Preference of East over West is a priority for Iran: Imam Khamenei

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Preference of East over West is a priority for Iran: Imam Khamenei

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 18, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the people of East Azerbaijan. The meeting was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on the anniversary of the uprising by the people of Tabriz on February 18, 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 and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth, and may Allah curse all their enemies.

You are very welcome dear brothers and dear sisters. One of the most prominent days and ceremonies that this Hussainiyah witnesses is the day that you dear ones from Azerbaijan and from Tabriz visit this place every year on the 29th of Bahman. Azerbaijan is outstanding, its people are outstanding and its events are outstanding as well. The dear people of Tabriz and Azerbaijan have always followed the method of creating innovation, new ways and amazing events. May God's mercy be upon you. May God's grace be eternal for you.

I would like to say something on the occasion of the coincidence of these days with the martyrdom days of Fatima Zahra – al-Siddiqat al-Kubra (God's greetings be upon her).  Of course, the performance that you delivered was a very good, efficient and valuable one. I only like to say something in this regard which is: all Muslims are unanimous about the virtues of Hazrat Siddiqat al-Kubra (God's greetings be upon her) and there is no difference between Shia and Sunni in this regard. In the books of Sunni and Shia followers, there is a hadith which says, "Fatima is the mistress of all women in paradise." This status is higher than "The mistress of all women in the world." She is "The mistress of all women in paradise."

Who are the women in paradise? The best, most prominent, most pious and most jihadi women, women who are martyrs and who have been mentioned with great words by Allah the Exalted in the Quran. All these women gather together in paradise. And Fatima Zahra (God's greetings be upon her) is "the mistress of all women in paradise." This is a very high and lofty position. The lesson of courage, self-sacrifice and piety in the world and the lesson of acquiring knowledge and transferring it to the minds of the audience and other individuals – she enjoyed the position of being a knowledgeable teacher for the entire humanity – are things that Fatima Zahra (God's greetings be upon her) has taught to the entire humanity. I hope that all you, all the dear people of Azerbaijan, all the people of Iran and all Muslims benefit from the blessings of "The Lady of the Two Worlds."

The greatness of the 29th of Bahman cannot really be conveyed with our short descriptions. The 29th of Bahman is very great. Although revolutionary activities began in Qom in the year 1356 and although they continued in other places after the events in Tabriz, I can say with complete confidence that if it had not been for the event of the 29th of Bahman in the year 1356, the event of the 19th of Dey in Qom would most probably have been consigned to oblivion and the chain of events that occurred subsequently would not have occurred. In other words, the course of the history of the country would have changed. With their uprising of the 29th of Bahman, with their correct understanding and with their timely and appropriate actions, the people of Tabriz managed to create the great movement that led to the 22nd of Bahman of 1357. Such is the greatness of this story.

I would like to mention this year's 22nd of Bahman rally as well. This year's 22nd of Bahman was really a different one both in Tabriz and Tehran, and in all the cities of the country. After 39 years – while we are on the verge of the 40th year of the victory of the Revolution – this great popular movement is like a miracle. There is no such movement anywhere in the world! The fact that after all these years, the people themselves – no government officials – have entered the arena for four decades in order to celebrate their own victory and the fact that they fill the streets, chant slogans on their own, show their presence and defend their Revolution has no equivalent among the revolutions that have been carried out in the past two, three centuries. And in centuries prior to that, such a thing did not exist either. In the present time too, such an event does not exist anywhere in the world. This is particular to Iran. This is particular to you.

This year, the various events which were organized by enemies from outside the country, from inside the country, from the US and from some of our untrustworthy and unreliable neighbors caused our people to have more motivation. They entered the arena and created a different 22nd of Bahman event. All these things are a lesson for all of us. The slogan that you chanted here – "It is 40 years now that the immaculate flag of the Revolution is our refuge" [speaking in Azeri]- is a fact. It is 40 years now that the only refuge for the people has been the tall and outstanding flag of the Revolution. The thing that you said is the heartfelt feeling that the people have and you are right.

And this is while some people have certain criticisms about the current issues of the country. It is not the case that they do not have any criticism. I am completely aware of the people's criticisms, complaints and protests. They share these criticisms with me and with others. Such criticisms are conveyed to us. However, when the issue is about the Revolution and the Islamic Republic, they enter the arena and move forward like this. By Allah's favor, the people of Iran have acquired a kind of revolutionary awareness and political perfection as a result of which they can differentiate between the revolutionary system which is based on the nation and on Imamate, and bureaucratic problems. They might have a criticism in this regard, but they defend the essence of the system that has been created by the Revolution.

When I say that they have some criticisms, this does not mean that their criticisms are only directed at the administration, the judiciary branch and the Majlis. This is not the case. Some people might have certain criticisms against this humble person as well. However, this does not contradict sticking to the Islamic and revolutionary government, to the government of the nation and Imamate, and to a government which has been created by the people's Revolution and self-sacrifice. Throughout the past 40 years, hundreds of thousands of martyrs sacrificed themselves on the path of this system.

Now that I have met with you dear ones who have travelled a long way, I would like to discuss with you a number of issues within the limit of time that we have. You are dear ones who are respected and loved very dearly by individuals like me. The sincerity, courage and clear revolutionary movement which exist in you and which is felt in action – not just in words – attracts everyone. I have also felt this, in the real sense of the word, since the first time that I visited Azerbaijan and Tabriz – there have been many trips.

I also shared this with Imam at that time. During the time of my presidency, I visited Tabriz and later on, I went to Imam and said that Tabriz is of a different nature. The people of Tabriz display a different kind of revolutionary truth which is more enthusiastic, powerful and thundery than other places. Despite the fact that all the people of Iran had the same revolutionary enthusiasm in those days, Tabriz was different. Today, I have met with you dear Tabrizi people and with people from various cities of Azerbaijan and therefore, I would like to discuss a few issues. Of course, all the people of Iran are addressed by these statements.

One issue is about the Revolution and the main function of the Revolution. Another issue is about the problems of the Revolution. If there is time, the next issue is about the priorities and preferences that the Revolution dictates to us at this point in time and that we should observe. The next issue is about the future of the Revolution. These are important and necessary statements. And it seems that this is the best place to discuss these issues as you dear ones – who are revolutionaries and advocates of the Revolution in the true sense of the word – have gathered in this place. The best thing to do is to discuss such issues with individuals like you.

As for the issue of the Revolution and its function, the Revolution was a very great movement and I believe that after the passage of nearly 40 years, we have not correctly understood the dimensions and greatness of this Revolution yet. Later on, when others sit and look at the Revolution's geometry at a distance, it becomes clearer what this Revolution was and what it has done. The Revolution has had numerous functions. The services that the Revolution has rendered for Iran are many. There is a long list in this area.

Now, the enemies want to deny these services, but these are clear facts. The most important task that the Revolution has carried out – which is a fundamental task – is turning the monarchic system into a democratic system. This is the most important task that the Revolution has carried out! And the Revolution was inspired by Islamic teachings, not by the schools of thought introduced by this or that theoretician with the shortcomings and contradictions that exist in their statements. The Revolution was inspired by Islam and the Quran: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil" [The Holy Quran, 3: 76].

The divine system is against the taghuti system and the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution defined the divine system to mean religious democracy. The Islamic Republic means this. It turned the taghuti system into a democratic system. This is the most important task.

Democracy means that the people are the essence of everything. The essence is the people and not only in electing the ruler. This is because as soon as we speak about democracy, everyone's mind switches to the ballot boxes – of course, this is correct and electing the president, the assembly of experts and in fact, electing the leader himself and electing various organizations is done by the people. This approach is determining and correct, but this is not the only meaning of democracy.

What is important is that democracy means making the people the owners of voting and decision-making in all the affairs of life. This is the exact opposite of what existed in this country before the Revolution and it lasted for several centuries. For several centuries, this country used to suffer from the tyranny of taghuts and sultans. The people did not have any role. It was the main taghut and other taghuts around him who were the decision-makers. This means absolute dictatorship. The people were merely an instrument for him to issue orders. After all, a person who wants to rule and to issue orders should issue orders to someone and that someone was comprised of the whole nation. They used to keep the people in order to rule over them.

Since mid-Qajar era, another disease was added which was foreign domination, influence and colonialism. These things did not exist prior to that. For example, during the Safavid era or during the time of Nader Shah and others, there was tyranny, but there was no foreign influence. However, since the mid-Qajar era - since the late Nasser al-Din Shah era onwards – foreign domination was added. To be exact, English infiltration into Iran began since 1800 of the Christian calendar. The representative of the Indian government – which was an English government – entered Iran at that time. I have referred to this in some of my speeches and I have spoken in detail in this regard and therefore, I do not want to give more details. Foreign influence was accompanied by tyranny. Foreign domination was added to the domination of taghut. And this reached a point where the Qajar dynasty – which was under the influence of the English – was ousted by the English and replaced with another dynasty. It was the English who brought Reza Khan.

Later on, they removed him from power for some reason and replaced him with his son. And later on, the Americans entered the arena in mid-Pahlavi era and they became in charge of everything. Thousands of American agents entered the country. Democracy is the opposite of this. It does not allow tyranny to exist. It does not allow foreign domination to exist. This is democracy.

As I said earlier, this democracy is not only about the political management of the country. It is also about rendering services to cities and villages. It is also about reviving the spirit of carrying out great tasks in the country. You can witness an example and true manifestation of this in the formation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Construction Jihad and Basij. All of a sudden, a reality like Construction Jihad was created in the country and it carried out all those great tasks in the course of a few years. The same is true of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps or Basij. This results from the presence of the people. Democracy is also about cultivating the people's talents. This means the human capacities of the country. You youth did not see those days, but the elderly know this: back then, we used to have doctors from the Philippines, India and other countries. And those doctors did not work in villages and remote cities. This was not the case. Sometimes, doctors from the Philippines worked in the cities.

A country which used to be so powerless in terms of human resources has made such progress that it has become an attractive pole of health in the region. In order to treat difficult diseases, people from regional countries come to our country and they are treated in our hospitals and by our physicians. Human talents can show themselves in our country as a result of which, you all of a sudden see that the country is ranked fourth and fifth among two hundred-plus countries in the world in terms of such and such a rare and new science. This is democracy. Democracy results in reviving talents as well!

When the people enter the arena and when they are trusted and listened to, this is the result. When this happens, national self-confidence is revived in the people and they progress in scientific and industrial arenas, in newly-emerged sciences and in the area of political influence in the region. All these happen as a result of the presence of the people and their influence on the events of the country. This way, the country and the people achieve greatness.

In the present time, you can see that such and such a country which is dependent on the US sells 10 million barrels of oil a day and that there is a lot of money in its treasury, but that its country is poor and backward. There is no mention of the people of that country! The only people who can be seen in that country are a few taghuti individuals who are in charge of all the affairs, but there is no trace of the people in the world. No one says that the people of that country did such and such a thing or launched such and such a movement, but when there is religious democracy – like in the Islamic Republic and in our dear country – the people become prominent in the eyes of people throughout the world.

That is why the enmity of the enemies is directed at the people. In the present time, the enmity of the Americans is not directed at this humble person or a few government officials, rather it is directed at the people. This is because the people are in charge of all the affairs here. All the things that have made them angry and outraged are related to the tasks that the people have carried out and to their greatness. In democracy, the significance of the nation increases. In other words, the people find a personality and public and global credibility. They achieve dignity and respect. None of these things existed during the time of taghut. However, during the time of the Islamic Republic, these things were created thanks to the Revolution.

Well, the result of democracy is the progress of the country. The achievements are really extraordinary. We have named the fourth decade of the Revolution "The Decade of Progress and Justice." Progress has been achieved in the country in the real sense of the word. I am not speaking about justice. We are behind in the area of justice and there is no doubt about this. We ourselves acknowledge and admit to this. In "The Decade of Progress and Justice" we should have succeeded both in progress and in justice. We have succeeded in the area of progress in the true sense of the word. We have really made progress. Progress has been achieved in all areas, but in the area of justice, we should work and endeavor hard. We should apologize to Allah the Exalted and to our dear people. We have problems in the area of justice, but by Allah's favor and with the determination of competent and pious men and women, we will progress in this area as well. However, in the area of material progress - to be fair - many and very important tasks have been carried out.

Progress does not mean the entrance of foreigners into a country to take its money and to build towers in return. These things do not mean progress. Some people look at some of these countries around us whose wealth comes from oil and they see that there are such and such airports and towers there. This is not progress! If foreigners come and take the money of a country and humiliate its people by building a tower for it, this is not progress. This is backwardness! This is loss. Today, the tallest tower in the region is in the most incompetent country! This does not mean progress. Progress means that a country and a people join the front lines with their own power, determination, decision, knowledge and capacity. This is progress and this has thankfully happened in our country.

Today, we are a pole of power in the area of medicine and medical treatment. We are among the top countries in the world in this regard. We can decide regional issues. We have developed great skill at nuclear science. We have developed great skill at nanotechnology and biotechnology. We have a high ranking in the world in the area of sciences related to cyberspace. These things constitute progress. Many of our youth are waiting for a signal to really soar high as they are very talented. We managers have shirked our duties in this area to some extent. If we cooperate more with youth, they will really soar high in scientific and technical areas and in areas related to public services and various other tasks, as they are soaring high in spiritual areas in the present time.

We have made great progress in the area of security, defense, agriculture, health, science, transport and the like. Thankfully, our progress is good. In "The Decade of Progress and Justice" progress was good. All these result from the Revolution. Of course, because we are weak in the area of promotion, the people of other countries may not know about our achievements, but the enemies know about many of these achievements. I will tell you that we are strong in many areas, but we are weak in the area of promotions. We have acted in an inactive, weak and unimaginative way in the area of promotions and what has been achieved. We should progress in this area. However, our enemies and those who observe all affairs see the achievements of the country. They know how far the country has moved forward.

Therefore, the Revolution has accomplished a great feat: it liberated the country from a state of disaster. It saved the people from being subservient, humiliated and embarrassed. Today, our people are a proud people and this is the most important achievement for a country and a nation. Of course, there are many such achievements. There is a long list, but as I said, we are weak at promotions. I advise officials to present exact reports about all kinds of achievements in the country. They should not do so with the language of exaggeration and they should not merely prepare a verbal report, rather they should do so in a practical and artistic manner so that those who have doubts and are unaware of these achievements become familiar with them. Of course, some people are not unaware, rather they create doubt on purpose. And by doing so, the people of other countries will also become familiar with the creations of the Revolution. These statements were about the Revolution.

As for the problems of the Revolution, because there is little time and we are close to noon, I will only raise a few points. One of the most important plights of all revolutions is retrogression. What does retrogression mean? It means undermining and stopping the movement which the Revolution started and which the people followed at a fast speed and with a revolutionary power. It means returning from this movement. This means retrogression. Retrogression means returning. Almost all the great historic revolutions that we know about – for example, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the revolutions which were carried out in African and Latin American countries – were afflicted with this plight in the initial years of their life, without any exception. In none of those revolutions, was it the case that revolutionary slogans would not change in any way for 40 years.

However, we managed to preserve these slogans. But this is dangerous. It is my duty to speak to our dear people about these dangers. If we move towards an aristocratic lifestyle, this is moving towards retrogression. If we focus our attention on the wealthy and greedy classes of society instead of paying attention to underprivileged classes, this is moving towards retrogression. If we rely on foreigners instead of relying on the people and if we pin our hopes on foreigners, this is moving towards retrogression. This should not happen. The intellectuals of society should be careful. The managers of society should be careful. The managers of the country should be extremely cautious in this regard. The people too should look and examine our behavior and the behavior of managers with sensitivity. They should do so with sensitivity.

Retrogression is a dangerous phenomenon. When retrogression occurs, this means that although the same revolutionary individuals are in charge of tasks, they have changed their line and their path. It will be as if the Revolution had been carried out so that they go and we replace them! However, the Revolution was not carried out for that sake! The Revolution means a transformation. It means changing the path. It means taking lofty goals into consideration and moving towards them. If we forget these goals, then it is no longer a revolution.

Some people think that the Revolution only belonged to the year 1357 and that it is over now. This is wrong. The Revolution only began in the year 1357. It did not come to an end then. The beginning of change and reform in society took place in the year 1357. It took place on the 22nd of Bahman which was a starting point. Gradually, this movement should continue in a deeper, vaster, more comprehensive and more intelligent manner. It should not stop. It should not be the case that if we say such and such a person is a revolutionary, the people think negatively of them. It should not be the case that if we say such and such a person is a revolutionary, this means that they are unintelligent and absent-minded. This is not the case. The management of the country is respectable. The Constitution is respectable. All the principles of the Constitution should be observed. The Revolution has been cast in this mold. So, this mold should be considered worthy of respect. This is necessary.

And if we think that the Revolution is meaningful without the system and government, this is another mistake on the other side. Some people think that one should have a critical viewpoint about everything, about all events and about all the divisions of the Islamic government, in the name of the Revolution! This is not correct. The Revolution means a revolutionary system. This Islamic system should be based on the people, on Imamate and on religious democracy with revolutionary goals, movement and orientation. This should happen. Fortunately, we do not have a shortage of revolutionaries and among all the masses of the people, the Revolution is thankfully very popular like common coin in a country. Among managers too, those who are the advocates of the Revolution in the real sense of the word are not few in number. Such sensitivities should not disappear.

In one of my trips during the time of my presidency, I visited an African country. A few years – seven, eight, ten years – had passed from the victory of the revolution in that country. The head of government was a black man who was formerly the leader and commander of the revolution and after that, he had become the head of government. I witnessed that the head of the country – who was our host – behaved in the same way that the Portuguese general had behaved when he used to rule over the country before him. The behavior was the same.

Apparently, that country had a history of colonialism by Spain and Portugal. A military Portuguese official used to rule over the country for many years. Now the gentleman who was the head of the government behaved in the same way that he did. Well, what kind of revolution is this? His outlook towards the people, the surrounding individuals and his audience was the same. The Islamic Republic is different from this. Thankfully, it has been different until today and it will be different from now on too. If officials adopt an aristocratic lifestyle and if they seek privileges, show indifference towards public funds and ignore underprivileged classes of society, these are anti-revolutionary moves! All the organizations of the Islamic Republic should move forward by paying attention to the goals of the Revolution.

Well, an important issue which stands out today is the issue of the economy. I will tell you that all officials, well-informed personalities and the masses of the people perhaps believe that today, one of the main issues of the country is the issue of the economy of the country. Well, what should be done for the economy of the country? One way is to rely on the people. This means the economy of resistance. We have announced this and all the officials of the country confirmed it. No one objected. Of course, some nagging and complaining is heard in some corners of the country, but when the policies on the economy of resistance were announced, all the officials of the country confirmed that this is the only way to resolve the issue.

The economy of resistance does not mean being confined and imprisoned inside the country. They should not say, "We want to be in contact with the world." Well, there is contact with the world in the economy of resistance. However, it is said that the people should be trusted: this is an economy that grows from the inside and looks at the outside. The economic movement bubbles from the inside. It begins from the people's talents, resources and investment. Measures should be adopted to make these investments, talents and capacities end in labor and production and in creating wealth inside the country. This requires intelligent measures. We should not put our hopes on the outside. Of course, if we want the domestic economy to develop, we should have good exports, appropriate imports and economic relations. There is no doubt about this.

Foreigners can make investments inside the country. I am not opposed to the investment of foreigners, but the affairs should be in the hands of domestic managers. It is they who should make the decisions. The affairs of the country should not be entrusted to foreigners. If this is done, the managers of the country will lose control. Instructive events have taken place in this regard.

The head of a well-known regional country – I do not want to say which country: it was a fairly advanced Asian country which had made really good economic achievements and which enjoyed a high rate of economic growth – came to Tehran and visited me about 12, 13 years ago. It was at a time when that grave economic earthquake had occurred in East Asian countries. That individual was the head of one of those countries. He sat beside me. When he entered the room, one of his first words were, "We became beggars overnight!" When the economy is dependent on the investment and willpower of a Jewish, western and American investor, this is what happens. The head of a developed country, which enjoyed economic blossoming and a high rate of economic growth, said to me that they became beggars overnight! This is reliance on the outside.

We ourselves witnessed the results of relying on foreigners on the issue of the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA]. We trusted foreigners on the issue of nuclear negotiations, but we did not benefit from our trust. Fortunately, I see that the officials of the country behave in a satisfactory way and I should really thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs. His behavior towards the Americans' malevolence and the Europeans' contradicting behavior has been very good and decisive. Some of his statements have been broadcast and some have not been broadcast, but we are aware of them.

He behaved in a very strong and good manner. They should confront them. In foreign relations, they should show national dignity. Reliance on foreigners is dangerous. Reliance on foreigners help them to gradually dominate the fate of the country with all sorts of methods. Foreigners should not be relied on. Foreigners should be benefitted from, not relied on and trusted. This is a very important matter which all the officials of the country should really pay attention to.

We are on the verge of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Revolution. Forty years is not a long time. In the history of a nation, 40 years is not long, rather it is short. During these 40 years, our people made many endeavors. They really walked on hard rocks. Since the first year – almost since the first day – we were under sanctions. These sanctions have continued in different ways and they have increased in number as well. Everything that has happened – all these achievements – has happened during the time of sanctions. We were under sanctions and we made these achievements. This shows the capability of the Revolution and the Iranian nation.

We have certain priorities: we should prefer jihadi management to old and derelict bureaucracy. This is one of our priorities. We should insist on jihadi management. The officials of the country in the executive branch, in the judiciary branch and in different divisions should pursue jihadi management. Jihadi management does not mean lack of discipline, rather it means moving forward with acumen and pursuing the task day and night.

In the area of domestic policy, we should prefer the masses of the people to partisan minorities, groups and the like. The masses of the people are more important than everyone else.

On the issue of public services, we should prefer underprivileged classes, and oppressed and remote areas in the country to the wealthy. Fortunately, in the course of these years, many areas which never witnessed any sign of construction and development have received attention. Both organizations in charge and those organizations which are not directly in charge have paid attention to these areas. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps – for example, in Sistan and Baluchistan – has rendered many public services despite the fact that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is not in charge of public services, but the services presented to the people by the Guards Corps in such and such underprivileged areas are really eye-catching. These tasks exist and they should be pursued. All the organizations of the country should observe this priority.

As for the defensive policies of the country, all the methods and instruments which are needed for the present time and the future should be pursued and they should be updated. We should not hesitate for one single moment that the country should move towards whatever it needs in order to defend itself no matter even if the entire world is opposed to it! Those who are constantly threatening humanity with deadly atomic and nuclear weapons are now sitting somewhere and criticizing the Islamic Republic for building missiles. Well, what is it to you? They are our defensive means and they give the country the capability to defend itself. This nation should be able to defend itself. They say that we should not have defensive means so that they can bully us as much as they can.

Of course, we ourselves consider certain things as haraam and we do not pursue them – such as nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. We will not pursue such weapons, but we will not hesitate and have doubts about what is needed for us.

In the area of foreign policy, we should prefer the east to the west, and neighbors to distant countries. We should prefer the nations and countries which have common points with us. This is one of our priorities in the present time.

As for the economy, the issue of employment is the most important one. The issue of production is the most important issue. I have named this year "The Year of Production and Employment." Many efforts should be made in this area. All the officials of the country should work hard in this area. Of course, certain tasks have been carried out this year and they have released some statistics, but what is desired requires more effort. We should do something to improve the rate of employment and domestic production in the country. The cure for the economy of the country is this.

I would like to say something for the future of the country as well. First of all, youth should prepare themselves. Youth should always be ready in terms of science, ideology and revolutionary motives. Youth are the engine for the progress of the Revolution. This has been the case from the beginning until today. Fortunately, today, we have more determined and insightful youth than the beginning of the Revolution. We do not have as many, rather we have more. The insight and the depth of understanding of today's youth is more than many youths in the beginning of the Revolution and we do not have any shortcomings in this regard. This thankfully exists. Youth should prepare themselves. The teenagers who are entering into youth should prepare themselves. Revolutionary thinking, motivation, insight and action are among the elements that our youth should remember.

And everyone should know that the Islamic Republic is strong. The Islamic Republic is very strong. The reason for the strength of the Islamic Republic is that all arrogant and malicious governments in the world have been trying to destroy and annihilate the Islamic Republic for 40 years, but they have failed to do a damn thing! The reason for the power of the Islamic Republic is its survival in these four decades. Despite the existence of an unfavorable environment, unfavorable circumstances and big enmities, the Islamic Republic is alive. Therefore, this shows that this sapling has turned into a strong tree today which they cannot move and stir. This structure is a very tall and strong structure and we will become even stronger. You should know this: the Islamic Republic will become stronger.

We are aware of the threats and we hear their statements. We hear the statements that they say in public and we even hear some of the statements that they say in private in their gatherings. We know what plots they are hatching against us, but despite all these, I would like to repeat what Imam once said: "America cannot do a damn thing!"

I am very happy to have met you. "Send greetings on my behalf" [speaking in Azeri] to all our dear people in Tabriz.

 Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings

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