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 Muhammad, and upon his pure household, and may God curse all their enemies
This is a very sweet and pleasant meeting for me because its active members, its speakers and its outstanding members are the personalities on whom I have placed my hopes for the future of our country and the Revolution – in other words, motivated and pious youth.
Fortunately, I witnessed signs of depth and broad-mindedness in your statements. I witnessed that your ideas originate from thought, intelligence and reasoning. This is very important to me. It is very important to me to see that our youth think and that their statements are based on thinking and deliberation. And I agree with many of the points that were raised. For now, I would like to address the issues of you young medalists. As for the dear volleyball players, by Allah’s favor, I will raise a few points later on.
First of all, I thank you for offering your medals to me and I am fully aware that this is not an offering to my person. I am fully aware of that. This is an offering to a symbol, to a system and to a truth. In fact, you envisaged a certain truth and you are confirming it by offering your medals. I am very grateful. I accept this very precious and very important gift from you dear ones and I will return it to you because I want you to keep and to have it. We are proud of your sense of pride and we are honored by your glories. You should know this. In every arena and competition where our youth show their capabilities and win glory, the country, the Islamic Republic and its supporters and lovers will feel honored. Those who have made efforts and endeavors for the formation of this system and who have spent their life on this path will feel honored as well. Your achievements will be a source of honor for the nation and for all of us.
I wish to raise two, three short points. First of all, by Allah’s favor, we will follow up your suggestions and those ideas of yours which were based on precision and thinking – and this was the case in your statements. We will both follow up the suggestions and those well-informed ideas. If we are supposed to offer recommendations to some people and issue some edicts and commands, we will certainly do so, God willing. In other words, your statements and your writings will not remain unanswered, God willing.
I would like to raise two, three points: one is that the path of being outstanding is an infinite path. It is not the case that we think such youth are intellectuals because they have won medals and that is that! This is not the case. These medals are only one of the signs of your move on this path – the path of being outstanding and of an endeavor which originates from a special capacity, talent and capability. You should move on this path and you should work hard. When you win a medal, this shows that you have moved further on this path, but in every field where you are engaged, you should continue this progress. You should work hard and think. You should not let your capacity and talent end at this point and you should not block the fountainhead of this bubbling spring. You should not let this happen.
I believe that human capability and capacity – that of all people, even those who are not outstanding personalities – is an extraordinary capacity, but one might have an endless capacity in one area of life and another person in another area of life. That said, everyone has these capacities. Everyone has a collection of capacities. These capacities are infinite. You should not allow yourselves to stop in the middle of the path and to fail in continuing the rest of the path.
My dear ones, we have much work to do. One day, we were the first in the world in terms of national and public knowledge. One day, this was the case, but later on, we suffered from decline. This decline is not very problematic and it should not be overly criticized. Well, countries, nations and civilizations witness many highs and lows and peaks and valleys. We cannot have high expectations. Sometimes, they move backward and sometimes, they move forward, but in the past one, two centuries during which foreigners set foot in our country and implemented their policies, one feels that this decline and backward movement in not a natural state of affair, rather one feels that it has been imposed on us.
I do not know how interested you are in history, but I advise you to at least read the history of the past one, two centuries because many things will become clear to you. They kept us backward in the true sense of the word. This backwardness manifested itself in one way during the rule of the Qajar and it showed itself in a different way during the rule of the Pahlavi. We were kept backward. Iranian talent is higher than that of the global average. I used to say this many years ago, but I felt that some people had doubts about it. However today, it is being repeated throughout the world that Iranian talent is higher than that of the global average. Therefore, we were kept backward and we fell behind.
The world has moved forward. Human science has galloped forward. Despite all the moves that were made after the Revolution – in particular, in the past 20 years during which time a good scientific movement was launched and many achievements were made – we have not yet managed to expand the borders of science and technology. We have not managed to do so yet. However, we should do it. Who should do it? Who should do it except for you? Your generation and the generation after you will be the ones who should produce and build.
Today, our endeavor is focused on the successful continuation of the path that others have opened. For example, in nanotechnology, we are among the first five, six countries in the world. There is no doubt about this, but who discovered nanotechnology? This is important. I want you to discover tens and hundreds of “nanos”. I want you to discover tens and hundreds of biotechnological phenomena. The world is very big. The universe has many depths. There are many things to discover that we have not discovered yet. For example, electricity was there in the world for eons. It was in nature, but humans had not discovered it. However later on, they discovered it. Today, there might be millions of phenomena which can influence human life – phenomena like electricity – but which have not been discovered yet. These phenomena should be discovered. You should discover them. You should pursue them and make progress.
This requires the growth of an elite essence in you. It should not stop at this level. You are outstanding personalities, you are dear and honorable because of being outstanding and there is no doubt about it. As that dear youth of ours said, they might not appreciate your value and not attach significance to your elite nature, but you are undoubtedly outstanding. However, this does not mean that the path is over and therefore you do not need to work hard because you are outstanding. This is not the case. You should make efforts and work hard. You should add to your capacity. We need this in all fields and we need to move forward. So, the first word of advice is this: continue the movement and the work.
The second issue is that if you want to be valuable to your country in the true sense of the word, you should preserve and strengthen in yourselves the outlook of the basic Revolution which is based on Islamic thinking. Today, I fortunately saw in your statements that this outlook exists in you. You should strengthen this outlook as much as you can.
That is why I have been stressing and discussing insight at length. If we do not pursue this revolutionary outlook, we will move backward and our progress will be brought to a halt. In such circumstances, if some progress is made by our individuals, it will not be to the advantage of the country as was the case in the past – during the time of the taghut. In those days, we had certain outstanding personalities, but they were not very helpful to the country. At that time, capacities and talents would not show themselves and if they did show themselves somewhat, they would turn out to be to the advantage of others and to serve the interests of others. You should definitely preserve and strengthen revolutionary thinking and outlook in yourselves.
And you should not forget about reliance on God and asking Him for His assistance. This is my definite recommendation. God will bestow His blessings. The Quran says to us that whoever works hard will be helped by God: “We bestow freely on all.” This means that God’s assistance is not particular to believers. Allah the Exalted will even help those who work for worldly purposes because of their endeavors: “Of the bounties of your Lord, We bestow freely on all – these as well as those.” [The Holy Quran, 17: 20] Nonetheless, God’s special assistance is reserved for believers and those who establish close relations with him.
Your hearts are pure hearts. You are young and your hearts are clean. Your relationship with Allah the Exalted, your reliance on Him and your seeking his assistance will help you to move forward more smoothly, to overcome problems more easily and to wrestle with them in a more hopeful manner. This is a very important point as well. As for one’s heartfelt relationship with God, I have always advised youth and I would like to advise you too to observe this: primarily, you should avoid sins, familiarize your hearts with Allah the Exalted, and pay attention to daily prayers and dhikr. These are our definite words of advice which will help you move forward on this path, God willing.
I hope that God will bestow His blessings on you. I definitely pray for you and I hope that my prayers for you will be answered. You are the children of this country. You are the light of this country’s eye and by Allah’s favor, this eye will be brightened with your light.
As for the success of our young volleyball players and our athletes, this really makes me happy. They said that such and such a person knows volleyball well. No, I do not know it well, but when I was a child, we used to play volleyball in our alley. That is that. During our youth, we did not have the time to play volleyball, but we loved it anyway. We used to use thread as a net in the middle of the alley – we would dream about a real net but we could not afford it – to play volleyball. Volleyball is a very good game. It is really among the very good games. Of course, I do not want to speak about a specific game because it might be insulting to other fields. In any case, volleyball is very good.
Well, our youth managed to achieve glory and notice in which place and which country they did so! [Bahrain] As the gentleman said [Head Coach Behruz Attai] it happened in a place where the people are on good terms with us. The people in that country are your supporters and lovers and they clap for you and say Salawat. They do such things, but their government is on bad terms with us. You went there and you stood at the peak of world volleyball! This is a very precious achievement and the people became very happy. I became very happy both because of myself and because of the people’s joy. I thanked you for both of these and I would like to thank you again. I hope that you will be successful, God willing. This was one point.
Another point is that as that dear brother and youth of ours said [Amir Hossein Esfandiar, captain of the team] – which I had in mind to discuss as well – the existence of an Iranian head coach is very important. I have always held the same belief. Once, we had an Iranian head coach for football and when they came to meet me, I thanked them for hiring an Iranian coach. I really believe this. Of course, I do not want to discuss these affairs, because they are related to executive areas and this is the responsibility of the officials in charge. I do not want to interfere, saying that this or that should be done, but I really believe that it befits the status of our country to have Iranian head coaches in sports clubs and Iranian officials in federations and the like. There is no necessity [for foreigners].
Some people feel the need [for foreigners] without any good reason and they try to prove it, but I cannot accept in any way that this is really a necessity. This is not the case. I am very happy that an Iranian head coach and his colleagues have managed to help youth reach this point. I hope that you will be successful and make progress, God willing.
I will examine the issues discussed at the meeting. I will refer them to my office to see what can be done in this regard. As soon as you speak about military service, others will speak about it as well. Everyone will speak about it. That is while if such an outstanding group of people are located in a military environment, there will be a transformation in the environment of our armed forces [Supreme Leader and audience laugh]! Their presence there is really very valuable. Of course, this does not mean that I am making a judgement. I do not want to judge.
Today was a very good day for me. Meeting with you was very sweet for me. And I hope that God will help you. It was also very interesting to see that that honorable medal-winning lady brought her little child with her. Thankfully, it is evident to see that you can win medals even if you have a spouse and children. So, this is possible. Some people think that this is not possible, but this is not true. It is possible. I hope that God will make all of you successful.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy