New release from Ayat Allah ‘Ali Hussayni Khamina’i: “The Armed Forces Are the Fortress of the People”

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 and immaculate household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are very welcome dear brothers, diligent and hard working  in the true sense of the word  commanders. I deem it necessary to congratulate all you – including the honorable Commander, the commanders of different forces, the high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army and each and every member of this diligent army – on Army Day and on the different achievements of the army which has thankfully brought us many glories in different areas.
Of course, this congratulation is not particular to you. It is expressed to your families as well because they endeavor beside you too, particularly your spouses. Had it not been for their cooperation, harmony and assistance in this difficult task that has been entrusted to you, you would not have been able to make these achievements or at least, you would have faced difficulties in part of your job and part of your duties. The higher the responsibilities, the more trouble families go through. Send salaams to your spouses and families on my part and congratulate them on Army Day, on the 15th of Shaban, on the eids of Shaban and on Eid Nowruz.
Well, the statements of Brigadier Haydari were very good statements. He correctly explained the issues. He correctly explained most forceful against unbelievers and compassionate among themselves [reference to the Holy Quran, 48: 29]. That was a good interpretation of the realities of todays army. Without a doubt, the Armed Forces are one of the main manifestations and elements of national power. Of course, this is not the case in all countries. In many countries, the armed forces are not an element of a nations power, rather they are an element of the power that belongs to tyrants, dictators and the like. If necessary, they will suppress their nations as well.
This is the case even in those countries where the claim of supporting freedom and democracy has deafened the whole world. You should look at the Parisian Saturdays”. However, in our country, this is not the case thanks to Islam and to Islamic teachings. It is Islam that has taught this to us: The army is, by the will of Allah, the fortress of the subjects [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 53].
You are the nations fortress. You are the fortress of the masses of the people. This fortress is not particular to wartime. Well, during wartime, you stand in the frontline and risk your lives in the face of the enemy. You employ different methods on the basis of your knowledge and expertise in order to defeat and suppress the enemy and force the aggressor into retreat. This is related to wartime. In that area, you are truly the peoples fortress and bulwark.
The same is true of peacetime. Of course, this does not include natural calamities which I will expand on later. Even if there are not natural incidents and even if the Armed Forces stay in their bases and military headquarters, they are still a source of assurance for the masses of the people. When the people feel there is an efficient ground force, air force, sea force and a competent defense force which is ready in the country, they rest assured and feel comfortable. The enemies of the Iranian nation are opposed to this though. Notice that they sometimes say certain things about the Army, about the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and about their relations towards one another in order to agitate the people by portraying the Army Forces as nervous inside themselves. Therefore, in peacetime too, the establishment and preparedness of the Armed Forces in their bases, in their offices and in their headquarters are a source of tranquility for the people.
Now, we need to speak about natural incidents. After the Kermanshah earthquake, the presence of the army and other divisions of the Armed Forces was a vital presence. In other words, if they had not shown their presence in the quake-stricken areas and if they had not rushed to the peoples help, our casualties  apart from various damages  would certainly have multiplied. This was related to the Kermanshah earthquake. Regarding the recent floods too, I ordered the Armed Forces to participate, but I know for sure that even before my command, an important part of the Armed Forces  the army, Sepah and others  were present in the arena.
The Army showed its presence in Golestan before the Crisis Management Headquarters did so. Before the Crisis Management Headquarters could set foot there, the army was there: The fortress of the subjects means this. And this presence was not confined to providing machinery, tools and the like, rather their bodies and physical capabilities were at the service of the people.
A colonel from the army bends down to allow an old man to step on his back so he can climb unto truck! Notice that these are things that will be remembered forever. They will not be lost in history. The Iranian nation saw this. This is being the fortress of the subjects. When the army says that it will sacrifice its life for the nation, we know that this is a genuine claim. The army is working. These are the values that exist.
Another point is that thanks to the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran Army is not merely a provider of machinery, experience, science and skill, rather in various parts of the army, there is an exhibition of Islamic values. Many divisions of the army are a showcase of Islamic values. In army academies, military bases and office centers, there is attention to religious obligations and duties and to rendering service. These are issues that have shown themselves in the army. I do not want to pass a general judgement. Not everyone in the army is like this. The important point is to have role models who can be held up and shown to others. One can show the likes of Abbas Babai, Sayyad Shirazi and others to the people. We can show such people to the Islamic Ummah saying that they are like this. Their commitment, their sacrifice, their humility and their indifference to fame and position were exemplary.
At a certain point in time, we wanted to appoint the commander-in-chief of the Air Force. Three names had been brought up: Shahid Sattari, Shahid Babai and another person whose name I do not remember. This dates back to my presidency. I left it to them saying that I do not want to choose. I think that I summoned them, but I do not remember it exactly as it happened a long time ago  many years ago. I said to them that they should sit down and choose one from among themselves. So, they did this. At that time, it was customary for the commander-in-chief of the air force to be a pilot. Shahid Sattari was not a pilot, rather he was in the technical department. However, they appointed him citing certain reasons. Shahid Babai, whose name I remember, and the other person, whose name I do not remember, could have given a signal to help others understand that they were willing to be the commander-in-chief and this would easily have happened.
After all, Shahid Babai was a pilot and at that time, pilots had the most resources at the Air Force. They had the best chance to be appointed as the commander-in-chief, but they did not signal anything. These are very important points. Narrow-minded eyes and foolish tongues often fail to either see these things or mention them in any way. However, these phenomena exist. I have been very active in the army and I have been in contact with many army personalities. I have seen these things up close and they exist in the army. This army is very valuable. “Ideological army” means this. You who are commanders should strengthen this phenomenon.
In the present time, the army is in the hands of pious and revolutionary youth at the army. The gentlemen who are commanders in the present time were mostly revolutionary youth who entered the army after the Revolution. Of course, a few of them used to be in the army a little before the Revolution, but most of them enlisted after the Revolution. Today, the management of this large and valuable organization is in your hands. You should strengthen the army in this direction as much as you can. Today, our army is more pious and efficient than ever. There is really no doubt about this.
Those who have gotten used to humiliating the nation and respecting the traitors to this nation keep repeating that it was Reza Khan who established the modern army. Well, how resistant was that modern army against the invasion of the foreigners? How many individuals in that modern army could stand by the cause and lay down their lives? They can do the counting to enlighten us. They could not resist even for 24 hours, but this army resisted and fought at a full-scale war for eight years! We were witness to their endeavors and moves. We were witness to the trouble that they went through. This is how things are. This army has more expertise, experience and morale. It has better capabilities and it is more pious, Godly and trustworthy. This has been achieved thanks to the Islamic Republic. It is the Islamic Republic that has trained such an army which is thankfully a source of honor.
The army and the armed forces do not merely attend to national interests. They ensure national interests, but our Armed Forces today are beneficent to many other countries as well. Notice what would have happened to the region had the Armed Forces  the Army and Sepah  not participated in the fight against DAESH. Of course, other countries did what they were supposed to do, but who can deny the role of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran? Notice if they had not gotten involved, how peoples in our neighboring countries would have fared and what kind of people would have seized power? The Armed Forces are distributing their blessings. They are distributing God-given blessings among themselves and among others. Everyone benefits from their blessings. I hope that this will continue so much so that the whole world will benefit from your blessings, God willing.
Another important task which can already be seen in the army, but which should be strengthened God willing  Brigadier Haydari also pointed it out  is unity among the Armed Forces. You and Sepah should not get disunited. What the gentlemen did following the indecent move against Sepah made by the Americans was a beautiful move. They extended the hand of brotherhood to Sepah. Whatever that you do which makes the enemy angry is good and whatever is done which is to the advantage of the enemy is bad, no matter if it is done by someone who wears a seminarian cloak like me or by someone who wears a military uniform. It does not make a difference. The enemy should not be emboldened. His morale should not be boosted.
Today, one of the most important war tactics in the world, is the war of morale. Of course, this has always been the case but it is even more so today. In war, they try to weaken the other sides morale. That little man [US president] has trillions of dollars of debts with different calamities and difficulties in his own country. They are faced with floods and storms  like the one that broke out a few years ago and they could not help for many years. They have these difficulties, but they engage in lecturing the Islamic Republic, the people of Iran and the officials of the country. They talk a load of nonsense and label the people of Iran with things that befit their own status. The enemy is like this. He wants to weaken the other sides morale.
They know what the truth is and they are aware of their own problems and miseries. They also see the great and fast movement of the Iranian nation. What is being done in the present time in several provinces regarding the recent floods is extraordinary. Ones tongue is really incapable of describing this correctly. The Army, Sepah, Basij, the masses of the people and the clergy and seminarians have all contributed in different ways. Several thousand clergy and students rushed to the peoples help with empty hands while many of them did not have the necessary capability and resources to do so. The financial resources that the people provided are astonishing. They are either unprecedented in the world or have very few precedents.
These are incidents which show the great movement of the Iranian nation. The enemy sees these things, but he does not deem it appropriate to express it. That is why they engage in raving and ranting in order to weaken our morale. On the other hand, you should take care not to boost the other sides morale and to weaken our own morale. No one should behave like this. You should apply this in your promotions, in your statements and in your performances.
The army is thankfully a good army. I hope that you will carry out tasks in a better way, benefit from your expertise, improve your performance and employ your experience in an extensive manner on a daily basis. The reports that are delivered to your superiors should be exact and real reports. All organizations should pay attention that they should deliver true reports because reports lead to decision-building. Decision-makers should have access to correct reports so that they can make correct decisions. I thank all of you. I hope that you will be successful, God willing.
Greetings be upon you and Allahs mercy and blessings



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