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
Today’s meeting is thankfully a very energetic and lively meeting. The characteristic of youth is primarily, liveliness and enthusiasm and by Allah’s favor, this will be a source of progress and of using opportunities in the country.
Most of the youth who spoke today expressed their concerns and addressed existing problems. This is good and there is nothing wrong with it. I am not opposed to expressing concerns and problems. I am completely alright with stating these things, but one should be careful with one’s words. This is because carelessness in speech and in the words that one chooses may bring about undesirable external impacts as well as divine questioning. Therefore, we should criticize carefully. This spirit of liveliness and making demands – I will expand on this later on – is very good.
Before I begin my statements, I would like to speak about the points that the friends in the meeting raised. I wrote down the main points that they discussed: there were two, three points. One of the friends – an honorable speaker – asked if the problems that we witness in society today – the shortcomings and hurdles some of which you pointed out – are related to the system or to officials. The structure of the Constitution is a good structure. There is nothing wrong with it. Of course, structures are completed in the course of time. Their shortcomings and gaps are eliminated and filled in, in the course of time. This is a natural process. For example, one day we did not have an Expediency Council. It was a shortcoming and a gap. Today, we have this Expediency Council. And there are other such achievements and this is the case in all systems in the world.
For example, regarding a presidential system like the government of the United States – today, 200-plus years have passed since its formation – I was reading a few years ago that they are establishing certain organizations or eliminating certain other ones. In other words, they are completing the system. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with the structure. The structure is good. Of course, it is possible to make amendments to it.
As for the parliamentary system – one of the friends in the meeting discussed this – this issue has already been debated. In the assembly that was held for revising the Constitution, we discussed it at length and we reached the conclusion that we have today.
The problems ensuing from a parliamentary system, at least for us, are more than the problems resulting from a presidential system. In any case, I do not see any problem in the structure. Of course, we officials have certain shortcomings. There is no doubt about this. Officials have certain shortcomings. They have different tastes and they have certain limitations and shortcomings. The result is that we sometimes make a mistake in our moves. And our mistakes are not like the ones made by an ordinary person. When we make mistakes, they can create deep cuts in the fabric society.
Another matter discussed by the friends was that we should put an end to privatization. Of course, grave mistakes have been committed in the area of privatization which was pointed out by our dear brother. I too have issued some warnings and consequently, they have improved certain areas and they have prevented some tasks from being carried out. There are specific problems in privatization, but the essence of privatization is what the economy of our country urgently needs. This is one of those elements which completes the structure and which did not exist on the first day.
We looked at the related article in the Constitution and we announced what we understood from it. And all experts have approved of it in all aspects. They have announced that it is a good measure – and it is really so – and that it should not be stopped. However, in practice there are some problems like in other areas. As a result, some mistakes have been made and some negligence has been shown. Perhaps, there have been errors in this regard which should be made up for. Our responsibility is to prevent errors from being made.
Another issue is that they have associated this humble person with confronting revolutionary youth. You should not believe this. I will never confront revolutionary youth. I have always approved of the youth involved with the revolutionary orientation and I will continue to do that.
Of course, this does not mean that if a number of revolutionary youth commit a wrongdoing and a mistake, I will approve it. This is not the case. One day, I myself was a revolutionary youth in this country. I have spent my whole life on this path. I look at myself and I see that I have made many mistakes. So, revolutionary youth might also make certain mistakes which I will not approve of. However, I definitely approve of revolutionary youth. If something is said in this regard, you should never accept and believe it.
One of the friends said that they have associated the Leadership with ratifying the Bar-Jaam [the JCPOA]. Well, you thankfully have eyes and good intelligence. You understand everything. You should look at the letter that I wrote and see the terms of the ratification. In that letter, certain terms have been mentioned for ratifying the deal. Of course, if those terms are not observed and acted on, the duty of the Leadership is not to jump in, saying that the Bar-Jaam should not be adhered to. Of course, this in itself poses a question about the responsibility of the Leadership in such circumstances.
I believe that the Leadership should not enter the arena in executive areas and that he should not execute something or prevent something from being executed unless that specific course of action is related to the general movement of the Revolution. In these circumstances, I get involved, but in other cases no.
So no, I did not much believe in the Bar-Jaam in the way it was implemented and realized and I have pointed this out many times to the officials of this matter – Mr. President, the honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and others – I have said this and in many cases, issued warnings to them.
Some of the friends made certain criticisms which are good. Many of them are legitimate, but you should not criticize in a very harsh tone. You should pay attention to two points: one is that when making criticisms, you should not let the other side take advantage. In other words, you should not speak in a way that they can sue you in a court of law. You should pay attention to this. Perhaps, I have issued warnings in this regard two, three times in my meetings with youth. You should pay attention that you should not speak in a way that the other side can take advantage of it by convicting you in a judicial sense. This is one point.
The second point is that you should avoid behaving in an extremist way when it comes to speaking. Notice that in the Quran, when God says something about unbelievers and the opponents of the Holy Prophet, He says afterwards, “But most of them ignore the truth” [The Holy Quran, 6: 11]. The Quran does not say, “All of them ignore the truth.” Rather, it says “most of them.” This means that there are some among them who are not included in this verdict.
It should not be the case that you reject a group of people downright or criticize them in this way. This is because some of them may not be relevant to your criticism. These are warnings that are important. You are my children. You are really like my own children – I would like the direction that you are taking to be a correct direction.
Now, I wish to speak about the points that I have written down. I do not know how much time I will have. [One of the participants asks the Supreme Leader to continue his speech even after the iftar meal and His Eminence responds, “Speaking after iftar will be very difficult.”]
The first point that I have written down in the beginning of my statements is benefiting from the opportunity of the month of Ramadan by making the most of your youth. My dear ones, the month of Ramadan is a very good opportunity for cleansing one’s heart and soul and for strengthening one’s relationship with God. And you need to strengthen this relationship- all of us do. The month of Ramadan is a very good opportunity to that end. Getting close to the Quran, to daily prayers, to various duas and to the fasting obligation are the blessings of God for you. These are the ingredients of this divine feast which has been refereed to as “the divine banquet” in narrations.
The fasting obligation is one of the divine benefits that Allah the Exalted bestows on you in this feast and banquet. Praying is another benefit. The same is true of daily prayers. And this will empower and influence you – you, who are young – tens of times more than it will influence us who are at an advanced age and at the end of the line. This is how it is. You should appreciate its value.
The opportunity of being young which is available to you is non-renewable. You should grasp this opportunity to turn your relationship with God, with daily prayers and with the Quran into a habit: a good and decent habit. Then, this habit will be with you until the end of your lives. If you do not do so, it will be either impossible at an old age or it will be difficult for some individuals. It will be possible, but it will be difficult. However, if you do this now, this will accompany you like a permanent inner characteristic and it will be a provision for your youth. Therefore, you should appreciate the value of these fasting commitments, these acts of worship and these daily prayers. You should strengthen your relationship with God and you should continue it even after the month of Ramadan, God willing. This is our first word of advice.
According to the reports that I have received, in the past one, two years, student associations and groups have carried out good tasks on different issues – including on domestic and international issues. For example, regarding privatization, one of our brothers said that students have entered this arena. Students got involved with the issue of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company and the Tabriz Machinery Manufacturing Company and they really solved a problem. Despite the fact that they neither have money nor legal power, their presence can accomplish a great task and resolve a big problem.
Another area where they can exert influence is their support for laborers or their demands from different organizations. These demands have been influential. If student groups make certain demands from the judiciary and legislative branches and the Expediency Council, this will be influential, as has already been influential. This is what you have already done and it is very good. These moves have been made in the past one, two years and we can see these activities in student groups.
Other examples are participation in the area of international and regional matters, on the issue of Yemen, on the issue of the recent incident in New Zealand and on the issue of Nigeria – where students showed their presence, and in various other areas. It is good to announce one’s presence.
Sometimes, it is good to organize a gathering in front of such and such an embassy. Of course, this should be done in a tranquil, careful and reasonable way and by showing one’s rational and spiritual power. It is not the case that climbing the walls of an embassy is always good. In certain cases, it is good like on the issue of capturing the Den of Espionage [audience laughs]. That was good, but it is not always like that. But your presence, your demands, your reasonable ideas, your display of power and your gatherings will be influential. You may not see the impact immediately, but you should know that such moves have been influential. So, your participation is one of the areas that I stress and approve of and that I wish to continue.
According to the report that I have received, the issue or the movement of book reading has not been very popular among student groups. This is something that I have always advised. I would like to repeat: you need to read and to know. If there is time, God willing, I will speak about this again. You should launch book-reading movements. You should read books and study. In my previous meetings with students, I frequently spoke about the books of Shahid Motahhari, but I do not want to say that you should merely read his books. You yourselves, your intellectual committees and your seniors should make a list of studies. You should develop, design and define a curriculum for different places and different groups of students and you should do tasks like this. This is a very necessary course of action.
Well, I had some issues in my mind to discuss. I have written them down under the section related to the Second Phase of the Revolution Statement. I do not want to speak about the Statement, but I wish to discuss these points with you now that the statement has been brought up.
Notice that the Second Phase of the Revolution Statement was a general portrayal of the Revolution’s past, present and future. Well, forty years have passed from the Revolution. That Statement was a general portrayal and we did not enter into details. The Statement was a general portrayal of the main issues of the Revolution. Four main points were stressed in that Statement:
The first point is the greatness of the phenomenon of the Revolution. Many people do not pay attention to this. I wanted to draw attention to this point. I wanted to call attention to the phenomenon of the Revolution. Both the emergence of the Revolution in this specific geographical area and at this important historic juncture and after that, the survival of the Revolution are important. Therefore, this is one point: the greatness of the Revolution both in terms of its occurrence and in terms of its survival.
The second point is the greatness of the path trodden and the performance of the Revolution until today. This is in stark contrast with those who insist that the Revolution has not had a positive performance. In that Statement, I briefly stated that this is not the case and that the Revolution has had a completely outstanding and brilliant performance in various areas including in political, social and scientific areas and in the area of justice and freedom. The Revolution has had an outstanding performance in the area of all important human, national and international demands. So, the second point is the greatness of the performance of the Revolution.
The third point specified in the Statement is the greatness of the outlook that we wish to reach. This is about where we want to go, what we want to do and where our goal lies.
And the fourth point is the greatness of the role that young committed forces play: not every youth, rather those youth who have a sense of commitment and responsibility. The greatness of the role that this group of people play means what part committed youth play on the path that we have ahead of us and in reaching that specific outlook.
These were the four points that we wanted to stress in that Statement. Of course, as I said, they were discussed briefly. Many things cannot be explained in a statement. One should write one, two books in this regard. However, there is room for explaining, examining and deliberating on these ideas.
Well, we need a public movement to reach that outlook. A public movement should be launched in the country. Of course, the movement already exists, but it should have more discipline, it should get accelerated and its movement towards that outlook should be tangible. This movement naturally pivots around committed youth. It is committed youth who are the pivot of this movement.
When I say “youth”, I do not necessarily mean 22, 25-year-old youth. Of course, 22, 25-year-old youth can accomplish many things. What our dear sister said is really true. She said that those in their twenties should be compared with those in their sixties. And all of you clapped for her. So, twenty, twenty-five-year olds are also included, but when I speak about youth, I do not only mean youth in their twenties. No, thirty, thirty-five, and forty-year old individuals are also young. They too can play their part in this arena. They can work as well. If these individuals are committed, they can bring about a deep transformation in the managerial system of the country.
Now a question might be posed here which is about the process of the entrance of youth into this public movement. You are committed youth and you want to be present in this public movement. How is your presence supposed to take place? This is what I have written down to discuss with you. I wish to explain this.
Please pay careful attention. If a reasonable, disciplined – by “disciplined” I mean that the movement should not be chaotic, tumultuous and the like: sometimes public movements are accompanied by commotion, uproar and the like, such movements are of no value – correct, orderly and logical movement is supposed to be launched, it needs a few things:
First of all, it needs knowledge about the scene. In other words, those who launch this movement or are its pivot or at least propel it forward should have a correct understanding about the scene. They should know the elements involved on the scene. Today, you want to launch a movement in your country and in the Islamic Republic. Therefore, you must know in what condition the Islamic Republic is today, who it is faced with, whom it confronts, what its opportunities are, what threats it faces and who its enemies and friends are. This should be known and understood.
Another element necessary for this movement is that it should have a specific direction: a reasonable and acceptable one. In the public movement of the Iranian nation which has been proposed and put forward by us, this direction is a movement towards the creation of an Islamic society and an Islamic civilization. We want to move towards the formation of an Islamic society. This public movement should help us reach that point and ultimately, it should help us create an advanced Islamic civilization. This was the second element.
The third element that the movement needs is that there should be a hope-generating parameter and a bright spot. In every movement, if this bright and hope-generating spot does not exist, it will not move forward. Fortunately, this is completely accessible in our country, in our society and for our people. That bright spot is the national capacities that we have identified. Today, even you youth have identified your national capacities. The Iranian nation has shown that it is perfectly capable of accomplishing great feats. The Iranian nation launched the Revolution and launched the formation of the Islamic Republic. These courses of action are like a miracle. The formation of the Islamic Republic in that day’s bipolar world of capitalism and communism was like a miracle. It is really like the miracle of passing through the sea which happened to Bani Israel or the cane of Moses. It is like a miracle.
Well, the Iranian nation accomplished this. This is a very important capacity. And later on, they managed to maintain it. Others too carried out such tasks a few years ago, as you witnessed. Some North African and other such countries adopted such courses of action [referring to revolutionary attempts in African and Arab countries known as Arabian Springs], but they could not hold onto them. However, the Iranian nation managed to do so. The Iranian nation managed to stand up to great superpowers and force them into retreat. So, this in itself is a hope-generating spot. We have this hope-generating spot. Of course, there are many sources of hope, one of which is this.
Another hope-generating spot is that the opposite front to us is worn down. I say without any doubt – of course as soon as I say this, some people embark on justifying, interpreting, denying and the like, but I say this with certainty and I can prove it, but there is not enough time now – that today western civilization is declining. It is really declining: “Or he that lays his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it does crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of hell” [The Holy Quran, 9: 109].
It is at the edge of the abyss. It is like that. Of course, social incidents and developments occur gradually and they are not felt at once. Even western thinkers have felt and acknowledged this. This is another hope-generating spot for us.
The western materialistic civilization is opposed to us and it is being worn down. This is another hope-generating spot. And after that there is God’s inviolable promise: “If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you” [The Holy Quran, 47: 7] and “And whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” [The Holy Quran, 4: 122]. Who is more truthful than God? Whose promise is more genuine than that of God? God says, “If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you.” If you help God – that is if you move towards an Islamic civilization and society and towards implementing God’s religion – He will help you. This is another hope-generating spot. Therefore, the third element – the existence of hope – is there as well.
The fourth element is that at every point in time, there is a need for some practical procedures. At every point in time, certain practical procedures are needed. Well, this is our point of discussion. What you are asking – the young generation might have this question which is a hidden question – is what the practical procedures are for you to enter the arena as youth. Well, in order to clarify the four elements that we mentioned – all of which are needed for a public movement – we need active minds and eloquent tongues. However, the last element – practical procedures – requires guidance, concentration, follow-up and continuous and consecutive diligence so that it can help the great caravan of society and more importantly, all the youth of society move forward.
Whose job is this? Whose responsibility is it to bring about this concentration, to formulate this plan and to find and present these procedures? This falls on medium-level links. This does not fall on the Leadership, the administration nor other organizations. This falls on groups from among the people themselves.
Fortunately, today, we are not short of these groups. We have outstanding intellectuals in various areas which are needed among our youth and our officials. They can engage in planning and guiding. Student associations are an example of these groups. Experienced and active groups in cultural, intellectual and other such areas are another example. Whoever is more active in these areas will be more influential. Affairs will be in the hands of those who are active. Laziness, apathy, dispiritedness and the like will be of no use.
I have written down examples of the tasks and duties that can help the young generation in their pivotal role in the public movement of society, and that give them the necessary capacities. I have written down some examples. One is the formation of cultural committees. Establishing cultural committees throughout the country and in mosques – as it happens, this was touched on by one of the friends in the meeting – is an example of these tasks.
When I spoke about “fire at will”, it is related to these groups: to active groups in cultural areas which can exert deep influence. This has been the case from the beginning of the Revolution and in the present time, it is no different. In the present time, whenever you find a group of young individuals – disciplined and intelligent youth with active minds – which engage in cultural work, for example at a mosque and at a mourning hey’at, as the friends in the meeting mentioned, you know that they can influence other youth, the neighborhood where they are working, their relatives and other student groups. They can bring about a movement, engender determination and create a worldview in a group of people.
Another task would be to form groups working on political activities. Of course, I do not mean partisan work. Doing partisan work is something that I do not find beneficial, but political work is not confined to partisan activities. Making political analyses, understanding political events and conveying them to others is a fundamental task that facilitates, shapes and helps the general movement of society. This is one of the tasks.
Holding round-table discussions and free debates in universities is another activity. I have frequently stressed and advised this. Well, there has not been much progress in this area. Who should do so? If you are waiting for the head of the faculty or the cultural deputy and other such officials to do it, it will be of no avail. It is you who should do it. You should hold free debates in universities. However, as I said all these moves should be made in a disciplined way. These tasks should be carried out in a disciplined and well-informed manner and by conducting detailed studies with the help of individuals who have active minds and eloquent tongues. These measures will definitely be helpful and influential.
In the present time, those students who are members of student groups do not make a high percentage of the overall students of the country. If you adopt these measures, this percentage will definitely go up. Well, a student who is not committed and who is busy doing irrelevant things will not exert a positive – if not a negative – impact on the progress of the country. You can exert influence with this procedure. This is another chapter. One of the solutions and procedures is this.
Another procedure is to form movement-based groups working on international issues. As I mentioned, a number of groups have proceeded with these measures. For example, they invited active students from Resistance countries to Tehran and other cities. They gathered together and held good meetings. We received the news in this regard. Such courses of action can be adopted. This means being active with the issues of the world of Islam. Certain groups should be formed and pursue these tasks: the issues of Gaza, the issues of Palestine, the issue of Yemen, the issue of Bahrain, the issues related to the Muslims of Myanmar and the issues related to European Muslims.
One of our points of debate in active student environments is related to European Muslims, which requires a long discussion. Another area of study is the issues arisen in some countries such as the events in Paris. These events can be examined, studied and activated. In other words, certain student groups can work on such incidents and on regional incidents. This is another procedure.
Another procedure is to form scientific groups and to cooperate with scientific centers. Another procedure is to cooperate with knowledge-based companies and to engage in economic work. Another very important procedure is doing work related to public service such as the jihadi groups which go to various areas. This is one of the best pieces of student work. The more these tasks develop and the stronger and more purposeful they become, the better it will be. They will strengthen the body and the soul and lead to the creation of that public movement.
Engagement in popular information activities: many tasks cannot be accomplished by our intelligence organizations and or they remain idle for different reasons. And we receive a lot of information in this regard through vigilant and well-informed elements and this has been helpful. They have sometimes given information to me. This has been effective as they have pursued it and consequently, positive courses of action have been adopted. For example, they give information on abuse of responsibility as related to smuggling and various imports, examples of which were mentioned by the friends in the meeting – for example, instances related to dog food and the like. Certain groups can be active in this respect.
Another procedure is doing social work. In the list that I presented, seven, eight, ten, twelve procedures have been enumerated. However, one can find 50 procedures like this. An example of social activities is the tasks that I mentioned regarding Haft Tappeh. Students did a good job in this area. They are done by groups whose work may not be related to one another, but they should be guided. There should be planning on this. All these courses of action should be planned by youth.
Of course, all these measures should be adopted by getting inspiration from the general direction that I spoke about: creating an Islamic society and an Islamic civilization. In all these tasks, planners and decision-making centers – as I said, they should be undertaken by medium-level links – should pay attention to the general direction.
What will be the result of all these procedures? I have written down in my notes that the result will be drawing the committed young generation to the management arena of the country. One of the friends in the meeting was complaining that they do not let youth enter the arena of management. Well, how should they enter the arena of management? Entrance into this arena for the young generation takes place with these ways.
Naturally, if the young generation enters the arena of management and if the high-ranking managers of the system are from among committed youth – as I said, they should be committed hezbollahi youth: they should really be hezbollahi in the true sense of the word – then the public movement of the country will naturally thrive and it will be accelerated and realized. So, in my opinion the question ‘how are youth are supposed to enter the arena of such public movement’ has clear answers some of which I explained.
Of course, these activities should not harm the academic work of young students. They do not contradict each other. When you say, “the long-term policy of the system is scientific progress and breaking the current borders of science and moving forward”, this is correct. We should undoubtedly conquer the peaks of science. However, these tasks should not be a barrier in the way of this. They are not contradictory. You can both engage in these activities and make scientific endeavors. You can be outstanding students and achieve high ranks at different fields and at the same time, you can participate in jihadi groups, in student committees, in public service associations and in journalistic work.
One of the friends in the meeting said something about periodicals and publications. I believe that those who write and work in student publications should form groups for continuing their work after their graduation. What he mentioned is correct. Those who write in different publications were students one day, but not all those who dabbed at this while they were students entered the arena of writing in publications and in the press and the like. In my opinion, they can work on this as well. I have written down: creating a network of active student-writers in student periodicals for continuing activities in the area of publication.
I would like to raise two additional points about students. What I expect young students and you dear youth – whom I really like – to do is that you should assume a pioneering and voluntary role. You should not wait for others to push you forward, in particular those youth who are members of student associations. You should make voluntary moves. Each one of the youth who have intellectual dispositions – there are some youth who take a leading role in intellectual areas and there are some who take a leading role in executive areas – and who have capabilities in different areas should be self-sufficient and autonomous, just like revolutionary activities pursued by revolutionary fighters during the time of taghut.
Well, if you believe it we too were once your age [Supreme Leader and audience laugh]. We were once at the same stage. As it happens, that era coincided with revolutionary activities. In those days, we really moved in a voluntary way. I do not want to speak about myself, but this is really the case. In those days – in those years of fighting – we did not have anyone to guide us. There was no party, no organization and no crowd. Our magnanimous Imam was there, of course, but he was in Najaf or in Turkey. Sometimes, we would receive a message and an announcement from him and this would re-circulate the blood in our veins and would guide us. Well, there were many obstacles. We were subject to beatings and to prison and sometimes, there were monetary hurdles, accompanied by hunger and other such problems, but we would move forward nonetheless.
Youth should move like this today, just like the revolutionary activities of fighters during the time of taghut. If these measures are adopted and these lists are acted on, the plots of the enemies will be foiled. Everyone is speaking about the soft plots of the enemies, the most important of which is crippling the young generation. One of the most important plots hatched against our country and our revolution today is crippling the young generation and busying it with various forms of lust and different diversions such as computer games and other things including making them addicted to drugs and the like. This is done with the purpose of crippling the young generation.
However, with the method that I explained, this plot will be foiled. The plot of disappointing the young generation will be foiled with these moves which generate liveliness and hope. Therefore, if you youth move forward with these moves, God willing, and if you prepare the ground for the establishment of a young and hezbollahi administration, I believe that many of your concerns, worries and anxieties will come to an end. Of course, these anxieties are not particular to you only.
The last point which is very important is that you might witness certain things which displease you. For example, the political orientation of such and such a personality or the flaws of such and such an official in a certain branch might be displeasing to you. Even if you are witness to a hundred of such cases, you should not get disappointed. This is my definite and main word of advice. You should not be disappointed!
Everything is promising for us. Everything is a source of hope for us. As I mentioned, we are a nation that find ourselves in a position where promising elements surrounding us are much more than disappointing and discouraging elements. You should see and find these promising elements and you should be encouraged by them. You should rely on Allah the Exalted and you should purify your intentions.
And you should know that Allah the Exalted will help you. By Allah’s favor, all of you will see the termination of the enemies of humanity – in other words, the current decadent American civilization – and the termination of Israel.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings