Supreme Leader’s Speech on the Occasion of the 19th Demise Anniversary of Imam Khomeini Print
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 3, 2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the 19th demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.).
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all sentient beings, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.
It is 19 years now that the Iranian nation has made time and space the manifestation of its love and reverence for the magnanimous Imam. Most of our people consist of the youth who were born after Imam Khomeini’s blessed life had ended. They were either born after he passed away or were young children at the time. But these faithful youth living in various parts of the country loved Imam and his memory so much that it appeared as if they had been in his company. As we say in Samaat prayers: “We rightly and sincerely put our faith in him without being able to see him.” They enjoyed pure and sincere faith without having been present during Imam’s lifetime and without having had the opportunity to listen to his remarks. This is not peculiar to our nation alone. In many parts of the world as well as in Muslim countries, people have the same feeling towards Imam Khomeini.
This reality is the result of two factors. One is the greatness of the Imam and the various aspects of his personality, which was unparalleled in the recent and contemporary era. The other factor is the greatness of this Revolution. It is the greatness of the deed that our magnanimous Imam accomplished in the present era by relying on his faith, acumen, and strong determination. This deed was his starting the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The greatness of this Revolution is indicative of the greatness of our magnanimous Imam. This Revolution was a divine miracle.
While the enemies of Islam and the Islamic Ummah broadcast against Islam and the clergy for about one hundred years, and while a dependent regime sacrificed the interests of the Iranian nation before the enemies and outsiders for 50 years and made the country completely dependent on outsiders – the Pahlavi regime – our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) led an uprising in this country by hoisting the flag of Islam and opposition against domineering powers, and he achieved this great goal in the country.
The Islamic Revolution is different from all other revolutions in the world. It is neither a merely cultural and moral revolution, nor a merely economic one. Nor is it just a political revolution, but rather a revolution on all fronts. It is similar to Islam. Besides its moral, ethical, and divine aspects Islam also considers the different aspects of people’s lives and offers economic, political, and social perspectives as well. Similarly, the Islamic Revolution enjoyed several aspects and these different aspects which are in line with the needs of humanity are the reasons behind the continuance and rejuvenation of the Islamic Revolution in the region and the world on a daily basis.
Imam Khomeini (r.a.) left a perpetual guideline for his Ummah – our nation – with his words and deeds. This means that the words of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) guide us in all difficult stages of life, and his testament is one of the best and most influential moral legacies of Imam Khomeini (r.a.). It is advisable that the people and the different officials and youth refer to this testament at different times and reflect on it.
On the occasion of this great gathering and in the presence of you people who have vigilant and conscious hearts, let me refer to some of the points mentioned in Imam Khomeini’s testament which is full of useful points. The first point is that Imam Khomeini (r.a.) insisted in his testament on the fact that the Islamic Revolution is a divine Revolution and that it is mainly based on the people. This means that the Islamic Revolution belongs to the people. This means that no individual, social class or group can and should claim to be the owner of this Revolution and consider others as subsidiary. If anyone was to claim to be the owner of this Revolution, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) was the most suitable person who was deserving of the ownership. This Revolution was caused due to his determination and personality, but Imam Khomeini (r.a.) considers his own role as very little and considers the Revolution as a blessing from God.
This is a predominant theme in Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) statements, which has also been stressed and specified in his testament. Therefore, it is the people who are the owners of this Revolution. Protecting this divine gift is a duty that lies on everybody’s shoulders. The people must consider themselves as the guardians of the Revolution. The identity and significance of the Revolution is due to its slogans, orientations, values, and principles. There have always been – and there will always be – some individuals who have tried to change the revolutionary slogans under the pretext that the conditions have changed. They have tried to separate the aspects related to religion and social justice from the Revolution. They have tried to make the Revolution devoid of its tendency to fight outsiders, hegemony, and autocracy.
They may step in with various motives and under various pretexts to change the revolutionary slogans and aspirations. The people have to be on the alert. They must know that this Revolution is alive due to its slogans. Being Islamic, adhering to religious principles, opposing hegemony and arrogance, and supporting the oppressed sincerely and openly all over the world are the most essential slogans among the slogans written on the revolutionary flag.
The fact that this Revolution belongs to the general public is one of the best slogans of the Revolution. In this regard, there is no discrimination in favor of a particular social class. The youth of today are the owners of the Revolution, as were the youth of the Sacred Defense era. We are in no position to say that those who carried out the Revolution or shared part of the responsibility have more of a right to the Revolution. That is not the case, as there were some people who were not present at the time this Revolution was carried out but who laid down their lives during the Sacred Defense era and went to the battlefields. These people have the same right to the Revolution as the others.
Throughout the last twenty years, there have been some youth who have brought in their wisdom, extraordinary enthusiasm, divine motives, and social, scientific, and political endeavors to help guarantee the continuance and dynamism of this Revolution. They, too, are the children of the Revolution. They, too, are the owners of the Revolution. They are as close to the Revolution as those who were present in the early stages of the Revolution. The situation will be the same in the future. The youth as well as all generations have equal rights to the Revolution. They all have the same right to the Revolution and share the same responsibility towards protecting it.
Our youth today must realize that the path of the Revolution is one that requires determination, faith, and steadfastness. Some people enjoy this steadfastness while others fall by the wayside. Of course, the latter group act against their own interests. “So whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to his soul’s injury.” [The Holy Quran 28:10]. Those who turn their backs on the Revolution are similar to those who fast on a hot summer day but fail to show enough endurance and break their fast only a couple of hours before sunset. These people are not different from those who have not fasted at all. Breaking one’s fast any time before the sunset ruins the fast.
If there is no perseverance and steadfastness on the path of the Revolution, one loses one’s connection with the Revolution. That constitutes an act of disloyalty to the Revolution. There have always been some people who have been unfaithful to the Revolution, who have lost their interest in it, and who have turned their backs on it. Our Imam recommended in his testament that we, our people, and our future generations have a realistic view of the Revolution. That is the essence of the Revolution. It is not individuals who form the essence of the Revolution. Being revolutionary depends on maintaining one’s relationship with and devotion to the Revolution as well as acting in conformity with the Revolution. That is the first point.
The second point is about the prophecy in the Imam’s testament that the Revolution will spread to other places and will liberate the Muslim world from the clutches of colonialists. That was a prediction that our magnanimous Imam made. When we look at the reality on the ground today, we see that the prediction has been fulfilled. In Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) opinion, the Revolution – unlike other revolutions – was not to be propagated by sowing the seeds of discord in other countries, by deploying military forces, or by spreading terrorism. Spreading the Revolution among other nations is to be realized through setting a model on the part of the Islamic Republic.
This means that the Iranian nation should help the Islamic Republic reach a point and a position that when other nations look at it, they are filled with enthusiasm and are encouraged to follow in its footsteps. This propagation is to take place through propagating Islamic teachings, through open support for the oppressed groups in the Muslim world, and through supporting the oppressed nations that have been downtrodden by the oppressive arrogant powers. That is what we mean by the spreading of Islamic rule, which has already happened.
Today, other nations throughout the world have fixed their attention on the Iranian nation. They are inspired and motivated by our nation. Today, the anti-domination slogans of the Iranian nation have spread to all parts of the Muslim world. If you travel to different Muslim countries, you will notice that their people have a high opinion of your slogans, motives, and aspirations regardless of their governments. They admire our slogans against oppression, the chameleon-like Zionist network, and hegemony. They admire our slogans shouted in support of the oppressed and the Palestinian nation. That is the way the Muslim nations think. That points to the spread of the Islamic Revolution. As you can see, even our nation’s slogans regarding the nuclear energy – the fact that the Iranian nation resisted the pressures by the enemies and asked for its right – have been reflected in the Islamic world in a way that resulted in Muslim and Arab countries declaring that nuclear energy has turned into a public urge in all Arab countries.
Both the friends and foes of the Iranian nation admit that the prophecy of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) regarding the spread of the Revolution has been realized today, an instance of which is the Palestinian issue. Like the Iranian nation, all nations are sympathetic towards the Palestinian nation. Like the Iranian nation, all nations consider the Israeli regime as a fake and imposed regime in the region. Of course, the governments are not supportive of their nations, and that is exactly what has strengthened Israel. The Zionist regime has no internal power to stand on its own feet. Today, there are two factors that have helped the Zionist regime to resist. One is the unconditional and shameless support of the US for this degenerate regime, and the other is the lack of support for the Palestinian people on the part of the Arab and Muslim governments. Unfortunately, most of the Muslim governments do not carry out their responsibilities towards Palestine as they should, and they are not harmonious with their people.
The third prominent point – which is important to our nation and youth – in Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) testament and in the statements that he made during the last 10 years of his blessed life is that the Islamic Revolution helps our nation progress. The Islamic Revolution facilitates innovation on the part of the Iranian nation, which is exactly the opposite of what the enemies of Islam propagated for many consecutive years. The enemies of Islam used to pretend that being religious is in conflict with progress. They used to pretend that if a nation wanted to make progress, it had to let go of religion and be completely westernized. They tried for decades and instilled this belief into the Iranian nation. From the beginning of the Revolution to the last day of his life – and in his testament – our magnanimous Imam used to emphasize the fact that the revolutionary spirit is the spirit of progress and innovation. And that was what the Iranian nation experienced.
The Iranian nation believes in its capabilities today. It is confident enough to enter scientific and political arenas. Whenever the Iranian nation has seriously entered an arena, it has managed to take the lead. Our status in scientific innovations, political power, and international grandeur is not comparable with the pre-Revolution era. This nation has woken up. It has been revitalized. That is all due to the Revolution. The more this revolutionary spirit is revitalized and the more dynamic it is, the more revitalized the spirit of innovation and creativity will be, just as the Revolution itself which was a great innovation.
Through the Islamic Revolution and by the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) provided a middle ground between westoxication and backwardness. Before that, nations believed that they had to either remain backward or become westernized. But the Imam proved that there was a straight path which led to progress without being westoxified or falling victim to the West. Dear youth, in order to help your country progress, you must tread this straight path as tenaciously as you can. You can remove all obstacles in your way by relying on Allah the Exalted and your internal power.
That is one of the reasons behind the enmity of the arrogant powers and the global plots against the Iranian nation regarding the nuclear energy and similar issues. They sign nuclear contracts with other countries that are far behind the Iranian nation in terms of their scientific knowledge and industrial means. But, as you can see, the Americans are pioneers and some Europeans follow suite in opposing the Iranian nation’s right to achieving nuclear energy. They keep threatening and being insolent. What could this mean? It means that when nuclear energy causes a nation to become dependant on them, they consider it legitimate for the nation. They are opposed to that sort of nuclear energy that is gained through a nation’s innovation and independently of their help. Our dear youth and our great nation managed to achieve this advantage and this advanced industrial and scientific accomplishment by relying on their own capabilities. They did not bring about dependence. Rather they acted against dependence by doing so. The sort of nuclear energy that is offered to other nations by arrogant powers is itself a cause of dependence. However, for the Iranian nation that manufactures creatively, nuclear energy prevents dependence. The global arrogance and the enemies of the Iranian nation are opposed to this.
The other point that stands out in the Imam’s testament is the need for attention to cold war and psychological warfare by the enemy. Whenever the enemy fails to achieve its goals in practice, it resorts to psychological warfare in order to dishearten nations and fill their hearts with despair. Through psychological warfare and intimidation, they try to make other nations stop opposing them. This means that they have not been able to resist our nation in practical arenas. This psychological warfare started in the early days after the Revolution and continued for 30 years up to the present. Sometimes they said the Revolution will not last more than two months, and sometimes they said it will last for only two years. It is 30 years now that the Revolution has continued with full strength and has made the Iranian nation increasingly unified, hopeful, and dynamic.
Today, they are doing psychological warfare in different ways. They want to convince the Iranian nation and the Iranian youth that they cannot achieve anything without being connected to the domineering powers. This is a great danger that the Imam has drawn our attention to. They deny the great advances of our nation. The Revolution has managed to overcome several obstacles during the past 30 years. When one looks at the history of revolutions, one realizes that there have rarely been as many obstacles in the way of a nation and a revolution and also that revolutions are normally thwarted by these obstacles and finally surrender to the enemy.
Our Revolution has been able to proceed and reach summits in spite of all these threats, sanctions, various kinds of antagonism, plots, and obstructionism. The Revolution is looking forwards to reaching higher summits and is proceeding vigorously. They seek to take this motivation away from the Iranian nation. I would like to tell our dear youth who are active in universities, Islamic seminaries, industries, agriculture, science, or art that they are halfway through and that they have had to face great problems so far, yet they have managed to continue. You dear youth can tread the other half of the path – and the enemy wants to prevent you from treading this essential half and reaching the summit – with strong determination. As you have already proven, you are capable of doing so.
Today, the Iranian nation is still standing up to the arrogant powers, and they have not been able to do anything. They tried their utmost and did whatever they could from the eastern and western parts of our country in the hope that they would manage to lay siege to our country. By Allah’s favor and through the cleverness, faith, and solidarity displayed by the Iranian nation, the actions of the arrogant powers – and the actions by the enemies of the Iranian nation outside both eastern and western borders of our country – resulted in more and more power for the Islamic Republic. And today they themselves admit this fact.
There is another point in our magnanimous Imam’s testament which is a warning to the youth against the plots that are specially designed for the youth. If the youth of a country are determined to push their country forwards, they need to be lively, dynamic, healthy, strong, and keen on working and making progress. In order to destroy this spirit in the Iranian youth, they try to dishearten them through planning various plots, spreading corruption, promoting immorality, publicizing drugs, and forming organized bands. The Iranian youth ought to be on the alert. Today, the determined fight against the use of drugs on the part of the officials of the Islamic Republic is a great jihad and a deep-rooted movement to help the Iranian nation move forwards.
They do not want the Iranian youth to be dynamic in workshops, laboratories, universities, scientific arenas, and agricultural and industrial efforts. The youth who indulge in sexual desires or in drugs are neither in the mood to work nor in the mood to think. Such youth neither have enough strength to work nor do they enjoy enough innovation or determination. Today, we should fight the organized plots which are aimed at encouraging the Iranian youth to indulge themselves in carnal desires, drugs, and various sexual entertainments. These are very dangerous plots indeed. In the first place it is up to the people themselves, especially the youth, to fight those plots. The youth must be watchful. The enemy has found out that the piety and faith of the Iranian youth will help them progress in various fields. The enemy wants to undermine this factor. The Imam issues a warning [in his testament] in this regard. He warns all the youth, universities, and Islamic seminaries to be vigilant. Deceiving and weakening the youth is synonymous with keeping the nation backwards. The entire nation must feel responsible, and the officials must make sincere and determined efforts in this regard. This is a great jihad.
Another pivotal point that is mentioned in the Imam’s testament and speeches is the issue of confronting the global bullies. Of course, there have always been globally domineering and bullying powers throughout history. Scientific and industrial progress as well as modern communication means have facilitated this domination. As a result, you can see that the Americans covet the entire world. They deploy their forces in different parts of the world under the pretext of defending their endangered interests there. It is as if their interests were preferable to those of the entire world and all nations.
How should one react to this bullying, obstinacy, and transgression? There are two reactions: one is resistance, and the other is submission. Submission to global bullies encourages them to increase their bullying. Submission of nations, world politicians, and intellectuals of different communities to the bullying of the global arrogant powers encourages them to step up their bullying. Thus, there remains no other option for nations than to resist. If a nation wants to rid itself of the bullying of bullies – and today, the bullying of the US – it must stand up to the bullying of the US with full strength and determination.
Just take a look at the behavior of the American statesmen – the US president and his cabinet members – and see how they talk. The way they talk is similar to that of psychotic people. They sometimes threaten, sometimes order assassinations, sometimes slander, sometimes helplessly ask for assistance, and sometimes attack the stability and security of other nations. They horse around like lunatics. Their behavior is not characteristic of logical, wise politicians. Of course, this behavior is due in large part to the reflection of the American failure in different parts of the world: their failure in Afghanistan and Iraq. They entered Iraq and Afghanistan with the promise of freedom, democracy, and human rights. Today after the passage of several years, the situation in these two countries is so bad that no nation would want to be in the same situation. Insecurity, backwardness, poverty, increasing domination of arrogant powers, jeopardizing their national interests, disregarding the rights of the people, and the subsequent total failure in achieving the goals they had announced or the interior motives they had not announced are very prevalent there. These failures are reflected in the behavior of American politicians and their discord, disagreement, and decisions. That is the way the global bullies act.
What should one do to confront this bullying? The Imam’s advice was to resist. Fortunately, today all the different political groups in the country express their loyalty to the path of the Imam. This is an auspicious phenomenon. This was not the case in some eras [after the Revolution]. There were some political movements that openly talked about turning their backs on the Imam’s path. Fortunately, today political groups in our country talk about their inclination towards the thoughts and path of the Imam. One of the most prominent points of the Imam’s path, which is reflected in his testament and all his remarks, is the need for determined resistance against covetous arrogant powers.
The Iranian nation and all the different political groups as well as the elites inside the country who are loyal to the Imam and his thoughts and decisions must safeguard this stance with full strength. The Imam himself had a similar attitude. He never stopped supporting the oppressed throughout the world out of his consideration for the global bullies. He used to refer to the Palestinian issue as a central issue at all times. In his testament and his remarks, he made explicit the point that he considered the oppressed nations’ urge for support as important. He openly announced his support for the rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation as well as all other oppressed nations. That is the path of the Imam. That is the Imam’s way and advice. Fortunately, the Iranian nation and the government officials pursued this path, and it is 30 years now that you Iranian nation has been successful and has defeated the enemies whenever it has been faced with American arrogance.
Of course, the enemy will not keep silent. It will continue its political and psychological efforts. It will keep slandering. Today, the world no longer believes the slanders of Americans and Zionists against the Iranian nation, neither do they believe the allegations leveled – by those who violated human rights most and who are most infamous for assassinating the oppressed and invading other nations – against our government regarding the violation of human rights. These people accuse the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation of violation of human rights. But that is not important. Or regarding the nuclear issue, the Iranian nation has repeatedly announced that it is not after nuclear weapons. This is something that everybody knows, and it is totally logical. Today, because the Americans know that they cannot openly disregard a nation and declare that they are opposed to its rights, when they want to say something about the nuclear issue of Iran or adopt a stance in this regard, they simply accuse our country of trying to develop nuclear weapons in order to justify their claims in global public opinion.
They themselves know that they are lying. They themselves know that their claims are just lies. No wise nation and no wise government official would seek to develop nuclear weapons today. And the Iranian nation is similarly opposed to such weapons from an Islamic, ideological, and logical standpoint. It takes a great deal of money to develop and keep nuclear weapons, and they are of no use. Nuclear weapons do not bring about power for a nation because they cannot be used. Those who possess nuclear bombs now are well aware that if they make the slightest mistake and use their nuclear weapons, they will have to bear the serious consequences – just as they had to bear the consequences when they decided to strengthen the terrorists.
If they use their nuclear weapons, it will be just a matter of time before the terrorists in the world are equipped with nuclear weapons and destroy the security of all global arrogant powers as well as all nations. They know that nuclear weapons are useless, yet they accuse the Iranian nation of trying to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian nation is not after nuclear weapons. Our nation seeks to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and it will pursue this path and will achieve it against the enemies’ will.
The memory of the Imam is reminiscent of the grandeur and awakening of the Iranian nation and its turning into a model for the entire Muslim Ummah and all the oppressed nations. His memory fills one with dynamism and hope. His memory ought to be kept alive, and his path, guidance, and the signs that he left for those who want to pursue his path must be appreciated. In particular, the youth and the government officials must consider the Imam’s testament and advice as guidelines.
Today, the three government branches and all the government officials – including those in military, civil, political, and social positions as well as those in charge of providing services – must set the Imam’s testament and his recommendations as their guiding principle. The grandeur of the Iranian nation, its stable security, its material growth and development, and its spiritual and moral superiority are all based on practicing these recommendations.
Dear God, make the Iranian nation successful in treading this path for the sake of the immaculate souls of the martyrs and the esteemed Imams. O God, increase the grandeur of the Iranian nation on a daily basis. O God, out of this gathering, out of the hearts of the Iranian people, and out of our hearts and speech covey spiritual gifts to the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam. Bestow Your mercy and grace upon the Imam’s holy soul. O God, associate with Your saints the souls of martyrs who are the pioneers of this path. Dear God, bestow Your mercy, grace, guidance, and assistance upon all those who serve this nation, all selfless devotees, and all those who make efforts treading this path of righteousness and truth. O God, make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age pleased with us and make us his soldiers in the true sense of the word.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.