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 youth, dear basijis, the apples of Iranian nation’s eye and future prospects. I congratulate you, us and the entire nation on Basij Week. I thank the honorable Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and the honorable head of the Basij Organization for the good comments that they made. In my opinion, the analysis made by Mr. Salaami – the honorable Commander-in-Chief of the Guards Corps – should be written down and be presented to youth because it was very good and he made very good remarks.
Today, my discussion is primarily about Basij, but before I enter into this discussion about Basij, I deem it necessary to express my deep gratitude to the great people of Iran for the glorious action they took in recent days. Indeed, the Iranian nation proved once more that they are powerful and magnificent.
I insist that the entire Iranian nation should pay attention to its power and magnificence. A deep, extensive and very dangerous plot, with a lot of money dedicated to it, was foiled by the people. They spent a lot of money and worked really hard in order to make this move characterized by sabotaging, burning, murdering and showing malice at an opportune moment. When the gasoline issue arose, they thought they had found the opportunity to bring their army into the arena.
However, the police force, Basij, the Guards Corps and others got involved in those days and they carried out their duties and their jobs in that difficult confrontation. Despite that, what the Iranian nation did in the course of one week was beyond any operational move. It was much more significant than every operational move. That very important movement was first launched in Zanjan and Tabriz, which was then later extended to all the cities of the country – I even heard that it was extended to some villages – and which was finally completed with the great movement of the people in Tehran two days ago.
The enemy – the main one, not those mean, small and insignificant individuals – in other words, global arrogance and global Zionism – those who sit at their political monitors watching the whole world know what this movement means. They were slapped in the face and they were forced to retreat in the face of the great movement of the Iranian nation. I thank God and I am also grateful to Iranian nation. The gratitude of this humble person is not very valuable. Allah the Exalted is and will be thankful to this great popular movement, God willing.
As for Basij, first of all, Basij-e Mostazafeen in the Islamic Republic is peerless in the whole world. The day when it was established, it had no counterparts in the world. No part of Basij is imported and no aspect of it was copied from some corner of the world – no aspect of it whatsoever. It was a movement completely reliant on revolutionary philosophy and thinking. It was Allah the Exalted who sent it into the heart of our magnanimous Imam, thus realizing a great phenomenon. Perhaps, it can be said that Basij is the biggest cultural, social and military network in the whole world. I do not know of a great popular network, in any part of the world, which enjoys such a vast scope and such a large number of participants. This is particular to Basij-e Mostazafeen in our country. It is the largest network.
How did our magnanimous Imam create this peerless phenomenon? You did not see Imam, but we used to live with him for many years. The brilliance of our magnanimous Imam was that he created and shaped this peerless phenomenon in the heart of the alleys and streets of the country. This beautiful and living truth bubbled from the heart of the people themselves. It emerged out of the hearts and the houses of the people. Such was the brilliance of Imam.
The formation of Basij was a true and real manifestation of turning threats into opportunities. You should pay careful attention to this point. On the 13th of Aban of 1358, the events surrounding the capture of the Den of Espionage [US Embassy] took place. The Americans were humiliated in that event. Therefore, they began to threaten and to react. They issued verbal threats and then they poured their battlecruisers into the Persian Gulf. In other words, they issued a threat in practice. Well, take the case of a nation like the Iranian nation, which did not have [functioning] armed forces, enough defensive resources, missiles and good operational plans. In such circumstances, the US embarks on confronting and threatening that nation. Well, this is a threat. Is it not?
Hardly a month passed from the 13th of Aban when Imam issued the edict to form Basij on the fifth of Azar. In other words, that great movement, that great presence and that great display of power in the face of the US threats came into being less than one month after the event of the 13th of Aban. This signifies that Basij actually turned threats into opportunities. This is the truth of Basij. If we had become terrified of that threat – for example if Imam had backed out or if he had thought it possible that the enemy would strike a blow and thus changing his mind about the great formation of Basij – it would not have been clear what the fate of the country would be.
The existence of Basij caused those threats to turn into a great opportunity. So the main logic of Basij is this: eliminating threats and turning them into opportunities. We have many threats ahead of us. Each and every one of these threats should turn into an opportunity with the creativity of Basij. The more threats exists, the more opportunities we will have. Therefore, threats are actually not threats anymore, rather they create opportunities for us thanks to Basij.
Well, there is one fundamental point here which is the fact that the system of domination is basically against freedom and justice. The system of domination is a term that we introduced to politics: the system of domination means the system of oppressors, a system that is headed by the oppressors who divide the world into two parts: one part is formed of oppressors and the other is formed of the oppressed – there is not any third option. There is not any independent party. Such is the system of domination. It is both against freedom and justice.
As you can see, it is against justice: in those rich countries ruled by the system of domination – countries such as the US and some European countries which are wealthy – people die of hunger on the streets. In the summer, they die of heat on the streets. In the winter, they die of cold on the streets. A large part of wealth in such countries belongs to a small group of people. The rest have to sweat hard in order to find sustenance and stay alive. Yet those who do not have that capability, well they should live on the streets! Therefore, it is against justice. This is related to the affairs of their own countries. As for the people in other countries, they display injustice as much as they can.
It is against freedom as well. The most important kind of freedom for a nation is the public freedom of countries – in other words, independence. Once, I said that independence means the freedom of nations. When we speak about freedom, we are speaking about the freedom of nations so that they can freely do what they want to do. The system of domination is against such freedom. One day with colonialism, another day with neo-colonialism and today with modern methods – the methods used in soft wars – they create a disastrous situation for nations.
Of course, wherever necessary, they bring their armed forces to the arena and they do not have any scruples whatsoever. In the present time, the Americans have entered the eastern part of the Euphrates in Syria and they say they are there for the sake of oil! Is that area your home? It belongs to another country, but they say that they have shown their presence because there is oil there and that they have come for oil! They do not feel embarrassed to acknowledge this and they say it openly.
Or they enter a country such as Iraq without any permission. They do not seek the permission of the government of that country and they do not go to the capital, rather they go to their own bases because they have some bases there! This signifies that they officially insult the freedom and independence of nations. So, the system of domination is both anti-justice and anti-freedom.
Islam is the flag-bearer of justice and freedom. Islam is the flag-bearer of justice. It is also the flag-bearer of freedom and it does so without any considerations and in an outspoken manner. Islam does not hide its claims. It confronts oppression and injustice in an outspoken manner. In the beginning of the Revolution, when the Americans were in contention with the Revolution and when they had imposed sanctions and created many problems for us – amid all those events – the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan. On that day, Imam made a declaration against the Soviet Union and if I remember correctly, he summoned the Ambassador of the Soviet Union. They asked him, on behalf of Imam, why they had entered Afghanistan.
In those days, everyone in the world would say, “You are confronting the US, you should not confront the other power!” Imam did not believe in this in any way. I was president then and I used to participate in international meetings where both the US and the Soviet representatives were present. And they were against each other, but we used to slam them both – both the US and the Soviet Union, without any considerations. Islam is like this. Original Islam is like this.
Those who claim to be advocating Islam and who are prepared to surrender to arrogance represented by global capitalism or arrogance represented by socialism – which used to exist one day – are distant from Islam. Islam is manifestly against global arrogance. In other words, it advocates justice and freedom.
Therefore, confrontations, struggles and conflicts naturally exist. Of course, military confrontations do not exist due to certain reasons and so much the better, but there are all other sorts of other confrontations. Conflicts in every area are definitive according to certain conditions, but what is important is that the system of domination will be opposed to Islam no matter in which area and in which form Islam shows its presence. This is because of the orientation of Islam, as I already explained. However, when Islam shows itself in the form of a political system, a government and a power with a nation that has an administration, an army and the armed forces in general and that enjoys real capabilities and universities and when it shows its presence in the form of the Islamic Republic, their enmity is reinforced a hundred times!
The enmity of the system of domination towards such and such an Islamic party in a certain country is not comparable to its enmity towards the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic is an already well-established and powerful political system that enjoys depth, that has all necessary apparatuses and that has the power to express itself, to exert influence and to show its presence and influence in all parts of the world. It is a system that is managing 80-plus million people. Therefore, their enmity towards this system is an extraordinary enmity. If someone ignores this truth, they are making a mistake in their political calculations. It is such a truth.
The system of domination is trying to confront the Islamic government with all its existence, with all its malice and with all its power. This is what their decision is. I have said this many times: the US and the system of domination which follows the US have done whatever they could against Iran, against the Iranian nation and against the Islamic Republic. If they failed to do something, it was because it was impossible and there were certain reasons. That is why they could not carry them out. They have done whatever they could in showing enmity. And the result is what you can see: this great, good and pure tree has become more powerful on a daily basis. This solid structure is showing off its power to the enemy on a daily basis.
This is where the word resistance becomes significant. When we speak about resistance forces, the resistance orientation and the resistance front, this is what it means. It means that a reality called Islam has emerged – while it did not exist 50, 100 years ago – today which can seriously confront the system of domination and which can act on behalf of freedom and justice. This reality has come into being. They want to use all their power and force in order to push back this reality. “And stand steadfast as you are commanded” [The Holy Quran, 42: 15]. Both invitation and resistance are necessary. Resistance means this.
What is the Basij of our country – your organization – called? It is called, “The Resistance Force of Basij-e Mostazafeen.” Who are the mostazafeen? “Mostazafeen” has been defined in a wrong way. They are described as poor individuals and recently – in recent years, this definition has become common – as vulnerable classes of society. In other words, they are defined as the vulnerable. However, the Quran does not consider these people to be mostazafeen. The Quran says, “And We wished to be Gracious to those who were being oppressed in the land, to make them leaders and make them heirs” [The Holy Quran, 28: 5].
Therefore, mostazafeen means the potential leaders of the humanity. This is what mostazafeen means: those who will be the inheritors of the earth and all its assets. This is what Basij-e Mostazafeen means. A mostaz’af is a person who is potentially the heir to the world. He is potentially khalifatullah on earth. He is the potential leader of the human world.
Therefore, there is going to be resistance. In order to show resistance, there is a need for spiritual ingredients. This is what I insist on. If you want to resist, you should have the necessary ingredients. Having spiritual ingredients is more important than worldly and military ingredients. Military ingredients are cannons, tanks, missiles and other such capabilities. Spiritual ingredients are certain truths in you and in your hearts which affect the nature of your moves.
I have always highlighted the significance of youth. You can see that I am always attached to youth and that I am hopeful about them for the future, but which youth can lead the great movement of the country towards the establishment of a new Islamic civilization? What do they look like? This is where spiritual ingredients become significant. Only those youth who are motivated, religious and wise, who appreciate their own power, who are interested in working and creating, who trust in God and who have self-confidence can move the country forward.
This is the exact opposite of what the enemy wants for our youth. The enemy wants the youth of our country to have no motivation, to be irreligious and hopeless, to be captivated by lust, to be lazy and indolent, to complain all the time and refuse to work, and to be addicted and vulnerable. They want the youth of the country to be like this. This is the purpose of the measures that they are adopting regarding our youth. This is the exact opposite of what we need.
Well, Basij is comprised of youth that belong to the first category. This is what we entirely hope and they should be like this. In other words, they should be motivated, pious, reliant on God, godly, self-confident, diligent and innovative and they should appreciate the value of their youth and their existence. Well, if we have such a group of individuals – thankfully, we do have it which is the Basij Organization spread out throughout the country: later on, I will discuss a few points about the extensiveness of Basij’s moves so that the people know about them, but you yourselves are already aware of them – then such an extensive and great organization will naturally be subject to more enmity on the part of the enemies of humanity, enemies of justice and of freedom. Basij receives the enmity of the system of domination and the camp of arrogance more than the other organizations of the country or perhaps, it is the first organization in this regard.
This is not only the case in Iran. If there are other organizations like Basij in whichever part of the world, the same condition exists. For example, they show as much enmity towards Hashd al-Sha’bi in Iraq. They show as much enmity to Hezbollah of Lebanon. They are popular, young, motivated and godly groups. Of course, in our country, arrogance does not show enmity to Basij alone. I said that they show more enmity towards Basij, but they also show enmity to the whole nation. What is the reason behind their enmity towards the whole Iranian nation?
The recent rallies show us what the reason is. This is because our people are like this: as soon as they feel that the enemy has entered the arena and is busy working, they enter the arena with their bodies, as they did so in recent days. The past week was truly the peak of the glory and grandeur of the Iranian nation. This is what makes them show enmity and hostility. And anyone who has tied his heart and his tail to them has the same feeling towards the Iranian nation.
However, it is evident that such enmity is of no effect. I will tell you that victory has been guaranteed. The victory of the Iranian nation, of Basij and of this great revolutionary orientation in Iran has been guaranteed. Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran, “If God helps you, none can overcome you” [3: 160]. It means that no one can defeat you if God helps you. Well, when does He help? “If you will aid the cause of God, He will aid you” [47: 7]. If you help God’s religion, the divine orientation, the divine logic and God’s path, God will help you as well.
This is what exists today. The great revolutionary orientation in the country is pursuing divine goals. It is pursuing the establishment of an Islamic society. It is seeking and pursuing the realization of divine sharia in the country. So, this is divine work and it is the path of God. This is helping God. When God is helped, He will help as well. And when Allah the Exalted helps, “None can overcome you.” No one will be able to defeat you.
Of course, Basij has two aspects. This should definitely receive attention. One aspect is jihad in the arena of hard defense. This is what you are trained for. During the eight-year Defense Era, the miracle of the presence of Basij showed itself. The hearts of our military troops were warmed with the presence of basijis in the arena of battle. And after that too, Basij showed its presence in the arena of hard and military defense on different occasions and whenever a certain incident arose. Another aspect of Basij is presence in the arena of soft defense and soft war. It has the same function in this arena. Like the arena of the military, Basij is present – as it should be: it should work hard in this arena as well – in the arena of soft war: in other words, the arena of science, rendering public services, construction, religious promotions and cultural work.
In Basij, all these personalities are present: individuals including Hussein Fahmideh, Behnam Mohammadi, Mohsen Hojjaji, Ibrahim Hadi and the nuclear martyrs. Notice who these personalities are. How different are they in terms of their social status and position? However, in Basij, they all stood together. Nuclear martyrs were basijis as well. The personalities whom I mentioned were basijis as well. Hemmat, Bakeri, Zayn al-Din, Hussein Kharrazi and other such personalities were in the Guards Corps as well as in Basij. Sayyaad was in the Army, but he was a basiji too. Babai was in the army, but he too was a basiji. The movement was a basiji movement. The orientation was a basiji one. Their outlook was a basiji outlook.
Likewise, Chamran, Avini, Kazemi and other such personalities were basijis. Kazemi Ashtiani who developed stem cells for us is as basiji as Hussein Kharrazi and Hussein Fahmideh. All of them were basijis. Basij is like this. This depth and this extensiveness are the different manifestations of Basij. There are hundreds of other well-known personalities as well.
My dear ones, what I want to say is that they are role models. Youth need role models everywhere in the world. They are role models for youth. Therefore, you should revive them by placing them within your sight. Of course, certain books and autobiographies are written in this regard, but they are not enough. You should place them within sight with the different methods which are common in the world because they are the best role models. You can find the best role models in Basij. Therefore, you should reproduce them. The likes of such personalities should manifest themselves in Basij on a daily basis.
Imam once said that Basij is a good tree. This good tree is manifested in the holy ayah, “It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord” [The Holy Quran, 14: 25]. It yields its fruits at all times of the year.
Now, I wish to offer some words of advice. Forty years have passed from the life of Basij. Therefore, it is time to benefit from experience. You should pay as much attention as you can to the experiences of the past 40 years and you should benefit from it. I have written down some words of advice. Fortunately, the friends in the meeting are attentive. The honorable officials of the Guards Corps and of Basij are aware of the tasks that should be carried out. These are the words of advice that I have written down:
The first word of advice is that you should be ready in all areas – in the areas that I mentioned including defense in hard, semi-hard and soft arenas. Basij should prepare tactics and strategies in all neighborhoods of the country. In the face of various incidents, you should prepare tactics and strategies: in the area of hard and semi-hard defense and in other various areas. You should not be caught off-guard. You should try not to be caught off-guard in any incident.
The experience of the committees in the 1360s is a good experience. So, you should benefit from it. The Islamic Revolution committees in the 1360s were present in different neighborhoods and places. They were present everywhere and at all times. Whenever an incident took place, one would see the brothers in committees. Of course, they were beginners and they did not at all have your awareness and your capabilities in the present time, but they are always present. This constant presence is very important.
The next advice is that you should never behave in a reactive way during a soft war. Of course, one should respond to the enemy, but behaving in a creative and innovative way is better than behaving in a reactive way. You should always be one step ahead of your enemy. You should guess what the enemy wants to do and what move he wants to make and then, you should preempt his moves before he even begins them. You should act like a professional chess player who guesses what move the opposition wants to make. Before the opposition makes that move, he does something to lock his moves in a way that he will fail to go ahead with it. You should always move ahead of your enemy.
You should not allow your relationship with the mosque to be undermined. Basij is an offspring of mosques. People used to be sent to the frontlines from mosques. The pure bodies of martyrs used to be returned to mosques. They were mostly trained in mosques. Therefore, you should not be separated from them. Of course, you should behave in an Islamic way in mosques. Presence in mosques should not lead to division, conflict and disputes.
You should cooperate with the organizations which move in the direction of Basij goals, but which are not part of resistance forces. Inside the country, there are certain organizations in universities, outside universities and in different places which move in the direction of the goals of Basij-e Mostazafeen, but which are not part of Basij resistance. You should cooperate and interact with them.
You should promote the services of Basij among the public. Basij has rendered great and numerous services, but many people are not aware of them. Most do not know of them. For example, Basij has rendered a great service in a certain area. The people living in that area know about it, but others do not. They have sent me some interesting figures. Of course, it is not Basij that has released them. I have it from other sources [audience laughs]. There are 11,000 geographically-based jihadi groups which have undertaken 40,000 service projects, half of which have been carried out. Notice how great these figures are. There are 11,000 jihadi groups and so many public services have already been rendered!
Lately, Student Basij has launched a problem-oriented movement, one based on specialized contributions, with 4,500 students. This is what we always advise students. It is a great and important task. This has always been one of my words of advice. Student Basij has become active in this area. Twelve thousand interest-free qarz-ul hasanah funds have been established in different neighborhoods. I guess that the figure is higher, but they have said to me that the figure is 12,000, but I reckon that more than 12,000 qarz-ul hasanah funds have been established.
The Basij of the Tribes and the Women’s Basij came first in the Malik-al Ashtar Festival. All these are sources of honor. A few months ago, on the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, the Basij of Academics published a letter containing 900 signatures in response to a writing by a few hopeless and devastated – so to say – individuals. They wrote something and in response, 900 university professors entered the arena and published a detailed, well-reasoned and superb letter. This means presence on the scene. It means timely and judicious presence in the arena.
The Basij of Ministries has put up service desks at Friday prayers. They approach the people and answer their questions. With 30,000 agricultural engineers – notice how astonishing the figures are – the Agricultural Basij has undertaken the production of five basic products: wheat, barley, corn and a few other basic products. These were some of the examples that I cited. The honorable officials of Basij should inform public opinion of these achievements in an artistic manner so that the people know that as well as ensuring their safety against thugs and those whose mission is to sabotage, to ruin, to set fire to buildings, and to destroy public and private properties, people’s houses and the like, and as well as working alongside the police and different other organizations in order to defend security, Basij renders these great services as well. These are very important matters that our dear people should certainly know about.
Another word of advice is that as well as being spread out, Basij should be agile. You should not let the Basij Organization become entangled with common bureaucratic hurdles. There are many bureaucratic hurdles and obligations that cripple organizations. You should not allow Basij to become crippled.
The last point is that you should know that Basij is completely exposed to enemy plots and enemy infiltration. You should not forget this. Due to the significance of Basij – which I explained earlier – the enemy is doing its utmost to plot against Basij and to infiltrate into it in order to create problems for it from the inside. Of course, this great movement is a battle and a confrontation. You should also know that by Allah’s favor and grace, you will defeat everyone.
God’s mercy be upon our magnanimous Imam who planted this pure tree and this blessed sapling. God’s mercy be upon the martyrs of this path, upon the managers who worked hard for the sake of Basij over the course of these years and upon all the members of Basij.
I hope that God will help all of you succeed and that He will make Basij Week and Basij Day a blessed occasion for all of you.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.