Tehran:Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a last meeting on Thursday with the chairman and members of the outgoing Assembly of Experts, in highly significant remarks, praised the meaningful and glorious participation of people in the February 26 elections for the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Iranian Parliament) and the Assembly of Experts as well as their announcement of firm allegiance and loyalty to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s establishment.
Ayatollah Khamenei enumerated the outstanding features of the elections and the most important tasks and priorities assigned to the Assembly of Experts and the Islamic Consultative Assembly in their new mandates. Highlighting the country’s current three priorities, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the “issue of infiltration” as very serious and important and noted: “The only way for genuine progress lies in ‘strengthening the domestic structure of the country’ in economic, cultural and political domains, ‘preservation of revolutionary characteristics’, ‘jihadi movement’, ‘preserving national and Islamic dignity and identity’ and ‘not being digested in the dangerous global stomach’
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the February 26 election as meaningful and significant in the light of a 34-million-strong turnout and the casting of nearly 70 million votes in ballot boxes, saying: “In these elections, people fared really well and the 64% voter turnout is a high percentage when compared with many other countries, even the US.”
“With this high turnout, people in fact demonstrated their trust in the Islamic establishment in a practical manner,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the election or non-election of certain people in various elections was natural, and appreciating efforts by the outgoing Assembly of Experts’ members who have not been voted again, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Of course there are certain seniors whose character will not be affected whether or not they are voted in, and Misters [Ayatollah Mohammad] Yazdi and [Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi] Mesbah [Yazdi] are among these individuals whose presence in the [Assembly of] Experts have enhanced the weight of this Assembly and whose absence is a loss for the Assembly of Experts.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to enumerate the features of elections in the Islamic Republic, specifically in the February 26 elections, saying: “‘People’s freedom for participation in the elections is among these features because in the Islamic establishment, participation in the elections is not obligatory and people participate in all elections wholeheartedly, with motivation and thought.”
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to “competitiveness” as the second outstanding feature of elections in the Islamic Republic and noted: “The election [held] on Esfand 7 (February 26) was a fully competitive one because different factions and people with different mottoes and titles participated in the elections and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting Organization (IRIB) was at the disposal of the candidates for the Assembly of Experts and everyone made efforts and competed in the proper sense of the word.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said “security and a calm electoral atmosphere” were the outstanding features of the recent elections, adding: “While in our neighboring countries, people’s lives were intertwined with insecurity and terrorist incidents, [in Iran, the two] elections were held with such glory and with such massive turnout without any bitter incident. In the city of Tehran [alone], people cast their votes at the polling stations from 8 am to midnight in full security.”
Ayatollah Khamenei offered gratitude to the Police, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Ministry of Interior, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Basij for establishing security and electoral calm, saying “cleanness and trustability” were other features of these elections. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted: “In spite of the enemies’ propaganda and allegations by certain [groups] inside [the country], elections in the Islamic establishment have always been clean and there has never been any organized move to sway the result of the elections.”
“The Esfand 7 (February 26) elections once more showed the inaccuracy and invalidity of the allegations by those who claimed the [presidential] election in the [calendar] year 1388 (2009) was invalid and triggered that harmful sedition for the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“As the recent elections were clean, the elections in the previous rounds, including those held in 1388 and 1384 were clean too,” added the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the “fully modest behavior” of those who did not get enough votes in these elections was another feature of the February 26 ballot and noted: “Unlike the immodest behavior of those who did not get [enough] votes in the year 1388 and inflicted costs on the country by touching off sedition and made the enemy greedy, in these elections those who did not get [enough] votes congratulated the winners of the elections. This issue is very important and of high value.”
Wrapping up this part of his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “People’s declaration of trust in the Islamic establishment in the Esfand 7 election was opposite to the enemy’s effort to ‘polarize people and the establishment’ and ‘invalidate the elections’.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution once more referred to verbal attacks against the Guardian Council. Ayatollah Khamenei sharply criticized those who targeted the Guardian Council by involuntarily following the enemy, and noted: “The Guardian Council did its job seriously and if there is any flaw it is related to the law which should be amended.”
“Examining the qualifications of 12,000 [hopefuls] in 20 days is a legal flaw which must be fixed and the Guardian Council should not be targeted due to this legal defect,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Regarding the issue of approving the qualifications of candidates, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Can one be cleared to run for elections without his qualifications being ascertained? How can one be accountable to God?”
“When the Guardian Council cannot establish the compliance of someone with legal requirements, it cannot confirm his qualifications and that is not a fault, but it is abidance by the law,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Stressing the point that the Guardian Council is one of several main centers of the Islamic Republic’s establishment that have been targeted hegemonic powers’ negative campaign and defamation, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Any defamation against the Guardian Council is an un-Islamic, illegal, illegitimate and non-revolutionary measure.”
“Those whose qualifications are not ascertained may naturally get sad, but they should not defame the Guardian Council, but they should pursue their objection through legal ways,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
After elucidating the features and messages of the February 26 elections, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Through their presence on the [electoral] scene, people made good on their obligation and now it is the officials’ turn to fulfill their duties.”
Ayatollah Khamenei first enumerated the tasks of new members of the Assembly of Experts as one of the most important pillars of the Islamic establishment and said: “The Assembly of Experts’ task consists of ‘remaining revolutionary, thinking in a revolutionary manner and acting in a revolutionary manner’.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said observance of these three characteristics in electing the future Leader of the country is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of the Assembly of Experts and said: “In electing the future Leader, it is necessary that considerations and expediencies be set aside and only God and the country’s need and the very principle of reality be taken into account.”
“In case any ignorance occurs in [the fulfillment of] this big task, the [Islamic] establishment and the country will definitely hit snags in its job,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Referring to the presence of scholars and prominent figures in the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Khamenei said another task that the members of this Assembly shoulder is to notify officials of people’s demands and problems and elucidate realities for people and raise their awareness.
Regarding the tasks of new members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution reaffirmed his recommendation that the Parliament be a companion to and assist the administration, and added: “Of course this companionship and assistance do not mean the Islamic Consultative Assembly’s negligence in fulfilling its legal tasks.”
Ayatollah Khamenei then referred to government officials’ tasks and said: “Under the present circumstances in the country, government officials must prioritize three main tasks and priorities: ‘1. Economy of Resistance’ ‘2. Continuation of the accelerated scientific drive of the country’ and ‘3. Cultural immunization of the country, nation and youth.”
Regarding the first priority, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated once more that the country’s economic problems will not be solved without implementing the policies of the Economy of Resistance and economic growth will not be achieved either. “It was decided that the administration set up a headquarters for the Economy of Resistance and name a command for this headquarters. Certain measures have been taken, but these measures must be tangible and visible.”
Government officials must clarify the ratio of their economic activities and efforts to the Economy of Resistance and the criterion for any economic cooperation and plan must be the policies of the Economy of Resistance that have been formulated based on collective wisdom and have been agreed upon by most economic experts and specialists.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the second priority, i.e. “continuation of the accelerated scientific drive”, and said: “If we want power, dignity and reference status in the world we have to bolster science and the scientific move should not be halted.”
“Scientific progress must be pursued with full seriousness because one of its results will be a knowledge-based economy,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Referring to the third priority for government officials, i.e. “cultural immunization”, Ayatollah Khamenei noted: “For cultural immunization, we have first to believe in this objective and then make plans and serious efforts for it.”
“If these three priorities are placed on the agenda of government officials, the result will be real progress for the country,” the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said superficial progress through apparent boom and import of commodities and ephemeral happiness in the society will be detrimental to people, and noted: “Progress must be deep-seated, strong and based on the domestic foundations of the country.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said “preserving revolutionary characteristics, jihadi drive, preservation of national and Islamic dignity and identity, and not being digested in the dangerous cultural, economic and political stomach of the world” as other requirements of progress and referring to the enemy’s scheme for infiltration, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Based on precise information, the arrogance and the US’s serious plan is to infiltrate the country. Of course, this infiltration is not a coup-style one because they know that such a thing is impossible in the structure of the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, they pursue infiltration through two other routes.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said targeting officials and people were the two main goals of the enemy and added: “The enemy’s objective behind plotting infiltration into officials is to change the calculations of the country’s authorities, which will result in placing the officials’ thought and resolve in the hands of the enemy. In this case, there would no longer be any need for the enemy’s direct intervention and the responsible official will unwittingly make the decision the enemy wants.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said another level of infiltration is targeting people’s beliefs vis-à-vis Islam, Islamic Revolution, political Islam and its general tasks like building society and civilization. “Negating the independence of the country is one of the target and infiltration points of the enemy and certain inside the country are clumsily bringing it up and say independence is an outdated issue and it makes no sense today.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said changing people’s beliefs so that they would forget the West’s betrayals was another enemy scheme and noted: “In the global propaganda, they ask why the Islamic Republic and its officials are opposed to the West and the US to such an extent.”
“We have been harmed by the West and we should not forget what the West has done to us. I do not approve of fully cutting ties with the West, but we should know who we are interacting with,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution enumerated overt cases of the West’s enmity against the Iranian nation since the middle of the Qajar era to date, saying: “The weakness of the Qajar sultans piled up pressure [on the country] and helped the West get concessions [from Iran] and call a halt to the advancements of our nation. Then Reza Khan came to power, who was succeeded by his son. After that, the national movement on Mordad 28, 1332 (August 19, 1953) was suppressed and the infernal SAVAK apparatus was created.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said destruction of agriculture, halting scientific progress, triggering a brain drain, and dragging youth into corruption and drug addiction are among other plans managed by the West during the Pahlavi era and added: “Since the very start of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Western governments started their hostility, they started providing money, arms and political assistance to counterrevolutionaries at border areas, spreading rumors and showing enmity against the Imam [Khomeini], the [Islamic] Revolution and revolutionary officials, and during the [Iraqi imposed] war they provided military and intelligence and political aid to Saddam [Hussein] as much as they could.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the imposition of sanctions against Iran as another example of these enmities and said: “The Islamic establishment had no intention of enmity with the West, but in the country an independent structure had been founded, with which they started enmity.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to Europe’s following the US policies in such issues as sanctions and hostile propaganda, saying: “We are responsible for the country and the nation and responsible for history and if we do not resist against the enmity of enemies with courage and authority they will devour the country and the nation and they should not be allowed to do so.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution touched on remarks by some officials regarding the necessity for engagement with the entire world, saying: “We should interact with the whole of the world except the US and the Zionist regime (Israel), but we should know that the world is not limited to the West and Europe.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the presence of more than 130 countries in the summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran, saying: “Today, the powers have spread across the world and the East and the Asian region are also vast regions.”
Stressing that the Western governments took the first step in enmity with the Iranian nation and now they are seeking to infiltrate the country, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The enmity has designed around 10 options for scientific, cultural and economic infiltration including ‘communications with universities and scientists’, ‘presence in the apparently scientific conferences with the objective of infiltration’ and ‘sending security officers under cover of cultural activities’.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the fundamental way for countering infiltration was internal strength of the country, noting: “If Islamic Iran becomes strong and rich from within, the same people who are now rattling sabers will line up for relationship with the Islamic establishment.”
“Currently, Western delegates are visiting Iran from time to time, but these visits have so far produced no positive results and it must become clear in practice what effect these visits would have; otherwise, agreement on paper is of no value,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution offered gratitude to the country’s officials for their efforts, saying: “The 37-year experience of the Islamic Republic has shown that we have to be strengthened intellectually, politically, economically, culturally and scientifically and after we reach this stage we will be really dignified.”
At the beginning of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei commemorated the deceased members of the outgoing Assembly of Experts, particularly Ayatollah Abbas Vaez Tabassi and Ayatollah Khazali, saying: “These two good brethren really safeguarded the expert status of the Assembly of Experts and passed good tests.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the record of Ayatollah Vaez Tabassi’s struggles and his services during the Islamic Revolution and Astan-e Quds Razavi, saying: “That frank, pious and firm person laid out his revolutionary status at the most sensitive junctures and in the 1388 sedition he jumped to the fray by setting aside all considerations and friendships and ceremonial customs.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the lively and massive participation of people in the funeral procession of Ayatollah Vaez Tabassi as a sign of gratefulness of the people of Mashhad, saying: “The life of that great man during his mandate remained without any change and development and he never opted for aristocracy and he died in the same house he used live since before the Revolution.”
Regarding Ayatollah Khazali, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “That late [ayatollah] also succeeded another difficult exam and at a time there was question of his relatives and next of kins, he stood by the Revolution with full courage. Such characteristics give value to humans and meaning to their revolutionary move.”
Ayatollah Khamenei offered condolences on the martyrdom of Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (SA), saying: “In mentioning the qualifications of that great [lady], one must exercise care so that divisive issues would not be raised because the devilish policy of the global arrogance today is to cause division between Shias and Sunnis.”
“Of course, narration of history with respect for customs, courtesy and taking into consideration interests is okay, but no difference and grudge must be created,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei said ongoing wars in the region stem from fully political motives and said: “The enemies of Islam are trying to turn these differences into religious strife so that they would not end easily and we should not contribute to this dangerous goal.”
Referring to the presence and martyrdom of Sunni brethren while defending the holy shrines of the Household of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and their families’ expression of honor, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “The senior clergy should not let the Americans and Zionists’ scheme of division be implemented by offending Sunnis.”
Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech, Ayatollah Yazdi, the incumbent chairman of the Assembly of Experts, offered condolences on the martyrdom of Fatima Zahra and commemorated Ayatollah Vaez Tabassi and Ayatollah Khazali, and presented a report about the 19th meeting of the Assembly of Experts
Moreover, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the vice-chair of the Assembly of Experts, presented a report on the most important speeches, remarks and negotiations between members of the Assembly of Experts and the guests of the recent meeting of the Assembly.