Imam Ali KhameneiIranLeaders of UmmahMiddle East

Leader Imam Khamenei’s televised speech addressing the new wave of Coronavirus

In a televised speech delivered on August 11, 2021, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, pointed to the recent wave of Coronavirus saying that this issue is the first and foremost issue of the country. Placing great emphasis on the fulfilment of duties and the implementation of decisions regarding the pandemic, Imam Khamenei offered important pieces of advice to officials and the people. The following is the full text of this televised speech.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon Hussain, upon Ali ibn al-Hussain, upon the children of Hussain and upon the companions of Hussain–those who laid down their lives for Hussain in a generous way.

I do not intend to give a speech. I only deem it necessary to raise some points with officials and our dear people about the new wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, this mad disease is running riot. The disease is at its peak not only in Iran but also in the entire world. When this enemy, the coronavirus, acquires a new form, one’s defensive formation and strategy should naturally change as well. When it enters the field with a new methodology, we too should impose new protocols and adopt new, powerful and firm measures and positions in order to combat this disease, which is a major peril today.

In my opinion, the coronavirus pandemic is the first issue of the country. It is an urgent issue that should be pursued seriously.

Well, the infection and death rate are really painful. It looks simple, but when we take a look, it is not a minor issue to see that more than five hundred families have to mourn the loss of their dear ones or that tens of thousands of people get infected. The problem is not only the loss of one’s dear ones, but also becoming sick is very difficult. Those who get infected and become sick endure many hardships in order to find medication, receive treatment, undergo tests and face various other problems. The heart of every Muslim and every compatriot truly aches when they see this situation. Therefore, we have certain duties.

The honorable President fortunately set a deadline a few days ago which was really a good course of action as it helps all officials grasp the significance of the matter and put forward every idea and necessary suggestion. I wish to use this opportunity to say that once the one-week deadline is over, all officials should implement the decisions and suggestions–whatever decision they took and whatever idea they put forward–doing so by taking all aspects of the issue into consideration.

I spoke about the infection and death rates and the problems that ensue as a result of it, but this is one side of the matter. Another side of the matter is the extreme fatigue suffered by the health personnel. This is also a big concern. They are exposed to all kinds of physical and emotional pressures. So, the health personnel, physicians, nurses and other such people are doing an act of jihad.

I wish to sincerely express my gratitude to these people, but my words of gratitude are of no significance. The most important thing is the gratitude of God the Exalted who is the Thankful, the Omniscient and who sees all their efforts.

I wish to raise some points with officials and some points with the people. What I want to say to officials is that during the spread of the disease, diagnostic tests became popular, which was a good action. This should be done. Both the health system and the Mobilized Forces (Basij) should help provide diagnostic tests extensively and for free. Today, these tests are not conducted for everyone [free of charge]. There are certain problems. Individuals should pay some money, which is expensive for some people. Things should improve in a way that diagnosis and diagnostic tests become available for everyone. Of course, insurance companies should help. The administration should help so that the issue moves forward and is resolved.

The next matter is about the vaccine. Well, fortunately a number of vaccines were manufactured inside the country and domestic production helped facilitate the importation of foreign vaccines as well, as acknowledged by officials as well. As for the importation of foreign vaccines, the administration and the Ministry of Health had purchased the vaccine from certain countries. They even paid the full price for them, but they broke their promise and did not deliver on their end of the bargain.

After our own vaccine entered the market and after the people began to use it, the situation improved and the path of imports was cleared as well. In any case, efforts should be intensified for both imports and for national manufacture so that officials could provide the vaccine for the people in whatever way possible. Millions of vaccines should become accessible.

The next issue is about medication. I have heard that pharmacies and hospitals are lacking in medication or that medicines are hard to find, but that they are available in the black market at a several times higher price. If this is true, this shows the existence of a fundamental problem in the distribution network. This should be seriously confronted and prevented. Medicines should easily be within the people’s reach.

The next point is the cooperation of the military forces. In the first months, when the disease had just appeared, the military forces–whether the Army or the IRGC–seriously entered the arena and accomplished great feats. Basij cooperated very well. Although they are active in the present time as well, they should use their full potential and help the people.

These are the tasks that fall on officials and that are really necessary. They should show no consideration for anyone. I am not saying this in particular about imposing a lockdown because this is an expert matter and should be examined in the National Anti-Coronavirus Headquarters. However, if they reach a certain conclusion, they should certainly implement it in a firm and decisive manner.

As for the people, well our dear people are faced with this bitter problem, but part of the problem results from the people not observing the protocols. It is said that in some cities, people observe only 35% or 40% of the protocols. Well, this is too little. The people should observe the protocols 100%. Even if some people cannot put on a mask and correctly observe social distancing and the like, the majority of the people should observe them completely.

This is a problem that originates from us. If we ourselves do not observe the protocols, we risk our own life and that of others, in particular that of our family members and people close to us. Therefore, part of the problem results from the violation of these protocols. The people should continue to be as sensitive and careful as they were in the first months when the disease had just appeared.

As experts say, if people observe all the protocols, the disease will be mitigated. This way, the health personnel of the country will rest a little and organizations will be able to carry out the task in the best way possible. Then, the vaccine will be accessible to everyone. By God’s favor, the vaccine will be available in large numbers in a few months if officials show firm determination, which will be the case, God willing. In such circumstances, the risks will reduce. Infections might continue to occur but there will be no crisis, no high death rates and no mourning on the part of families. If the people completely stick to the protocols for a few more months–one, two, three–the problem will lessen.

Another important matter is about mourning sessions for Imam Hussain (pbuh) and Ashura. These ceremonies are a source of blessing and divine mercy. They help draw the divine attention to the country and the nation. We need these ceremonies and they should exist, but they should be held while health protocols are completely and precisely observed.

The officials who organize these ceremonies, the speakers, the preachers and panegyrists who manage the occasion and the masses of the people who participate in these ceremonies should abide by the protocols and observe social distancing. They should not allow these ceremonies to, God forbid, turn into an instrument for spreading the disease, which will give the opponents and the enemies the pretext to sarcastically accuse the mourning sessions and ceremonies for Imam Hussain (pbuh) of spreading the disease. You should not let this happen. These protocols should be completely respected in the Muharram occasions. This is one point.

The next point is about the people’s charitable donations. Some people really need help. The public movement of “pious help” was carried out in the best way possible in some periods of the past 18 months–in particular, during the outbreak of the disease for the first time. At that time, donors and volunteers really entered the arena and helped either with their bodies or with their financial cooperation.

They offered all kinds of help to the people who needed it, but this should continue. The movement should surge up again. There are people who have to close down their business whether there is a lockdown or not. Well, these people face certain problems. In my opinion, mosques should play a key role here. Mosques could be turned into centers of charity and pious help. In every mosque, those people who have financial problems but whose dignity does not allow them to ask for help should be identified and the people can cooperate in this regard. These were my words of advice.

My last word of advice is about praying and supplicating. All the things that I said are mere instruments. He who is the Cause and Creator of all instruments is God the Omnipotent and Omniscient. “Through Your favor, all causes become effective” [from Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah, Supplication, 7]. It is God Whom we should ask for help. Mourning ceremonies are good occasions for supplicating and pleading before God and for paying attention to Him. We should pray to God, repent and ask Him for His grace and so shall God provide His grace.

I hope that God will bestow His blessings and His kindness on the Iranian nation. I hope that He will save the Iranian nation, all believers and all people throughout the world from this malicious disease and help them get rid of this disease, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings

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