In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
و الحمدلله ربّ العالمین و الصّلاة و السّلام علی سیّدنا و نبیّنا ابیالقاسم المصطفیٰ محمّد و علی آله الطّیّبین الطّاهرین المعصومین و صحبه المنتجبین و من تبعهم باحسان الی یوم الدّین.
I welcome you, dear brethren and sisters, esteemed officials from various sectors of the country, as well as political and management elites of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is a very important meeting; I also thank the respectable President [Hassan Rouhani], who made good and powerful remarks [with respect to the existing issues] in various fields.
The [fasting] month of Ramadan is a special opportunity to revitalize the spirit of faith and purity and spirituality within us. Fasting, recitation of the Quran, prayer, supplication, listening to [religious] sermons [and] the totality of these [activities] create an atmosphere in which our souls take advantage of this spiritual and ethereal environment as much as they can [and] in proportion to their [spiritual] capacity. Perhaps, one could say that compared to the twelve months that make a year, this one month is similar [in terms of its spiritual effect] to those couple of hours in the day, which precede the dawn. [I mean] that couple of hours, which occur a few hours before the dawn prayers call, has a special characteristic and spirituality of humans [and] purity of human [soul is higher in those hours]. Even in the Quranic verses there is mention of and reference to [the value of] staying awake in those hours and there are also many cases in [Islamic] traditions, which show that those hours among the 24 hours [that make a day] enjoy a characteristic, which other hours do not. [In the same way,] among the twelve months [of a year], the month of Ramadan is like those few hours; it has a [special] characteristic.
Well, this opportunity is available to all people, but for the country’s elites and managers, this characteristic is even more important, because I and you have been entrusted with a heavy responsibility. Ordinary people, who are occupied with what they do in their lives, do not shoulder this burden [and] their spiritual stamina is enough to get them going. [However,] if we, the officials, do not bolster our spiritual stamina, [we] will not be able to take that necessary steps [and] fulfill that heavy responsibility. You see that the Almighty God tells someone like the Prophet [of Islam and] a venerated person like the Messenger of God in Chapter Muzammil [of the Quran] that “In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. O you who wraps himself [in clothing]; Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little; half of it – or subtract from it a little; or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.” [God tells the Prophet to] arise [from his sleep] half of the night – more or less – and worship [God], pray, entreat, recite the Quran, and be busy at those hours; why? Because [as the Quran says,] “Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.” [God tells the Prophet that] you have a difficult task [to pull off], a heavy task is entrusted to you, [and] we will cast upon you “a heavy word;” [therefore,] you must be able to carry it. If this staying awake at midnight, this supplication, [and] this prayer exists, you will be able to tolerate this burden and carry it to fruition; if not, no [you will not be able to do this]. This is our condition. My dear ones! If we do not boost our spiritual stamina, [we cannot carry that burden]. Wherever we are – from this humble one, whose responsibility is heavier than others, down to [various] managers at different levels – we are all addressees of this [Quranic] call that “indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.” [Therefore,] we must get ready.
Well, with regard to current issues, Mr. President presented a good discussion, [and] I will also say certain things with regard to these issues. We are at a [specific] juncture. The Islamic Republic has gone through various junctures since its outset up to the present day and at every juncture, it has been faced with an experience, a test, [and] an important test. The Islamic Republic has dealt with various developments in these junctures with strength [and] with steadfastness and has moved ahead. This is also a juncture, [and] the Islamic Republic will also deal with this [juncture] with power, with ability, [and] with foresight and will move ahead. We have experiences, we must take advantage of and use.
The main issue in this specific case is that we have seen in front of us an enemy since the first day [after victory] of the Islamic revolution up to the present time. This enemy made an appearance and was present from early hours [after victory] of the revolution and started to oppose [us] and this enemy was the government of the United States of America. Since the outset – of course, after they came out of confusion and the days passed when they did not know what was happing – they started to oppose [the Islamic Republic and] confront it. Up to this day that we are talking here, Americans have used all kinds of hostilities and ploys and different tricks to deal a blow to the Islamic Republic. I mean, you do not know of any opposition that these [Americans] have not used against the Islamic Republic. They organized a military coup d’état, instigated [various] ethnic groups, [and even] incited [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hussein] to enter into a war with Iran and attack it; then during the period of war, they supported him in all kinds and sorts of ways [and] backed him. They imposed sanctions [on Iran]; swayed influenced at the United Nations against us; launched round-the-clock propaganda; took advantage of art; took advantage of Hollywood to make films against us, [and] did not suffice to one or two [films, but made many]. At various junctures, they [even] took military action; downed our [passenger] airplane; militarily attacked some of our centers in the Persian Gulf; [and] they did everything against the Islamic Republic, [including] security, political, economic, propaganda, [and] cultural opposition; they did everything. The goal of all these measures was regime change. Now, [the fact] that this term is being repeated in the remarks of American officials at the present time is nothing new; this was their goal since day one. Even that president, who repeated and insisted that our goal is not regime change, his goal was still regime change, and this concept became totally clear [in later years].
Well, in all these cases, it is both important and also interesting that there has been so many [efforts] against the Islamic Republic, [including] blows and attacks, plans and plots and the likes of these, [but] all of them have failed. You just look [around you] today to see that after the lapse of about forty years, the Islamic Republic is still moving ahead [and] is going forward with power, with steadfastness, [and] with various capabilities – and I may point to some of them [and] some [others] were mentioned by Dr. Rouhani. I mean, [despite] all steps that they took, [and] all the force that they used [and although] they took advantage of various means, all of them failed. It is like that famous cat in the story of “Tom and Jerry,” [because] in all their numerous plans, they finally failed. Well, the present time is another juncture, [and] they will be defeated again. You know [for sure] that certainly and without a doubt, America will be defeated [once again] in this case as well, [and] the Islamic Republic will emerge victorious out of this face-off with honor, with its head held high and standing tall.
We have no doubt about the defeat of the enemies; I have no doubt about that. Anybody who is familiar with the Islamic teachings knows that [as put by the Quran,] “if you support Allah, He will support you,” “and Allah will surely support those who support Him;” or [take into account] this very verse [of the Quran], which they recited here [and says] that “and victory is not except from Allah.” These [facts] are beyond doubt and there is no doubt in this regard. We know that they will be defeated; [and] we know that the fate of the incumbent [US] president will not be better than the fate of his predecessors – [such as George W.] Bush and neocons and those who were around [Ronald] Reagan and the rest [of them]. This one will get lost in history like them and the Islamic Republic will remain with its head held high; we have no doubt about this. However, according to the divine tradition, we shoulder some duties. This finite result, which is progress and God’s assistance for the Islamic Republic must not make us negligent toward our duties. We shoulder some duties, and if we do not fulfill these duties, we could not be sure about achieving those results; [therefore,] we must fulfill our duties. Well, I want to discuss these current duties of ours to some extent today and this discussion is expected to help us forge some form of empathy in various sectors, [and] at various levels, [considering that] praise be to God, all [concerned] officials are present [here]. I divide this discussion into two sections: one [section] is the behavior that we must have in the face of America and the JCPOA [Iran’s nuclear deal] and the opposite sides to us; this is one discussion. Another discussion is about how to take measures inside the country and what to do so that we would be able to take firm steps and achieve desired results; these are two sections of [our] discussion. I will try [to take advantage of this] opportunity and time, so that, I would be able to explain these two sections, God willing, as far as I can.
With regard to the first section, the necessary prelude to any decision is that we refer to our past experiences: [as the proverb says,] “the beaten road is the safest.” [Therefore,] if we do not learn a lesson from [past] experiences, we will certainly be at loss. We must put experiences before our eyes, observe [them] and learn lessons from these experiences. A number of experiences are before us. Let me point out four [or] five clear experiences, [and] all of you will confirm them; these [experiences] are before us. These [experiences] are both important to our decision-making at the present time, and important to our future generations, and are also important to those people, who want to face a collection of various jobs in the future and, God willing, take the Islamic Republic ahead with power.
The first experience is that the government of the Islamic Republic cannot interact with America; why? Because America does not comply with its commitments. Do not say that these [anti-Iran measures] are taken by this administration and are done by [incumbent President Donald] Trump; no, [this is not true, because] the previous administration, which sat [for negotiations] with us, talked [to us] and its secretary of state regularly took part in meetings [with his Iranian counterpart] in Europe for ten days [or] fifteen days, they [were] almost also like this. Now, they acted in a different way, but [they also] breached [their promise]; they also imposed sanctions [against Iran], [and] they also acted against their commitments. The American government acts against its commitments; [and] this is not the first time [that they do this, because] various previous cases also prove this. The way that they treated the JCPOA since the outset, as put by our own diplomats, was violation of the letter and spirit of the JCPOA. Our esteemed diplomats, who had made this effort themselves and they had really made a round-the-clock effort on the issue of the JCPOA, have said this time and again under these [incumbent US] administration and at the time of the previous American administration that the JCPOA has been violated; they sometimes violated the spirit of the JCPOA and sometimes violated its letter. Well, an administration with such characteristics, which violates international agreements so easily and then breaches its promise without breaking a sweat and says that I am quitting the agreement – through theatricalities, [in which] he shows his signature [to prove that] ‘we have quit that given [agreement]’ – well, it is evident that at least the Islamic Republic cannot interact with this administration. This is an answer to those people who told me time and again in the course of time that why you do not negotiate with America, [and] why you do not interact with America; this is the answer. Of course, America has treated many other countries like this; it treats many other governments like this, which is not the subject of our discussion. [However,] at least, the Islamic Republic cannot interact with America [and] cannot work [with the United States]; this is the first experience.
Iran complied with [and] was loyal to this agreement, [which] means that they have no excuse [to quit it]. The International Atomic [Energy] Agency has confirmed [Iran’s compliance] many times, [and] others have also confirmed that Iran has complied [with its commitments], [and this is why] they have no excuse. At the same time, you see that they easily terminate this international agreement, violate their own signature, go back on their word and say ‘no, we do not accept’ [this agreement]. Well, with such a government, you cannot sit down and negotiate, it cannot be trusted, no contract can be signed with it, [and] you cannot work with it; this is the bottom line. Of course, when I said that “they are not trustworthy [when they work] with us,” I was expressing the certain side of this issue. When I look at regional issues and issues related to our own country and the likes of these, I see that they have treated others in the same way. [Former Iranian monarch] Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was totally obedient to them from [the Iranian calendar year 13]32 up to 57 (1953-79), that is, for a period of 25 years. [However,] they frequently treated him in a way that when you read the memoirs of [his close aide Asadollah] Alam, [you see that] in meetings with his close aide, Alam, the Shah – who, of course, did not dare to say this in the open and in public or say this to Americans – started complaining about Americans, [saying] that they did this, [and] they did that; however, at the end of the day, he was submissive to them. After the fate of that miserable one and that wretch ended with him fleeing and leaving Iran, they did not allow him to enter America; I mean, at first he went there and was in America for a while [before] they threw him out. That is, they treated their own friendly lackey of 25 years like this. [The fate of former Egyptian president,] Hosni Mubarak was also like this. During those sensitive days that the revolution had started in Egypt and reached its climax and anything could happen at any moment, they supported Hosni Mubarak for an hour, but lifted their support a few hours later, talked in a different way a few hours after that, and then they totally left him on his own [and] that was it. [They did this to somebody like] Hosni Mubarak, who was in their full control for 30 years and did whatever they said in the case of Palestine and other than Palestine. These [Americans] are like this; Americans are like this; the American government, [and] the American regime is like this; this is also the first experience.
[Now let us talk about] the second experience. The second experience is the depth of America’s hostility toward Iran and the Islamic Republic. [This] hostility is a profound hostility, [and] is not a superficial animosity. [US] opposition against Iran is not based on and dies not revolve around an issue like the nuclear issue, [and] everybody has come to know this. The reason [for US hostility toward Iran] goes far beyond these [issues]. The issue is that these [Americans] are opposed [and] are profoundly opposed to an establishment, which has risen in this sensitive region, has stood up [to them], has grown up, is opposed to America’s oppression, has no consideration for America, promotes the spirit of resistance across the region, [and] has hoisted the flag of Islam. Their problem is that this Islamic establishment and the Islamic Republic should not exist; not only they do not want this establishment to exist, [but] those people, who support this establishment, that is, the Iranian nation, are also loathed by the leaders of [various] American governments. An American vice president – not related to this [incumbent] president, [but] one of the former American presidents –clearly noted that ‘we must uproot the Iranian nation’ – [and did] not [say that we must only] uproot the Islamic Republic. Well, so the problem that America has with the Islamic Republic is not that, for example, they are opposed to the nuclear issue or the missile issue or the likes of these. No, the nuclear issue and the missile [issue] and the likes of these are a different story. I mean, the emphasis put on them – now, I may explain this in my remarks – is because they want to do away with the components of power of the Islamic Republic. These are the components of power of the Islamic Republic and the might of the Iranian nation. This is why they put emphasis on these [issues]. This is also an experience and you cannot turn a blind eye to it. Let us remember that America is the enemy of the Iranian nation and the enemy of the Islamic Republic establishment; [and its enmity toward the Islamic Republic is] profound. The [main] problem is not nuclear and atomic [program of Iran] and so forth; the problem is with the essence of the Islamic Republic establishment.
The third experience; the third experience is that resilience in the face of this enemy – due to consideration for seasonal expediencies, and well, we do this in some cases – will not reduce its hostility, but will make it bolder; this is also an experience. Let us not forget that wherever we took a step back, they increased their pace. The same [US] president who himself was embodiment of evil – Bush Jr. – called Iran [part of] the axis of evil in return for the resilience that then Iranian administration showed him and stood with pride and put the name of the axis of evil on Iran. [He did this, because] resilience was shown in his face. You also observe [their wickedness] at the present time. Well, we protested to many of these sanctions, which these [American leaders] imposed, the steps they took, [and] the wrong things they did, but we did not take a powerful practical step; this was, in fact, some sort of paying a price. In return for paying this price, now you see that the American president and his secretary of state come out rudely, in a bullying manner [and] brazenly and talk [against Iran], [and] take the upper hand. [Therefore,] withdrawing in their face [and] showing resilience toward them have no effect on reducing their hostility.
End of part one
If, for example, we assume that there is a person who feels that “well, let us get rid of such an enemy so that it would be no more an enemy,” [they must know that] the [best] way to prevent its hostility is not [showing] resilience and backing down. If you want to do something that it would not show hostility anymore, very well, find a way, but its way is not to back down in its face and retreat. Of course, [this issue] is not special to America; [all] Western [powers] are generally like this. We do not forget – I mean, this is one of those things, which cannot be forgotten in our history – that at a certain juncture, our president, who supported lenience toward the West and so forth, was summoned to court by a Western government – by Germany in the case of Mykonos [restaurant shooting] – over a meaningless and illogical assertion. I mean, this shows how flagrant and rude and brazen are these [Western countries]. The likes of these developments have taken place in other cases. This is also an experience. Let us not forget that the [best] way to prevent hostility of these enemies is not withdrawal [in their face], or showing resilience and the likes of these.
[There is] another experience, which is the opposite of this, and it is steadfastness against them, which entails great possibility of pushing them back. This happened with respect to these nuclear developments. During the [Iranian calendar years, 13]83 and 84 (2004-05), all our [nuclear] facilities were shut down. You know that we had sealed shut the Isfahan UCF plan because of these very negotiations that we had conducted in order to take the [nuclear] dossier of the Islamic Republic back on normal track [and to] return Iran’s nuclear case to normalcy. [However,] the more we retreated, [the more] they moved forward; [and] the more we showed lenience, the harsher they became. Finally, they told the Iranian delegation that ‘sir, the guarantee that you must give can be only realized in one way that you dismantle all your nuclear facilities; dismantle all of them! Something like what they did in Libya’. [They said] this was the only real guarantee; otherwise it is not possible to guarantee the peaceful nature of your nuclear activities in any other way; it is only possible [to give that guarantee] if you dismantle all your [nuclear] facilities; I mean, they set the stage like this. Now, the Isfahan plant – which well was a preliminary plant after all – was not working, [and uranium] enrichment in the real sense [of the word] did not exist at all. We had to argue in order to even keep one or two or three centrifuges [working], and they said that it was not possible! They did not agree that we would have one centrifuge or two centrifuges or three centrifuges.
Then we reached the conclusion that they were talking too nonsensical, had gotten too big for their boots, [and] were really behaving shamelessly, [and] said that the jig is up. [Afterwards] we broke the seals, restarted [the activities of] the UFC plant, launched enrichment at Natanz [facility] and then in other places as well [and] reached 20-percent [uranium] enrichment. I mean, we moved from 3.5-percent [enrichment], which these [Western powers] did not allow [us to do] and our faithful youths managed to achieve 20-percent enrichment and do many other things of which you are aware and know them. When we reached this point, they came to us with insistence, and in one sense implored and told us ‘very well, now you come and accept not to do 20-percent [enrichment and] for example have 5,000 or 6,000 centrifuges; now, these were the same [Western powers], which did not allow [us to have] three centrifuges or two centrifuges, [but then they said] there was no problem with that. [They told us] ‘do the enrichment’ [and] for example ‘have six thousand centrifuges or have that given amount of 3.5-percent enrichment’; these were the same [reluctant Western powers]. Now, [as] Dr. Rouhani pointed out, these [world bodies like] the United Nations and various political institutions of the world, apparently [recognized] Iran’s right to enrichment in their own way. Yes, they have recognized it, [but] its origin is not negotiation; let us not make this mistake; the origin [of their recognition of Iran’s right] is our progress. Since we have progressed, since we have moved [forward], [and] since we have attained 20-percent [enrichment], they have conceded to this. Otherwise, if we were supposed to negotiate and attain [this right] through negotiation, it would not have been attained up to the present time and forever. This is also an experience that in the face of excessive demands of the opposite side and opposite front, one must pursue his own interests and move bravely and go ahead.
Another experience, which is also an important experience, is the experience of Europe getting along with America in the most important cases. We have no plan to fight with Europeans; [and] have no plan to oppose them and counter and argue with these three European countries, but we must know the realities. These three countries have shown that they get along with America in the most sensitive cases and follow suit with America. Everybody remembers the ugly move by the French foreign minister during [nuclear] negotiations. In the game of “bad cop and good cop,” they said that he played the role of the “bad cop;” of course, this was certainly [done] in coordination with Americans. Or [another example is] the way that the British behaved with regard to [Iran’s] right to purchase yellowcake, which had been made finite and had become final and had been projected by the JCPOA that we would be able to procure and buy and bring here the yellowcake from a center and a place, [but] the British [government] blocked it. This means that these [European countries] cooperate and get along with America; it has been like this up to the present time. This is also an experience; let us not forget this. These [European countries] say one thing in words, but in action, we have not seen up to now – I mean, in my opinion, we have not observed this up to now, [and] I do not remember – [a case] in which these [countries] have stood up in the real sense of the word and defended their rights against America.
Another important experience in these issues [that are related to] the JCPOA is that linking the resolution of the country’s problems to the JCPOA and the likes of the JCPOA or to [other] foreign issues is a big mistake. We must not tie the country’s problems, the country’s economic problems and various [other] problems of the country, to those issues, which are out of our control, [and] are managed and decided upon outside the country. When we tie the issue of the country’s economy [and] the country’s business to the issue of the JCPOA, the result is that businesspeople and investors must wait for several months and see what decision will foreigners make about the JCPOA. They will have to halt their activity, wait, [and] look forward to seeing whether [the opposite side] stays in the agreement or withdraws from it; whether it signs it or does not sign it; whether it remains committed to its signature after signing it or not! [Therefore,] the country’s active popular economic apparatus must continuously wait to see how foreigners will behave. We cannot leave the country’s [economic] capacity idle pending [the fate of] the JCPOA; for a while pending the implementation of the JCPOA [and] for another while pending withdrawal or staying [of the opposite side] in the JCPOA, especially in the face of an enemy like America. These are [just] part of our experiences. We must take these experiences into account, so that, they would not be repeated and we would not repeat the same mistake again and to take advantage of these experiences thoroughly with respect to subsequent issues.
Well, if we do not take advantage of these experiences, [and] suffice to insignificant matters, [we would be at loss]. Just as Mr. President said, Americans have been really defeated in this case from an ethical viewpoint, from the legal viewpoint and from the viewpoint of political credit. Well, yes, [this is true that] Americans have been discredited. This is a reality and there is no doubt about this. However, what I want to say is did we start [nuclear] negotiation in order for America to be discredited? Was this the goal of our negotiation? We started negotiation in order to have sanctions removed and you see that many sanctions have not been removed [and] they are currently threatening that we will impose such and such sanctions on Iran. The same secondary sanction that had been removed through the approval of the JCPOA and through the resolution of the United Nations Security Council, they want to re-impose them once again. Was this the goal [of negotiation to discredit the US]? Or it is said that [the JCPOA] has, for example, created a gap between Europe and America; well, yes, it is possible that a superficial [and] insignificant gap [to have been created] between them, but we did not negotiate for this. Did we negotiate in order to create a gap between American and Europe? We negotiated so that sanctions would be removed; this is why negotiations started, and this is why negotiations continued and this [goal] must be achieved. If this [goal] is not achieved, other things that have been achieved would not be of high value. And I said that [Europeans] will not oppose [America]; Europeans follow suit with America [and] help one another. [As put by the Quran,] “And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – devils from mankind and jinn – inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion.” These [Western countries] help one another, send messages to one another, aid one another, [and] boost one another’s morale. Well, these are those things, which we must take into consideration as the experience of the JCPOA.
Let me bring up an important point now. In the case of the JCPOA, [and] in the face of the JCPOA, it is certainly necessary that political elements, management elements, [as well as] press and cultural elements must avoid taking one another to task; do not do this. Criticism, [in the sense of] correct, fair, [and] wise criticism, is of no objection, [and] officials must also listen to criticism. However, blaming one another, insulting, slandering, [and] accusing [one another], [and] these [kinds of behavior] must be done away with. No [political] division and bipolarity must be created on the basis of the JCPOA. Now, there are certain moves, which we must make, [and] there is an activity, which we must do to which I have pointed and will point [again]; this is reserved in its place, [but] do not violate unity, unanimity, empathy, [and] consensus in this case; this is also a basic point.
Well, now in view of what I have already said, how should we deal with the JCPOA from now on? I want to mention several points here.
The first point is this: in the face of this issue, we must deal with it in a realistic manner [and] do not be content with possibilities and those things, which are said and mentioned and it is not clear whether they are backed by a fact or there is no surety about them. We must assess [this issue] realistically [and] transfer it to people in a realistic manner. When at the beginning of negotiations, it was in our mind and we ourselves imagined and [even] told others that “yes, if we negotiate, one hundred billion dollars of money will enter the country,” well this has a meaning. One hundred billion [dollars] is a huge sum [of money] for our country, is an important sum [and] can basically solve many problems in our country. [However,] this was not true. Now, the shameless president of America still keeps saying that we gave [Iran] 100 billion [dollars], [and] sometimes says [we] gave 150 billion [dollars] to Iran. You ate dirt [when you said you] gave [money to Iran]! When did you give [money] to Iran? You did not even give a single dollar to Iran. Even we ourselves somehow believed this [claim about] 100 billion dollars; well this [was] an assumption, was imagined, was an illusion, [and] was not real. We must take care that what we set [as goal] for our future and for our interests and in return for the costs that we undertake must be real and [we must] understand that reality and share that reality with people in an explicit manner.
Let me tell you this: at the present time, the country’s economy cannot be set right through the European JCPOA; the country’s economy will not improve in this way. There is a lot of evidence [to prove this], which you are observing as of now. Some important Western companies are announcing that they will leave [Iran], some of them have already left, [and] some [others] say it is not clear what they will do. Heads and officials of Western states also talk like this; Germany one way, France one way, that other [country] another way. [Therefore,] improving the country’s economy will not be achieved through a European JCPOA. Now, the European JCPOA is a [separate] issue, but you must not pin hope on it for [improving] the economy. [Improvement of] the economy has other ways, which I will point to them. This is on point.
The second point is that three [major] European countries breached their promises and did a major dishonesty to us over this very nuclear issue about thirteen [or] fourteen years ago; they did a major dishonesty to us during [the Iranian calendar] years 83 and 84 (2004-05). They promised something to us, [but] did not live up to it, [and even] acted against it. They must prove that they are not like that anymore; [and] this is up to them [to prove]. European governments must prove to the Islamic Republic that at the present time, they will not show the same dishonesty and breach of promise that they did at that time; they must make up for it. This is the next point.
Another point is that during the past two years, America has repeated its behavior in violating the JCPOA. [It has] taken various steps, [and] as I said before, as put by our own diplomats, it has violated [both] the spirit of the JCPOA and the letter of the JCPOA. [However,] Europeans have remained silent; they must have stood against America, [and] must have protested it. If they had protested [US’ measures], perhaps the situation would not have reached this point that America sets aside its own signature without breaking a sweat and says I will quit [the JCPOA]. These [European countries] must make up for the negligence that they have shown in the past two years.
The next point [is that] America has violated [the United Nations Security Council] Resolution 2231. [Therefore,] those [countries,] which are members of the Security Council, in return for this move by America, must draft a resolution against it at the Security Council; a resolution against America on the account that this [country] has violated Resolution 2231. This is one of those steps, which they must take.
Europe must promise that it will not bring up the issue of [Iran’s] missile [program] and the presence of the Islamic Republic in the region; they must promise this. It is not at all acceptable that they would say something at any juncture of time and bring up the missile issue in various ways. The leaders of these three [European] countries must promise and accept that they will not absolutely bring up [Iran’s] missile issue.
They must also counter any sanctions [that may be imposed] against the Islamic Republic. I mean, now that he [US president] says that ‘I will impose sanctions on Iran’, these [European countries] must clearly stand against America. If there is going to be an agreement between us and Europeans, this must be one of is conditions.
Of course, everybody must know that although I said they must not bring up the missile issue, the Islamic Republic will certainly never give up [its] components of power, one of these components of power is the defensive force; [especially] the long-range defense. One of the components of power is the defensive force; [and another] component of power is our strategic depth. Presence in regional countries and the support of regional nations for the Islamic Republic constitutes the Islamic Republic’s strategic depth; the Islamic Republic cannot give this up; no rational government will give this up. Or people as a social asset [is another component of power]. This unity of people and assembly of people under the flag of Islam, [and] the movement of the Islamic Republic with the motto of and taking pride in being Islamic and being Muslim [are other components of our power]. These [factors] form the fundament and spine and essence of the strength of the Islamic Republic; everybody must know that nobody will give up these [components of power].
Another point is that Europe must guarantee complete sale of Iran’s oil. I mean, if Americans succeeded in dealing a blow to the Islamic Republic’s oil sale, they must [buy Iran’s oil] to the amount that the Islamic Republic wants. [Of course,] we may opt for selling less oil – this would depend on the administration’s policies; the [Iranian] administration may reach the conclusion that the less oil we sell to take our economy farther away from dependence on oil, it would be to our benefit; we might reach this conclusion. However, if this did not happen, and a decision was made that we [must] sell as much oil as we sell today, if Americans created an obstacle in this way, Europeans must certainly make up for that and must buy that [Iranian oil] in a guaranteed manner.
The next point [is about European banks]. European banks must guarantee receipt and payment and transfer of sums of money related to state-run trade and private-sector trade with the Islamic Republic. When I said they must guarantee, I meant [they must] guarantee doing such things; they must guarantee these [steps]. I said we have no fight with these three [European] countries, [but] we do not trust [them either]. Our issue is not the issue of fighting and creating discord; the issue is lack of trust; we have no trust in these countries and this [lack of trust] is rooted in a [historical] background. This is why these guarantees must be given objectively.
The next point is that if Europeans dawdled in answering to these demands [coming from Iran], our right to initiate nuclear activities, which have been shut down, would be reserved. All the officials of our nuclear agency must be ready. Of course, I am not saying that start 20-percent [uranium] enrichment right away, but I am saying that [you must] be ready. When the Islamic Republic deems expedient and necessary, those [nuclear] activities, which have been shut down, [must be restarted, because] it was for the sake of the JCPOA [that we shut them down and] it was one of the costs that we undertook for the JCPOA. [Therefore,] when we see that the JCPOA is of no use and we are not ready to undertake [these] costs [anymore], naturally, one way is to reclaim those things and [to resume] those activities, which were stopped. This would suffice about issues related to the JCPOA.
The second part of my speech is about our own domestic issues and our duties inside the country, which includes economic issues. At the present time, the country’s number one problem is the economic one. These measures and activities that the administration is busy [taking], God willing, must continue with force. These [steps taken for] the expansion of services and [other] measures that the administration takes must continue. Well, of course, it is a reality that the economic situation in the country is not good; despite all these efforts that are being made, the economic situation is not favorable, [because] many people are under pressure in economic terms. The issue of high commodity prices and such things, of which you are more or less aware and many people viscerally feel them, this is a major problem for the country.
Well, in order for us to be able to resolve these problems, first of all, we must wholeheartedly confirm certain facts. Firstly, we must know that the problem with the country’s economy can be solved through reliance on numerous domestic capacities; [you must] believe this. This is a reality, some people do not accept this fact and some of them are not aware of it. We have many capacities in the country, which have not been taken advantage of and I will later bring a quote in this regard from non-Iranian experts.
The second point, which we must believe, is to know that Western prescriptions cannot be trusted by us. I am not saying that we must totally reject [such prescriptions]; no, [I mean] we must first assess [them]. We cannot give in to Western prescriptions unquestioningly neither in the field of economy, nor in other fields, like the issue of population. The issue of population is one of the same Western prescriptions. The propaganda apparatus of the wicked British government has recently prescribed that Iran is a very good country for a population of thirty million! God damn you! God willing, this population will hit 150 million. Population policies of the country – those [policies] that we pursued – were wrong policies. I have said this before. Of course, they were right at the beginning [and] their start was right, [but] their continuation was not right and was wrong and we were negligent in this regard; [therefore,] we must make up [for this negligence]. The economic problem of the country is also like this; it will not get right through Western prescriptions. So far, and in various years, every time that we have used the Western prescriptions, we have not benefited [from them], [and] we have incurred losses in some places. [For example,] when the issue of economic adjustment was put forth during the [Iranian decade, 13]70s (1990s), the issue of [establishing] social justice was dealt a blow in the real sense of the word in our country, [and] a class divide was created. It perhaps had some benefits, but we also suffered these major losses as well.
The third point, which we must take into account and believe, is that assigning work to foreigners, in view of violation of promises that we have seen from them up to the present time, must be limited to what is urgent. I mean, after we totally lose hope in domestic potentialities, then we must refer to others; we must give precedence to domestic potentialities, and in my viewpoint, these potentialities are abundant.
The next point is domestic capacities, to which I pointed. Domestic capacities are very abundant. An expert study has been carried out by the World Bank – so this is not our study, [but] is an expert study, which the World Bank has conducted – [in which] they say: Iran is a reservoir of untapped human and territorial potentialities; pay attention! They say Iran ranks first in the world in terms of not taking advantage of its human and territorial potentialities. This means that there are many potentialities before us, which we have not taken advantage of, [and] have not worked enough [in this regard].
[The report has pointed to] human capacities and abundance of workforce, especially youths and educated [people in Iran]. We have ten million university graduates and more than four million students are currently studying [in universities]. According to what informed people and experts among administration officials said, in terms of the number of engineers, our country is one of top countries in the world and stands at global level. The relative number of our engineers is much more than many big and famous countries. These are all capacities [of our country].
[Another issue is] territorial capacities, [including] the area of land, access to international waters, the number of neighbors, the regional markets, [and] foreign transport routes. These are those things, which the World Bank experts have said. These are territorial capacities of which we have not taken good advantage.
[Iran also abounds in] human capacities, [including] the portion of population that is ready to work, education level, and the likes of these. The same [World Bank] experts have noted that if Iran takes good advantage of these capacities, it will become one of the progressive economies in the world. These are our capacities and we have a great wealth at our disposal.
[Of course, Iran’s] natural riches have not been mentioned in this expert report, [and only] human riches as well as territorial riches – [such as] territorial potentialities and capacities – have been mentioned. The issue of natural capacities and natural riches is also an extraordinary issue. Once in this very meeting many years ago, I said that we possess one-hundredth of the world’s population, [and] it would suffice if we had one-hundredth of metals that are important and necessary and basic for needed industries, [but] what we have is more than one-hundredth. I mean we have three percent of certain things, have four percent of certain things, [and] have five percent of certain things. The figure for oil and gas is very high; we rank the first in the world [in terms of total oil and gas reserves]; we rank the fourth in terms of oil reserves, the first in terms of gas reserves and [also] the first in terms of total oil and gas [reserves].
These are our potentialities; these are our capacities; these capacities must be taken advantage of and they can be taken advantage of. It is possible to deliberate, formulate a strategy, [and] make a plan. Of course, these are not those things, which would be achieved rapidly, but it will take some time. However, regardless of when we start, we will finally reach a conclusion. A couple of weeks ago, I had a meeting here about the country’s economic issues. The esteemed heads of three powers were present, [and] active economic officials from state-run sectors and the parliament and the Judiciary were also present. A relatively good discussion was made there and statements were made. Of course, I am not an economist. What was said [in that meeting] was based on experts’ views; we discussed certain issues and decisions were made for changes in configuration [of the country’s economy] to take place. Our friends must follow up on these [decisions]. What I recommend now – [taking into account that] the heads of three powers are present here, [and] the same gentlemen, who were present at that meeting, are present here now – [is that if] you seriously follow up on those things, which were discussed that night, and on which decisions were made and emphasis was put, economic issues will certainly move ahead; I have no doubt about this. Later on, I was informed that economic experts within the administration had confirmed the same thing that was discussed and talked about and announced as a decision at the meeting here at that night.
I tell you that our enemy has moved its war room into the [US] Department of Treasury; instead of Department of Defense, the war [room] against us is their Department of Treasury, [where] they are busy in an active way. It was also like this before. They were also active during [the Iranian calendar] years 90 and 91 (2011-12) [when] those sanctions started [against Iran] – [those] paralyzing sanctions, as they thought, which to their dismay, could not paralyze the Islamic Republic. Even the American secretary of state contacted each and every one of heads of various banks in different countries; I mean, they were active like this; they were working day and night. I tell you that here, a headquarters for countering the wickedness of this enemy must be also set up within the economic apparatus [of the country]. The Foreign Ministry must support [this effort], [and] must help as an accompaniment, but this headquarters must be established at the economic center of the administration to follow up on this task. Of course, the Resistance Economy is a cure for all these [problems], which must be seriously pursued. However, at the present time, given the measures that the enemy is taking, certain sections of the Resistance Economy may be of higher priority, and these sections must be followed up on.
Another point about the economy is that the state-run economy is not efficient. [Therefore,] people must be encouraged to enter [this field], [and] the policies related to Article 44 [of the Constitution] must be taken seriously. I told this to the previous administration as well, I have also told this to Mr. Rouhani time and again, [and] I will continue to say this. You must take the policies of Article 44 seriously, must encourage the private sector to enter [this field], [and] must help the private sector. This “National Development Fund” has been established for this purpose. This [point], which Mr. Rouhani mentioned here, that a certain amount of the foreign exchange money and foreign exchange revenue [of the country] is not given to the administration, this means that it goes into the National Development Fund. This National Development Fund is controlled by the administration and no part of it is outside the administration. The fund itself is in control of the administration, officials of the fund are appointed by the administration, policies of the fund [as well as] withdrawal [of money] from the fund and everything related to the fund is in control of the administration. However, there are cases in which an unlawful withdrawal becomes necessary for the administration and there is not much time [for them] to go to the parliament for permission, [in that case] they come to this humble one [and] take permission from me in order to, for example, withdraw money [from the fund for] doing a certain task; otherwise, this fund is in control of the administration. This fund is important and I emphatically recommend that this fund must not be consumed for covering the current spending and current expenditure of the country. This [fund] must be solely available to economic activists of the private sector in order to be able to work. This issue must be seen in this light and must be seen this way.
The next point is about the economy. An oil-based economy – that is, [an economy in which] the main reliance is on selling crude oil – is one of the basic flaws of our economy. [This is] what I said twenty years ago and some officials of administrations at that time smiled with a special look on their faces and passed it up. I said we must reach a point that whenever we wanted, we would be able to put a cap on our oil wells, [and would be able] to say [to our customers that] ‘sir, we want not export oil for three months’ and this would be in our control. I wish we could [do that] and this is possible [to do], [and] this must not be considered impossible, [because] this is something possible. Now, some say that we may lose our customers and so forth; no, there are ways to overcome all these [problems]. We [must not] be a slave to oil. Today, we are a slave to oil, we are in its control, [and] oil is not controlled by us. Its production is in our control, [but] its pricing is controlled by others, the possibility for its sale is controlled by others, [and even] sanctions imposed on it are controlled by others. In fact, we are a slave to oil, [but] it is oil, which must be a slave to us, [and] oil must be in our control; this is a definitive policy. Oil is a national asset. Of course, many long years will pass before this asset is depleted, but well, it will run out. We have got used to taking oil, which is a national reserve, out of the ground and sell it without any added value. Well, at least, [we must] do something [and] create added value for it; [this holds water] both for oil and gas. Now, some degree of [added value] is created [for] gas in petrochemical [industries] and the likes of these, but oil is being sold as it is [and] these are among our fundamental problems. We must reduce dependence on oil on a daily basis. This is also a [significant] point.
The next point is that you [must] attach importance to knowledge-based economy. Rapid growth of economy will be [possible] through knowledge-based economy. At the present time, this is also possible for us; there are many young people that are ready, educated, and schooled who can do certain things. Sometimes you hear or they show a young entrepreneur on television, for which one really rejoices and becomes delighted that this [young person] has entered a certain field – agriculture, livestock breeding, industry, small industries, service sector and the likes of these – has started [his work] on a modest budget and has made a business through his perseverance. Generation of wealth through thinking, [and] through knowledge-based activities is also an issue.
The next point is [that] we must support domestic production and Iranian products. We must really attach importance to the issue of supporting Iranian products; this is an obligation, [and] is a necessary and definitive task. Executive officials, officials of various sectors, [and] the armed forces – for whom major purchases are made, [and] they undertake important expenses for [buying] such things – must absolutely try not to use non-Iranian products in those places where Iranian [products] are available.
Moreover, as I said before, do not link the issue of economy to the JCPOA and the likes of it. [It must not be like] that we say “if there is the JCPOA, economic condition of people will improve, but if the JCPOA fails, economic condition will deteriorate,” no, [this is not right, because] the JCPOA is just a case and, as it was said before, this case must be handled in a certain way. It must be handled with power with wisdom, [and] with [good] planning; do not mix this with [the country’s] economy. Do not say that if this [JCPOA] fails, our economic conditions will worsen; if this [agreement] succeeds, our economic conditions will improve. Well, it happened [and] you saw that the JCPOA was concluded, [but the country’s] economic conditions did not improve. The economy needs other factors, [and] needs other elements [in order to improve]; it will not [improve] with such things.
A very important point here is that the policy of making [people] desperate and creating the illusion that the country is in a deadlock must be fought ardently. This is a hostile American and Western policy to create a feeling of deadlock in the country [and] make [people] desperate. They take all kinds and sorts of steps to do this; this policy must be seriously counteracted. Instilling a feeling of inability, desperation, [and] hopelessness [among people] is the definitive policy of the enemies. It is the goal of the enemies to take from the Iranian nation that feeling of honor that it has; it seeks to strip [the nation] of this feeling through spreading rumors, with lies, through magnifying weaknesses, [and] through downplaying successes and victories. At the present time, the Iranian nation has a feeling of pride; it feels that it is independent, is standing fast, is creditable, is prestigious in the world, sways influence in the region, [and] it has taken important steps and is [still] taking them and will [continue to] take them [in the future]. The [Iranian] nation feels proud, [and enemies] want to take this feeling of pride away from the nation, strip [the nation] of it, [and] make victories look like defeat. Due to the blessings of the revolution and due to the blessings of the self-confidence resulting from the revolution, our nation and officials have really demonstrated their genius.
During these long years, important steps have been taken. We had so many problems, we went through the war [with Iraq], we had sanctions [to deal with], [and] all these problems existed, [but] at the same time, you see that how much work has been done in this country in the field of agriculture, in the field of science, in the field of technology, in the field of healthcare and treatment [of patients], in the field of promoting public awareness, in the field of international dignity, in the field of real and correct and reliable democracy, [and] in the field of providing extensive public services across the country. Indeed, the work that has been done is, in the real sense of the word, very important and notable. The enemy wants to make victories look like defeat, because it wants to do away with the hopeful movement and perseverance, which can solve the country’s problems, and take it from the nation.
Praise be to God, the country is strong, [and] praise be to God, the Islamic Republic is strong. If we were weak, so much show of force was not needed [by enemies] against us. You see that the enemy has set up a front and has entered [the arena] with diverse means; well, what is the purpose of this? If we were weak, this amount of tough efforts would not be needed by the enemies to kill themselves in order to bring into the arena all kinds and sorts of weapons [to counter us]; military weapons, propaganda weapons, economic weapons and so forth. It is clear that we are strong after all. Well, we are strong and [this is why] the enemy makes effort [against us] and of course cannot [do anything], just in the same way that I brought an example and explained before. The enemies have been defeated every time, and this time around, praise be to God, they will be defeated through God’s permission as well.
The summary of what I said about the country’s economic issues is that blessed by [various] capacities, the country is totally capable of overcoming economic problems. [Therefore, we must] identify capacities, enumerate [our] abilities, take experiences into consideration and above all, do not forget about the divine assistance. We are trying to elevate the word of God, [and] we are not seeking material power and such things. We want Islam to stand tall, [and] we want the Islamic Sharia [law] to be materialized in the society. In a world, which is engulfed with materialism and corruption and various forms of deviated behaviors [emanating] from human instincts, we want to create a government, a society, [and] a country that would be run on the basis of religious principles; this is the goal we seek. We have been successful to some extent, [and] have been unsuccessful in some cases, and we are trying, God willing, to be successful in those areas where we have not been successful; this is our [ultimate] goal. With this goal [in mind], the divine assistance is certain; the Almighty God has promised [this] and the divine promise will never end up to be false.
The last point that I mention here is a point about the United Nations. Fairly speaking, the United Nations has not acted well during these years; it has talked, taken action and worked under the influence of America, which well, you have observed and seen. A secretary general condemned what Saudis did in Yemen, [but] the next day, he came out and condemned his own condemnation and retracted it! They asked him [why he did this], he said well, it was [due to] pressure [and] was such and such. There are two kinds of pressure: pressure of money and pressure of force. The money is supplied by these very rich states in the Persian Gulf through their petrodollars, [and] the force comes from America. Unfortunately, the UN has been under the influence of America. It has really failed in many cases with regard to the Islamic Republic, which it must make up for them. What I bring up now is this; there are a number of human rights issues with respect to America, which the United Nations must seriously follow up on. These cases have not been resolved, have not been closed, [and] have been left unfinished, and some of them have not been followed up from the outset.
One of these several [human rights] issues is the burning of the Branch Davidian compound under [former US president, Bill] Clinton; why this case is not followed upon? A number [of people], [and] a group affiliated with a sect of Christian sects had gathered at a compound. The government officials were opposed to them for a certain reason, and that reason may be right, [or] may be wrong. Let us assume that the reason [is] right; well, what they [usually] do in such a case? They usually arrest such people or apprehend them and bring them [to justice]; these [American officials] did neither of these, [but] set that compound on fire and scores of women, men [and] children were burned alive and killed and perished in this fire! Why this [case] is not followed up? Does America, with such a background, have the qualification to issue notices to this and that [country] on grounds of human rights? The United Nations must follow up [on this case]. This is an issue and a certain and basic case, which must be followed up.
The second issue is the issue of the Guantanamo Bay prison; well, the Guantanamo prison is before the eyes of the world. Why Americans have nabbed certain people and kept them there without trial [and] under the most difficult conditions for a number of years? One of the reasons behind [election] victory of [former US president, Barack] Obama was that he promised in his election campaign that he would shut down Guantanamo prison and did not [do it]. He was at the helm [of the US government] for eight years and this prison remained [open], [and] it is still [operating]. Even if we assume that this prison is closed right now, the background of this prison and crimes that have taken place at this prison must be followed up; the United Nations must follow up on this case. [They] nab a group of people – mostly from Afghanistan and from some other places – bring them [and] take them there, [and] keep them under difficult conditions with handcuffs, with fetters, blindfolded, under very unsuitable nutritional conditions and very unfavorable living conditions for several years. Is this a joke? The United Nations must certainly follow up on this [case].
Another issue is the [case of] Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Tortures which were done at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib, are among those, which have few precedents in [major] torture apparatuses of the world like the Zionist regime and the likes of it, who are considered as masters of torture; or the torture apparatus [that existed in Iran] under the Pahlavi regime, whose role model was also Israelis. Tortures, which were done at Abu Ghraib prison, were the worst and gravest of all of them. Well, now Americans have been expelled from there, [and] Abu Ghraib prison is in control of Iraqis themselves, but a case is a case, which must be followed up; [and] it is a very important issue. There was a prison in Afghanistan similar to Abu Ghraib – the American prison in Afghanistan, which was not in control of the Afghan government, [and] was in control of Americans – about which Afghans had complaints, [and] Afghan officials were upset about it, [and] they had told us and everybody knew about it. The same things, which were done in Guantanamo prison and Abu Ghraib, were also done at this prison in Afghanistan. They had also prisons in Europe; about which I am not very informed now.
One of those cases, which the United Nations must certainly follow up, is free sales of weapons in America [with which] all these crimes are being committed. You hear [about them] after all; you see them after all. Every day, at a school, at the universities, at the markets, [or] on the streets, an adolescent, a young person, a man, [or] a woman starts firing at a group [of people], [and kills] ten people, eight people, twenty people, less [or] more, because of a problem – [because] they have psychological issues or are mad or have personal problems – [and] make [several] families mournful. Why nobody prevents this? The reason is that those companies, which sell arms, do not allow this and [various] American administrations are under the influence of these companies. This is a very important issue and the United Nations must get involved in this case and follow up on it. This is also another issue.
Another issue is the criminal behavior of the American administration and American police against black people. A black person accused [of doing something] or [even] a black suspect, has to go through all kinds of hardships, even death; [and] there is no problem with that! Then they come out and hold a kangaroo court and release the criminal murderer, [as a result of which] the miserable [victims] are not compensated. This [issue] can be also followed up.
[Another issue is] the issue of the creation of Daesh [terrorist group by the US], to which this incumbent American president clearly referred during his election campaigning. Of course, we knew this before that. It was said that Americans played a role in the creation of Daesh and they were inciters behind this issue; of course, in some places it was [done] indirectly, [and] in some places there was no intermediary. We knew that in various cases in Iraq, these [Americans] helped Daesh and in the case of selling oil by Daesh and running away of the leaders of Daesh from sieges, which happened from time to time, in all these cases, Americans helped them. And [another case involving Americans] is helping the Zionist regime [of Israel] in [its] massacres, the latest example of which was this recent massacre [of Palestinians] in Gaza.
[Another issue] is [the US] aid to Saudi [government] in the massacre of [people of] Yemen and helping the government of Bahrain in crimes that it commits against people. These are cases in which the United Nations must get involved. If the United Nations is an organization for [all] “nations,” [and] if it is not an organization affiliated with the American regime, it must get involved in these cases. These are steps that the United Nations must take. Is this too much expectation?
What the Islamic Republic says is sober and documented and provable. In all these cases, which I mentioned, if we accuse America, we have demonstrative [and] firm proof; if we are distrustful of Europe, we have firm proof; [and] if with regard to domestic economic issues, we believe that we must trust and rely on the domestic capacity, it is backed by firm proof. These things that we asked the United Nations to follow up, all of them are accompanied with firm proof. This firmness [of proof and] this correct and accurate argument is that thing, which has preserved the Islamic Republic through God’s Grace, up to the present day with power [and] with strength and has [caused] the strength of the Islamic Republic to increase [as a result of which] at the present time, it is not comparable to [what is was] twenty years ago and thirty years ago, and has grown much more powerful. And, God willing, this movement toward the [increasing] might of the Islamic Republic will gather momentum from now on, along with solidness of domestic structure and correct treatment of people by officials in economic and cultural and other fields. I hope that the Almighty God would help us be able to move in that direction that we said and we want.
O Almighty God! [We swear you] by [Prophet] Mohammad and Mohammad’s Household to make the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation more honorable on a daily basis. O Almighty God! Support and strengthen our compassionate and interested and hardworking officials. O Almighty God! [We swear you] by [Prophet] Mohammad and Mohammad’s Household to resurrect the sublime soul of our honorable Imam [Khomeini] with your Chosen Ones; resurrect dear martyrs of this path with the martyrs of early [years of] Islam; lead us to a good fate; [and] make the month of Ramadan a month of spiritual elevation as well as non-material and spiritual purity for us. O Almighty God! Make what we said and heard purely for Yourself and on Your path and accept them from us with Your Grace.
Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings