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Home / Leader's Speeches / The Leader’s remarks in meeting with a group of students on the occasion of the month of Ramadan

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with a group of students on the occasion of the month of Ramadan

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

(Arabic prayer)
[This] was a very good meeting. The collection of what dear student brethren and sisters – my dear children – brought up here was a superb and excellent collection. Well, yes, perhaps it was not the entire remarks and mental contents of all students in the country, which of course this is normal as this dear youth pointed out, [and] I can totally understand and accept this. What was said here was [just] part of the mental contents of our students and not all of it; this is true, but what was said here was very solemn and very powerful and very calculated; I really enjoyed it. Perhaps, some of the things, which were included in some remarks by speakers, are not acceptable for me, but the strength of what was said and the power of [students’] remarks and the strength of mind – the mind that has prepared these remarks – this cannot be denied.
Brethren and sisters, both the two dear student sisters and brethren who spoke [in this meeting], spoke in a very good manner. These concerns of these [students] and their views on various aspects of the issue of the university are justified concerns. Now, I have made [short] notes; the details of [their] remarks have been recorded and will be written down and I may look at them. I will probably once again look at these remarks, either all of them or a summary of them, and God willing, I will take advantage of those parts, which are usable for me. However, I believe that those esteemed officials, who are present in this meeting, either from Ministry of Science, [Research, and Technology] or from the [Islamic] Azad University, or from other sectors related to students,must take advantage of these young people, of these thoughts [and] of these [talented] minds.
The remarks were very high-level and [proved that] understanding of issues [by students] was powerful and correct; this is enjoyable. This meeting has been held for many years. I do not know how many years, [but] it has been held for a long time, [and] every year, I have [this] meeting with students, perhaps for 20 years, more or less, though I don’t exactly remember. I clearly feel that the level of thinking among student groups has grown and gone up. This is the same thing that I expect, [and] this is the same thing, which we need. Well, of course, [students] are young and have expectations and have demands and many of them are not met, and naturally, they have grievances; this [issue] is reserved in its own place. However, these thoughts and these remarks make their own effect. Do not think that this was just something that we said and was finished; no, these remarks completely affect the future of the country’s universities and the entire countries; they affect the mentality and general ideas of people; [and therefore,] these [remarks] are very important. I have also written down a number of issues, which I will offer and my remarks almost complement the same things that these dear ones said.
I am making a discussion with regard to students[community] and the issue of university; [it is about] the viewpoint that I have on the universities and students[community] and expectations that I have of the universities and students[community]. I will discuss this. I will also put forth a discussion about [students] organizations, because these friends who talked here represented [such] organizations. [Therefore,] I will also talk about [students] organizations. [Before that,] I will give an introduction.
There is an important keyword in our political literature, which is known as the “hegemonic system.” This keyword is very rich in meaning and in fact very meaningful. What does the hegemonic system mean? I want to have a quick review of the past and roots [of this term] before we get down to our current state. The hegemonic system means a global bipolar system among countries; [it means] a clear and increasing bipolarity among countries; this is the hegemonic system. One pole is the dominant pole, [while] another pole is the dominated pole. This is the bipolar system. I have already said that there are many things to say about this term and this keyword, [and] during these years, I have sometimes made remarks [in this regard]. However, if you students sit down and think in intellectual and analytical gatherings, you will find more and better things to say under this keyword. At any rate, these two groups of countries have come into being in the world – and this pertains to, for example, two or three centuries ago [and has continued] up to the present time – [and those two groups are] dominant and dominated countries. Of course, the dominant countries were mostly or generally the European countries. Now, there are reasons why and how these countries turned into dominant countries. What characteristic existed [in them,] which led to this state. Do they, for example, have a privilege in creation? Are they superior in terms of mentality? Or no, some factors come into play and one part of the world, or a country out of the world’s countries,gains superiority over others. After all, there are reasons [for this] and I do not want to discuss those reasons [in detail]; I mean, this is not [the main subject of] our discussion. At any rate, this happened [and countries were divided into] dominant countries as well as dominated countries.
Well, some binaries followed [among which was] the binary of progress and stoppage. I mean, the dominant countries continued to make increasing advances at an increasing speed – that is, the speed of their advances also kept rising – while the dominated countries stopped and went backward. There is an important point in this. Do not think that the dominated countries, that is, Asian or African or some Latin American countries, which were under domination, they were like this from the beginning, [and] for example] were without science and without culture and without civilization. No, this is not the case. You look at this book [called] “Glimpses of World History,” by [Jawaharlal] Nehru. Nehru explains that when the British arrived in India, India had industry; [and] its industry was considered advanced by the norms of that time. Nehru says this in [his book,] Glimpses of World History. I mean, [India] had advanced industrial products of that time, [and] other countries were like that. When the British arrived in India, they stopped this; that is, they did something that the indigenous industries of India stopped [working] and [even] moved backward, so that, they would need imported industries and products from Britain. They basically made plans for this. This happened everywhere. This happened in Iran as well. Of course, the difference between Iran and India and some other places is that there was no official colonialism in Iran; there was infiltration [by colonialist powers, but] there was no colonialism. In India, [however,] there was official colonialism. [This is] the binary of progress and stoppage.
[Another binary is] the binary of innovation and imitation. That is, the dominant countries came up with a new innovation in life, in science [and] in facilities on a daily basis. [However,] the dominated countries continued to imitate without showing any innovations or being given a chance to do this. They [the dominant countries] continued to come up with [new] innovations, [while] these [dominated countries] just looked on and imitated.
The binary of independence and dependence [is another binary]. [It includes] political independence and dependence. A small country like Britain was independent, [while] a humongous territory like the Indian Subcontinent – including India and later on, Pakistan and Bangladesh – was under its influence and politically dependent. Or a country like Iran with this [long] history of culture was politically dependent both in later years of the Qajar period and under the Pahlavi [dynasty]. Dependent on what? For example, assume, [it was dependent] on a small country like Britain. I mean such a binary came into being; political independence and political dependence.
[There is also] self-confidence and passivity. This is also another binary. The dominant countries had self-confidence, talked, raised expectations, [and] considered the world as belonging to them. [However,] these dominated countries, which greatly outnumbered them in terms of quantity, were plagued with passivity [and] were plagued with passiveness and weakness of character.
[Another issue is] exporting the worldview and cultures and customs and habits. One of the so-called requirements and consequences of this hegemonic system is that those countries, which have initiativse, progress, and self-confidence, transfer their habits and their customs and their worldview to the dominated countries, [and] these [latter countries] accept them. [They do this] in the form of books, [as well as] through research and [other] ways and forms for every one of which there is clear and unequivocal historical evidence, which you can totally find if you are given to study and follow up on them. Then, in addition to all these, they made plans for this state of affairs to continue. That is, those countries, which were dominant, made accurate scientific plans, so that, this state of affairs would continue; that is, be perpetuated, [and] could not be changed. Such state exists in the world. This has been the state of the world during these past couple of centuries.
Of course, incidents took place in the meantime andsome countries managed to save themselves from this mire; though not in full, but in part. For example, assume that the country of the United States of America, which was under the domination of Britain and under colonialism of Britain, managed to save itself politically and economically, but not from the cultural standpoint. From the culture standpoint, it was totally under the influence and passive in the face of Europe and that state continued and has continued up to the present time. Or, for example, a country like India, could save itself politically, or in economic terms managed to greatly rid itself [of colonialism], but not in cultural terms. In cultural terms, it could not save itself, and now there are some things [to be said in this regard]. I saw a statue in the middle of a square in an Indian city. I asked what that statue was. They said it was the statue of a British commander, who ruled that city. For God’s sake! Why the statue of an oppressor against whom you struggled for many years and drove them out, now has been installed here? His statue was there, [and] perhaps, it is still there; in one of the southern provinces of India. I have seen something similar to that in Africa as well. In one of the African countries, in the middle of a very touristic forest – one of those forests where they took me for a tour – there, I also saw a statue. I asked whose [statue] that is? They said to a person, who has been, for example, the British ruler of this country. His name is also there, [and] the forest has been named after him! [I mean,] they could not save themselves from the cultural viewpoint. This is the state of the world.
Well, our revolution and the Islamic Republic stood up to such a state and managed to take Iran totally out of this mire. This is important. Do not say, “How you say totally! Many elements of the Western culture still dominate our country;” yes [this is true], [but] these are violations. [Iran’s] revolution officially pit itself against the West from the viewpoint of worldview, from the viewpoint of thinking, from the viewpoint of culture, from the viewpoint of economy, from the viewpoint of politics, [and] from the viewpoint of all issues related to management of the country. This “neither East, nor West,” which the Imam announced as the motto of the Islamic Republic, meant this; it is not affected [by Western domination] in any way. Of course, yes, [for example,] a law is passed, [but] a violation takes place somewhere in this law; this is one issue, but absence of law and its opposite, the presence of law, is a different issue. [This] has become the law in the Islamic Republic. Getting rid of and getting out of all those things, which are imposed on a country, which accepts domination and is under domination within the hegemonic system, became the final and certain law [of the Islamic Republic].
And the Islamic Republic could resist, [and] could stand fast. That is, all means were really used against the Islamic Republic. As said by these dear friends and dear youths – who talked about today’s [terrorist] incident [in Tehran] and talked very good – [let] the current generation and the current residents of Tehran see what terrorism means; what is an act of terror; how it is that two people, three people, [or] five people who are innocent, for example, get killed in an incident, and who are those people who attack them? This situation continued and prevailed in the country in a widespread and omnipresent manner for two [or] three years. They took advantage of this means, took advantage of war, took advantage of coups, took advantage of propaganda, took advantage of sanctions [and] took advantage of all means against this establishment, this revolution, [and] this huge movement, but did not succeed. [On the contrary,] the revolution succeeded, moved itself ahead, imposed itself on [global conditions], [and] created the Islamic establishment.
Some people whisper that “the establishment is inefficient;” why? Because that given ministry has been malfunctioning. No, if the establishment was inefficient, it would have been devoured [by big powers] and eliminated ten times over. The biggest proof to efficiency of the establishment is the existence of this establishment per se and survival of this establishment. [The proof is] that an establishment stands up [to the world powers], speaks out clearly, does not have any consideration [for big powers], [and] declares its categorical position in the world unequivocally, although we are aware of hostilities, not that we ignore these hostilities. No, the pillars of the establishment and the totality of popular and governmental sectors of the establishment know [about hostilities], [and] at the same time, stand [against them]. This is a very important issue, [and] this is a very strange development! The biggest sign of the efficiency of the establishment is that it has been able to keep itself in this direction; [and this is] apart from many advances to some of which [these] brethren pointed. This is also one of my recommendations. The faithful, devout, [and] revolutionary youth must not forget about achievements of the establishment. Achievements of the establishment are not one or two in number, [but] are thousands. Now, for example, they noted that in a country where, assume that Indian and Philippine doctors were working, now [there are] topmost specialists, the best specialists [and] the most prominent specialists. Now, this is [only] one example. There are tens and hundreds of such achievements, which need attention and care.
At any rate, this revolution could give us both identity and ideals; this is important. We were given identity and we found out who we are, [and] found out that we are not [a nation that has been] defeated and devoured in the digestive tract of global politics and the hegemonic systems; we exist, [and] we are ourselves. Identity and ideals; [the revolution] gave us ideals, [and gave us] many ideals to which I will refer.
Well, this vicious circle was broken; [therefore,] a fight is inevitably started. When conditions change in this way, well, who are on the opposite side? I said [this in my speech] at [Imam Khomeini’s] mausoleum the other day; [the opposite side is made up of] powerful governments, capable powers, [and] very influential currents. [These are] political currents that today [not only] in Europe, but also in America make and break governments! They bring governments to power, [and] topple governments. All of these currents have solidified their ranks against the Islamic Republic, tested their abilities, [and] dealt their blows; a kind of struggle started; a hard, semi-hard, and [also] soft struggle; [it included] hard struggles and semi-hard struggles and soft struggles. One of the arenas for this struggle was university.
Students entered the arena of this struggle willingly or unwillingly as of day one; [and] from [the time of anti-Shah] struggles; well, students were busy struggling. Since the day that this establishment was founded and this revolution became victorious, the university was engaged. Many people were engaged in the struggle, but one of the most important centers [of this struggle] was the university and students [community]. At that time, the enemy focused on the university and student [community]and dominated [it] in early [months after victory of the] revolution; that is, the enemy nailed the university. Well, many of you perhaps were not born at that time, [and] were certainly not a student, but at that time I had weekly sessions at the University of Tehran. I went to the University of Tehran’s mosque every week [for] prayers and [delivering] speeches and [took part in] question and answer sessions; and students came together, asked questions, had doubts, talked, [and] I answered them. There was war and shooting in the real sense of the word inside the University of Tehran such that one day, which I went there once a week on Monday or Sunday, when I arrived at the university, some people came and said ‘don’t enter, [because] the university is dangerous’. I had a few bodyguards, [and] they also told me not to go; I said, “It is not possible. I must go into the university, [because] they are undoubtedly waiting for me inside the mosque.” I went ahead and entered the university.
It was empty! There was shooting, [and] they shot at one another; [in] this very University of Tehran! I went to the university’s mosque [and] saw nobody was there [and even] students were not there, [because] they were afraid. When I saw young people were afraid, [well] I [was] as well! I turned back. There were such conditions at the university. The university had really turned into a battleground; this was [due to] domination of the enemy. Now, who were they? There were leftists, [and] there were supporters of the monarchy as well. These [groups], which were always against each other, had joined hands in unity against the revolution and the Islamic establishment and the honorable Imam; they were allied; the children of [former] employees of Savak [former regime’s secret service] were also there. After all Savak’s employees had wives and children and young [children] and students; they were also there. There were also leftist Marxists, [members of] Fadaeyan Khalq and Mojahedeen [Khalq groups] and these [elements] that you know and have heard [about them] or may have read [about them] and the likes of them. All of these [elements] were pitted against Muslim students.
Of course, the revolutionary [and] Muslim students [finally] conquered the university; you must know this. I mean, the Muslim students could conquer the universities both in [theoretical] discussions and in armed conflicts; that is, through these very developments, which took place, students managed to conquer the universities; [and] later on, [this situation led] to closure of universities and such things. However, some differences broke out among Muslim students [later]. The Muslim students conquered the universities, conquered the [American] Spy Den [former US embassy in Tehran], but they were defeated from within! In my opinion, this is an important point. Why? Because they were weak in analysis and content-wise; there were emotions, [and those emotions] were very acute. Some student kids at that time, did not consider us, who had just come out of prison and exile and such things, as revolutionaries. I mean, when they wanted to judge, they undermined us; [it was done by] these very people who exist right now as well; even right now, some of them are still there; I mean they [were] really orthodox [in their beliefs], [and were] unwavering and staunch orthodox revolutionaries, but that mentality was devoid of necessary content. [Therefore,] it was dealt a blow at a sensitive point. Well, developments are too many; I do not want to review [them], [I just wanted] to make a reference to root causes of developments at the universities.
What I want to say is that during all these years, [enemies] made a lot of effort against the universities and in order to take the universities out of this arena of struggle; the reason is that the universities are important. The universities are very important if it is at the service of the revolution; [because] their impact is much higher than many other [social] classes. First of all, [students] are all young, have few attachments, are ready to work, have an active mind, [and] are understanding. These are very important points. Moreover, they have an impact on the social environment; I mean, a revolutionary student can have an impact on the environment around him. [A student] first has an impact on his family, then on those who are related to him, then on friends and on the social environment. Therefore, in order to deplete the universities of revolutionary identity and free it [of that identity], they endeavored a lot, did a lot of work, [and] made many policies in this regard. Unfortunately, in some cases, they were helped from inside our [own country] in order to be able to strip the universities of the revolution; I mean, they wanted the students environment to be devoid of the revolutionary spirit, of devout spirit, [and] of the struggling spirit. These were preliminary [steps].
I want to tell you this. Of course, I know that all students groups in the country,despite all the diversity that they have – [all] those groups, which are present at the universities, [along with various] motivations, [and] tendencies – are not present here; I know this. I am not unaware of this situation that currently exists at the country’s universities. However, I am addressing the revolutionary group and [the group that is] interested in issues of the revolution; those [students] who love the revolution, [and] those [students] who consider the Islamic Revolution as a means of saving this country and ensuring future of this country in the real sense of the world; they are my addressees. I say that you students must see yourselves at the forefront of this struggle. There is a struggle, it exists, has not ended, [and] may not end for a long time to come [and may] continue. You must see and put yourselves at the forefront of this struggle. [You must] see the scene of the conflict. One of the big problems is that some people do not feel the scene of the conflict, do not see the scene of the conflict, [and] do not understand that we are engaged [in a conflict]. Take the relationship between this struggle and yourselves into consideration. A student must have the feeling of human responsibility, have the feeling of national responsibility, [and] have the feeling of religious and social and international responsibility; this is what is expected from a student.
The student’s viewpoint on the country’s issues [is another important point]. I totally confirm this critical view that students had [here]. [Of course,] I may not agree to some criticism; both that [criticism] which is related to [state] bodies affiliated with the executive branch, and what is related to the judicial branch, and what is related to the Leader’s Office. Some [criticism] may be sustained, some may be overruled, but I totally confirm this critical viewpoint per se. I say that the student and the academic environment must not be stripped of this critical and concerned viewpoint. [This viewpoint must be] both critical and idealistic; [students] must pursue ideals. They must question shortcomings and errors; the students must see shortcomings, see errors, see faults and pose questions. Now, the other side may have a justified excuse not to answer this question, but this is no reason that you must not ask the questions; you ask your questions. The spirit of asking questions, ordering good and enjoining vice, [and] seriously demanding ideals and values is an acceptable spirit.
And temporary failures must not make a student desperate; pay attention to this. [The fact] that we may say something somewhere, [but] nothing happens, [or] we may pursue a purpose somewhere, [but] it is not realized [and must not led to despair]. You must absolutely do not allow despair and disappointment to overcome you. If humans were to be made disappointed by failures, we should have despaired a hundred times during the period of [anti-Shah] struggles, and a hundred times during the eight-year imposed war, [and] should have backtracked. They stormed your house at night in front of your wife and children, beat you, handcuffed you, [and] then took you away, or worse than that. If a human being was expected to despair and become upset when he is dealt a blow and, as put by this dear daughter of us, when he is beaten, then during that period of struggles, those who were involved in the struggle, should have despaired, [but they] did not despair; if they had overcome with despair, the struggle would not have led to victory.
It was the same during the [Iraqi imposed] war as well. During the war, there were many times that what we imagined and predicted did not realize. For example, during Operation Ramadan we thought that the operation would go ahead; it was summertime, it was hot weather, [and] it was the month of Ramadan as well; a large number of our troops were martyred [and] the operation failed. Did we despair? Did they despair? The same was true about Operation Karbala 4, [and] was true about Operational Preliminary Valfajr. In Operational Preliminary Valfajr, a huge number of Basiji forces swarmed the warfronts, [and] a region had been determined [as the operational theater]. We were almost certain that we would go ahead in that operation and would succeed. The operation was [to be carried out] opposite of Iraq’s Amarah [city], [but information about] the operation had leaked [and it was] defeated in a surprising way. If humans were to despair due to a defeat and a temporary withdrawal and the likes of this, no goal could have been achieved. No; disappointment as a result of temporary and transient failures must not have any place in your life at all.
[There is] another point, to which I have already pointed. The collection of [the revolution’s] achievements and successes, some of which are really unique, must be always before your eyes. I mean, you [must] feel proud of the revolution. Look my dear ones! Today, the policies of the world’s biggest powers have ran aground in West Asia region, [and] have failed and been stalled. They themselves say that this is due to the influence and clout of the Islamic Republic. This is very important. They were planning to do anything they wanted to Iraq or Syria or another given [country], but they failed. Well, this is very important; this is the same thing that you wanted; this is the same thing that the revolution wanted. What the revolution wanted has been realized, [but] what America and the allies of America – not just America – wanted has not been realized. This is just an example and there are many [examples] of such triumphs, of such abilities, [and] of such advances; never forget this. One of the enemy’s ploys is to tell you that you cannot [do anything], that you have been defeated, that you are not able to do anything, [and] that you are finished; this is one of the enemy’s ploys. Do not give in to this ploy in any way. Of course, there are people inside the country, who repeat the enemy’s demand with a loud voice here, [and] express it. There are such people, who express the same thing that the enemy wants to create in the mentality of the society, they [exactly] express it here with a loud voice in newspapers, in [media outlets] other than newspapers and in the cyberspace, now that cyberspace is also available. Therefore, I say that I totally confirm having concerns, issuing warnings, [and] appearing demanding with regard to issues and problems related to the [Islamic] establishment and [existing] shortcomings.
Of course, I say this on the sideline [of my speech] that the way problems within the establishment are dealt with must be aimed at findinga treatment [and] like a doctor. A doctor may sometimes browbeat his patient, [and] say something bitter, but his purpose is to treat him. In the face of the enemy, your approach must be categorical and explicit and be hostile according to the way that it treats you, which is hostile. However, inside the country and with regard to the establishment, no; [your approach] must be sympathetic, aimed to treat [existing problems], and the likes of these. Of course, when faced with the foreign enemy, you can feel free about the way you talk and in positions that you take and the likes of these. Now, of course, when it comes to diplomacy, some form of diplomatic decorum is necessary, [and] that is a job for diplomats; they can [do] what they want and use this decorum any time they want. [However,] you as students, [and] as students organizations must say your views explicitly, firmly and with a loud voice.
Let me say an important point about the universities, which must not be forgotten and that [point is] that a university is a place [to learn] science. What I said here does not mean that the university is no more a place [for learning] science [and] is [only] a place for political activities. No, the basic pillar of the university is science. What does it mean? It means that both scientists and science must be produced in the universities, and both scientists and science must be put in the right direction. These three essential points must exist in the universities: raising scientists, which I interpret as production of scientists, and production of science, which is the same thing that I have been repeating for years. I mean, breaking the borderlines of science and moving ahead is a goal, which we have not been able to achieve in our country yet in the way that would befit the Islamic Republic establishment; of course, measures have been taken, but we lag behind.
We must be able to progress in terms of science,[because] when the science moves ahead, then technology advances as well; [and] when technology advances, it affects [people’s] life; when technology advances, the eyes of the world would be riveted on you and feel the need [for your technology]; it affects humans’ life; these are very important issues. The emphasis that I put on science and technology and the likes of these, which I always keep talking about, is for this reason; these [points] must not be forgotten.
All sections of the universities, including university officials, from the esteemed minister to university presidents, teachers, students, textbooks, education processes, workshops and the likes of these, all of these must be put within this framework; I mean, production of science, production of scientists and setting a correct direction [for them must take place]. Pay attention to this third point: setting a correct direction for science and scientists. Science and scientists have caused human miseries in the hands of the materialistic civilization; they became a means to produce the atomic bomb, became a means to produce chemical weapons, [and] became a means to produce dangerous viruses, and unfortunately, powerful countries are currently infusing them into the bodies and spirits of [various] societies in different ways; science turned this way; [and] science went astray. [This is why] science must move in correct direction, in the direction of benefit [and] in the direction of perfection of humanity. This [would suffice] about students and issues related to students [community].
Now about [students] organizations. Of course, when I say this, I know that there are different organizations in the universities. Last year, I said [some students organizations are] expendable organizations. Some [students organizations] are expendable; [for example,] they come into being before elections. Now, there is another form of these organizations, which is not expendable, but is basically set up to oppose the revolutionary groups and religious groups; I have nothing to do with them. I am pointing to those organizations, which under any name, believe in the revolution, believe in religion, believe in the Islamic establishment, [and] believe in this huge struggle; it does not make any difference what their name is; I am addressing them.
First of all, do not forget idealism, [and I repeat,] do not forget about idealism. What are the ideals? Achieving a just society, a free society, an advanced society, a faithful society, a God-fearing society, an affluent society, a united society, a strong and powerful society, [and] an independent society. These are the ideals. They are valuable enough for a human being to lay down his life on the path of these ideals, [and] in the cause of God. It is for this reason that the venerable verse in [Quran’s] Chapter Nisa [Women] says, “And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children…?” It is like this; it means that order [has been issued by God] to fight for saving the country, [and] for saving the oppressed. Now, of course, that verse, is a verse about fighting. That brother of ours must pay attention to this point that this verse is about fighting, [and] it is not a verse about the Jihad. Jihad is one thing, [and simple] fighting is something else; there are absolutely general and special differences between these two [concepts]. Therefore, this is the fundament of Islam, [and] this is the orientation of Islam. We must [move] toward [realization of] these ideals. These ideals, which I said [and] such a society is your goal. Do not forget about idealism.
Realism [is also important]. Be realistic. Once in a meeting with officials in the month of Ramadan in this very place, I said that they keep telling me to be realistic, be realistic. What they mean by “being realistic” is “to see the obstacles”. I say that being realistic means to see the positive realities. [See] the young population, the talented population, extraordinary human capabilities, extraordinary talent of the nation, underground reserves, the geographical position [of the country], [and] the progress of the Islamic Republic; see [all] these, [because] these are realities. Therefore, these are just part of the realities, which must be seen.
Another part of the reality is that when you are idealistic and want to move toward this ideal, you must pay attention that it is not like that human beings can achieve their ideals through a miracle. No, there are hardships, [and] there are obstacles. The [right] path must be found through these obstacles; this is the meaning of being realistic. Now, well, you said very good things, [and] kept enumerating obstacles. Is there a way through these obstacles for you to move ahead or not? Search and find that way. Let me say that the way certainly and definitely exists. Search and find that way. This is the meaning of realism. Well, of course, all these [issues] need thoughtful discussions, [and] as put by the Western-minded people, theoretical discussions. These [issues] that I mention need thoughtful steps to be taken about.
The third recommendation [is that students] organizations must play an active role and do not idly stand by. A [students] organization must not idly stand by to express happiness about a development where there is progress, [and] in another development in which, for example, there is regression, just express sorrow and sadness; no, they must be active, [and] must be active in both cases. They must not simply stand by.
The next recommendation [is about making] a serious and all-out effort to help the revolution’s discourse dominate the universities. Do not say that nothing more can be done at the universities. I have heard that some people say, “Sir, no more can be done at the universities;” no sir, many things can be done at the universities, [and] it happens that [all] the work must be done at the universities. Who must work at the universities? You. It is you [the students] organizations, which must work at the universities. Of course, regardless of this meeting, my addressee [in this respect] is everybody; to all those jihadi intellectual [and] practical cells, [as well as other] intellectual and cultural [cells] across the country I keep saying: every one of you [must] keep working [on your own], independently and, as they say in the battlefield, fire at will. Of course, there is a central headquarters in war, which issues orders, but if the contact between the headquarters is cut or there is something wrong with the headquarters, in this case, the commander [in the battlefield] commands [its forces] to fire at will. Well, you are officers of the soft war – you were supposed to be officers of the soft war – [and] wherever you feel that there is a disturbance at the central command and you cannot manage it correctly, there you can fire at will; I mean, you must make your own decision, think, find [a solution], move, and take steps.
Sometimes one feels that central organs in charge of thinking and cultural issues and politics and the likes of these are plagued with some form of malfunction, [or] have shut down [their activities]. One really feels this at times. Now, for example, assume that we have so many cultural issues in the country, [and they are] important issues, perhaps I can enumerate ten major cultural issues that are problematic. For example, the issue of cinema is an important issue; [I mean,] it is an important cultural issue that how cinema in the country is being managed, and from where it is being supported – now they are finding foreign support for [some] films. [So,] management of the country’s art and cinema is no small thing. For example, assume that ten issues like this can be found, [but] all of a sudden you see that, for example, the issue of whether that given song should or should not be aired before the Iftar time becomes the main issue of the country; [and] they [even] write letters [to officials] about it! [Under such conditions,] it is evident that this organ is malfunctioning, which cannot distinguish between the primary  and secondary issues and highlights a basically worthless, insignificant, [and] secondary issue as the main issue. When central organs are malfunctioning like this, then it is time for “fire at will” that I said before.
Paying attention to the real audience [is the next point]. Cyberspace is a good thing, [because] it is an opportunity, but is not enough. Some people have stuck to cyberspace – like Twitter and the likes of these – in order to convey their messages, [but] this has no benefit. You need to address the real audience, need [to organize] roundtables, need speeches, need periodicals, need two-person and three-person discussions, [and] need analysis sessions; [you must] contact your audience in this way, and the likes of these things.
Next recommendation. There are a number of main keywords; these main keywords must not be forgotten:
–    The issue of “people’s role in the government” is one of these keywords; this is a keyword. Some good and revolutionary persons are surprised [why] that given person keeps saying ‘took part in elections, [and] took part [in voting]’; they complain to me that “why you kept saying that [people must] take part in elections.” Sir, pay attention that the calamity is that day when people turn their backs to the ballot boxes; this is the calamity; and the enemy wants this. Now, you must hear before me, and I have also heard voices, which are expressed, the enemies wish and anticipate the day when 90 percent of people would not take part in elections. Now, for example, assume that [officials] said twenty-odd percent [of people] have not taken part in [recent] elections, [and] did not go to polls; some people say this is not enough, we must do something that 90 percent of people would not take part in elections; this is the calamity. I see it. People’s participation in elections is a great bounty. “Democracy” is among main keywords; let’s not forget this. Well, you want people to take part in that given election, [and] do not take part in another given election. Well, make effort so that what you want would be realized. [However] do not stand in the way of people’s participation in elections.
The issue of [the country’s] “independence,” which I mentioned before, is [also] very important. Right now, the issue of [UNESCO’s] 2030 [document] – this case of the 2030 document – is an example of this; this is the issue of independence. Now, some people come [to me and] say, “Sir,” for example assume that “we have made reservations” or “have said that we do not accept that given part of it;” no, this is not the issue. Let’s assume that there is nothing in this document that would be clearly against Islam – which of course, there is, [and] those who think that reports given to me are wrong  [must know that] no, reports given to me are correct. [Even with that assumption,] what I am saying is that the country’s educational system should not be formulated outside of the country; this is what I say. You say that this [document], for example, has nothing against Islam; regardless of whether it has or has not [anything against Islam], this is the Islamic Republic [and] a great nation exists here. [Is that right for] our education system to be formulated by a handful of people at the UNESCO or at the United Nations, or that [other] given place?? Why? This is the same issue of independence. [Various] dimensions of independence extend up to here.
–    The issue of “negating the hegemonic system” is among the main keywords.
–    The issue of “freedom” is among the main keywords; you must correctly explain [the meaning of] freedom.
–    The issue of “justice” is among the main keywords; and [there are other keywords] like this.
You must explain these [keywords]. I mean that my recommendation to students organizations is to explain these basic and main keywords correctly. [To do these] take advantage of [late] Imam [Khomeini]’s remarks and the things like this.
Another recommendation is the issue of religiosity and commitment to religion both in deeds and in words. I do not forget that day when – of course, many years ago – I heard that at a students organization, which, well, was related to me and [that relationship was] very sincere as well, for example, at a given meeting of them, something against religion had happened. I became very concerned; not because they had committed a sin – which, well, it was of course a cause for concern – [but] I became concerned that they might have changed path and later on I saw that this was the case. I mean, [it is] really [true when the Quran says:] “Then the end of those who did evil was the worst [consequence], because they denied the signs of Allah….” When a person does not act upon his [religious] obligation, [and] gives up commitment [to religion], then the Almighty God deprives him of his guidance.
Another recommendation is about having courage in action. Sometimes some [students] organizations say, “What if we take this action and, for example assume, that given person or that given [state] organ would become concerned, would become upset and so forth?” No; you take your measure; however, when you realize that your action is wrong, stop it right there; I mean, change your course right there; this means that you [must have the courage] when doing things and taking actions. Of course, in order for a person to take an action, he must assess all aspects [of that action] thoroughly.
Another recommendation is the one to student sisters. These two student sisters, fairly speaking, talked very well and both of them discussed very good issues. I recommend that one of those points, which student sisters in [students] organizations should follow, is the issue of women in the West; we pay less attention to this issue. Of course, in one of the meetings in the past years, one of the sisters – I don’t recollect whether she was a professor or student – put forth a detailed [and] very good discussion here in this regard, but I believe that [more] work must be done and there is space to do work in this regard. This is [sufficient] about this issue.
And my last word is that [students] organizations must infuse hope in universities; they themselves must remain hopeful and [also] infuse hope in universities and do not allow an atmosphere of hopelessness to come about.
Let me mention two remaining points. [The first point] is about corruption; it was in the remarks of our friends [here] as well, [and] I have heard that they also talk about it outside [of this meeting]. Look, my viewpoint [and] my opinion is that corruption has not become systemic in the country. Everybody says that [corruption] is systemic is talking nonsense. Systemic corruption is something else. Systemic corruption existed under the [former] Shah’s government. That system was by nature leading to corruption and was a breeding ground for corruption. I mean, you had to look hard in order to find a healthy person in that [system]; it is not like that today; of course, there is corruption, [and] there are bad instances of corruption, [but] they are occasional and must be dealt with. Now, this [point] that you say [fighting against corruption] must be transparent, [and] must become transparent, which I have written down here, is a very correct and good point, [and] this is reserved in its own place. However, it is not like that corruption [in the country] is systemic; corruption is occasional and these occasional cases of corruption can be remedied.
The second point; this is a reality that some people want to immerse the country in the Western culture and promote the tendency toward the Western culture in the country on a daily basis. Yes, this [phenomenon] exists. Some people out of their belief and faith in the Western culture, [and] some [others] due to [their] weak personality and lack of self-confidence and inattention [to realities] and the likes of this, drag the country toward the Western culture. This [phenomenon] does exist; however, as to whether these [people] would be able to divert the revolution from its course and immerse the country in the Western culture, you [must] know that such a thing will certainly never happen. This generation that, praise be to God, has been raised today and is extended, this generation that is interested in the revolution and interested in Islam and ready to act, will not allow such a thing to happen and with every passing day, no doubt, expansion of this generation, and the depth of this generation will increase; just as [you see that] the remarks, which you made here today were much deeper and stronger than remarks, which for example assume, students before you made here five years ago.
And the Iranian nation is moving [forward], [and] going ahead. [Therefore,] such [worthless] actions and such firework displays similar to what was done today, will have no effect on people’s will; everybody [must] know this, and these [terrorists] are less worthy than being able to dent determination of the Iranian nation and the country’s officials. And of course, just as [our] friends said here, these incidents on their own, showed that if the Islamic Republic had not resisted at that point, which is the main center of these seditions, we would have had many problems in this regard inside the country. God willing these [terrorists] will be done for.
O Almighty God! Bestow increasing achievements upon these dear youths. O Almighty God! Hold all these dear youths and us steady on the right path. O Almighty God! [We swear you] by [Prophet] Mohammad and Mohammad’s Household to give these brethren on this day your favor and grace and generosity and answer their prayers. In this blessed month [of Ramadan], and especially in the Nights of Qadr [Fate], give these dear ones and this humble one purity of heart and increasing fineness [of soul]; resurrect our honorable Imam and martyrs with the Prophet; make the sacred heart of [Hadhrat] Vali-e Asr satisfied and content with us.

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings

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