Imam Ali KhameneiIranLeaders of UmmahMiddle East

“The Iranian nation recorded another historic jihad during the coronavirus pandemic”

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on May 10, 2020 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. The speech was delivered via videoconferencing with the participation of President Hassan Rouhani, members of the National Anti-Coronavirus Headquarters and senior military commanders.


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

I would like to greet all the honorable participants, the esteemed President, the gentlemen present at the meeting and all those who are listening to these statements. The reports delivered, in particular the comprehensive one delivered by Mr. President, were necessary, satisfactory and informative. All of us need to know and hear these reports and these facts. My purpose of holding this meeting and organizing this endeavor was primarily to say “khoda qovat” to all you dear brothers. As you mentioned, it is a long time that you have been working hard, day and night. One other goal was to thank God for the great blessing bestowed on the Iranian nation and on the officials of the country.

Before beginning my statements, I deem it necessary to express my condolences to all the families of the deceased – those who have lost their dear ones. I pray for those infected by this disease and other diseases and I ask Allah the Exalted to cure them. I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His mercy on the deceased. In particular, I ask Him to raise the position of those who were martyred on the path of this jihadi movement.

A great jihad and endeavor in a diverse and extensive arena

What we should really be thankful for is the blessing that Allah the Exalted bestowed on the Iranian nation and on officials in this incident. A great feat was accomplished and a glorious jihad was carried out in the country. It was a jihadi endeavor and a jihadi movement in the true sense of the word. This should be recorded in history. It should be reexamined and restudied – later on, I will explain this more. This great jihad materialized in a diverse and vast arena which covered areas such as treatment, all kinds of medical and nursing services and other forms of healthcare – a great feat was really accomplished in this area – and areas such as preventive measures, screening, public hygiene and the disinfection of streets and public gathering centers and the like. At the end of my statements, I will expand on this matter.

Moreover, various companies – in particular, knowledge-based companies and different other organizations – and the masses of the people throughout the country embarked on producing medical equipment. What the people needed in this area was provided at a rapid pace and in many cases, they were provided for free. This is another arena which is really a source of pride.

Another arena was welfare services and charitable acts. The pious endeavor that began in the country in this domain was truly astonishing in terms of extensiveness and diversity. The masses of the people in all provinces – from eastern to western and from northern to southern provinces, in almost all cities – launched this great movement of assistance. Officials, the Armed Forces, Basij and various other organizations participated in this movement as well. As for the masses of the people, you witnessed in national media the great services that the people are rendering in mosques. That was another great achievement which would not have materialized without divine will and the hand of divine power. Without divine intervention, it would not have been possible to bring the people to the scene in such a magnificent manner.

Another arena was the presence of voluntary groups in challenging and risky endeavors. Well, I thanked our dear nurses and doctors many times and they really deserve it, but there were voluntary groups as well. Such and such youth, basijis and clergy entered hospitals and offered voluntary participation in that difficult and dangerous task. Another endeavor that they undertook, as mentioned by some of the friends in the meeting, was to bury the deceased which is a very painstaking action. While some people had proposed that we bury the deceased and the victims without shrouds and without performing ghusl, some people entered the arena and carried this difficult and dangerous burden.

Another arena was scientific and research activities in academic centers and in certain knowledge-based companies with the purpose of understanding the virus – this tricky virus which is very difficult to understand on the basis of what experts say. They tried to find ways to fight it.

I hope that by Allah’s favor, we will manage to display Iranian talent to the world in this area, as we have done in many other areas. I hope that our youth will succeed in understanding the virus as soon as possible, in producing the vaccine and medicines for treating the disease.

The recent achievements are manifestations of Islamic and revolutionary culture

Well, these tasks were carried out in different areas, but there was a good performance in the area of planning and management as well. In other words, your headquarters and the Ministry of Health and Treatment really had a good performance in terms of planning and management. These are national glories. They are glories in the true sense of the word. They put manifestations of our Islamic and revolutionary culture on display. The public manoeuver that was carried out in different areas was, for the most part, an Islamic and Godly type of work. These glories should be recorded and they should prevail.

The feeling that many activists in this vast front had was like the feeling they had during the Sacred Defense Era. Those who saw, up close, such forces in action, enthuse about the pleasant fragrance of such services and actions which are reminiscent of the Sacred Defense Era.

I wish that – this is another serious request and wish: I hope that this wish will come true, God willing – that people like the late Shahid Avini will be able to recount this great national jihad. Shahid Avini managed to recount the details of the frontlines for us with his sweet, exquisite and influential eloquence and narration and he eternalized the Sacred Defense memory. Similarly, I wish that some people will do that with their speeches and writings and by means of artistic works such as performances and other artistic expressions.

The Iranian nation’s patience, equanimity and brilliance

The Iranian nation shone brightly in another arena as well. Well, the things that I mentioned before were the arenas where the Iranian nation and officials were present, but the Iranian nation truly showed their mettle in another arena as well: equanimity and serenity. When an incident of such a magnitude arises, there will naturally be certain concerns for provisions, supplies and public needs. You saw on television that in other countries, people poured into stores and emptied shelves in order to fill their storerooms, but this was not the case in our country in any way as the people showed equanimity, patience and composure. This is very valuable.

Besides, the role of family became evident in this stay-at-home period of time – it was almost a collective stay-at-home situation. Family and familial presence showed its influence. In countries where family does not have firm pillars and correct definitions, such stay-at-home periods are not seen at this level or at least, they are not tolerable, understandable and acceptable. However, in our country, families gathered together. In particular, we should refer to the role of women in family management and we should definitely not ignore the great influence that women’s patience, diligence and endurance exerted on the effective management of family.

Westerners failed in this great test particularly in the area of managerial capabilities

Westerners really failed this international test. This is another point that I insist should not be ignored and forgotten. Westerners failed this great test which was confronting the whole world – spanning from the east to the west. Their failure is evident in several arenas: first of all, they failed in terms of their managerial capabilities. Despite the fact that the disease spread in European countries and the US later than in our country and in some other countries – in some countries, it spread one month later or even more than that – and although they had time to prepare themselves for confronting the disease, they failed to react the way they should have.

Notice how high the death toll is in the US and in some European countries. Notice how high the rate of the infected is. The people experienced many livelihood problems in those countries which are at a high level in terms of wealth and various other capabilities. Despite their resources, they had numerous problems in dealing with the livelihood issues of their peoples – unemployment, affliction with the disease, failure to get a bed in hospitals and sleeping outside hospitals. So, western governments were defeated in the area of managerial capabilities.

Defeat in the area of social philosophy

They were defeated in their social philosophy as well. Western social philosophy – which is actually a materialistic philosophy in body and soul: such a philosophy that measures everything with money – become a scandal in the world with their outlook towards the elderly and towards those who do not have monetary benefits for their countries and their societies – the sick and the physically and mentally disabled individuals. In some countries, nursing homes were abandoned as a result of which some of them lost their lives or some elderly and some people with physical and social disabilities were discarded.

This indicates the defeat of the social philosophy ruling over western countries which as it happens, make extravagant claims. In such countries, money is the main criterion and it is only money that talks. Well, when circumstances are like this, an old man or an old woman who do not generate money for society should naturally not be heeded and they are really not heeded. This is the defeat of that social philosophy.

Defeat in displaying public morality

They failed in displaying public morality was well. Despite their claims and despite the exaggerated comments of some individuals in non-western countries – unfortunately, including our own country – about western ethics and morality, they were defeated in this area as well. As you witnessed, an example was emptying stores. Mr. President recounted for me that in a certain European country – he mentioned the name of the country, but I do not want to mention it – trucks deliver goods to stores early in the morning, but the store is empty in the space of just one hour! This is because the people pour into stores and empty them. Where do they take them? They keep them in their storerooms, thus preventing others from having access to them. This is a moral defeat. This is a display of negative attributes in these countries. Of course, as I said, westerners themselves and westernized orientations do not want these truths to be divulged, but they are necessary to be seen. It is necessary for us to see and know about them. For nations, making important decisions for the course of their destiny depends on these pieces of information.

Attaching great significance to the health and treatment network

I will conclude may statements. I only wish to raise two additional points at the end of my statements: one point is that you should attach great significance to the health and treatment network. This is a point which Dr. Namaki – the honorable Minister of Health – is perfectly familiar with because he has been in charge of this health and treatment network in the Ministry of Health and Treatment for many years. This network is very important. According to the conjectures of some people, which have been repeated many times, if we have a recurrence of the virus in the future, then surely will this health and treatment center manage to lighten the burden of the country. It was of great value during the recent epidemic as well. Of course, some organizations entered the arena midway through the spread of the disease. Basij and other organizations helped as well. This is a very important network and therefore, great significance should be attached to it. This is one point.

Re-opening mosques and prayer halls should be examined

The second point is that there is an unanswered question about praying and other religious ceremonies. Of course, I do not want to put forward any proposal to the National Anti-Coronavirus Headquarters about mosques, prayer halls and the like. I follow the expert decisions made by the Headquarters, but what I want to say is that praying and religious activities, in particular in the month of Ramadan and in particular in the Nights of Qadr which are ahead of us, are one of the people’s definite and fundamental needs. From one viewpoint, they are not that different from worldly needs and from another viewpoint, they are even more important than worldly needs. The people need to be in contact with God, to pray and to supplicate, in particular when important matters arise. Therefore, we should think of something for resolving this matter.

I even believe that if strict regulations are imposed in this regard, our pious people and mosque frequenters will observe them more than others. In other words, if pious people are told that they should observe certain regulations when visiting holy places, mosques and hussainiyahs, I believe that those who are interested in attending mosques will observe them carefully. As I said, I have no suggestions in this regard and I will approve of the expert and carefully studied decisions of the Headquarters, but I recommend that you entrust this task to those who understand, in the real sense of the word, the significance of dua, supplication and spiritual matters. It is such individuals who should examine the matter and make decisions. Whatever decision they make, I and all the people will be obliged to implement them, God willing.

I hope that God will help you. I wish to say to Mr. President “khaste nabashid” and to all friends “khoda qovat”. I hope that God will help you finish what you have begun in the best way possible so that, as I mentioned before, you will be able to register an eternal historic glory, thus adding to the historical achievements of the Iranian nation. I hope that you will be able to eliminate the various problems that arise on the periphery of this matter – such as financial problems and the like – with acumen and wisdom. I thank all of you for your presence at this meeting and for the reports that you friends delivered.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings

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