enabled the people to acquire it. Sometimes even a single vote can play an effective role. No-one must say: What is so special about my vote? What effect is it going to have? Yes, sometimes one vote or a few votes can have an impact on the fate of a country. It means that you can send a faithful and honest person to the Majlis by voting for him. At sensitive junctures, that is when the vote of even one deputy can determine the fate of the country, or a particular class or the future of the economy, a person who goes to the Majlis can cast his vote and influence the situation. Thus no-one must ever say: What is the influence of my vote?

God willing, the people will do the most important thing that they can do on election day. All the people must do that - women, men and all those who are legally entitled to vote. In this way, they must be enthusiastic about taking part in the elections and make the election process dynamic. Whoever likes the Islamic system will take part in the elections. Whoever is interested in the glory of the Islamic republican system will take part in the elections. My own prediction is that, God willing, as we have seen, this great nation which is aware and intelligent, will take part in the elections enthusiastically. In this way, the people will announce their presence. In fact, they will demonstrate their support for Islam and the Islamic state.

The second point is that the elections must be held in a tranquil and friendly atmosphere in which there is no agitation, altercation, hatred. There must be no such things. Obviously, there are candidates everywhere who make their own decisions and who have different views and tastes. The people will take a look at the situation and, God willing, they will make their choice and act adroitly after getting to know them the candidates . They will vote for them. This must be done in a tranquil atmosphere. That is what we are proud of. You see, a few days ago, we celebrated the 21st anniversary of the victory of the revolution. In a few days, we will be holding the 21st election in our country. That is not a trivial matter. It is a very important thing.

Now, others can sit and feel sorry for our nation and say that this nation should move towards establishing democracy. What is democracy? If by democracy they mean the people's presence, involvement, participation and choice, then, would you please tell us where else you can see such a thing in this world [similar to the level of democracy present in Iran]? Were those who ruled over this country by relying on the Americans' money and political power for years and destroyed everything in this country, able to hold such nationwide elections even on a single occasion? Twenty-one elections have been held over a period of 21 years. Is that a joke? In all those 21 tests, the atmosphere in this country has been like this. It has had a tranquil and friendly atmosphere. Of course, some people run their own publicity campaigns and say things.

An environment in which there is violence, political agitation, political violence, hatred and such things harms the election process. Firstly, it will make a group of people hate the process of participating in the elections. It will lead some people to have doubts. It will make people despondent. It will disappoint people. Unfortunately, I can see that through their remarks, writings and some of the things which are published, certain people are trying to ensure that an atmosphere of hatred prevails over our society. Why? Someone insults the left and another person insults the right. Where are they heading? Where are you going? What do you want? What are these interpretations they have made up? More often than not, the enemy has put words in their mouths. It has thrown a bunch of ignorant people - now we are not saying that they are biased, of course, some of them are undoubtedly biased - in there and they are constantly chattering and saying such things. What is left and right?

This nation is a Muslim nation, a religious nation, a united one. This nation has brought about the revolution as a result of its joint efforts and safeguarded the system for 21 years also as a result of its joint efforts. They, the Iranian people, thwarted the great danger, that is the Iran and Iraq war which was imposed on us for eight years. The nation is united. What is the meaning of artificial divisions? Certain people come along under a certain name and some people come along under another name. They keep trying to create division and split among the people. The people also demonstrated that they do not pay any attention to these kinds of words. This is also obvious. The people are going about their own business. Those who create division too can go about their own business. The climate should be a calm climate. Some people bend on spreading rumours about violence and tension; thus creating confusion in the people's minds. No. People are not going to resort to such things.

I want to say that as from now on and during the next couple of days which are left before the election day, and may be in other stages, our dear people, especially the young generation, should control their emotions and use their logic. They should view things with open eyes, and vote, assess and move on. There are various political preferences. It has been as such so far. People have their own preferences. The only thing to which we must pay attention is that when we vote for someone we have to be able to have an answer for our decision before God ...

The next point is that the Majlis must be a kind of Majlis which is able to stand up to coercion, scare-mongering, excessiveness and avarice of world powers, and assess the problems of the country and the nation ...

Some are easily intimidated. I have said on several occasions that the core of the operations carried out by arrogance, in other words these hegemonistic world powers who interfere in this and that country bringing governments and nations under their control, is done through intimidation. Their real power is not as much as they make out. Well, it is clear, if they had as much power as they claim to have, then considering how they dislike our revolution and our country, then if they had any power this revolution would not have grown to this extent; it would not have lasted the way it has. Is this not reason enough? That the hegemonists, America and the Zionists in the world are not as powerful as they claim to be. The core of their operations is done by virtue of threats. Threats and acts of intimidation. A Majlis deputy should not allow himself to be intimidated by them. He must be a person who is not intimidated. A person who is not intimidated is one who relies on God. When a person puts his trust in God, then that person will not be intimidated by anyone. We saw a prominent example of that in our very era, in the shape of the imam Khomeyni , and we also witnessed thousands of other examples in the course of the Iran-Iraq war. On the battlefield and in the arena of politics, these faithful and self-sacrificing youth were not afraid of anything but God ...

The second point is that a deputy should not become infatuated. Some are infatuated and are allured. Naive people fall for imaginary economic, political or security solutions which are presented to them in great style; they suffer for years as a result of it and finally make life miserable for themselves and others. They must not be infatuated. The correct solution, the independent solution, a solution which has been adopted after taking the special circumstances of this nation and country is that which has been presented by Islam.

Islam has provided a solution for everything, in all issues. It is up to us to go in search of those solutions. If we do not understand something well, or do not go in search of it, then it is not the fault of Islam. One should not be greedy either. Some forget everything the moment their mouth is sweetened by the enemy. If you want a deputy not to be intimidated; infatuated or fall prey to greed, then you must go in search of a person who is righteous and faithful. It is a well-known fact that individuals who are not righteous place their wealth in the hands of righteous people for safekeeping. Trust is a virtue. Of course, an righteous and faithful person can also make mistakes, but then on realizing his mistake he then seeks to redress it. This is a great virtue. Not like those who make mistakes, head for a fall - head for a descent into hell - but on realizing their mistake, they stubbornly deny it, and stand on their word and sink in even deeper.

Therefore the election of a deputy is important...One must conduct research and inquire from righteous people before making a choice. God will reward those who have done their research, even if they have made a mistake. The Almighty will not question you about it. One must conduct research in order to do this task in the best possible way. This is a test before the Iranian nation. This is a big test before the nation, the government and officials. Recently, some of these Americans have again made disparaging remarks about the elections. One has said that we are carefully looking at the situation and are hoping that such and such type of people enter the Majlis. The people should smack them in the mouth. Another has said that we will pursue the case of those who were deemed ineligible by the Guardian Council . The country's officials must be extremely vigilant. What happens when an enemy who is against the interests of Iran seeks to restore its hegemony over this country? Why is it that they are concerned about whether or not someone has been disqualified? Is this not a sign that the manner in which our legitimate bodies have disqualified an individual is in exact contravention of the hegemonists' interests? Those who do not know what they are saying, or are not aware of what they are saying, must show a bit more care. The enemy has opened its mouth. There was a time when this country, with all its resources, was under the control of America and American agents. The revolution erupted and totally altered the situation. It made the country, the nation, and the resources of the country independent. They are lying in ambush, waiting for an opportunity to take over this country and this nation's vital resources and interests once again. The nation must be vigilant, and it is vigilant. With the blessings of the Almighty, the people's presence in these elections and their correct choice in the elections will once again defeat the Americans, the arrogance and the centres of Zionism wherever they may be in the world.

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

The criminal usurper Zionist regime has once again revealed its ruthlessness and savagery by violating the sanctity and purity of the immaculate Al-Aqsa Mosque, and by setting out to massacre the Muslims. The regime has shed the blood of worshippers and shot and martyred a child in the arms of his father, and, in doing so, it has repeated the incidents that have characterized its behavior in the last 50 years. It did all this in the vain hope that it may be able to extinguish the flames of the ongoing liberating jihad and the relentless justice-seeking struggles, so as to pave the way for an abject compromise process and impose its will even further on those inclined towards this compromise. However, as in the past, this time too its heinous crimes will not produce any results and once again its ominous plans and satanic illusions will be foiled.

In the wake of this inhuman display of mischievous hostility, a strong wave of protests has engulfed the people of Palestine, and in general all Muslims and strugglers of the world, and we are witnessing demonstrations by students and people from all walks of life in many Islamic countries. As a result, the intifidah has found a new life, and every day more and more people choose to traverse the path of Islamic jihad. Today, in their tumultuous rallies and demonstrations, the alert and vigilant Muslims are chanting justice-seeking slogans and calling on the officials of the Islamic states to pave the way for jihad and allow the Muslims to fulfill this religious obligation, which is now the only way forward to force the occupiers out of the territories they have usurped, and to allow the Palestinians to return to their lands and homes.

Today, the wave of condemnation of the usurper rulers of these lands has spread everywhere. At the same time, the option of compromise is becoming more and more discredited as people progressively realize its utter futility.

Today, we witness the enhancement of the material, political and moral support for intifidah and indeed all jihadi movements. Today, the cries of the false champions of human rights are falling on deaf ears, as the supporters of Israel are becoming more and more disgraced and discredited, as their deceitful nature becomes clear to everyone. This has now gone so far that many of these supporters can no longer stay silent and not condemn Israel's actions.

Although this ugly tragedy came about with the aim of imposing the illegitimate wishes and aspirations of the Zionist ruler on the parties to the compromise process, the brave people of Palestine will doubtless continue to abhor this process and will make any progress in this area very difficult. In this way, the Palestinians will prevent the abject outcome that is bound to be produced by the compromise process. Praise be to divine assistance, one day these struggles will bear fruit, the occupied lands will be liberated and the plundered assets will be returned to their rightful owners.

The recent course of events is the continuation of the legitimate struggles of the Palestinians; a struggle which benefits from the enthusiasm of a young generation which has been educated in the school of revolution and jihad. This shows that the present generation has chosen the correct path to achieve victory; a path which it intends to traverse decisively and resolutely.

I would like to salute the entire Palestinian nation - particularly the strugglers and followers of the school of intifadah. I would like to say to you that your movement will receive more and more support from the Muslims and revolutionaries as time goes by. You will eventually overcome the occupiers. God willing.

The Islamic Republic of Iran will proudly continue to lend you its support to this divine movement and will continue to offer the prayers of its most pious offspring for your success. "If you devote yourselves to God, He will help you and will consolidate you in your path" [Holy Quran].

[Signed] Sayyed Ali Hussaini Khamenei, 6th Rajab 1421; [4 October 2000]

Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, the Leader of Islamic Revolution, has said that the only acceptable formula for resolving the Palestinian issue is for the original people of Palestine to return to their homeland and decide the shape of their nation and government. Ayatullah Khamenei, who was delivering the Tehran Friday prayer khutbahs on 15th December, called on all Muslim nations to perform their religious duty and send aid and assistance to the Palestinians. "They must not be abandoned to struggle in the arena alone," he said. The following are excerpts from the khutbah, delivered one week before the International Quds Day [Yamul al-Quds], which is commemorated every year on the last Friday of Holy Month of Ramadan.

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate ...

The main subject of my second khutbah is Palestine. And the reason is that Palestine is the main issue of the Islamic world. The mischief there affects all the Islamic community, and countries that are close to the center of the problem, such as Islamic Iran, should be aware of the situation. Both the Zionists, who have usurped Palestine, and their supporters claim that the situation in Palestine is an internal issue only related to the usurping Israeli government. This is not the case. This is not an internal issue at all. Even if a single person had not stood up inside Palestine the Islamic world would have remained the enemy of the Zionists and their supporters because of the very issue of Palestine. The situation is even more central now because the people of Palestine have stood up and have knowingly entered the scene.

Palestine is the main issue of the Islamic world. Palestine is a part of the Islamic territory, and all the Islamic doctrines agree, all the jurisprudents agree that if a part of the Islamic territory is separated from the mainland by the enemy and if the enemy establishes its rule in that territory, all the Muslims have a duty to fight for the return of that territory to the Islamic mainland [worshipers chant Allahu Akbar].

The Muslim people, Muslim nations, wherever they may be in the world, feel duty bound to do something. But many of them cannot take any action. However, anyone who is capable should take action and they do so. For the same reason you see that the entire Islamic world welcomes the Quds Day. Our late great Imam [Khomeini] decelared that the last Friday of Ramadan should be marked annually as Quds Day. This year we shall mark the occasion next Friday [22 December]. You shall see that this year the entire world of Islam will commemorate Quds Day more gloriously and more strikingly than ever before, God willing [worshipers chant Allahu Akbar] ...

The important point is that the Palestinian people and particularly the younger generation in Palestine have realized the truth. Which truth? The truth that if they want to overcome weakness, humiliation, shame and the pressure that they are being subjected to they have to stand up and fight. The solution is not found at negotiation tables because you saw how the negotiators failed. The Palestinian people have understood this truth.

At the same time, the behavior of the Zionists has been so barbaric and so far removed from human conduct and compassion that it has distressed the younger Palestinian generation beyond measure, beyond patience. The Zionists may think that if they show even more force, if they use artillery shells, if they use their tanks, if they use chemical weapons they will silence the people. Yes, of course, they might increase the pressure and they might silence the people for a while. But they will not be able to remove the anger that is piling high in the hearts of the people. These feelings cannot be destroyed. A thunder will bring down all their castles. They will not be able to destroy this movement. This is the first point: The people and the young people have woken up.

The second point is this: This uprising has brought chaos to the calculations of the usurping Zionist government. Why? Because the foundation of their calculation is based on the idea that the Palestinian people no longer have the strength, the temper or the will to fight. After all the initial pressure, after expulsion of more than half of the Palestinian people, after all these years Israel thought Palestinians no longer have the strength, the will or the enthusiasm to stand up and fight. This was their calculation. But their calculation was wrong. Their premise was wrong. When the very people who live in Palestine - and not merely the Palestinian organizations abroad, in Lebanon or Jordan, but thousands of people living in the various regions of Palestine - are determined to stand up to the system, the climate of security and the promised land which they had imagined and tried to create by dragging non-Palestinian immigrants and Jews from the various parts of the world is destroyed.

Their calculations have not worked out. That is why their government has had to resign. They were forced to do so out of need. Those who applied the greatest pressure for the resignation might think that they should apply even more force and bring a more ruthless government to power. This is how they might be thinking. But they are wrong. They are mislead. This is no small matter. It is a grave issue related to the fate of the Islamic world and the fate of all Islamic countries, particularly those that are close to this corrupt and dangerous tumor.

In this month of Ramadan the Zionists committed all the atrocities that they could manage. Small children, even as young as one-year old, youngsters, teenagers, old men and even handicapped people have fallen in these events ...

Despite all this the Americans continue to support them. Despite all this the American senators and politicians and their political experts continue to express clear support for them. Well, let them do it. It is their choice. This is their policy. This is their essence. Their essence is to support such corrupt, evil and ruthless people. We don't expect anything more from them. However, the people of the world should learn from these events. Our nation, fortunately, is well aware of the situation. The people of the world who have always heard the Americans talk about human rights, the rights of the majority and - in their own words - democracy, should see the truly ugly face of American policies in the mirror of Palestine [worshipers chant Death to America] ...

There is an acceptable and fully humanitarian formula, and that is, the original people of Palestine - and not the people who came to Palestine from other regions of the world - the people of Palestine, wherever they may be in the refugee camps and elsewhere, they should go back to Palestine and determine the shape of their own government which should comprise their own people. Of course, it is obvious that no Palestinian, be it Muslims or not - and the dominant majority of the Palestinians are Muslims - or Christians and Jewish, there is a small minority of Jews and Christians live there, anyway no Palestinian would ever be happy or would permit a gang of loiterers from London streets, members of suppressed Jewish families from Moscow or the American thugs to come to Palestine and form a government. They would not allow rule by gangs who once upon a time were wielding knives and daggers and their greatest achievement was the ability to batter and kill their opponents brutally and behave in a manner which pleased the Zionist and Jewish capitalists. It is obvious that the nation of Palestine will not allow such gangs to rule in Palestine. The Islamic world will not allow such a thing either.

This formula is a formula acceptable to the world. Those powers that claim to believe in the people's vote and democracy are welcomed to this formula. Very well, this is an example of a democratic gesture.

The land of Palestine, this piece of land, has after all had some people living in it. These people are still alive. Several million of them are living there and several other million live outside, that is, in Lebanon, Jordan and other regions. They can all gather there in Palestine and elect their own government. This is a very appropriate method.

It is clear that the Zionist regime which is ruling today and any other Zionist government has no right to survive and rule in the region of Palestine and in the land of Palestine [worshipers chant Allahu Akbar]. We would like to point out to our dear Palestinian brothers, who are facing hardship in that place, that if they were to remain steadfast and patient, they would receive divine rewards and they would achieve victory. Victory will always follow patience and endeavor in the service of God. "God will grant victory to those who assist Him". There is no doubt about this. Therefore victory will be realized. They the Palestinians must remain patient and must tolerate hardship.

We call on all Islamic states and Muslim nations to perform their religious duty. Today all nations and governments are duty bound to send assistance to this oppressed nation and this community of believers. They the Palestinians must not be abandoned to struggle in the arena alone. They must be helped. And help is being offered. We hope that these offerings will reach the right destination and will be effective to reduce some of the pains of Palestine's people, God willing. We beseech Almighty God to eliminate the problems facing Islam, the Muslims and the people of Palestine.

"In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. When the help of Allah comes and victory, and you see people enter Allah's Religion in crowds, celebrate the praises of your Sustainer and pray for His forgiveness: for He is Ever Turning One Towards Repentance."

Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, on Monday, December 20, received the officials and executives in charge of the hajj pilgrimage.Speaking at the meeting, the Leader considered the hajj pilgrimage an exceptional opportunity for Muslims to achieve self-awareness and return to their true nature and also a favorable time for the promotion of unity among Muslim nations.

Referring to the efforts being made by the arrogant powers, especially the United States, to instigate discord in the Islamic world, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the Muslim Ummah should act very vigilantly at the present sensitive juncture and it should try to foil the plots and machinations of the arrogant powers through unity and solidarity.

He further hinted at the present situation in Iraq, particularly the bitter and bloody incidents that recently took place in the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf. "Undoubtedly, the intelligence agencies of the United States and the Zionist regime were behind these incidents. Such incidents are aimed at preoccupying Iraqi people on the verge of the upcoming elections in that country," he noted.The Leader pointed out that despite their words and claims, the United States and Britain are not in favor of real elections in Iraq.

"These countries aim to install their own agents in Iraq by holding sham elections in that country. Therefore, the Iraqi people should be alert and act very vigilantly," he added.Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the recent incidents in Najafi and Karbala should draw the attention of Muslims to malicious plots that are being hatched against them. He added that fomenting discord between the Shia and the Sunni is the main goal of the United States.

"Certain remarks that have been made by some puppets of the colonial powers in Iraq over the recent days have been intended to create division between the Shia and the Sunni, but this plot will be thwarted by the alertness of the Iraqi people," he noted.

The Leader of the Islamic Republic considered the hajj season a favorable occasion for informing Muslims from different countries about the U.S. plots and machinations against Muslim nations, especially about the U.S. "Great Middle East" plan that is aimed at preparing the ground for U.S. domination of the region and plunder of the regional countries' national wealth and natural resources.

Ayatollah Khamenei called on the hajj pilgrims to benefit spiritually from their pilgrimage by trying to attain proximity to Almighty Allah and achieve self-awareness. He emphasized that besides performing the hajj rituals, pilgrims should also observe the hajj courtesy, which includes humility toward and remembrance of the Almighty as well as tolerance, kindness and benevolence toward other Muslims, so that they may benefit spiritually form their pilgrimage.

The Leader also stated that Muslims should pay greater attention to the holy Qur'an. He stressed that this holy book is the key to the progress and prosperity of the Islamic Ummah and should be the pivot of the Muslims' everyday life.

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate ...

When the fate of the Palestinian issue is left to a number of politicians and there is no role for the people and the young people cannot voice their views, then what you have seen recently is exactly what was bound to happen. Abjectness followed by abjectness, defeat followed by defeat, leaving the strongholds one by one to the bullying, aggressive, mischievous and outrageous Zionists. That happens when the people have no part in the developments. They have sidelined the people.

They have forgotten the true factors that attract the people, they have forgotten the factor of faith. They have delayed the issue of Palestine for dozens of years. At the beginning of the Islamic revolution in Iran I asked one of the Palestinian leaders who had come here, why do you not raise the slogan of Islam? He responded by making idle excuses. They did not want to do that. They did not believe in Islam in their hearts. Today it is some 12 or 13 years since the Palestinian nation entered the arena in the name of Islam and with the slogan of Islam. The enemy realized quickly what that meant. When the intifadah began in Palestine in the last decade, the enemies, the Zionists and their American friends, before anyone else, felt the danger. They thought they had to annihilate this movement , because it had begun in the name of Islam. They tried to remedy the situation, but they were incapable of doing that because they are bullies by nature.

The Zionist regime that resides in the lands it has usurped from the Palestinians is a racist regime. How can you expect justice from a racist regime, which, after all, was established thanks to help from the world's economic and political powers? ...

The people who think one can negotiate with this regime are very simple-minded. For the Zionist regime, every round of negotiation is a prelude to opening a new front for its advances. You once helped them with your negotiations and now they are having claims to Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is the inevitable outcome when you do not know how you should behave when faced with such an oppressive bully, and the decisions are adopted under pressures from America and the wealthy Zionists of the world.

However the nation was finally awakened and entered the arena itself. Three weeks ago, the presence of a filthy and abhorrent Zionist element, Ariel Sharon, in Al-Aqsa Mosque put an end to the people's patience. If on that same day, the political leaders who claim to champion the cause of the Palestinians, or indeed the leaders of Arab states, had raised a cry of protest, the people would have felt that they were not alone. If this had happened, perhaps we would not have been witnessing the present course of events. However, the people realized that they had to take matters into their own hands, and so they entered the scene.

The flames of resistance have now been raging in Palestine for three weeks. I told the Palestinian young people that they should be aware that a whole generation has been awakened and has come to the arena. How can anyone hope to silence this generation?

Some elements commit criminal actions and murder a number of oppressed and innocent young people. However, the blood of these martyrs will irrigate the tree of the Palestinian movement and revolution. The current situation is not something that the arrogant power of America - or its hireling regional lackey the Zionist regime - are going to be able to cure and rectify. The present situation is incurable. How can you silence a nation, who has been driven out of its home and country, while the ones who have remained there have been oppressed by the alien population who migrated to that land?

The organs and lackeys of global arrogance criticize Islamic Iran for its opposition to the peace process. Of course we oppose this process. However, they should know that even if Islamic Iran did no oppose this trend, or even if no other country in the world offered any help it would still been simplistic to think that a nation could be wiped from the face of the earth in order to make room for a false and forged nation. The Palestinian nation has a culture, a history and a civilization. This nation has lived in that area for centuries. So how do you think you are going to separate this nation from its territories, homeland and history, and give their place to a group of migrant and wandering tramps - opportunists and profit-seekers from different parts of the world - in a bid to create a false and forged nation. How can this be possible?

You may be able to establish such a situation for a little while by resorting to force and coercion. But how can this situation endure for long? It is never going to last, as the present signs clearly show.

My first and foremost opinion about the Palestinian issue is that there is no power anywhere in the world that is able to extinguish the flames of the aspirations of the Palestinians - or indeed those of the Muslims of the world as a whole - to achieve freedom for Palestine and facilitate the return of its people to their homeland.

There is only one remedy and there is only one cure. I want to say to circles that consider the Middle East problem as a critical international issue and say that the Middle East crisis must be resolved. The only way to do this is to destroy the root and cause of the crisis. What is this root? The answer is the Zionist regime; a regime which has been imposed on the region.

The crisis will be present as long as its root and cause remains intact. The solution is that the Palestinian refugees should return to their homeland from Lebanon, or wherever they may be residing at the present. The few millions of Palestinians who live outside Palestine must return to their lands. The original people of Palestine - be they Muslims, Christians or Jews - should then stage a referendum and decide what kind of political regime they would like for their country. The Muslims have an absolute majority in the Palestinian population, but there are also some Jews and Christians, who are among the original inhabitants of Palestine, together with their forefathers and ancestors. All these people should establish the type of political system that they favor. Then this political system must decide what to do with the people who have come to Palestine in the last 40, 45 or 50 years. Should they be kept there, should they be repatriated, or should they be resettled in a specific location? These decisions will be up to the political system, which would rule Palestine.

This is the solution to the crisis. Without this solution, no other alternative will be effective. The Americans, despite all their demonstrations of might, cannot do anything. They have done everything they could without achieving any results. The result is what we can see today. Of course, they are extremely angry about the developments of the past three weeks in occupied Palestine, with the uprising of the youth, with the courage of men and women and with the firm resolve of the oppressed and enraged people.

They are trying to blame this and that country for the developments. No sir, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not the factor behind Palestine's uprising. The people of Lebanon are not the drive behind Palestine's uprising. The drive behind Palestine's uprising is the people of Palestine themselves. The factor, which compelled the Palestinians to resort to their uprising and the Intifadah, was the pent-up suffering and sorrow in the hearts of the younger generation who pour into the arena with hope and enthusiasm. Of course, we admire them. We consider them as one of us. We regard Palestine as a part of Islam's body. We feel that we are brethren and share the same blood flowing in the veins of the Palestinian youth. But it is they who are driving the Intifadah.

The agreements signed in Sharm al-Shaykh and other similar places between the irresponsible sides are not effective at all. They are a source of shame for the signatories. They are totally ineffective and will not influence anything at all.

The Arab Summit will be held in the very near future. I deem it essential to remind Arab leaders of the heavy burden of responsibility that they are shouldering today. The Islamic nation expects the Arab leaders to do something today. The Americans tried to make sure that the Sharm al-Shaykh summit would overshadow the Arab summit. The Arab summit must not be influenced by the Sharm al-Shaykh summit. Any decision taken by the Arab summit today will be judged by history forever. The Arab leaders will have the opportunity to gain themselves an eternal pride, provided they take proper decisions.

Of course, the problem of Palestine cannot be resolved by such summits. However, these summits can inform the world of the Palestinian nation's demands. The most urgent and imminent demands of the Palestinian nation are as follows:

1. The agents responsible for the massacre of the Palestinians over the past three weeks must be tried in an Islamic or Arab court.

2. The menacing creature Ariel Sharon whose presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque offended the feelings of Muslims, must be punished.

3. The Holy Quds and the city of Bayt al-Muqadas [Jerusalem] must be totally cleansed from the existence of Zionists.

4. The Palestinian people must be allowed to decide their own future and destiny.

These are the urgent demands that the Arab leaders can raise in their summit. I for my part would like to call on my Palestinian brothers and sisters to continue their Jihad. Continue your resistance. You must know that no nation can gain respect, identity and independence without resistance and struggle.

No nation will obtain anything by pleading with the enemy. No nation will achieve anything by remaining weak and humble before the enemy. Any nation that has achieved anything in the world today, has done so through firm resolve, determination, by confronting the enemy and by holding its head high. Some nations do not have the capability to do so. But a nation that believes in Islam, in the Quran and in God's promise, such a nation enjoys the capability ...

My next recommendation to the Palestinians is that today the enemy is utilizing all its resources to create division among the Palestinians' ranks. Even the treacherous Palestinian elements who are cooperating with the enemy, are striving to create discord. The people of Palestine must not surrender to this conspiracy of the enemy. I am addressing the combatants of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Fatah - who have entered the arena recently - they must not abandon the arena. They must all stick together. No one must listen to those leaders and commanders who speak or issue orders to benefit the enemy. Every member of the Palestinian nation should gather around the pivot of sincere, religious and selfless elements.

The Palestinian nation should realize that today the Islamic world's eye is watching them. They must know that the hearts of the Islamic nation admire them, prays for them and would send them aid. The nations would have sent aid whether their governments allowed them or not. The Islamic ummah will not leave Palestine and the Palestinian nation alone. It will not ignore the Palestinian youths ...

The following is a translation of excerpts from the of the beloved Leader of the Islamic Revolution at a gathering of over 200 thousand youth in Tehran. The translation is done by a western news agency and although it seems to be more or less ok, its accuracy has not been checked with the original text. What is very much noticeable is that this news agency was only interested in the political sections of His Eminence speech and most of the historical and ideological sections of the speech were not translated.

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

Today, our young people and the entire nation enjoy the morale of hard work and initiative. Before the revolution, neither the youth nor other members of the public were given the opportunity to be creative with initiatives. The people were not given the opportunity to be creative in the fields of science, industry and other diverse fields of innovation. Any innovation was ignored by the government of the time. The revolution revived the people's mentality of independence, self-reliance and self-confidence. And now the people have immense opportunity to be creative. We are fortunate to have so many young people with such high morale. Our young people and every individual member of the nation feels that they play a hand in the country's destiny. In fact, the country's dynamism and management is in the hand of the individuals who are elected by the people.

Today, the people in some countries near us in the region play no role in the election of their officials. In these countries the people have no role and no supervision over their rulers, or in the coming and going of the rulers, the length of their reign, their wealth, their debauchery and abuse of power. In some other countries there is some sort of democracy on the surface, but in reality those governments are not the fruits of the people's involvement either. In these countries the domination of rulers or the influence of foreign powers is so strong that in fact the people have no role to play in the running of their country. Today the realities in our country are exceptional. At least they are exceptional in this region. The people play a role. They elect their government, the Majlis deputies and the members of the judicial and executive authorities. The people then test their elected representatives for a period, and would re-elect them if they are happy with their performance. But if the people are not happy with some officials, they would seek to elect someone else in the next round. This is a very good opportunity.

The next point I wish to discuss concerns the Islamic instructions, principles and values which are implemented in our country. There may be democracies in many other regions of the world, and they may engage in economic activities, but they are deprived of social justice and elimination of discrimination. In the capitalist countries today, the common activity among various strata of the people is the struggle by individuals to protect self interests. In those countries the planners do not feel obliged to implement social justice. Social justice is the biggest recommendation of Islam, whose instructions form our constitution and dictate our laws. If some state officials were to refuse to implement social justice and endeavor to eliminate poverty and division between the rich and poor, they would fall out of favor. Naturally the people would not support such officials.

The government's popular nature is another value which has been presented to this country by Islamic sovereignty and Islamic teachings. Being popular means being part of the people. Being popular is something which is far more important than just being elected by the people. In a democracy or in a form of a democracy, some people might be elected, but they might not have any links with the people. They are not from the midst of the people.

In our Islamic country, being people-oriented is a value. The president is people-oriented. Officials are people-oriented. They want to be people-oriented. Whoever is closer to the people, and whoever understands more about the people's sentiments, and whoever shows more sympathy towards the people and expresses sympathy towards them, the people will also express more interest in him or her. This is one of the major advantage of our current situation ...

This is a country, which has such a massive number of young people, which has such a high number of talented people, which has such a source of energy including enormous natural and climatic resources and in which the people enjoy from Islamic doctrine and the recognition of God. If the officials of this country implement their duties correctly and properly - this is the intention of our country's officials to implement their tasks well - undoubtedly the future which is awaiting them will be a very bright and shinning future, a future, which can become a model for the Islamic world to follow, in the first instance, and for others to follow later.

However, there are threats. There are threats. We must identify the sources of threats. In all my talks and statements, directed either to the young people or to the entire nation, I stressed on threats against the country and the nation particularly the young generation. The reason for my emphasis is that the threats are very serious. My dear young people! Sometimes a negligence or an oversight or an indifference or a complacency may deprive a nation from great achievements. We must not allow this happen. Our nation has shown that it can, under effective leaders or officials, make great achievements with endeavor, efforts and hard work. And it will be able to do so providing that threats can be identified. At this juncture, I am not merely addressing the older generation. Rather, I am drawing the attention of the young people. I am asking the young people to recognize the threats precisely. The young people should play their role in withstanding the threats. Two issues threaten our bright future: External threats and internal threats. I must say that the external enemy will not be able to threaten us a great deal if we did not have internal enemies or infiltrators or two-face people who sabotage the affairs of the country ...

Anything that harms the health, faith and vitality of the young people is a threat. Or, anything that undermines the efforts and the education of the young people is a threat. Carelessness in a threat too. Laxity is also a threat. So are drugs and indifference towards science, education and work. Preoccupation with useless quarrels in society is a threat. A domestic quarrel is a threat. And, lack of trust in the system or the officials is a threat. Of course, the negligence of the officials should be considered as a threat. The plans of external enemy is also a kind of threat.

A nation like the Iranian nation that is alert, alive, wise, young and revolutionary must be able to overcome all of the said threats. When I talk about external threat, I mean the centers of world power. My dear brothers, sisters and children! Today, not only Iran but all countries that are not on the same level of the advanced European and American countries, are faced with a dual threat. What is a dual threat?

What is this additional threat? It is, on the one hand, the direct influence of super powers, headed by America, and on the other, the wave of globalization. It is what you have seen recently in America where demonstrations have been staged against this wave by a section of the American people. What is globalization? It means that a group of world powers, a number of countries - mainly those who have influence over the UN and mainly those countries which have been colonialists in the past - want to expand their culture, economy and traditions throughout the world. They want to set up a share-holding company in which they should hold 95 per cent of its share while the rest of world countries should have 5 per cent. They want to have authority. They want to make decisions. That is what globalization means. Today, many countries, many political leaders from the so-called third world, many world intellectuals, are campaigning against globalization. They oppose it and they are alarmed by it.

Some of our officials who attended international conferences say that many of those countries, who attended the G77 summit and the Non-Aligned Movement summit, are afraid of globalization. This is because they know globalization means American domination over other countries' economy, culture, army, policy and government and over almost everything else that belongs to other countries. This is something which does not even fall into the category of exerting direct influence. You see that so much pressure has been exerted on the fact that Iran does not pay any attention to America. Americans use all pressure in order to crush this grim face that the Iranian nation has shown towards America - a grim face and no attention. The reason for this is that they have made every efforts in all corners of the world aimed at persuading world politicians to flatter, to show humility, to bow down and to surrender. Americans have hinted to heads of African, Asian and Latin American countries that they have no option for survival but to surrender to America and to its policies. Many of those countries have accepted this.

There is only one country, one nation and one government in the world which has not submitted to this pressure. We have nothing to do with America. However, we are not prepared to surrender to bullying, to pressure and to imposition of policies, and ties. We are not prepared to surrender. That country is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Contrary to hypocritical remarks which are made occasionally by American officials within the context of their statements and speeches - they occasionally praise the Iranian nation, a half-hearted praise, or say a word of praise for a section of Iranian officials and its system - contrary to these, their real intention is to be able to establish their political and economic denomination over Iran, or if possible a military one.

They have their eyes on Iran's markets. They have their eyes on Iran's resources. Furthermore, because the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian nation and Iran's revolutionary and Islamic system have been able to arouse a massive awareness in the Islamic world, an awareness which could not easily be destroyed, they want to put an end to this international awareness by persuading Iran and by making Iran humble. Their intention is to tell the world that: those countries and nations who intend to establish themselves on their own, have also submitted to America and showed humility towards it.

That is what they want. That is their objective. Their intention is not the establishment of healthy relations but this is what they imply in their propaganda. Certain people, unfortunately, in Iran and in the press and through other channels repeat those words. As if all economic problems of our country will be resolved through the establishment of ties with America. This is a lie. This is untrue. The Americans, when it comes to their contacts and relations and activities in the world, have just one aim in mind. And they express it openly. They do not hide it, and they do not conceal it. And that aim concerns the preservation of America's interests. If and when they establish relations with someone, it is because America's interests demand it. What is important to them is their own interests. America does not bring any benefits to any country.

When America makes a loan of a few million dollars to a particular country, it extracts concessions from that country which amount to several times the value of the original loan made to that country. Today, if you look at the countries which are around us in the region, you will see that they are afflicted with poverty, with weakness, with despotism, and with corruption and numerous problems and difficulties up to their eyeballs. Is it not true that these countries have relations with America? All of them have relations with America. The Americans take advantage of them but do not bring any benefits to them. On numerous occasions the Americans have announced that their aim in maintaining relations with other countries around the world is to use such countries for serving the American government's interests. What does this all imply? It implies that, from the viewpoint of the Americans, the interests of an American citizen take precedence over the interests of an Iranian citizen or any other non-American individual. The interests of an American youth take precedence over the interests of an Iranian youth. The interests of Americans take precedence over the interests of everybody else. This is the basis upon which America's foreign policy in international relations is based. This is the principal aim which America seeks.

Of course, they use the term human rights. They lie. They do it to deceive others. There are some countries, whose oil resources are being used by America, where there has never been a freely elected parliament, not even once. In those countries you will not find a single leader or a president who has been freely elected by the people. But America chooses not to mention the words democracy and human rights when it comes to its relations with those countries. Why? Because its interests are protected there.

During the time that the regime of Saddam Husayn was at war with Iran, the Americans cooperated fully with Saddam's regime because it was in America's interests to do so. When the regime of Saddam attacked Kuwait and threatened America's interests, Saddam Husayn was turned into an oppressor and they did to Saddam what we are seeing today. It was then that they turned Saddam into an aggressor, a criminal and an unreliable element. Was he not all these things before? This is the practice and the method of the Americans. Even now there are numerous institutions in America itself, and in Europe acting on behalf of the Americans, which are active and busy trying to bring pressure upon the government of Iran, upon public opinion in Iran and upon the public atmosphere in Iran.

I have been given a report on certain research centers which are apparently research centers but are in fact bodies set up to bring political pressure, to bring the pressure of propaganda and to whip up public opinion against the Islamic system in Iran. Outwardly, they use the language of friendship through certain political elements. Their military elements, their defense minister and their military chief in the Persian Gulf region use the language of a bully. And this is how their spy networks behave and operate. In secret they are busy hatching conspiracies. I do not have the time to go into details. I have been given the names of the various institutions and organizations which are involved in this connection. You are well aware of all their activities. You know what they are up to. Unfortunately, some of them have been able to take advantage of a situation of discord and turmoil. They have been able to gain access to elements inside Iran, and to make contacts with certain individuals inside Iran. One such person, upon returning to his country, has reported that as far as Iran was concerned everything was now ready and that the only thing that remained to be done was to introduce the ambassador to Iran. Who told such a person that in Iran everything was now ready for a deal? How did he arrive at such a conclusion? Who spoke to him? What was told to him and by whom?

These are things that constitute the internal threats. As I mentioned before, my dear ones, if we are united internally in this country, if we maintain a united front, if the people are sincere and honest with their government and with the state officials, a foreign enemy can never have a detrimental effect on this country. The enemy will then never be able to do anything against us. Unfortunately, there are certain elements inside this country who support the enemy's cause. There are hypocrites and enemies in this country who have never accepted, not even for one day, the government of the Imam [Khomeini] and the Islamic system in this country ...

Today, also, there are hypocrites and enemies among us in this country. There are certain individuals in this country who used to think that once the revolution succeeded the government would fall into their lap. They used to think that the government would then belong to them. They accepted neither the concept of velayat-e faqih [rule of the supreme jurisconsult] nor the Imam [Khomeini] himself. They did not even accept the people. They did not accept religious beliefs and sentiments ...

The Islamic system in this country has also been lenient towards these hypocrites, and it has not punished them. Today these look at some of the incidents in which the enemy has a hand, and they think that they've found an opportunity to strike a blow at the heart of the Islamic system in this country. They continue to pursue their hypocritical activities, hoping that the state officials are divided by internal divisions. They hope that the people are divided by internal divisions. They hope that the ties which bind young people to the Islamic system can be severed and broken. They hope that the young people will turn their backs on the Islamic system.

You, my dear young people, ought to know that the hypocrites tremble every time you make a move. Every time you stage an Islamic or a revolutionary or a religious gathering; every time you take part in prayers and religious ceremonies; every time you take part in 22nd Bahman ceremonies [ceremonies held on 11th February every year to commemorate the victory of the Islamic revolution]; every time you take part in ceremonies and rallies marking Qods [Jerusalem] Day; every time you show respect for state officials and the president of the republic and every time you make a move which reflects your devotion to Islam, divinity and the cause of the revolution, you make the hypocrites tremble with fear. They become disconcerted. [The crowds express their approval by chanting slogans and condemning the hypocrites.] At present there are certain individuals who give hope to the foreign enemy through their statements, remarks, stances, propaganda and perhaps by taking part in some riots. Now the foreign enemy thinks that maybe the time is ripe to come back and take over Iran, to dominate the Iranian nation and to crush the Iranian nation's 21 year revolution resistance. In fact, these individuals are guilty because they boost the enemy's morale.

Let me tell you something my dear ones, the main objective of the enemies - both the foreign and the hypocritical and presumptuous internal enemies - is to topple the religious Islamic state. This is the main objective and the enemies would not be happy with anything less. They know that they will not be able to do anything in this country for as long as the power lies in the hand of religion, the religious laws, for as long as the Islamic Majlis ratifies laws in accordance with the religious instructions and for as long as we maintain the existing constitution, which is based on religion. The enemies will not be able to do anything for as long as the state officials remain committed to the religion, Islam and the principles of velayat-e faqih. The objective is to eliminate this ...

The main objective of the enemy is to separate the state from the imamate and religion. Afterwards, the enemy will be able to do anything. I must say that the enemy is not able to separate the state from the religion. Today, owing to the awareness and the elevated thoughts of the Iranian nation, and with the blessing of the great Iranian revolution, neither America nor any materialist power, will be able to create an incident in the world of Islam similar to the peace imposed on Imam Hasan [who established peace with his enemy]. Now, should the enemy apply immense pressure, the Karbala incident [during which Imam Husayn was martyred] will occur again ...

I am grateful to God that our nation is an alert nation and our officials are united around the axis of religion and Islam. Many people are trying to speak on behalf of the president or other officials. They are wasting their time. The president is a spiritual and committed individual, who is devoted to Imam [Khomeini] and who is a religious intellectual and has a sense of responsibility in this respect. Our other officials, those at the higher level, thanks be to God, are t

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