One issue is that we should refrain from associating with the wealthy and the powerful. An important point is that we should do our best not to sit at the same table with the owners of wealth and power. You surely remember the letter that Hazrat Ali wrote to Uthman ibn Hunayf. [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45] Of course, we do not have great expectations because on the one hand, there is no Uthman ibn Hunayf among us and on the other hand, our condition is not comparable to that of the Commander of the Faithful (God’s greetings be upon him). Nonetheless, we can at least advise ourselves not to get too close to those privileged and aristocratic classes of people.
Getting close to them will naturally make us drift away from the masses of the people. This is what the Holy Quran has repeatedly said as well. Addressing the Imams, it says, “Send not away those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face.” [The Holy Quran, 6: 52] There is another ayah about Hazrat Nuh which says, “Nor do we see that any follow you but the meanest among us, in judgment immature.” [The Holy Quran, 11: 27] They tell him that he should repulse those people. This exist in numerous other ayahs as well.
So, a definitive word of advice regarding the behavior and actions of Friday prayer leaders is that they should avoid associating with the owners of wealth, power and those who have smooth tongues. Some of these newly rich – those who have recently accumulated some wealth with slick and illegal methods – are after finding a shelter: somewhere they can feel safe. Therefore, they resort to people whom they have targeted including Friday prayer leaders and outstanding clergy. Their goal is to ensure their own safety. We should be careful about this.
An important aspect of the behavior of Friday prayer leaders is taking care of one’s family members – one’s children and family members – lest they commit a mistake and slip up somewhere. He who comes to you and whom you repulse with skill and divine inspiration might go after your children. They might try to infiltrate like this. An important issue is that we should be careful about the behavior of our children and our close family members.
The downfall of western governments is their arrogance. You gentlemen should pay attention to this. One of the maladies of western governments – including European governments, this is really a grave problem for them – is that they are arrogant! This arrogance prevents them from gaining a correct understanding of their surroundings and the facts which are ahead of them. Such arrogance and self-importance has created grave problems for them.
Of course, if there is a weak government or timid individuals in the party which confronts them, this arrogance will pay off. Every arrogant person who sees that the other side is afraid of him and trembles and retreats, will naturally feel he should intensify his arrogance. However, if the other side sees and understands their nature, displays fearlessness and stands up to them, they will collapse. This is their problem.
As for the current issues between us and them, the reason why the problem lingers is their arrogance. As our honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs has said – well, they really worked hard – Europe has 11 commitments to Iran on the issue of the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA], but it has not fulfilled any of them. This is what our Minister of Foreign Affairs is saying. Well, ministers of foreign affairs usually have diplomatic considerations. However, despite these diplomatic considerations, our Minister of Foreign Affairs is candidly saying that Europe has made 11 commitments to us, none of which have been fulfilled.
What about our commitments? We honored the commitments that we had on the basis of the Bar-Jaam and even more than that! Now that we have begun to decrease them, they make exaggerated claims, saying, “We wonder why you are decreasing your commitments!” You shameless people! You had 11 commitments and you did not honor any of them! Why are you asking us to be committed to ours? We have just begun to decrease our commitments gradually and this process will definitely continue.
Well, in the middle of these events and these illegitimate expectations that they have, malicious England – whose malice is obvious to everyone – has gotten involved in piracy. They have stolen our ship. This is actually an act of theft. Normally, they commit a crime first and then try to give it a legal mold. They conjure up something and claim that this is the reason why they have committed that crime. However, the truth of the matter is that it is an act of piracy. They are engaged in piracy as well! Of course, by Allah’s favor, the Islamic Republic and its pious forces will not leave these evil actions unanswered. They will respond in the right time and in the right place.