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
You are very welcome dear brothers, dear sisters and honorable officials. I hope that all you and the entire Iranian nation will benefit from divine blessings, God willing, and that the month of Ramadan will be an auspicious month for all you, in the true sense of the word.
The month of Ramadan is the month of piety. We who are officials – all of us – need piety more than others. I would like to say certain things on this matter for a few minutes. Well, there is a holy ayah which says, “Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may become pious” [The Holy Quran, 2: 183]. “That you may become pious” means hope. It means that there is hope that this will happen.
Well, in the case of Allah the Exalted, hope does not make sense because He is aware of all the secrets and everything in this world. Hope does not make sense. Therefore, the ayah means that God has created the month of Ramadan – this divine sharia – to prepare the ground for the promotion of piety. And it is addressed to everyone. Piety should be promoted among all people. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is the month of promoting piety.
What does piety mean? According to the translations, which are correct, piety means showing fear or in common language, showing consideration. For example, they say that such and such a person shows consideration for another person. It means that you show consideration for such and such a person. “Fear” means this. Showing fear and showing consideration are the meanings of piety. “And fear Allah” [The Holy Quran, 2: 189]. It means that you should show consideration for God and fear Allah the Exalted.
In the great movement of human life, you have been shown a straight path which is filled with problems. Take the case of a piece of land which is filled with mines here and there. Then, they open a path and say that this is the safe path and that you should take it. This is the straight path. Showing consideration for God – “and fear Allah” – means taking care not to deviate from this straight path. You should not deviate from it lest you get stuck and face serious problems.
If you take this path, then you will reach good results. God has specified what these results are in numerous ayahs in the Holy Quran: “And fear Allah, that you may receive mercy” [49: 10]. This is about divine mercy. “And fear Allah. That you may prosper” [2: 189]. The Arabic word “falah” means salvation. If there is piety, one will achieve salvation. “That you may be guided aright” [2: 53]. This has been repeated in certain ayahs. Piety leads to guidance. When you show piety, problems and dead ends will clear in front of you and the correct path will be shown to you.
If you show piety, you will achieve furqan: “He will grant you a criterion to judge between right and wrong” [8: 29]. “Furqan” means the power to distinguish and to make decisions. This is very important. In all affairs of life, we need the power to distinguish the correct path from the incorrect one and the truth from evil. With piety, we can achieve furqan and the power to distinguish. There is another point: “And for those who fear Allah, He prepares a way out” [65: 2]. The Arabic word “makhraj” means breaking dead ends. If there is piety, there will be no dead ends in your affairs.
In all aspects of life, if you have piety, show consideration to and fear Allah in the same way that has been mentioned, there will be no dead ends ahead of you.
Piety leads to insight as well. These are Quranic promises in the case of piety. “And whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” [4: 122]. No one can give promises as genuinely as Allah the Exalted. When Allah the Exalted promises something, it will definitely happen and there is no doubt about this.
In the Quran, after inviting people to show piety – from start to finish, we have been invited to show piety time and time again: we have been invited to this efficient and helpful truth – there is talk of piety for those other than God as well.
I think, this is in Sura al-Nahl: “And to Him is duty due always, then will you fear other than Allah” [16: 52]. It asks if we fear other than God. Well, what does “other than God” mean? Does it mean our fathers, our mothers? But piety for these individuals is good. Piety in the face of one’s religious brother is very good. This is not what it means by “other than God.” It means powers other than God and powers working against God.
So, when we are committed to piety, we fear God’s power, but we do not fear powers other than God. “Not showing fear” means not showing consideration to them. This does not mean that we should not be careful about them. We should be careful, but we should not fear them. We should not think that our lives, our happiness and bliss, our future and our destiny are in their hands. This is a requirement for piety.
Notice that all these are ways for the victory of a nation. When there is piety in an Islamic Ummah and when they think and act like this, there will naturally be blossoming, progress, advancement, transcendence and improvement. In such circumstances, the ayah “to proclaim it over all religion” [48: 28] will materialize. Allah the Exalted has repeated this many times in the Quran.
Piety is vast in scope. In other words, deep in your hearts, you can show piety by not allowing various forms of lust and doubt about the truth to dominate you and by drifting away from selfish desires. These are the problems that we are faced with. Last night, there was a program on television about Imam (may God bestow paradise on him). Well, Imam was a hakim in the true sense of the word. When he would talk, wisdom would emanate from his heart in a continuous manner. Of course, we were present in that meeting, but it is necessary to advise anyway. In that meeting, he said, “The month of Ramadan helps us distance ourselves from different kinds of lust, in particular spiritual lust.”
Spiritual lusts are more difficult. Seeking power and pursuing ambitions are samples of spiritual lust. When we try to impose ourselves and have authority in all arenas of life, this is an example of spiritual lust. As for worldly, materialistic and moral forms of lust, they are important in their own right. Piety begins from this point and it is extended to social affairs. In war, there is piety. In political activities, piety exists and makes sense as well. The same is true of economic activities. In these circumstances, the moves, words, actions, intentions and decisions of us officials of the country – who are in charge of different managerial positions – affect the fate of the people.
This is where piety matters! That is why I said that piety for us is more important than ordinary people. We should be careful and show piety. Government officials are subject to close relations with the people’s rights. So, if they are impious, their rights will be trampled upon and then, there will be no time to make up for it. When we commit a personal wrongdoing and an act of oppression against ourselves, we repent, this way we make up for it, but when the people’s rights are trampled upon, how can you compensate for that?
You should consider this as a managerial criterion. When you want to appoint someone for a particular position and when you want to entrust them with a task, you should consider this characteristic – having piety and commitment regarding the affairs of the people – as part of managerial competence. A criterion for managerial competence is to see if they are pious or not – that is to say, if they are trustworthy or not when you entrust them with a task. If this happens, then God will be the most important criterion in all our decisions. When we work for God, this is what will happen.
In this condition, all your actions will become an act of worship. One of the advantages of working for the Islamic government and the Islamic administration is that if you work for God, your work will turn into an act of worship. The things that you sign, the piece of paper on which you write and the words that you say will turn into an act of worship.
There is a sentence in Dua Makarem al-Akhlaq which says, “And help me when you ask me questions tomorrow.” This is the twentieth dua in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah, which is a very good dua. I advise you to read it more. Of course, the friends in the meeting read it, but they should read it even more. They will criticize us on Judgement Day, asking why we did not do such and such a thing. We do certain things that we should not – well, all of us know this – and we should do certain other things, but we ignore it and show laziness. We show consideration for this and that person and we do not do it. They will ask us on these matters on Judgement Day.
This is one of the areas where piety should show itself. One is the issue of observing public funds. Another is self-edification in the face of personal chaos and tumult. Accumulating wealth, moral problems, and inclination towards a luxurious and aristocratic lifestyle are the other things that we officials of the Islamic Republic should be very careful about: “And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged their own souls” [The Holy Quran, 14: 45]. Well, if we rule in the same building that taghuti powers used to rule and if we act in the same way as them, this cannot be done. Under these circumstances, we are not different from them. Our methodology should be different from that of the servants and followers of Satan.
There are two outlooks and attitudes in coming to power. This is the case about all those who come to power: one outlook is related to materialistic individuals who anticipate gaining power and holding office in order to satisfy their own personal desires. On the basis of this outlook, individuals try to become president because through the presidency, they will have the opportunity to have a better life. In other words, gaining power is a means to satisfy selfish desires and to achieve wealth, lead a lustful life and gain the things that their selves demand. This is one outlook that has often been adopted by the followers of power. Because they were materialistic and pursued worldly desires, power would bring them those desires only and the results of such power are merely confined to this world. This is one outlook adopted by those who gain power.
Another outlook is that of the prophets. There is a narration about the Holy Prophet which says, “He would sit down in the manner of slaves and eat the foods that slaves would eat” [Mustadrak ul-Wasael, Vol. 16, page 228]. He would sit down in the way that slaves and servants did. Despite the greatness of his status, he did not hold any privilege for himself in the way that he ate or in his friendly relations with others.
The Commander of the Faithful says, “Realize that your Imam has contented himself with two shabby pieces of cloth out of the comforts of the world and two loaves for his meal” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]. Such was the life of the Commander of the Faithful. This is another example. Of course, this does not mean that you and I should act like the Holy Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful because we are not capable of doing that in any way. Hazrat himself says, “Certainly, you cannot do so.” You cannot act in the same way: “But at least support me in piety and exertion” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]. You should work hard to behave in this way and you should not follow the path of those who follow materialistic power.
Therefore, one of the things that those who have certain responsibilities in the Islamic Republic should be committed to – as it is one of the requirements for piety – is to avoid pursuing a luxurious and lavish life. They should live an ordinary life and they should not be extravagant and the like. Of course, many things can be said about piety, but this is the main thing that I wanted to discuss. Of course, I myself am addressed by these statements more than everyone else and I need this more than you. We should consider piety as our main goal, our main path and our main instrument and we should pursue it. This was the main thing that I wanted to discuss.
As for the issues of the country, there are many points about economic matters and I will raise some of them today. When Mr. President said that management and planning should be more serious and that they should change, these are correct statements. These things should be done. They should really pursue these tasks. As was mentioned, they should truly pursue serious activities in the areas that were discussed. And the path is clear.
Well, today, the main problem of the country is the economic problem- for the time being. The reason is the pressure that is exerted on the people, the pressure on the people particularly on underprivileged classes. Even the middle classes of society are under some pressure, but it is underprivileged classes which are under more pressure. Naturally, when a country has economic problems, the people and weak classes in society will be under pressure. In these circumstances, the enemy becomes greedy.
One of the problems is that the enemy becomes greedy and gets his hopes high. The country’s reputation will be damaged as well. If there is an economic problem and if there is lack of a good economic plan and economic progress in any country, its reputation will be damaged. Therefore, we should attend to the economy in a serious way. And I will tell you that there are no dead ends in the true sense of the word. There are really no dead ends in any way. There are problems and obstacles, but there are no dead ends.
Well, our enemies – headed by the US – have intensified the sanctions hoping that they can harm the Islamic Republic this way. As they themselves say, they have imposed unprecedented sanctions. They are right, the sanctions that they have imposed on the Islamic Republic are unprecedented. However, the important point is that the Islamic Republic is made of solid metal. A number of international analysts have acknowledged that if these sanctions and pressures had been imposed on any other country, they would have severly impacted them. But the Islamic Republic is solid thanks to its people, to divine grace and to the determination of the officials who are busy working in every corner of the country.
Otherwise, pressures exist and they have done their job. The enemy has done his best and he has fulfilled his duty. He has proved to be not short of malice and malevolence. And their goal is to make officials surrender so that they change their calculations in a way that they are forced to surrender. In other words, they want our officials to surrender to the US and they want to pit the people against the Islamic Republic. This is the goal of the enemy.
This is a wrong calculation. America’s calculations are wrong. In the past as well – during the past 40 years – the Americans have made certain calculations which have not brought them the desired results. They suffered a loss because of those calculations and they have failed to deliver the desired blow on the Islamic Republic.
The same is true of the present time. They will definitely lose this time as well. There is no doubt about this, but the grudge that they bear against Islamic Iran has blinded them. In other words, it has wrecked their calculations and therefore, they cannot make correct calculations. Their grudge has really blinded them, otherwise, there are many individuals inside the US itself who are opposed to this malicious and savage way of treating Iran and Muslim and resistance groups, but their hands are tied. We read their articles and writings and we are aware of their actions and what they say, but American officials do not understand. The current politicians in the US do not really have a correct understanding of these matters.
I would like to add that no one should be intimidated by the outward appearance of the US. No one should be intimidated. This is really a mistake. We feel that some people are taken aback and intimidated by this outward awe and by the fuss and uproar that the US kicks up. It is wrong to be afraid of this outward appearance. Superpowers further their goals like this: by kicking up a fuss. They are not as powerful as their uproar suggests. They are much less powerful, but they create an uproar, kick up a fuss and issue threats. And they frighten this and that. No one should be afraid.
We should neither be intimidated by them, nor by the wealth of these Persian Gulf qaruns. The qaruns surrounding us cannot do a damn thing. They have spent billions against us in different areas, but they have reached nowhere. They have not really gotten their hands on anything.
In the year 1357, the year of our great Islamic Revolution, the US was much stronger than the present time. Jimmy Carter, who was president at the time, was much wiser than this person who holds office now and he was much more powerful than him as well. The current president is both less powerful – in both financial and political areas – and less intelligent. And they had an agent in Iran who dominated all affairs: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was their agent. He would work for them and he would support them. He was in charge of all affairs. They had such an agent.
Nonetheless, the people managed to defeat the US with empty hands. You might say that those achievements occurred during the revolutionary era. Well, in the present time too, the Revolution still thrives. In the present time, enthusiastic revolutionary youth are not fewer in number than the day when the Revolution achieved victory, and they have more depth in terms of revolutionary thinking. This is how things are. You can see the examples of this during the various events that take place in the country such as revolutionary commemorations and celebrations. Today, that revolutionary move and enthusiasm is showing itself in the right place. Therefore, no one should be terrified by the outward grandeur of the US. At the end of my statements, I will expand on the issue of the US if there is time, God willing.
The issue of the economy of the country is our important issue for the moment. We should attend to this problem. Our economy is one of the largest economies in the world. Our economic infrastructures are good. As was pointed out, we should organize and sort out management in a way that we can make the most of this asset. They should really employ abandoned and forsaken capacities. Our economy suffers from a few maladies. If we can cure them at this point in time – at a point when we are faced with the issue of oil and with sanctions and the like – in my opinion, our economy will take a big leap.
One malady is our dependence on oil. The grave flaw of our economy is dependence on oil. We extracted this substance from underground and we sold it in exchange for dollars without creating any value-added for this cash money – it is like cash money. And we used it for daily affairs. This is wrong! The National Development Fund that we established was for the sake of separating ourselves from oil step by step. In the present time, there is a good opportunity to do that. One of the tasks that should really be considered alongside macro planning by our economic officials is this: we should do something to decrease our dependence on oil on a daily basis.
Another malady is the issue of the unnecessary intervention of government organizations in the area of the economy. This is one of our problems. The policies of Article 44 of the Constitution were formulated for the sake of putting an end to this problem. Certain measures have been adopted, but what should really have been done in this regard has not been done yet. The role of the administration should be confined to supervision, control and guidance regarding those activities that do not need its direct involvement. The administration has to enter into certain activities and it has no other choice because no one other than the administration can do those activities, but it does not need to be involved in many other activities. This is one malady.
Another malady is damaging the business environment. The various twists and turns and bizarre mazes and corridors in government organizations lead to damaging the environment of finance and business. This is another problem that we have. I have heard that in some countries in the world, it takes only half a day to set up a production business. However, there are many problems in our country. It is the administration, the Majlis and officials who are in charge of such affairs. They should facilitate the conditions of business. Later on, I will address the issue of production to point out how important this matter is.
Another problem is carrying out structural reforms to the budget which was touched on by the President. I confirm what he said as well. It was decided that the Majlis and the administration would eliminate, in cooperation with one another, the structural hurdles regarding the budget in the first four months of the year 1398. Two months have already passed and only two months are left. This is one of those important and fundamental tasks that needs to be accomplished. And there are many issues on reforming the structure of the banking system, but this is not a good time to address this problem. I have frequently discussed these matters with officials.
We are able to work on reforming the structures at this point in time. This requires some brave management. Executive officials should get involved in this area with courage. They should not have considerations which violate their duties, the law and the interests of the country. I have written in my notes: courageous, hopeful and jihadi management accompanied by presence in the field in order to resolve problems. There are many problems which cannot be understood sitting in one’s office and at one’s managerial desk. We should be present on the scene and in the arena in order to touch the problems.
I have also written: activeness in the face of the enemy and refusal to condition the economy of the country to the decisions of this and that person. This is an important issue. We should not make the country dependent on the whims of the Americans regarding renewing the waivers. We should not think of these matters in any way. This has been one of our problems since the beginning. This has happened frequently in recent years. We who are government officials, have delayed pursuing many of our activities to see what decisions the other side will make – something that is not in our hands.
Well when we do this, such and such businessperson, investor and entrepreneur will act in the same way. Many important and necessary construction projects have been left idle to see what decisions others will make. This should not be the case. The economy should not be conditioned to the decisions of others.
Another point is that we should really activate the capacities of the people. I have said this many times and I would like to repeat it now as well. This is because I have thankfully become familiar with and aware of these capacities. We have vast popular capacities. We have excellent youth who are knowledgeable, educated, entrepreneurial, intelligent and creative in different areas and therefore, we should trust them. We should invite them. We should summon them for different tasks so that they focus on one particular area.
For example, the administration should focus on the issue of the value of national currency and it should ask youth to participate, to think and to work hard so that they put forward solutions and take action. These are capacities. And you should rely on God. You should accomplish these tasks with reliance on God. In my opinion, these will be carried out.
Another matter which is absolutely necessary is that the administration should confront the destructive forces in various economic areas. Everyone should support the administration in this confrontation. Today, we are faced with smuggling, hoarding and very detrimental brokerage deals. We have received reports about the treasonous purchase of wheat, meat, public foodstuffs and the like and I have shared my concern with officials. These are treasonous acts which should be confronted. They import certain products and keep them in stores. This is hoarding and it should be confronted.
Of course, when you confront them, some noise might be made. Some individuals will cause a commotion and create an uproar. So, everyone should stand behind the administration and help it so that the punitive divisions of the administration can fulfil their function in the true sense of the word.
I have written down a number of fundamental tasks that should receive attention. All officials are thankfully present here. Members of majlis, high-ranking executive officials and judiciary officials are present. It is you who are in charge of these tasks. If we accept these fundamental tasks as an indisputable thought, then we will be able to help and add to one another.
A significant task is eliminating the obstacles ahead of production. We chose “Boost in Production” as the slogan of the year. This is the key to many of our economic problems. Production is like this. If we can really boost production, if we can eliminate the hurdles – which are many in the country – in the way of production, something which is possible with jihadi determination and by employing skilled youth, many problems such as the issue of employment, inflation, public welfare and the people’s income will be resolved and exports will be boosted. Production is the mother of all important economic matters in the country. And in my opinion, this is possible.
Whenever we trusted and relied on our youth, whenever we provided them with facilities and resources – minimum resources: most youth are able to work with minimum resources – we managed to advance. You have witnessed the examples in recent years. One example is in the area of our military production. Well the issue of military production on which the enemy is very sensitive, is a very important matter. Our accurate missiles – whether ballistic or cruise missiles, which can be launched at a distance of 1,500, 2,000 kilometers and which can hit the target with an error rate of five, six meters at most – are a very important achievement. The reason why they cause a commotion on the issue of missiles and the like is because of these achievements. Who has made these achievements? Our own youth! Our pious and motivated youth work tirelessly.
Another example is the day when we needed 20-percent enriched uranium for the organizations which needed it in Tehran and other cities for pharmaceutical and medical purposes and the like. Well we used to import 20-percent enriched uranium before that. We had imported some, years before that and we were running out of our sources. They would run out finally and consequently, our nuclear medicines that were produced through radioactivity and that are used for different purposes would be left laying idle.
So officials were informed of the matter and they pursued it in a diligent way. The other side said at first that they would be willing to sell. Later on, they set different terms. As a result, we witnessed that there would be many problems with those terms and that they were not willing to sell. Consequently we asked our officials to produce it on their own. We said to them that they should pursue it on their own. No one would have believed it, but they pursued the matter and they managed to accomplish such a great and important feat. They managed to achieve 20-percent enriched uranium.
It was at the same time, in the same meeting I suppose, that I said that the most difficult part of the enrichment process is achieving the 20 percent. After that, the subsequent stages would not be a problem. It is much easier. So they managed to accomplish this difficult part of the job. Who did so? Our youth. Therefore, why can they not be able to solve the problems of our industries? Why can they not find the missing pieces of the puzzle regarding our financial and industrial affairs? They can do this and they must be trusted. This is a fundamental task.
The issue of boosting production should be taken seriously. The honorable officials should be very sensitive about the closing down of production factories and centers. We sometimes receive news which is really sad. For example, such and such a factory – that manufactures many products – is closed down because of a certain problem. Of course, I had written this down to discuss it later, but I am discussing it now. The officials in charge of the Ministry of Industries should really look and find the shortcomings in the areas that need help – whether the area of machinery and components, intermediate goods or necessary resources for production. They should prepare a list, issue a call and ask the various officials in the country to help.
Now that it is difficult to buy from abroad, they can produce many of these substances inside the country. There are certain products that have nothing to do with the nuclear matter and other such issues, but they have put a ban on selling them to us out of sheer malice and they do not allow us to have them. Very well, we can produce them inside the country. Our youth are prepared and creative. They should ask them to do so. They should hold permanent exhibitions and define the needs and the necessary products there. This is one issue.
Another important task in the area of the economy is the issue of self-sufficiency. From the beginning of the Revolution until today, we have been discussing the issue of self-sufficiency. In the early days of the Revolution, “self-suffiency jihad” was launched in different divisions of the army and the military. Later on, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps stepped up and various courses of action were adopted in this respect. Youth were after these tasks in Construction Jihad and the ground was really prepared for self-sufficiency in the country.
After that, the officials in charge of agricultural matters were asked to help bring about self-sufficiency in the area of wheat. They showed determination and we thankfully achieved that. This has happened in the last one, two years. Before that too, we were self-sufficient for one, two years. Self-sufficiency can be achieved in all areas. We can work hard on these. And the main areas are foodstuffs: wheat, barley, oil seeds and animal husbandry. We should achieve self-sufficiency in these areas.
Unfortunately, a new thought and idea infiltrated our decision-making organizations which drove us away from self-sufficiency. It was an idea about economic profitability. They would say that producing wheat and self-sufficiency in that area is not economic and that it would be profitable to import wheat. Well, it is clear that importing wheat might be economic at a certain point in time, but when they prevent you from importing it, when they impose a ban on imports and refuse to sell you wheat, what do you do? Which wise government in the world would do that? At that time, they were saying that they should plant saffron and import wheat instead because it would be more economic and profitable.
The same is true of the area of oil and petrol. Mr. President pointed this out. The natural gas condensate refinery that has been established in Bandar Abbas called “Star of the Persian Gulf” is an example of self-sufficiency. In the present time, about a third of petrol consumption – which is extravagant – is being provided by the same refinery. The present consumption patterns are excessive. The current figures – 90, 100, more or less, million liters per day – are excessive and it should not be like this.
However, about a third of this rate is being provided by the same refinery, anyway. The refinery began to work in the year 1386, but it stayed idle for a while and after that, it resumed work, again thanks to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. In the present time, it continues to work. Self-sufficiency means this and we should attach great significance to it. We should think of self-sufficiency in all areas. The power of the country lies in self-sufficiency. The country’s power and reputation lies in self-sufficiency. We should be able to satisfy our main needs on our own.
The third issue, which is another fundamental task, is the issue of facilitating the environment of business. I touched on this issue before. There are really so many contradictory laws in this and that organization, making production difficult. I have already brought this up two, three times in my meetings with government officials. I have demanded this from them, but there have not been enough efforts. I firmly request that you take this matter seriously. You should do something to encourage production. Well, today, everyone knows that the money volume has increased to a large extent. This money volume can be a source of disaster and inflation. It can invade everywhere and bring about destruction like a flood. However, it if directed towards production, it can be a source of divine mercy like a lake or a pool.
Why is not directed towards production? One of the reasons is that because producers are in a difficult situation, they do not find it economically profitable to engage in productive work. I said in my new year’s speech – on the first day of Eid – that there have been some individuals who have gotten along with the problems related to production, for the sake of God. I myself have seen someone saying to me that he could put his money in the bank and receive the interest – in a long-term deposit account with very high interest and without any trouble – but that he wished to engage in production for the sake of God because the country needs such production. Well such individuals are few in number. We should do something to help increase the number of such people by eliminating the obstacles in the way of production.
An important matter on the issue of the economy of the country is prioritizing agriculture. Agriculture is of primary importance both because it provides the people’s food and foodstuff and because it provides the most employment opportunities in the present time. According to a report, about 30 percent of employment is created by agriculture. Besides, if the issue of agriculture receives attention and if you pursue the problems of villages and villagers by moving processing factories and industries to villages and help sell products through villagers, this will in my opinion, help the progress of the country to a large part.
This is where it becomes clear how important agriculture is. Sometimes, we hear news showing that some production units have closed down, which is a very sad news every time one hears it. Important tasks should be carried out in this regard and I have written some of them down, but it is not necessary to bring them up here as there is little time left.
In the area of industries and mines, as I mentioned, we sometimes need such and such a component, substance and material for a particular industrial project and we have to import it from the outside. However, it is not possible to transfer money through banks because there are problems which make it impossible. Well we should show determination and produce it inside the country. One of the tasks that should definitely be carried out in the area of economic matters – the Ministry of Industries is in charge of this – is to do something to help our industries and mines to pursue their work smoothly.
Today we thankfully have many research groups. There are perhaps thousands of research groups in the country – both inside and outside universities, most of whom are young. I am in close contact with some of them. They come and go and I ask them questions: all of them are motivated with very good ideas. They discuss certain matters with us. When they say that they can produce such and such things, I – who am aware of executive work – know that this is exactly what government organizations need. It has sometimes occurred that we have acted as intermediaries to connect them together. My office has sometimes undertaken this task. I asked them to connect those research groups to such and such a ministry, helping them to further their goals.
We have a great source of wealth in this regard today. We have a unique source of wealth which is efficient and motivated manpower. Youth are motivated, indefatigable and patient. They are creative as well. The youth whom I know up close and with whom I am in contact directly or indirectly are like this. Most of them are pious, revolutionary, enthusiastic and energetic as well. The administration should benefit from such youth. The Ministry of Industries should present a clear plan. They should find the missing pieces regarding industries. They should issue a call asking them to work and providing them with the necessary resources. Such youth are usually able to achieve the goal with little money.
In the present time, one of the opportunities that exists is making up for the flood damages. Well, the recent floods inflicted many damages to the facilities and living conditions of the people. Our factories should resume work. One of the most important tasks is to adjust, plan and direct the funds that we have considered for flood-stricken areas in a way that they will lead to the development of the country’s factories. Production is this. We should not resort to unnecessary imports again. For example, we want to send such and such a product to flood-stricken areas, but we are short of that product or it does not exist at all in the country. In these circumstances, we can resort to imports, but this should not be the case. Instead, we should refer to domestic producers. We should coordinate facilities and funds like this. This was one issue.
Another issue is about housing development. As it happens, housing development is an entrepreneurial field in the country. One of the areas where we showed negligence in recent years was failure to attend to housing. Building houses creates many industries. It helps many industries to resume work. In other words, it leads to employment and production. It causes a boost in production. In the present time, we need housing in flood-stricken areas – whether the houses that need to be renovated or the ones that should be built. This is an opportunity which should be grasped. There are many organizations which can help the administration in this regard. The private sector can participate in this area. You can issue a call to the youth whom I mentioned. You should ask them to come and help. This way, there will be a great movement in the country regarding employment creation.
Notice that in confronting the enemy, the slogan of the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution is resistance. The enemy wants to transgress and advance. There are two ways in the face of this enemy who constantly wants to advance: one is that you retreat. As soon as you retreat, he advances. The more you retreat, the more he will advance. And another way is to resist. Our own experience in the Islamic Republic – let alone experience obtained from history, the early Islamic era and the like – shows that resistance against the enemy pays off. Whenever we resisted, we achieved a positive result including in the Sacred Defense Era, in various areas, in the case of their security provocations and on economic matters.
One day, our annual oil revenues – the only way to earn revenues – reached about six billion dollars. Is there a hardship worse than this? Of course at that time, the population of the country was much smaller but nonetheless five, six billion worth of revenues is nothing for a country. However, we managed to stand firm and resist. The people stood firm. And it was not very difficult. It was not very difficult to stand firm. So resistance is very important.
Well it is one thing to resist in the area of the military, but it is quite another to do so in the area of the economy. In the area of the economy, resistance means what I have already said: strengthening the domestic economic structure, solidifying the fundamentals, taking issues seriously and pursuing them as well. One of our problems is failure to pursue matters. Matters are left laying idle. We begin something well, we start to move forward, but after that it is gradually abandoned. We should do follow-up. All the issues that were discussed are instances of resistance.
You should not pin your hopes on the outside in order to improve the affairs of the country. Others will not help us. They only inflict harm. Foreigners only do us harm. Take the case of Europe for instance. European countries are not America. We did not have a fight going on between us. We did not have a disagreement. We even had so-called good relations with some of them, but notice how they behaved on the issue of the Bar-Jaam [the JCPOA], their commitments and the like.
What is interesting is that they keep saying that they are committed to the Bar-Jaam. What does the commitment of Germany, France and England to the Bar-Jaam mean? One should ask them, “What do you mean when you say that you are committed? What are you doing to preserve it? What commitment do you have to the Bar-Jaam? What commitment have you honored?” They keep saying that they are committed. What does it mean? Well, things are like that. Therefore, we should not pin our hopes on the outside. We should look at the inside to improve the affairs. This is the main point.
Thankfully, there is not a shortage of forces. There are many forces. The country is big, the population is large and there are many young forces and human resources. The people should play their part on economic matters. I am not only addressing the administration and officials. A large part of economic work falls on the people. The people should help. They should help the administration.
For example, in the area of production that we spoke about – boosting production – the people can really invest and help. They can buy domestic products. Last year, the slogan of the year was about producing domestic products. Well, many people acted on this and good courses of action were adopted. This should not stop, rather it should increase on a daily basis. Domestic products and domestic productions should truly be preferred to foreign products in the eye of every Iranian. If they want the economy of the country to improve, this is one of the tasks.
One of the necessary tasks is to avoid buying things to an excess. Sometimes, we witness that on the basis of a rumor spread in such and such a social network – by malicious and untruthful individuals – suggesting that such and such a product might become expensive, the people rush to buy it. What is the necessity of doing so? They should not buy to an excess. They should not heed rumors and they should not consume in a wasteful manner. There are really some instances of wastefulness in certain cases, but it should not be done. These are the people’s roles.
Regarding economic matters, I had written down some points about banks and other such issues, but by Allah’s favor, I will discuss them with banking officials later on because there is no time now.
Now I want to speak about the US. There is no doubt that the enmity of the US – which began to show enmity from the first day of the Revolution – has taken an explicit form today. Notice that we should not think that the enmity of the US has intensified today. This is not the case. Its enmity has become explicit today. Before, there were the same enmities, but they would not speak so openly. However, the current politicians speak outspokenly. They say that they want to do such and such things and they issue threats. Well one should know that he who threatens in a loud voice is not as powerful and strong as his loud voice suggests. We should be more afraid of those who do not issue threats, not those who do so.
Therefore, today the Americans have made their enmity explicit. They care about the interests of the Zionist regime more than any other government. It should be said that the Zionists are at the wheel of many American policies, of course not necessarily the Zionist government in occupied Palestine, rather the Zionist cohort. It is the Zionist cohort that dominates their affairs.
And they need this. The current US government needs to cause a commotion and rant and rave. Notice that he [Trump] has been repeatedly saying, “Our policies have changed Iran. Today, Iran is different from the past.” It means that it is his policies that have influenced Iran. Of course, he is right. Iran has changed. The change is that the hatred of the people towards the US has increased tens of times. The hatred of the people towards them has increased.
And their approach towards seizing the interests of the Islamic Republic has become more and more unattainable. Our youth have become more determined to keep the country prepared. Our military forces are careful. Our security forces are more careful today. Yes, when he speaks about changes, these are the changes. Notice how wrong their calculation apparatus is. Their president says, “every Friday, there is a demonstration against the US in Tehran.” First of all, it is not Friday rather it is Saturday. Second, it is not Tehran rather it is Paris [referring to the ongoing demonstrations in France]! “Praise be to God Who made our enemies from among the fools” [Quoting a famous revayat. Supreme Leader and audience laugh]. This is how their enmity is. Well this enmity exists.
There is a point which is usually ignored which is the fact that the US is suffering from grave social, economic and other such problems inside its country. Of course, they have had some achievements in economic areas, but experts say that they are short-term and that they will not continue. However, their important social problems still prevail. And their government does not have a stable condition. The contradictory statements that they make – one says something, another says a different thing: today, they say something, but tomorrow they contradict it – shows their agitation.
I have written down something about the report that the United States Department of Agriculture has released: 41 percent of the Americans suffer from hunger and lack of food security. This is the condition of the US. So these commotions, rantings and ravings and their so-called economic pressures on the Iranian nation are exerted by such a government in whose country there are 41 million people suffering from hunger, according to the figures that they themselves have released.
As for their social condition, they have a center that tracks the vital statistics of the country. This center states that about 40 percent of births in the United States are illegitimate. There are over two million prisoners in the US which is unprecedented in the world! Compared to their population, it is unprecedented. In no country in the world are there such a large number of prisoners, considering population. The highest rate of consuming addictive drugs belongs to the US. Notice that these are social problems. So they are suffering.
Around thirty-one percent of public shootings in the world occurs in the United States. Every day, you hear, see and read in newspapers that there has been a shooting in such and such a school, club and subway station. This is their social condition. They are suffering. One feels pity for their people. In these conditions, what kind of person has become their president! Individuals who are far away from the truth and reality. Therefore, some people should not portray the enemy as very great and dangerous. The enemy is an enemy who is suffering.
Of course, we do not want to neglect the enmity of the enemy: “The enemy cannot be regarded as poor and weak” [from a poem by Sa’adi]. However, we should not regard him as very powerful and great so much so that others feel they cannot do anything in confronting him. This is not the case. The enemy is not such a strong enemy. The enemy is one who is suffering. His policies are wrong. Almost all of the policies that the current president has adopted – in political-security areas – in recent years have ended to their disadvantage.
Their regional policies are like this, their European policies are like this. And their policies in confronting Asian powers have ended to their disadvantage as well. Their policies are such that they have not been able to help them. The issue of the seven trillion dollars that he was speaking about during his presidential campaign continues to exist [referring to the expenditures of the US in West Asia]. They continue to spend. Of course, their hands are in the pockets of the Saudis. Therefore, they have not had any success in their policies.
As for their policy of confronting the Islamic Republic, I will tell you that the US will definitely be defeated and it will end to our advantage. In the present time, certain experts in the US are issuing warnings – published in their press – saying that their pressure on Iran will lead to a great economic leap in Iran. They are saying this which is the truth of the matter. They will be defeated.
They are behaving in a reactionary way. The increasing strength of the Islamic Republic will thankfully intimidate the other side. So in reaction, they are resorting to such measures. Therefore, you should pay attention to this point.
Well, one sees and hears that he speaks about negotiations. Inside the country too, some individuals say, “what is wrong with negotiating?” Negotiation is poison! As long as the US continues to be what it is now – as Imam once said, “as long as he does not act like a decent human being”: this is how he worded it – our negotiation with the US is poison, even more so with the current administration.
Negotiation means reaching a deal. You give something and get something in return, but what he wants in this deal is exactly the strong points of the Islamic Republic. They try to negotiate on these issues. They will not say, “let us speak about climate conditions, natural resources and the environment.” Rather they will say, “let us negotiate on your defensive weapons. Why do you have defensive weapons?” Well, defensive weapons are necessary for every country. They will say, “let us negotiate on these.” What does “let us negotiate” mean? It means that if we are building missiles with such and such a range and precision, we should be lowering the range so that they will not hit their bases so much so that if they strike us one day, we will not be able to respond! Well they want to reach a deal on this!
Would you accept this deal or not? It is obvious that you would not. When you do not accept it, there will be the same game, there will be the same conflicts and commotions. The issue is not about religion, the Revolution and the like. No ardent and intelligent Iranian will enter a deal on their strong point. They will not do a deal with someone who wants to snatch those strong points from them. We need those strong points.
Our strategic depth in the region is very important. Well, it is important to every country. Strategic depth in the area of politics and security is the main criterion for the life of all governments and nations. Thankfully, our strategic depth in the region is very satisfactory. They are upset about this. They say, “let us talk on regional matters.” In other words, they want us to lose our strategic depth. They want to negotiate on these matters.
Therefore, negotiation is essentially wrong. Negotiating with a decent person [from the other side] is wrong, let along these people who are not decent. Negotiating with people who break their promises, who go back on their commitments and who are not committed to anything – they are not committed to morality, to legality, to international conventions and to anything – is ridiculous.
Of course, there is not anyone among our wise personalities who pursues this matter. As for the people, it is clear how they think. Of course, there are some people who make a noise here and there. Therefore, negotiations are absolutely meaningless and as I have mentioned many times before, such a thing will not happen.
In the previous US administration, when their politicians had a supposedly more clean-cut appearance, Obama wrote us a ‘love letter’ which we responded to after some time. He immediately wrote the second letter. Then I wanted to respond, but the fitna [sedition] of the year 1388 occurred. They happily resorted to the seditionists and defended and supported the sedition. They had a neat and decent appearance, but in reality they were like that. As soon as the fitna broke out here, all the things that they said, all their expressions of respect and love were completely forgotten and they joined the fitna orientation against the Islamic Republic. As for the current ones, it is clear how they are.
Therefore, the definite option for the Iranian nation is resistance in the face of the US. In this confrontation and resistance, he will be forced to retreat. And when speaking of resistance, resistance does not mean a military confrontation. When some people bring up the issue of war in the press, in cyberspace and the like, this is nonsensical. No war is going to be waged. By Allah’s favor, no war will be waged. We are not after a war, nor is it to their advantage to pursue a war. They know that it is not to their advantage.
As for us, we do not begin wars. We have never begun a war and in the present time, we will not do so either. This battle is the battle of willpowers. This confrontation is the confrontation of willpowers. And our willpower is stronger than theirs! As well as having a strong willpower, we are reliant on God: “That is because Allah is the protector of those who believe, but those who reject Allah have no protector” [The Holy Quran, 47: 11]. They do not have a protector, but we are reliant on divine willpower.
Therefore, the future will be a good future, God willing. And difficulties and hardships are not and will not be like what some people portray and describe them. By Allah’s favor, our own administration and the officials of the country will confront incidents and achieve a victory with determination, with power, with a strong will, with correct management and – as they mentioned – with new and fresh measures and thoughts.
Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make the Iranian nation victorious in all these confrontations
Dear God, associate our magnanimous and dear Imam, who opened this path to us, with the saints
Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make our words, our intentions and our future actions serve You and Your cause and accept them from us
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings