"Iran's majlis and govt's decision to enrich uranium to 20% is totally logical and wise. When they don't abide by any of their JCPOA commitments, it's nonsensical for Iran to abide by all its commitments. If they return to it, so will we. Our logical demand is the lifting of sanctions."
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on January 8, 2021, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the anniversary of an uprising led by the people of Qom on January 9, 1978.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.
I greet the dear people of Qom and the honorable Islamic seminary of that city. Unfortunately, the circumstances for this year’s annual meeting are like this and I am deprived of seeing the enlightened faces of dear brothers from Qom, but this is life. It is one of the ups and downs. Life is full of such highs and lows and we should tread the path of life. This will pass by Allah’s favor. This incident too is a transient one, like all other bitter and sweet incidents in life. By Allah’s favor and grace, we will be on the paved road once again.
A word of gratitude to the people of Iran and Iraq for their voluntary movement on the martyrdom anniversary of Shahid Soleimani and Shahid Abu Mahdi
Today, I will discuss a few points about the important event and epic of the 19th of Dey. Also, I will raise a few points about some of the current issues that have occupied the attention of public opinion in the country, but before I enter into the main discussion, I wish to thank God and to thank the dear people of our country for their great and glorious movement on the martyrdom anniversary of our dear martyr, Shahid Soleimani.
Shahid Soleimani and Shahid Abu Mahdi were revived in the voluntary movement of people from throughout the country. With that great popular movement, a fresh impetus was given to the country, one that could not be created with any directive and any edict. The movement originated from the people’s emotions, hearts, insight and motives. The same is true of the great and astonishing gathering organized in Baghdad and other cities of Iraq with the purpose of commemorating Shahid Abu Mahdi, the outstanding Iraqi commander, and Shahid Soleimani – the dear guest of the Iraqi people. I sincerely thank all the brothers and sisters who participated in that ceremony in our country and in Iraq.
I deem it necessary to mention the names of Shahid Soleimani’s team. This is because Shahid Soleimani’s greatness caused their names to be mentioned less frequently: Shahid Pour-Ja’fari, Shahid Mozaffari-Nia, Shahid Tarami and Shahid Zamani-Nia, all of whom are among outstanding martyrs. I deem it necessary to speak about Shahid Abu Mahdi’s companions as well, but I do not have their names in mind.
Also, I deem it necessary to mention the martyrs who lost their lives in the burial ceremony of Shahid Soleimani in Kerman and also the casualties of the very bitter and sad airplane incident, which was really a bitter and unpleasant incident that caused the country mourn for their loss. I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow His mercy and blessings on those martyrs – whether the Kerman or the Tehran martyrs – and will shower patience and tranquility on their families with His grace and kindness. Of course, officials have certain duties in this regard and they have been reminded of them.
Moreover, I find it necessary to commemorate the memory of Shahid Fakhrizadeh on the occasion of his 40-day martyrdom commemoration. He was an outstanding martyr and a great personality. Recently, we lost two great scientific personalities: one was Shahid Fakhrizadeh and the other was Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi. Both were great scientific personalities, each within the scope of their work and their area. Both have left valuable legacies in the organizations where they were active and therefore, these legacies should definitely be preserved in the best way possible, by Allah’s favor.
Two points about the 19th of Dey uprising
As for the 19th of Dey uprising, I wish to raise two points: one is that we need to protect the memory of that event and another is that we should preserve and guard its content and meaning. In other words, we need to protect the event itself in the sense that we are obliged to keep it alive and also, we need to protect the content of that great epic. I will mention why.
Protecting the memory of the 19th of Dey as one of the highlights of the Iranian nation’s life
As for why we should protect that glorious event, it is because it was one of the highlights of the Iranian nation’s life. Nations have certain highs and lows. We should preserve the highs. The highs are those which manifest a nation’s liveliness, preparedness, motivation, determination and insight in sensitive times. The 19th of Dey was like that. Therefore, the highlights and peaks should be kept alive as they boost the morale of future generations and they are also a source of pride and national dignity. These peaks should be recorded in history and show future generations which path they should take. Therefore, the event in itself should not be allowed to become dated and we should continue to keep it fresh and alive, as we have done so until today.
Protecting the content of the 19th of Dey uprising and preventing it from being distorted
As for protecting its content, well every event has a content and a meaning. What was the content of that event? We should gain a correct understanding about its content and then protect and guard it. Why should we guard it? Because treacherous narrators and analysts with ulterior motives try to distort the content of great events to their own benefit and to the benefit of usurping powers in the world. This practice has existed since long ago: narrators with ulterior motives narrate an event in a way that the opposite meaning is portrayed in the minds of the audience.
Today, with the development of means of mass communication and numerous other technologies, corrupt powers and treacherous hands are capable of changing events and their content. They analyze them in the wrong way and misguide public opinion – in particular, future generations and those who were not present when the event took place, who did not see it up close and who did not hear about it in times close to the event itself.
Today, one of the important things that intelligence services do is that they follow the events and incidents occurring in the world and after that, they portray them the way they want them to be portrayed, but they do not do it directly, rather they do it with others’ tongues and pens – with the articles and analyses of well-known personalities in the world – and with the numerous means available to them including money and use of threats and temptations.
Recently, I read a book written by an American writer. Actually, he compiled the book because different individuals were involved in its writing. It is about the domination of the US intelligence organization, known as the CIA, over the main newspapers and magazines in the world. The essence of the book is about this matter. It explains how the CIA has interfered in the writings and statements of well-known writers and reputable magazines and how it has inculcated its own analysis into public opinion, instead of the real analysis, and how it has controlled their thoughts. Not only has the CIA done so in American press, but it has also done it in other countries such as European countries. The book mentions a well-known French publication and says that the CIA has done and written such and such things there. This is common practice in the world. By doing this, the CIA is actually inculcating its wrong and distorted analysis about different events into public opinion, thus misguiding people all over the world. This is a danger that always exists.
The 19th of Dey uprising was the first Ibrahimi blow on the body of the great idol called America
In fact, the 19th of Dey uprising could be considered as the first Ibrahimi axe blow on the body of the great idol. It was the first axe blow dealt to the great idol called the US by the people of Qom. And more blows were dealt with it later on. Today, you can see in what condition the US is. Today, you can see the miserable state of the great idol: such is their democracy, such is their electoral debacle and such is their human rights. On the basis of their human rights, every few hours, or at least every few days, an African American is murdered on the street without any reason and without having committed any crime while the murderer is not pursued in any way. Such is the state of their values. They keep speaking about American values, but today, they are being ridiculed by the whole world. Even their friends ridicule them.
And such is their economy. The US economy is crippled in the true sense of the word: there are tens of millions of unemployed, hungry and homeless individuals. Such is the condition of the US in the present time. This is of course an important point, but a more surprising point is that some people still point to the US as their qibla. They continue to pin their hopes and dreams on the US: a US which is in such a condition.
Well, we said that the public uprising of the people was anti-American, but the reason was not only that the US president had given his 100 percent support to the regime. That only served as a release of the people’s displeasure and inner rage. Otherwise, it had been 25 years then that the US had exerted all kinds of pressure on the people. With the help of the dictatorial and corrupt Pahlavi regime, it had turned Iran into its main base and the result was by no means progress for our country. On the contrary, the result of the US’s presence in our country was economic and scientific poverty, corruption and cultural decadence.
They created such a condition in our country. Now, some people think that if we interact, make up and become friends with the US, the country will become something of a paradise. No, that will not be the case and you only need to look at the pre-revolutionary era to see what things were like back then. Look at those countries which exchange loving words with the US to see in what condition they are. You can clearly see their economic and scientific condition. There are some countries in our own region, but I do not want to mention their names. You yourselves know which countries I am speaking about.
Of course, even after the victory of our great Revolution, the US did not stop its plots. The US is after achieving the same hellish domination over our country: Not only our country, but also the whole region. Some people ask, “What is the difference between the US and such and such a European country? The difference lies in this fact. Because the US used to ensure its interests for many years in Iran, because it had built itself a nice home here and because it considers itself to be the superior power, it wants to restore the previous conditions. This is what makes the Iranian nation vigilant and careful. Of course, some treacherous countries in the region are helping it as well.
US interests lie in creating instability and chaos in the region
I wish to add that in the current circumstances, the US finds its interests in creating instability in the region until it manages to achieve complete domination over the region. Until then, it finds its interests in creating instability in the region. This is being acknowledged explicitly by themselves. A well-known expert in a famous American organization, “The American Enterprise Institute” – if I mention his name, those who are interested in political work will recognize him easily – said this openly. He said that they are not after creating stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He does not just mention Iran, rather, he mentions Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, saying that they are not interested in stability in those countries. The main issue is not about the necessity or lack of necessity to create instability – as it is evident that there should be instability in such countries – rather the main issue is about how to create such instability. Sometimes, they cause it with DAESH and sometimes they do it with seditious moves such as the one plotted in 1388. Another is the things that they are doing in the region. So, they are after causing instability in the region.
That is while that American loudmouth says that Iran causes instability in the region. No, we are the cause of stability and we are standing up against US’s efforts to create instability. In the year 1388, the US wanted to render Iran unstable, which is what occurred to them in 1399! They wished to do in Iran what was done in the US recently – in particular the day before yesterday during which certain individuals poured into the US Congress as a result of which US congressmen were forced to flee through secret passages. In Iran too, they wished to create chaos and wage a civil war, but Allah the Exalted did not help them succeed. In the year 1388, they were thinking about creating chaos in Iran, but in the year 1399, Allah the Exalted caused them to face the same fate.
Our ultimate goal is to create a new Islamic civilization
When we look at the path that the country and the Revolution have taken since the 19th of Dey until today, we see that our country has achieved power, strength, depth and experience perhaps 10 times more – one could go as far as to say 100 times more, but I do not want to exaggerate the figures – than those times. We have gained experience and have equipped ourselves.
Those days, we were not well-equipped, but today, we are equipped with intellectual, practical, political and thankfully military weapons. We have also overcome many obstacles. And the goal is to establish a new Islamic civilization. This is our ultimate goal. It is possible that one generation may not achieve this, but the path will continue and by Allah’s favor, future generations will attain the goal. We should overcome imperialists’ transgression and the vicious policies that they formulate against our country. Our positions against the US government originate from this outlook, this argument and this philosophy. These points were about the 19th of Dey.
Some important challenges between Iran and the front of arrogance
As for the current affairs of the country: one of the most repeated issues in the challenge between the Islamic Republic and the front of arrogance, headed by the US, is the issue of sanctions. Another issue is Iran’s regional presence. Yet another is Iran’s defensive and missile power. They constantly say something and nag about it and this side too says something in response. Of course, our officials have responded to the front of arrogance on all three issues: our military officials, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our people with their slogans have responded to them, but now I wish to say the final and definite word in this regard:
The issue of treacherous and malicious sanctions
As for the sanctions, the western front and our enemies are obliged to stop this malicious move – imposing sanctions against the Iranian nation – immediately. It is their responsibility to lift all sanctions. This is a treacherous and malicious move and it is grave and unreasonable enmity against the Iranian nation. They are showing enmity not only towards the Islamic government or the administration but also against the Iranian people. It is their responsibility to lift these sanctions immediately.
Of course, I have said many times and would like to say again that they should lift sanctions and we too should plan and organize our economy in a way that we will be able to run the country despite the existence of sanctions. I have repeated this time and time again and I am saying this again now. We should assume that sanctions will not be lifted. Of course, their effects are gradually being mitigated: in other words, they are turning into something of little effect, but even assuming that sanctions will be there, we should plan the economy of the country in a way that we will not face problems with the coming and going of sanctions and with the games that the enemy plays. This is very possible. This is not something that I am claiming is true, rather this is being said by sympathetic economic experts.
They say that it is possible and that domestic capacities exist in abundance. We announced this in the form of a policy – the policies on the economy of resistance – which should be pursued in a serious and intensified manner. Therefore, this is the definite response to sanctions. That we should do this or not do that, this is idle talk. Sanctions are an act of treachery and a crime against the Iranian people and therefore, they should be lifted. This is one issue.
The issue of Iran’s stability-generating presence in the region
As for our regional presence, they constantly question Iran’s presence in the region. However, the Islamic Republic is obliged to behave in a way that its friends and allies in the region will be supported. This is our responsibility. Our presence signifies strengthening our friends and our allies. We should not do something to undermine the Islamic Republic’s loyal friends in the region. Our presence is like that. And it also leads to stability. It has been proven that the Islamic Republic’s presence helps eliminate the causes of instability such as the issue of DAESH in Iraq, various matters in Syria and the like. I do not wish to enter into details, but those who are involved in these matters are aware of this perfectly. Therefore, this regional presence is definite. It should and will exist.
The issue of Iran’s defensive and missile power
As for our defensive power: The Islamic Republic does not have the right to allow the defensive condition of the country to be in a way that incompetent individuals such as Saddam Hussein, will be able to come and bombard the city of Tehran, to drop missiles on it and to fly their MIG-25 fighter planes over the Tehran sky while we are not able to do anything. This happened once. In Tehran, the people used to be bombarded either by Iraqi missiles – which had been given to him by their European excellencies as a result of which his missiles could cover the distance between Baghdad and Tehran, let alone for other cities, or by his MIG-25 fighters at high altitudes. We were not able to do anything as we did not have enough resources. The Islamic Republic does not have the right to put the country in this situation and by Allah’s favor, we have not put it in this situation.
Today, our defensive power is such that our enemies have no choice but to take Iran’s capability into consideration. When the missiles of the Islamic Republic are able to strike the transgressing US drone when they are able to demolish the Ain al-Asad Airbase, then the enemy will be forced to take our country’s power and capability into account when he wants to make calculations or make military decisions. We should not leave the country defenseless. This is our responsibility. We should not do something to give the enemy the boldness to attack and to render ourselves defenseless in front of him.
A few points about the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA] and the reductions in the commitments of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Another issue which is discussed frequently by officials, the people and politicians in cyberspace and in other podiums is the issue of the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA] and the Islamic Republic’s commitments. Recently, the Islamic Republic announced that it has withdrawn from some of these commitments. Lately, it has also begun the 20-percent enrichment process and the administration implemented the bill ratified by the Majlis. This is one of the issues that is discussed frequently today. I wish to raise two, three points about the issue of the Bar-Jaam:
America’s return to the Bar-Jaam
The first point is the discussion about whether the US should return to the Bar-Jaam or not. We do not at all insist on this and we are in no rush for the US to return to it. Our issue is not at all if the US will return to that deal or not. Our reasonable and logical demand is the lifting of sanctions. Sanctions should be lifted. This is a right that has been taken from the Iranian nation, whether by the US or by the Europeans – who are tied to the US’s apron strings and who follow that country. They are obliged to grant this right to the Iranian nation. Only if sanctions are lifted, will the US’s return to the Bar-Jaam have a meaning. Of course, there is also the issue of compensations, which is one of our demands and which will be pursued in other phases and stages. However, if sanctions are not supposed to be lifted, then its return to the Bar-Jaam might even be to our disadvantage. Not only will it not be to our advantage, but it will also be to our disadvantage. Of course, I have told officials, both in the executive and legislative branches, that they should move forward in a careful manner and by observing all the necessary steps.
The decision to cancel the Bar-Jaam commitments was the right one
The second point is that the decision by the Majlis and the administration to cancel the Bar-Jaam commitments is the right decision. It is a completely reasonable, logical and acceptable decision. When the other side fails to honor all of its Bar-Jaam commitments, then it does not make sense for the Islamic Republic to honor all its commitments either. That is why since some time ago, they have gradually begun to withdraw from some commitments. Recently too, they have withdrawn from some others. If they return to their commitments, we will return to ours as well. I have said this from the beginning. Since the very beginning, when the issue of the Bar-Jaam arose, I said, “commitment in return for commitment.” We will make moves in proportion with theirs. Whatever we are supposed to do should be done equally by the other side. Well, this was not done in the beginning, but now it must be done.
Benefiting from the innovation and enthusiasm of youth as well as the experience of veterans in the management of the country
Another issue that would not be bad to be discussed – I have written it down – is that I have heard some people have questions about my comments in a television program recently broadcast. In that program, I said that a young hezbollahi administration should hold office and I said another time that it would not be a good idea to eliminate the veterans. And such people believe that these two comments do not add up. However, I would tell them that they are completely compatible and they do not contradict one another in any way. Notice that I firmly believe in reliance on young forces and this belief is not related to the present time. I have believed this since long ago.
Trust in young forces means that firstly, some important managerial tasks should be entrusted to youth and secondly, we should welcome some of the innovative ideas that they put forward and also, their energy and enthusiasm. Sometimes, a youth goes to different places and puts forward an important idea, but they do not listen to him and then he comes and meets with me. Later, when I share his idea with experts, they confirm that he is right, that it is an important idea and that the youth will be able to carry it out. Therefore, I believe that the country should make the most of youth’s creativity, enthusiasm and high morale. They are our children. They are the children of the country and the country has the right to benefit from them. So, we can benefit from youth on the issue of managerial positions and on this one.
However, when I say that some managerial tasks should be entrusted to youth, this does not mean that we should completely eliminate previous generations. This is not what I mean. In different circumstances, we can benefit from the management of youth and of veterans. This has been the case since the beginning of the Revolution. Some people say that Imam entrusted Friday prayer leadership in Tehran to a 40-year-old man – this humble person. Yes, but he also entrusted that duty in Kermanshah to an 80-year-old clergy. And in Yazd, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and other cities, he appointed great men and scholars who were in their seventies. Necessity dictates different actions. In the beginning of the Revolution, Imam appointed a youth aged less than 30 years as the Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and he appointed a man of about 60 years as the Commander of the Ground Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army.
In different situations, there are different decisions. Sometimes, necessity dictates that you appoint a young manager and sometimes, it dictates that you appoint an experienced manager. When we are close to election time, I will raise more points about the establishment of a young hezbollahi administration. I have certain points to raise, but the assumption that benefiting from experienced forces contradicts the employment of youth is wrong.
We should also pay attention that some middle-aged individuals act like youth. Shahid Soleimani was about 60 years old, but you witnessed that he moved as swiftly as youth in mountainous and desert areas and that he was not afraid of anything. Of course, the people have little information about his activities. They only know what has been broadcast on television, but I know that his activities were much wider in scope. Sometimes, he worked so hard in the course of 24 hours that one would become tired of reading the reports about them, wondering how a person could work so hard in the course of 24, 36 hours. Some people are like this.
A few points about the issue of the coronavirus: the vaccine produced in Iran is a source of pride and dignity
The last issue is about the coronavirus. I wish to speak about it again. First of all, the vaccine produced is a source of pride. This should not be denied. It is a source of dignity and pride for the country. Of course, they are working on vaccines in different ways, but in one case, they tested it on humans and it has proved to be successful. Some people should not try to deny it. There are some individuals who cast doubts on every great feat accomplished in the country. When our youth built nuclear centrifuges and when I mentioned them in my public speeches a few times, some scientific personalities wrote letters to me saying, “Aqa, do not be deceived by these claims. They cannot do such a thing.” They rejected it downright saying that it was not possible, but you witnessed what happened and what achievements we achieved.
The same is true of stem cells. When the late Kazemi [Head of the Royan institute] and the dear youth who are thankfully still living today managed to develop stem cells – which is a very great achievement in biological areas – some people sent messages to us or wrote letters – I do not remember if they wrote letters or not – saying that I should not believe it. Some people even came to visit me and said it to me directly. They said that I should not give too much credit to those claims as they were not acceptable. However, they were acceptable and I believed them because they were legitimate claims. And later on, its progress increased by 10 times.
The same is true of the present time. They have produced a vaccine and it has been tested on humans and by Allah’s favor, they will produce an even better and more complete vaccine. In other words, it will be perfected on a daily basis. It has been successful until today and it will continue to be successful from now on too, God willing. This is the first point, which is a source of pride. I thank all those who are involved in this including the Ministry of Health and others who were involved in the production of the vaccine.
Importing American, English and French vaccines to the country is forbidden
The second point about corona is that importing American and English vaccines into the country is forbidden. I have said this to officials and I am saying it publicly now. If the Americans had managed to produce a vaccine, this corona disaster would not have occurred in their own country. A few days ago, they registered 4,000 deaths in the course of 24 hours. If they know how to produce a vaccine and if their Pfizer company can produce a vaccine, why would they give it to us? Well, they can use it for themselves so that they will not have so many deaths and so many victims. The same is true of England. Therefore, they are not trustworthy. I do not really trust them.
I do not know, perhaps they sometimes want to test their vaccines on other nations to see if it works or not. Therefore, we should not obtain a vaccine from the US and England. Of course, I do not trust the French either. The reason is that they have a history of giving us contaminated blood products [HIV-tainted blood supplies from France given to Iran in 1980s]. However, if our officials decide to obtain a vaccine from other places – from safe places – it will be alright.
The necessity to continue to observe health protocols
The third point about corona is that the people should continue to observe health protocols. These days, we are having fewer casualties. Of course, the figures are still high. A hundred, a hundred-plus deaths in 24 hours is not a low figure, rather it is too high. Nonetheless, the death rates have dropped a little compared to previous days, but the people should not think that the issue is over because this is not the case. They should continue to observe the protocols. Those officials who have responsibilities in this regard should carry out their duties as well.
The necessity to benefit from new experiences
The fourth point about corona is that some people have gained good experience in this regard. For example, they have developed certain medicines and they have tested it under the supervision of certain officials, and they have endorsed them as efficient. Therefore, they should not face opposition. There are many individuals in different corners of the country who might do something new. Of course, this does not mean that officials should accept every claim, but they should examine and study them carefully at least.
Hope about the future and about achievements in economic, cultural, political and military areas
My last word to our dear nation, to the dear people of Qom and to its esteemed Islamic seminary is that the Iranian nation managed to conduct a great Revolution in the past in the shade of unity, firm determination, piety, timely presence and diligence. It managed to carry out that great feat which changed the course of the history of the world and of humanity.
Today, the same nation is present with the same capabilities, with more experiences and with resources several times larger than those days and therefore, it can overcome all obstacles. Our nation can achieve success in economic areas, in the area of production, in the area of the value of national currency, in the area of cultural matters and in political, military and other such areas. I hope that God will increase His blessings and His grace on this nation on a daily basis, God willing.
God’s greetings be upon His Great Wali, the Great Imam of the Age Hujjat ibn al-Hasan (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) whose assistance has always been a source of support for us. And God’s mercy and greetings be upon the immaculate and blessed soul of our magnanimous Imam who opened this path to us.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings