Ayatollah Khamenei issued the warning at a meeting on Wednesday with a group of young scientifically elite in Tehran.
“A significant part of the soft war, which is being and has always been waged by colonialists, …is to render a nation — either our nation or any other talented nation — ignorant and indifferent toward its talents or make it (the nation) face a situation in which it denies those talents itself,” the Leader said.
“When a nation is dominated by ignorance of its own capabilities, it becomes easy [for the colonialists] to pillage that nation. Ignorance is a prelude to plunder…Ignorance and plunder go hand in hand,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
Referring to Holy Qur’an, the Leader said, “God warns in the heavenly book that the enemy wants to render you ignorant of your weapons and possessions in order to attack easily. This is significant today given the pressure and the hype [against Iran] in the world over the issue of drones and missiles.”
Ayatollah Khamenei further hailed the high levels of intelligence and genius in Iran and said, “When it comes to mental talents, our country stands above average in the world. It is not a mere a claim. It has been proven and is certain, which means our country — or our nation — is potentially a genius.”
“Genius is a divine blessing, a blessing from God that should be thanked. The first thing that comes to your mind should be for you to express gratitude,” the Leader told the participants. “What makes [an individual] a genius is not mere talents or mental capacities. There are many people with [great] talents and mental capabilities, but that goes to waste. [Those capabilities] never become apparent, are not put to good use or fail to make [the individual] a genius.”
“What makes a genius, besides mental talents and mental capacities, is being grateful for this reality and blessing,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He said while authorities are required to fulfill their duties vis-à-vis the country’s scientifically-elite community, the young elite should likewise feel responsible toward the homeland’s affairs, accept certain “inevitable hardships” while fighting to overcome the obstacles, and not allow instances of unkindness in some institutions to prevent them from making efforts and moving forward.
‘Iran should work to become global source of science’
The Leader further praised the progress being made in different scientific sectors and said, “Today, important scientific projects are being implemented in the country, which are mainly part of the scientific branches created by others, but in addition to all this, unknown rules of the nature should be discovered on the back of creativity and innovations should be made in generating science.”
Ayatollah Khamenei enumerated a number of the issues facing the country, including the problems facing water resources, environment, rural life, the banking or financial system, and production, as well as social deficiencies. He said, however, that “scientific solutions could be found for all the country’s problems.”
The Leader further urged the scientifically-elite to pay attention to the planned future for Iran, reminding them of his remarks a few years ago about the need for the country to turn into a frontrunner in the field of science on the global stage.
“We must move in such a way that at a reasonable time in future, Iran will become a source of science in the world and everyone will have to learn Persian to have access to the latest scientific findings,” he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei called artificial intelligence an important and “future-making” matter and emphasized, “This issue has a role in managing the future of the world and we must act in such a way that Iran will be among the world’s top 10 leading countries in [the area of] artificial intelligence.”