The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 3, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with school and university students. The meeting was held on the occasion of the “National Day of Fighting Against Global Arrogance”.
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 immaculate, pure and infallible household. Greetings be upon Hussein, upon Ali ibn al-Hussein, upon the children of Hussein and upon the companions of Hussein.
Days of Fighting Against Arrogance
The meeting of the dear youth and school and university students on days that have been named “Days of Fighting Against Arrogance” is very valuable. The group of people who are present here are a sample of the intelligent youth of our people. Not only youth but also all the well-informed, analytic and insightful people have the same positions that you expressed here today with your slogans and your statements.
Not only youth but also all the well-informed, analytic and insightful people have the same positions that you expressed here today with your slogans and your statements.
These days are days related to Hussein ibn Ali (greetings be upon him). They are days of enthusiasm and historical excitement for the Islamic Ummah. They are not particular to Shias. Non-Shias too consider the movement of Hussein ibn Ali (God’s greetings be upon him) as a great, magnificent and instructive movement and model for nations. I am speaking about those who are familiar with this movement. I am not speaking about those people who are not familiar with it. As for our people, one of their sources of pride is familiarity with the Master of Martyrs and Karbala. They are familiar with the important matters that occurred after or during Ashura.
These days are days of Zaynab al-Kubra (God’s greetings be upon her). Zaynab al-Kubra (God’s greetings be upon her) is the same person who kept the event of Ashura alive. She prevented it from being consigned to oblivion or becoming outdated with the political deceptions of the ruling system of those days. It was Zaynab al-Kubra (God’s greetings be upon her) who kept the event alive. Therefore, these are important days.
The historical period that we are in is an important period. The people of Iran are establishing their dignity and formulating their main roadmap for progress towards ideals. Therefore, the youth’s awareness is important. Their acumen about the current conditions is important and this gathering is an opportunity for speaking – to some extent – about such matters.
First, I should say that this forms the basis of many of our discussions. Fighting against arrogance in the Islamic Revolution and among our people is a rational and reasonable movement that enjoys a scholarly source of support. And it is also a wise movement contrary to what some people want to pretend. Such people pretend that this is a merely slogan-based and emotional movement that is not reliant on reason and rationality. On the contrary, the movement of the people of Iran is one that is reliant on rationality. Let us forget – for now – about what religion, Quranic ayahs and divine revelations have said in this regard. Let us forget about “And those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, but compassionate amongst each other” [The Holy Quran, 48: 29] and “Fight the leaders of unbelief” [The Holy Quran, 9: 12] for now because some people do not believe in or trust such things. So, we rely on the experience of the people of Iran.
1953 Iranian coup d’état
An event – the event of the 28th of Mordad – occurred in our country in the year 1332 [19 August 1953] that is one of the events that connects the people of Iran with experiences and that prevents them from making mistakes and having poor insight. During this event, the people of Iran gained a great experience which should never be forgotten. Sixty years have passed from the year 1953 until today. First, such events have been repeated during these 60 years. Second, when a historical event carries a lesson with it, then the passage of time does not change things and we should learn that lesson.
When a historical event carries a lesson with it, then the passage of time does not change things and we should learn that lesson.
This is the event: the Mosaddeq administration – that had managed to release oil, the national wealth of the country, from the claws and hands of the English with the help of other people who existed in those days such as the late Ayatollah Kashani and others – made a historical mistake which was relying on America. He thought that he would have a supporter in international arenas against the enmity of the English. On that day, he believed that that supporter was America. He trusted the Americans and his hopes were pinned on them. The Americans used this optimism and naivety and staged the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad.
An American agent with a specific name and identity came to our country. This has been recorded in history and we know him – his name exists in history. He was an American. He went and positioned himself in the English or in a western – perhaps Canadian – embassy. Then, he divided the money that he had brought with himself to employ some people. There were certain treacherous elements and agents inside the country as well. It was he who staged the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad. This way he wasted all the efforts that the people of Iran had made in the course of two, three years – the era of the nationalization of oil industry. They also arrested and imprisoned Mosaddeq and then they returned Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – who had escaped from Iran – and put him on the throne. Twenty five years – from the year 1953 to the year 1979 – of the people’s lives were spent under the yoke of the imposed and dependent Pahlavi regime with all kinds of humiliations, pressures and difficulties. It was the Americans who did this.
Their military agents occupied our army and their economic agents furthered their economic policies. Moreover – these were only on-the-surface and overt things that they did – they did some covert things that our analysts have unfortunately not attended to yet. They have not managed yet to attend to those covert moves that were made in the direction of destroying the people of Iran’s spiritual and human sources of wealth. These moves were made by the Americans during these 25 years. These are issues that need research and follow-up.
Suppressing and pressuring the people of Iran, wasting the human resources of our country, looting its natural resources and making the Iranian nation disreputable among Muslim nations in the region were things that the Americans did during these 25 years. How many people were killed, how many individuals were imprisoned and tortured and what treacherous policies were adopted against the people of Iran inside the country! All these things were done under the shadow of the Americans’ presence and their installed government in Iran, and because of the trust that that mister placed in America out of naivety.
The path to victory requires resistance, patience and endurance
Well, nations behave in two ways towards events. Some nations experience the event, the difficulty and the torture, but they cannot come to a correct analysis and conclusion for themselves so that this conclusion can make them react towards those events. Some nations are like this. This is not the case with those nations who have competent and efficient leaders. Such nations endure difficulties, but they also pursue issues such as awareness, acumen, solutions and strengthening correct and reasonable beliefs. The Iranian nation was such a nation. Allah the Exalted showed His kindness by bestowing the leadership of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) on this nation as a great blessing.
Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) raised the awareness of the people and gave them wisdom. He himself endured difficulties and he was imprisoned and exiled, but he did not give up. Gradually, this awareness and wisdom became widespread among all the people until it became a public movement among the Iranian nation during the years 1977, 1978. This movement was not only aimed at the monarchic regime. It targeted America as well. The people understood that America was behind the crimes that were being committed against them inside the country. They understood this. In the year 1963 – the beginning of the Islamic movement – our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) said, “Today, the President of America is the most hated person in Iran.” He instilled this idea into public opinion. He explained to the people that America was behind all problems and that America was the root of all evil things. Well, this battle produced results.
Whenever nations move forward and show resistance, patience and endurance, victory is definite. The problem with those revolutionary activities that lead to defeat is that nations do not have patience and that they do not show resistance or they do not have leaders who can correctly lead them.
Whenever nations move forward and show resistance, patience and endurance, victory is definite. This is the case everywhere. The problem with those revolutionary activities that lead to defeat is that nations do not have patience and that they do not show resistance or they do not have leaders who can correctly lead them. In recent years, we have witnessed that those nations who moved forward and who showed their determination and willpower achieved some results, but leaders who could correctly lead them, identify the goal and show the correct path to them did not exist. This is why they were defeated. All of you have seen this in recent years. I do not want to mention the name of any country and place in this regard.
The people of Iran took the path and made their move in the correct way. The existence of a powerful and determined leader who relied on God, and the spirit of reliance on God and on the divine promise of “If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you” [The Holy Quran, 47: 7] helped our people to achieve victory. This was how the dark, imposed and dependent Pahlavi regime and the sinister and humiliating monarchic system – for any country, a monarchic regime is a source of embarrassment and this is based on correct human logic – was destroyed and came to an end in Iran. After that, it was the people who made the decisions.
The enmity of the U.S. toward Iran’s revolution
The important point lies here. The first political system and government that began to act against our people in a serious was America. Of course, there were some other governments as well. Such governments too were perhaps dissatisfied with the condition that arose in Iran, but they did not react strongly. Some governments were perhaps pleased, but the U.S. government was not satisfied with expressing its concern only. In the first months after the victory of the Revolution, the United States Senate issued a strict resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran, thus beginning its enmity in practice. This was while the U.S. embassy was still open in Iran.
In the first months after the victory of the Revolution, the United States Senate issued a strict resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran, thus beginning its enmity in practice.
Those people who think that establishing close and friendly relations with America will immunize us against his harm should refer to this historical experience: the U.S. embassy was still open in Iran. The Americans were comfortably coming and going inside the country. The Revolution did not cause the Americans to leave Iran. Like other governments, they had an embassy. They had certain agents and officials. They were living peacefully in Iran, but at that time, the U.S. government showed its enmity towards the Revolution. Besides, it hosted Mohammad Reza who was the definite enemy of the people of Iran. They took and kept him in America. In fact, they gave refuge to the enemy of the people of Iran.
Well, the response and reaction to this move was the move that was made by students. They went and captured the U.S. embassy and it became clear that that embassy was a Den of Espionage. It became clear in the first months after the victory of the Revolution that that place was a center of hatching plots against the Revolution. This was shown and proved through the documents that were published later on from inside the U.S. embassy. Dear youth, you should find and read the documents related to the Den of Espionage because they are instructive.
The students who captured the embassy and who found out that it was a Den of Espionage managed with great difficulty to stick together and publish those documents that they had tried to destroy in shredders. Seventy, eighty volumes of books have been published on this issue. These documents show that whether during the peak of the revolutionary movement or when the movement and the Revolution became victorious and the Islamic Republic was formed, they were constantly hatching plots against the Islamic Republic. This is America! These issues are related to post-revolutionary issues.
Before the Revolution and during the great movement of the people – the events of the 17th of Shahrivar, the massacre of the people and other such crimes that were all committed by America’s puppet regime require another discussion and let us forget about them for now – the people had held a rally on the streets of Tehran – on Enqelab Street. This happened on the eighth of Bahman – a few days before Imam (r.a.) entered the country. General Huyser, who was America’s agent, came to Iran so that he could maybe save and preserve the regime from the danger of the Revolution. In his memoirs, Huyser writes – this has been recorded in history – “I said to General Gharabaghi, ‘lower your guns in confronting the people.’” it means that you should kill the people and that you should not fire into the air for no reason. Instead, you should massacre the people.
They did the same thing. They lowered their gun barrels and as a result, a number of youth and teenagers were killed, but the crowd did not retreat. Huyser writes, “Later on, Gharabaghi came to me and said, ‘Your order was not effective because it could not make the people move back.’” Huyser then says, “I saw that the Shah’s generals had childish thoughts.” He meant that they should have continued and that they should have killed without any pause. Notice that that regime was a puppet regime. An American general orders an Iranian Arteshbod [Marshall] to massacre his compatriots and he obeys that order and advice. Because it was not effective, he goes to him and says, “It is of no use.” But Huyser says, they are like children and that they think like children. This is the summary of the Pahlavi regime in Iran.
General Huyser writes : “I said to General Gharabaghi, ‘lower your guns in confronting the people.’” it means that you should kill the people and that you should not fire into the air for no reason. Instead, you should massacre the people.
The Americans’ behavior towards us began like this. Their behavior towards the Revolution began like this. Besides, they hatched as many plots as they could during that time. Any group that could make a move against the Revolution was supported by the Americans. The coup d’état that is known as “Shahid Nojeh Base Coup D’état” was one of these events. Offering help to those individuals who launched movements in a corner of the country and in the name of ethnicities was another example. Encouraging Saddam Hussein to attack Iran and eight years of offering assistance to Saddam Hussein was another example. They did so for eight years. Throughout the war – particularly after the second and third years – the Americans increased their support. They gave him resources. Both they and their European allies did this unfortunately. The Americans treated our Revolution like this.
Knowing the enemy
Their efforts were focused on destroying this structure. Well, this was a wrong analysis, a misunderstanding. They thought that our country was like such and such an African or Asian country where a coup is referred to as a revolution. They thought that they could destroy our revolution like those coups. First, they did not know that our country is reliant on the people. This Revolution is the people’s Revolution. Second, they did not know that it was reliant on religious beliefs. They did not know these things. This was why whatever the Americans did against the Revolution was defeated throughout the past 36, 37 years and by Allah’s favor, they will continue to be defeated from now on too. The purpose of saying these things is that we as the people of Iran, as a people who love their country and as a people who have formulated a future for ourselves and who want to reach it should know America. This is the purpose.
One of the things that the Americans have done in recent years is to force some people into beautifying the face of America and pretending that even if the Americans were an enemy once, they are not an enemy today.
One of the things that the Americans have done in recent years is to force some people into beautifying the face of America and pretending that even if the Americans were an enemy once, they are not an enemy today. This is their goal. Their goal is to hide the true face of the enemy from the people of Iran so that they ignore his enmity and so that he can show his enmity and stab them from behind. This is their goal. Of course, some people do this on purpose and some do it out of naivety. The truth of the matter is that American goals towards the Islamic Republic have not changed at all. They have not changed at all. Today too, if they could destroy the Islamic Republic, they will not hesitate even for one moment. But they cannot do so and by Allah’s favor, with the determination and progress of you youth and with an increase in the wisdom of the people of Iran, they will not be able to do it in the future either.
They shed tears as well! During the nuclear negotiations, it was witnessed that an American official said, “I have hated wars since my youth” and then he cried. Well, some people might say simple-mindedly, “Wow, they have really become good people. It is good news that ‘the cat has become a believer in God’” [an Iranian expression- audience laughs]. But the same person who hates wars so much, who cries when he thinks of wars and who sheds tears in front of cameras is one of those people who do not even frown when hundreds of children are chopped into pieces in Gaza and when the Zionists behave in a merciless manner towards women, infants, children, the elderly and the youth with complete savagery and cruelty.
They shed tears as well! During the nuclear negotiations, it was witnessed that an American official said, “I have hated wars since my youth” and then he cried.
If you really hate wars so much, then say something to these malevolent butchers and executioners and frown at them. However, not only do they not frown at them, but they also encourage them. During the time when they were launching those attacks on Gaza and today that they are massacring the people in different ways in the West Bank and in Gaza, the Americans – their senior leaders – announced many times that Israel has the right to defend itself. This means that the people of Palestine do not have the right to defend themselves. If they destroy their farms, kill their youth, set their houses on fire and burn a few-month-old baby and its parents, they should not have the right to make any response.
Today too, they are encouraging, helping and supporting the Zionist regime. It is several months now that the people of Yemen have been witnessing the destruction of their hospitals, houses and infrastructures under bombardment. Humans are being massacred by transgressing airplanes, but the Americans do not speak a word and do not frown. Instead, they support. This is America. So, can crying in front of cameras be considered a sincere act? Does anyone believe this?
The people of Iran
The people of Iran have found their way. The people of Iran do not show any transgression towards those nations and governments that do them no harm and that do not transgress against them. You can witness this in the present time. There are certain governments – I am not speaking about peoples – who are not honest with and who are not on friendly terms with the Islamic Republic. We know this because it is completely visible, but they do not transgress against us. We too have nothing to do with them, we trade with them and we sit and negotiate- but the people of Iran cannot ignore the government that transgresses, and that is trying to use any excuse to destroy them, the Islamic Republic and Islamic ideals. They do not have the right – including rational, religious, conscience and human rights – to sit in front of this enemy, to consider him a friend and to extend the hand of friendship to him. Such a thing is not possible. The Americans are like this. With all their power and might, they are trying to prevent the Islamic Republic from taking the path on which it is moving forward. They use different methods such as propaganda. Today too, they are completely active.As I said, their first mistake in the beginning of the Revolution was that they did not understand why our people behave in a self-sacrificing way in the arena. However, they have gradually understood this. They have understood that these are the people’s and youth’s beliefs and that such is the lesson of religion and the Holy Quran to them. This is why they have targeted them. Today, they are targeting beliefs with different and new methods and means that did not exist in those days. Youth should pay attention to this. Youth should first read and study the history of the people of Iran’s fighting more than they did in the past. And those who know how to speak in an eloquent and articulate way should explain to today’s youth what happened to the people of Iran during the time of revolutionary activities, who confronted the people of Iran, who created SAVAK, who taught torturing methods to SAVAK, and under whose supervision they tortured religious and enthusiastic individuals inside the country. Our youth should know and be aware of such matters.
On the issue of the nuclear negotiations, it was the progress of the people of Iran that forced all those powers with big claims into joining one another, sitting in front of the people of Iran and adopting those hostile measures against them so that they would bring them to their knees. This is the power of the people of Iran.
Fortunately, the people of Iran have awakened. Fortunately, the people of Iran are awake. Universities are awake, students are awake. Although, many efforts are being made to return the country to its prior conditions, they have failed and they will continue to fail. University students are awake. The same is true of our school students. Such diversions and cover-ups cannot change the core of the Iranian peoples’ beliefs. The people of Iran know what they are doing and where they are going. There was one day when our universities were like a bridge towards the west. The idea of “Let us go to university so that we can depart for the west after that” was common in those days. Another scenario was that they were talented and valuable for the country, but they wanted to be absorbed by and work for them with the result that others inside the country become busy with the trifles of life. Today, universities are not like this. Today, universities are a ladder towards lofty ideals. However, some people want to destroy this ladder and restore the previous bridge towards the west. They want to return our universities to the prior conditions. Our youth should be awake. Fortunately, they are awake.
Thanks to attachment to Islam and reliance on the people and thanks to the wisdom and awareness of our people, not only does the Islamic Republic enjoy stability and resistance, but it has also progressed. We have progressed. On the issue of the nuclear negotiations, it was the progress of the people of Iran that forced all those powers with big claims into joining one another, sitting in front of the people of Iran and adopting those hostile measures against them so that they would bring them to their knees. This is the power of the people of Iran.
Not losing sight of the enemy
Our insistence on the enmity of foreign enemies does not mean our negligence about our domestic weaknesses. I would like to say to you dear youth of mine that we have certain weaknesses in ourselves which the enemy uses on many occasions. We should eliminate such weaknesses. We have weaknesses in the area of policy-making and implementation of policies. We have weaknesses in the area of making efforts, sometimes we show laziness in our moves and we have weaknesses in the area of the priorities of the country. Sometimes, certain groups inside the country confront one another on a trivial matter – a matter that is not urgent and necessary at all. This way, we ignore the enemy. These are our weaknesses and we should eliminate them.
However, the existence of the enemy – an enemy who is well-informed, who spends money and who does not rule out any crime if he can commit it – is something that should not be ignored. Some people forget about the enemy and America on the pretext that such trivial domestic issues exist. The reason why Imam (may God bestow paradise on him) kept repeating, “Let out all your shouts at America” was that we shout less at one another. I do not say that we should not make criticisms. After all, our society is a free society. There is freedom of expression and everyone has the right to criticize. Criticism is a source of progress, but we should not confuse the main enemy with second-hand enemies and with those friends with whom we have certain differences of opinion.
The main enemy is somewhere else. The main enemy is he that is trying with all his power to take away the great achievement of the people of Iran from them. This achievement is the presence of the people, national sovereignty and the influence of Quranic and Islamic thoughts among the people. This is the great achievement that will help us progress. Of course, we have made many achievements until today. From now on too, this achievement will help us reach our ideals. They want to take away this from the people’s hands. They want to create an oppressive and puppet regime that is smitten with the west and that gives in to and is intimidated by it. This is their goal. We should not forget this and we should always keep this enemy in sight.
Advice to the students
My advice to youth is that young university and school students should primarily pursue their education in an efficient way. Knowledge is power. One of the most important components of national power is knowledge. They should pursue knowledge and prefer communal goals to individual ones. They should increase their awareness about the current conditions and their recent history on a daily basis and they should be able to watch today’s scene of the world.
Today’s great scene of the world is like this. Arrogant powers have gathered on one side with the material power that they enjoy, with their power of frightening others and with their awe-inspiring appearance that makes others subordinate to themselves.
Today’s great scene of the world is like this. Arrogant powers have gathered on one side with the material power that they enjoy, with their power of frightening others and with their awe-inspiring appearance that makes others subordinate to themselves. They are on one side. There are some weak governments that do not have the courage to show themselves. Among these countries, there is one country that is condemning this situation in a loud voice and that is the Islamic Republic. Today, the Islamic Republic is shouting at oppression, domination, arrogance, exploitation and arrogance in a loud voice, without any fear of the enemy’s threats and without being intimidated by him.
And nations are hearing this cry and they are being influenced by it. I will tell you that nations are under the influence of the Iranian nation’s movement and this is completely visible in the world – particularly in the world of Islam. They hold the people of Iran, the great personalities of the Revolution and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) in considerable respect and they do not respect anyone else as much. This is because your loud voices have reached their ears. So, you should not lose it [audience chant “Death to America”].
Today, the Islamic Republic is shouting at oppression, domination, arrogance, exploitation and arrogance in a loud voice, without any fear of the enemy’s threats and without being intimidated by him.
And you should know that your slogan, your “Death to America” and the cry that the people of Iran let out enjoys a rational and powerful source of support. It enjoys a rational source of support. It is also clear that “Death to America” does not mean death to the people of America. The people of America are like other peoples. It means death to American policies and to arrogance. This is what it means and it has a rational source of support. Our Constitution and our fundamental, deep and reasonable thoughts are based on this. If we explain this to any people, they will love, cherish and accept it.
The Islamic Republic has thankfully opened its path and is moving forward. I have no doubts that you dear youth will witness days when many of the lofty ideals that the Islamic Republic has formulated in your country have been attained in your lives. I have no doubts that the future will be like this and that by Allah’s favor and grace, you will manage to build your country, to inspire other nations, to destroy those terrifying giants that intimidate nations and to release them from the shadow of their fear and terror. By Allah’s favor, you youth will definitely see this provided that you continue this path, that you move forward with faith and hope, that you do not lose acumen and that you always pay attention to the main standards and criteria on all the different issues of the country – we have many issues that we will address later on. By Allah’s favor, this will help you take the path in the correct way.
I ask Allah the Exalted to associate our dear martyrs with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), to associate our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) with His saints and to help our dear youth move towards lofty goals on a daily basis and in a more successful and victorious way.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings