The Leader’s remarks in meeting with commanders and personnel of the Iranian Air Force

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

(Arabic prayer)

You are very welcome dear brethren, dear youths, [and] very dear children of the Islamic Republic establishment, who are serving [your country and] working in one of the most sensitive and most important positions of power of the country and power of the Islamic Republic establishment. God willing, all of you would be successful, be supported (by the divine power), would be covered by the divine favor, and the future of all of you would be much better than your present time. I also appreciate the very good and comprehensive speech of the esteemed commander [of the Iranian Air Force] and also the ballad [performed] by these dear youths, which both had a good poem and was performed very well. God willing, all of you would be successful and supported.
I take advantage of this opportunity and say a few words to you dear ones. Well, the 19th [day of the Iranian month] of Bahman (February 8, 2018) is an important day for the country and an important honor for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Air Force; this is correct! Therefore, every year, both I and you laud this day and commemorate it and make discussion about it. The important point is that the 19th of Bahman is not simply a sweet and pride-inspiring memory; [of course,] it is ttrue, but beyond that, the 19th of Bahman is [the day] when the reserve of the revolution and the capital of the revolution increased. All [days that are known as] the Divine Days are like this; [and] the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) is also like this. When every one of these days, [and] these memorable days, [and] days in which manifestations of grandeur and humanity and sacrifice have shone [brilliantly], are repeated through the year and attention is paid to them, some reserve is added to the reserves of the revolution, [and] the pillars of the revolution become stronger; therefore, the 19th of Bahman is also like this.
The revolution is a living organism; let me tell you this. Now, God willing, I have certain things to say in this regard, which I will say; [of course,] not today, [but] God willing, I will say them in the near future and on a [certain] occasion. The revolution is a living organism. These people who think that the revolution was just a sparkle, which flashed and finished, are very far from knowing the truth of the revolution. No, the revolution is a living truth, [and] is a living organism, which has a birth, [after which] it grows, becomes stronger and has a long life in one way; and it [also] has disease, has death, [and] has annihilation in another way; the revolution is like this; [it is] like any other living organism. Since the revolution is a living organism, it has increase [to its strength], it has growth, [and] there is strength and perfection for it. See, the Venerable Quran says [about the faithful], “And their description in the Gospel is as a plant, which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks.” This means that the description of the disciples of the Prophet [of Islam], [and] the Islamic society – who are the same revolutionary figures – is like a plant, which comes out of the ground, shows itself, then gradually grows, its stalk gradually becomes stronger, gradually grows in height, [and] gradually turns into a well-established, blessed, [and] amazing being; why is it amazing? The [aforesaid Quranic] verse continues to say, “It delights the sowers.” It is amazing [even] for the same person, who has sowed this plant, “so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers;” they enrage the enemy. The revolution [in Iran] is also like this. It can grow and evolve day by day.
Well, you young people, who account for the majority of people in this meeting and are my dear ones and are considered as my children, most of you have not seen those days. Now letting alone the time before [the victory of] the revolution, you have not [even] seen the early days after [the victory of] the revolution; they were full of zeal, [and] full of epic, but at the present time, the strength of the revolution and robustness of the revolution is more than [what it was] at that time. Those revolutionaries whose hearts are imbued with the faith in the revolution, at the present time, are more established, more steadfast, more aware, [and] more insightful in treading their path and showing concern about the end of their work and that goal that they pursue. Today, it is like this; the revolution has moved on, [and] the revolution has evolved. This is why I have said time and again that change and alteration is an indispensable part of the human life; therefore, it is an indispensable part of the revolution as well. However, what kind of change and alteration [we are talking about]? That change and alteration through which the principles and fundaments [of the revolution] remain strong. [As the Quran says,] “Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky?” [Therefore,] the root is fixed, the root is strong, [and] foundations [are] the same principal and strong foundations. [At the same time,] the results, the outcomes, [and] the secondary effects are refreshed on a daily basis and are manifest in the living world, in the living environment of humans and society, [and] this tree offers and gives as gift new fruits and fresh fruits. This is what characterizes [Iran’s Islamic] revolution, [and] our revolution has been known by this characteristic.
If you look at the history of revolutions in the world – now, [I mean] in these centuries of revolutions, [because] as for the time before them and older centuries, we neither have much information, nor they are of concern to us now; but during these couple of centuries, in which revolutions have started in the world, for example, [since] the independence of America from Britain or the Great French Revolution or the October Revolution of Russia and the likes of these to small revolutions that [have taken place] in [various] countries; I am well informed about all these revolutions – [if we look at them] we will see that none of them had, and still don’t have, these characteristics that exist in our revolution where the principles remain unchanged and fixed and fresh fruits emerge and come forth of this robust and deep-rooted tree and are made available to people and society. Some 39 years have passed since [the victory of] the revolution and we are now in the 40th year; this is a very important development. This is about the issue of the revolution.
Of course, the enemy is opposed to this very point; who is the enemy? The enemy is the one who has been harmed by the revolution; those [powerful countries], which had a proxy and subservient government [in place] in this very sensitive region, which was subservient to them and all it had was in their control; both its policy and economy and its revenue. They lost this and were at loss; now, at the top of them is America as well as some other European countries like Britain and so forth; these are enemies [of the Islamic Revolution in Iran]. The enemy’s goal is to prevent this continuation and resistance [of the revolution], [and] they are making all kinds and sorts of efforts for [achieving] this [goal]. They take advantage of any means that they can, from pseudo-thinkers – some people are pseudo-thinkers, [which means that] they deliberate and, as they say, produce thoughts, which are against the pillars of the revolution; you may sometimes come across their articles and their writings in some print media or electronic media and the likes of these; [our enemies] take advantage of these [people], spend money [and tell them] ‘deliberate against the revolution and produce thought against the pillars of the revolution’ – [from these people] to fake theoreticians who produce theories [but are] fake theoreticians, to journalists and writers and those who are paid to write, to all facilities in the cyberspace to clowns and to whatever they can and whoever they can, they take advantage [of them] in order to expand their audience base. All these steps are being taken, [and] all of these [measures are] being taken now; [and] it is not [special to] the present time, [because] all these steps have been taken since the outset of the revolution, [I mean,] since 39 years ago, but they have been intensified on a daily basis. There are certain means that exist today, which were not [available] in those days, [and our enemies] take advantage of all these means. You heard that during the [post-election] sedition in [the Iranian calendar year, 13]88 (2009), one of these active internet networks was expected to undergo annual repairs, but they told them ‘stop; you must defer your repairs to give services to us’; [they did this] so that its services to CIA in America and to political organs in America would not come to a halt. They take advantage of all these [means].
Well, they make all these efforts, [but] all of a sudden there comes the 22nd of Bahman! Well, they had counted on the audience, [and then] it is the 22nd of Bahman and you see that in Tehran, in [other] cities, [and] in all [other] parts of the country, east, west, north, [and] south, the population floods the streets and [they all] shout the same slogans in the cold winter, [while walking] on ice [and] under snowfall and rainfall. Or assume, there comes the 9th [day] of [the Iranian month of] Dei, [when the nation demonstrates] in that way. Now, when there are also marginal incidents happening, [everybody] comes [into the streets] like the 9th of Dei in the year [13]88 (2009) or this year’s 9th of Dei. You saw that on the 9th of Dei this year, people poured into the streets with so much enthusiasm [and] with so much excitement, because they had felt the presence of the enemy. This is the property of a living organism. When it feels the presence of the enemy, it becomes more sensitive, [and] becomes more active. On the 9th of Dei [you saw the presence] of people across the country. Then, from the 13th of Dei to the 18th of Dei, [for] four days or five days in a row, [demonstrations were held] spontaneously in various cities, and on the 19th of Dei, I gave a brief report on this [presence] to our dear people, who had gathered [for a meeting with me] here at this Hosseiniyeh. Look! This is what being alive means, [and] this is what growing means. All that effort, [and] all that activity [was undertaken by the enemy] and it is not simply limited to efforts in the cyberspace and the likes of these, [because] for example, [imposing] sanctions [is one of them]. Well, sanctions affect people’s life, [and] economic problems are created [due to sanctions], which have already come about, [and] all our people are grappling with these problems, but at the same time, [their] love for the revolution, interest in the revolution, [and] attachment to the revolution and the Islamic establishment create such a reaction.
Well, therefore, [we must] consider these Divine Days as a ground for solidarity. Let me tell you that this year, through the divine favor [and] with the divine power and strength, [the nationwide demonstrations on] the 22nd of Bahman of this year will be a spectacular 22nd of Bahman. [I am sure about this] because due to nonsensical remarks made by some American statesmen and others, people [of Iran] feel that the enemy is laying in ambush and getting ready to attack; not necessarily a military attack, [but] it is bent on showing hostility. When [people] feel this, they enter the arena. This year, God willing, through the divine assistance, [and] with the divine power and strength, people’s presence [in nationwide demonstrations] will be warmer and more enthusiastic than ever before. [I am sure that] through the divine assistance, everybody will come [into the streets]; this is one point.
Another point is about basic issues of the Islamic Republic establishment. Of course, I already said that I have something to say about these issues, [and] later on, God willing, I will say them in the near future, [but] today, I will touch on them briefly. Well, the establishing arising from the Islamic Revolution has set for itself a set of basic policies. The Islamic Revolution suggested [a certain form of] political and social system and realized it and made it operational. [In this process,] a set of principles were defined for this establishment on the basis [of the principles] of the revolution. An example is independence – [including] economic independence, cultural independence, political independence, [and] security independence – [which] was among those [principles], which did not exist [in the country before the revolution]. [In fact,] none of these [various forms of independence] existed [in Iran] before the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Well, we have also progressed a lot in this regard; of course, we have things to do in certain fields. [At the present time,] there is independence, [and] there is freedom [in the country].
[Let’s talk about] the progress of the country. One of the basic principles of the revolution is the progress of the country in various fields. The country must progress in the field of science, in the field of technology, in the field of ethnics, in material fields, in spiritual fields, [and] in various [other] fields. Good progress has taken place in these fields. Of course, there is still some way to go to reach what we want and what should be there, and we must go this distance.
[One of the revolution’s principles is] justice, [especially] social justice [and] removing wide gaps [that exist] between various social classes. Of course, we have been underachieving, [and] lag behind in this field [and] the job, which should have been done in this regard, has not been done in the way that has been befitting and deserving and necessary. [Therefore,] we must seriously pursue [this goal] and know that through the divine assistance, we are pursuing this and will not change our mind in this case. This is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic establishment. Of course, the [best] way [for achieving this goal] is to fight against oppression and fight against corruption. Justice has a very wide and expanded meaning; it pertains to [our own] society, holds water at international level, applies to economic issues, and applies to political issues as well. In all [these] fields, justice is a very important issue. Justice is also an absolute value. I mean, in one way, all other values are relative, [but] justice is an absolute value, is necessary in any way [possible] and must be pursued. [To establish justice] corruption must be fought against, [and] oppression must be fought against; of course, this is very difficult [to do].
I noted a few years ago that corruption is like the mythological dragon that has seven heads. In those myths, when you cut off one head of the seven-headed dragon, he still moves with another six heads; [therefore,] it is not easy to kill it. Corruption is like this. It is very difficult, [and] fairly speaking, is a difficult task to deal with and grapple with those people who benefit from corruption inside the society, but it is one of those tough jobs, which must certainly be done; [and] it is one of those jobs, which must certainly be done. All the period of governance of Amir-al-Mo’menin (Praise and Peace Be upon Him), who is our leader and role model, was almost spent on this important issue and on this important case; [and] of course, it was not finished either. Of course, if God forbid there is oppression, [and] there is corruption among government officials, it must be dealt with more seriously and more forcefully. All various organs, all officials of the country [and] all of us at any place in the country must pay attention to this point and do not turn a blind eye to it; they should not turn a blind eye to oppression.
It is also the same at the international level; the oppression by the [global] arrogance must be revealed. At the present time, the most oppressive and the most brutal complex in the world is the government of America, [which] is the most oppressive of all. Did you see how bad and oppressive and savage was this Daesh [terrorist group]? The government of America is worse than these [terrorists]. The government of America is the same system, which created [many] groups like Daesh – not just Daesh – and facilitated their job for them; [and] it was also the cause [of what they did]. This is not our claim anymore; this is what they themselves say. This person who is now the president of America, in his election campaigns, kept bringing up [and] kept repeating this very creation of Daesh as one of the things that Democrats – his opposite party – had done. He was right as well, [because] there was [ample] proof and evidence to this issue, [and the evidence] still exists.
They themselves created Daesh, they themselves bolstered it, [and] they themselves provided it with arms and financial and other [forms of] support, [and] they probably taught them some of these [brutal] methods [as well]. Those savage American bodies, which are affiliated with the government – like the Blackwater and the likes of it – they did such things after all; they knew well [how to do this], they are specialized in such savagery toward humans, [and] it is possible that they actually trained [the members of] Daesh. Otherwise, that unfortunate person coming from Caucasus, how does he know, for example, how a person can be tortured, or [how to] gradually drown somebody with torture or burn him gradually? They probably trained them.
Despite [the fact that America] is the most ruthless and most hard-hearted government in the world, in propaganda, it [claims that it] is supporter of human rights, supporter of the rights of the oppressed, [and even] supporter of animal rights! Well, these [Americans] must be put to shame; these [facts] must be told, [and] these [fact] must be known across the world. What oppression they did to Palestine! At the present time, Palestinians are exposed to oppression and repression on a daily basis. [Not just] one year, two years, 10 years, [or even] twenty years, [but] this [oppression] has continued for seventy years and Americans have been behind it, [and] they still are. Well, this must be said [to the world]. [Or consider] the oppression against Yemenis. At the present time, Yemen is being bombarded on a daily basis; people [of Yemen] are being bombarded, [their] gatherings and meetings are being bombarded, [their] market is being bombarded, [and] infrastructure of the country is being bombarded. By who? By allies of America who are backed by America, whose arms are being supplied by them, [and the same allies] whom they help. They also carefully watch [this scene], without the least [amount of] protest or the least browbeating.
Within themselves, of course, there are some people, for example, among writers, who protest, but the government of America does not pay any attention to these [people] at all. Then [the US representative to the UN] is brazen enough to put a few iron pieces [on display] there and say that these [pieces] are [related to] the missile that Iran has given the Yemeni fighters! They make a baseless claim. Yemeni fighters and mujahedeen are under siege, [and] nobody can give them anything. If supply was possible, instead of one missile, we would have supplied them with a hundred missiles; [however,] nothing can be given to them; they are oppressed. [As Imam Ali (PBUH) says,] “Be an enemy of the oppressors and the helper of the oppressed;” if you can help the oppressed, help them. We are standing fast. In the case of [anti-Israel] resistance, Americans decided to uproot the resistance in West Asia, [and] were sure that they would do that; [however,] we stood fast [and] we said that we will not let [this happen]. Today, it has been proven to the entire world that it [America] wanted [to uproot the resistance] and failed, and we wanted [to stop them] and succeeded [to do this]; everybody in the world has understood this. Oppression must be stood against. Now, this was about oppression done outside [the country], [but] the same is [also] true about oppression inside [the country] and perhaps is a priority from certain viewpoints.
Another point, which I [must] mention this as well, is the issue of people. One of the biggest points for the Islamic Republic establishment is the popular nature of this establishment; one of the biggest points is the popular and religious nature of this revolution. The Islamic Revolution was religious, dealt with people’s [religious] tenets, [and] the establishment, which came into being, was a religious and popular establishment. Since people believed in Islam, they entered [the arena to defend the revolution]; this is why you see that their children, [and] their dear ones went to warfronts, fought [against the enemy], struggled, were killed, [and their death] wrenched the hearts of [their] fathers and mothers, but they remained patient, thanked [God], [and] did not complain, because [their sacrifice] was on the path of God, [and] because it was for the sake of Imam Hossein. This is one of the characteristics [of the revolution]; [Iran’s] revolution is a popular revolution. [Therefore,] in all plans, people must be given the first priority.
Well, people’s name is mentioned, [and] one hears this [name] frequently. It would be also good for the country’s officials to rely on people and mention the name of people. It would be very good if they rely on this title, but they must know people; all of us must know people. You see, in the time of the monarchial regime – which you do not remember; I spent all my youth and the period of my [revolutionary] activity and effort in the time of the monarchial regime – there was an intellectual type or a group of intellectuals [who] were active. At that time, I was in contact with many of them; they mentioned the name of people. On any occasion, as soon as a discussion began, they said, ‘people, for people, to defend people’ [and] things like this. This is while they were mistaken. I mean, it is not like that all of them were lying, but their judgment was clouded, [because] neither they knew people, nor people knew them; neither they understood what people said, nor people understood what they said. They wrote so many intellectual articles in [various] magazines and newspapers.
The monarchial regime knew that people would not be influenced by such [intellectual] remarks, because they basically did not understand what they said and [these intellectuals only] spun a yarn; therefore, [the regime] was not very tough on them. I had seen in [the city of] Mashhad how explicit books about Communism were easily sold in bookshops, [but] they used all kinds and sorts of pressure to prevent [publication of] an Islamic book about that given Islamic issue, about Palestine, [and] about issues like this. The reason was that what they [intellectuals] wrote, [and] what they said was not acceptable for people at all. Neither they knew people, nor did people know them. [However,] when Imam [Khomeini] started his struggles in the [Iranian calendar] year [13]41 (1962), both he knew people and people knew, understood, and followed the words of Imam, [and this is how] the revolution came into being; therefore, we must know people.
Who are people? People are the same persons who create the [annual] epic on the 22nd [day of the Iranian month] of Bahman; these are people. If you want to understand what people say, listen and see what they say. People are those persons who after a group of rioters entered the arena, [even] though they had a protest, as soon as they observed the slogan of rioters, they distanced themselves [from rioters]. Then on the 9th day of [the Iranian month of] Dei, they shouted their own slogan in demonstrations. These are people; do not mistake people [for rioters]. [Officials] must know people through their slogans, [and] through what they say, and [start to] work for people; [you must work] purely for God and for His holy sake; working for people is not incompatible with working for God at all. It is not like that when we say [officials] must work for people, it means they should not work for God; no, God has said that you must work for people. God has asked us, officials, to be at the service of people, be servants of people, [and] work for people. What people say must [be listened to]; what people say is grievance about corruption, [and] grievance about discrimination; this is what people say. People put up with many problems; of course, they do not approve of corruption [and] discrimination, have grievances [about them], [and] are complaining. People complain about corruption and discrimination, which officials – both officials of the executive power, and officials of the judicial power, and officials of the legislative power – must seriously follow up [on people’s complaints].
[Now, let us talk] about the Armed Forces. This is my last point: the Armed Forces must increase their construction [drive] on a daily basis. Construction of what? Construction of their own personalities, [and] their own characters. [They must] construct themselves; [and] make and fashion themselves as an Islamic-level person and as an Islamic-level military. An Islamic-level military is faithful, is brave, is sacrificing, is foresighted, stands against the enemy with full force, but when it comes to a friend, he believes in no vanity and arrogance for himself; this is the characteristic of an Islamic military; an example of it is [Imam Ali (PBUH)’s commander] Malik al-Ashtar. In the face of the enemy, he was like that [strong and unbending], [but] in dealing with an impolite boy in [the city of] Kufa – whose story is well-known – [he behaves] like that [with lenience]. A boy did not know that this is Malik al-Ashtar, [and] insulted him. Then, when he knew him, he was embarrassed, ran after him [and] saw that he had gone into a mosque and was praying. He apologized [to Malik al-Ashtar], [but Malik] said ‘I came to the mosque only to pray for you’. [This is a typical Islamic] military commander; the same Malik al-Ashtar [who fought bravely] in the Battle of Siffin and [did] those great things, when [it came to] dealing with a young boy, [and] an impolite youth, he behaved like this! [This means] constructing one’s character.
And manufacturing [necessary] equipment [is also an important point]. The esteemed commander was right when he said the Air Force was the first place in the Army, which started manufacturing equipment and the self-sufficiency jihad, [and] it was very good and active [in this regard] as well. The Air Force has [done] many things. Stories about the Air Force [and its achievements] are many, [and] one of them is this. You started reconstruction, [and] in your force, perseverant people who existed at that time, started [the reconstruction drive]. At the present time, praise be to God, they also exist, you exist and are able to do this job. As for the equipment, both renovate them, and manufacture them; manufacture them; you can [do this]; the talent of you, young people, is very good. With regard to one of these countries, I said that the only thing that it has is money; apart from money, it has nothing else. [That country] has neither religion, nor ethics, nor wisdom, nor ability, nor skill; it only has money; some people are like this. You may not have that much money at your disposal, but you have everything else: you have talent, you have intellectual ability, you have the power of innovation, [and] you have the power of reconstruction. You can [do anything]; [so] start making [the equipment you need]. Therefore, [endeavor] to both construct yourself – [that is,] your own soul, which takes precedence over everything else – [and] manufacture equipment and [also] build [your] organization; develop your organization as much as you can. And know that, God willing, the victory is yours. In all cases, which have taken place during these years, through the divine assistance, the revolutionary forces have made the victory their own, [and] to the dismay of the enemy, the victory will belong to you and to the resistant nation of Iran in the future as well.

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

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