[FULL SPEECH] Supreme Leader Ayatullah Sayyed Ali Khamenei - Friday Prayer - 19Jun09 - English
In this sermon, I call all the respected brothers and sisters who have attended the Friday prayers here to piety and I advise them against any wrongdoing.
In this sermon, I will address the issue of the election, which is a... Show More >>Complete Transcript
In this sermon, I call all the respected brothers and sisters who have attended the Friday prayers here to piety and I advise them against any wrongdoing.
In this sermon, I will address the issue of the election, which is a hot topic in our country.
I want to address three different groups on three different issues; firstly, I want to address the general public. Secondly, I want to address the political elite, the candidates of the presidential election, activists and those who have been active in the process of election.
I also have something to say to the leaders of the global arrogance, certain Western governments and their media.
On the first issue, where I address you dear people, I want to express my appreciation and gratitude. I do not like to exaggerate while I am addressing my audience, but regarding the recent election, I must tell you great people that no matter what I say, words cannot describe the greatness of your great accomplishment.
The June 12 election was a great show of the people\\\'s sense of responsibility, their will to participate, and their dedication to the system.
Truly, I have never heard of anything similar to what you have accomplished taking place in any of the democratic systems around the world, whether they are false democracies or truly built on their people\\\'s vote.
In the Islamic Republic, aside from the 1979 referendum, there has no election like the one held last Friday with a turnout of almost 85 percent. This means almost 40 million voters. You can see the presence of the 12 and last Shia Imam behind this. This is a sign of God\\\'s blessing to us.
It is necessary that I address you all across the nation from the depths of my heart, to express my respect and tell you that I feel humble in your presence.
Our young generation showed and proved they have insight and that like the first generation of the Islamic Revolution, they are committed. The difference is, during the days of the revolution, revolutionary fire burned in the hearts of all. It was the same is the days of the imposed war but in a different sense.
Today, however, there is no more of that but we still witness this commitment, this sense of responsibility, this understanding and fervor in our youth. This is not something that can be ignored.
Of course, there are differences of taste and of opinion among our people. Some people support a certain candidate; others back another person and his words and ideas. This is natural, but you can see a collective commitment amid all this and amongst people of all walks of life. You can see a consensus, a collective commitment to the protection of our country and system.
Everyone entered the political scene in villages, towns, cities, major cities, different ethnic groups, people of different faiths, men, women, young and old. They all entered the scene. They all took part in this great movement.
My dear people, this election was a political tremor for your enemies. For your friends across the world, it was a real celebration -- a historical ceremony and victory.
Thirty years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, such a huge turnout and show of commitment to the Islamic system and the late Imam [Khomeini] shows the renewal of the pledge of allegiance to the late Imam and the martyrs. This was a breath of fresh air, a new movement and a great opportunity for the Islamic system.
This election put religious democracy on display for the whole world to witness. All ill-wishers of the Islamic establishment saw for themselves the meaning of religious democracy.
This is an alternative path in the face of dictatorships and arrogant regimes on the one side and democracies devoid of spirituality and religion on the other. This is religious democracy. This is what brings the hearts of people together and draws them to the scene.
This is the first point I wanted to make about the election. The second point is that the June 12 election showed that people live with trust, hope and national enthusiasm in this country.
This is against a great deal of comments your enemies make in their propaganda. If the people of this country were not hopeful about their future, they would not have taken part in any election.
If people were not dedicated to the Islamic establishment, they would have never voted. If they did not feel free, they would have never shown up at polling stations. The trust they have in the Islamic system was evident in this election.
Later on, I will tell you how the enemy targeted the very trust of the people in the Islamic establishment. This trust is the very thing they want to crush. This trust is the greatest asset of the Islamic system, so they want to take it away from the Islamic establishment.
They want to cast doubt on the election and weaken the confidence of the people in the system. They want to cause the people to panic. The enemies of the Iranian nation know that without trust there would have been a low turnout.
A low turnout would have questioned the legitimacy of the establishment. That is what they are after. They wanted to take away your [people] trust and keep you away from the polls to target this legitimacy, and if they had achieved this goal, the damage done would have been incomparable to any other.
For the people to come to the polls en masse and then be told that they made a mistake and should not have trusted the Islamic establishment, this is an enemy game.
This path is the same one they pursued even before the elections. A few months before the election, in late march, I said in Mashhad that the enemy has started whispers and rumors that their will be vote rigging. They were preparing the grounds for the events of today.
I advised our friends in the country not to repeat what the enemy wants to plant in people\\\'s minds. The Islamic establishment has the people\\\'s trust and it has not gained this trust easily.
For the past 30 years, authorities in the Islamic Republic have managed to maintain this trust, with their performance and painstaking efforts.
The third issue I want to touch upon is the issue of rivalry. This competition was a free, serious and transparent race between four candidates as we all witnessed.
These competitions, debates and discussion were so transparent that some began to voice objections. I will tell you that to they had the right to object to some extent.
Certain problems were also created that resulted in what you see today. I must tell you that we were and still are under the impression that these rivalries were between the four candidates who are all individuals committed to the system.
The Enemies want to portray the situation in the media - some of which belong to the Zionists -as if there is a row between the proponents and opponents of the Islamic Republic. No, this is not the case, this very untrue.
The four candidates who entered the presidential race all belonged and still belong to the Islamic establishment. One of these four is the president of our country - a hardworking and trustworthy president. One of them is the two-term prime minister, he served the country when I myself was president. He was my prime minister for eight years. One of them was the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps and one of the wartime commanders. One them was two-time head of parliament and Majlis speaker. They are all members of our Islamic establishment.
Of course, they have differences of opinion and plans that differ from one another. But, they all belong to this Islamic establishment. This race was defined within the framework of the system. It was not a competition between insiders and outsiders as the Zionist and the US were trying to portray. No, this was a competition within the framework of the system between members of the system.
I know them all personally, I know their system of thought and their tastes very well. I am familiar with their personalities. I have worked with all of them closely. I know them all. But of course, I do not share all their views. I believe some of their views and executive records are subject to criticism.
I see some more suitable to serve the country than others. But, this is up to the people to decide, and this is exactly what happened, they chose who they wanted.
My desire and my choice was never announced nor was there any need for the people to pay heed to it. The people had their own criteria and this is what they based their decision on. Millions here and outside the country decided for themselves. This is an internal issue.
Misrepresenting the problem is underhand. The row is not between insiders of the system and outsiders. The row is not between revolutionary and anti-revolutionary forces, it is a difference of opinion between the members of the Islamic Revolution.
People who voted for these four candidates, voted with faith in the system. They believed their candidate of choice was better for the country so they voted for him. They voted in favor of the person they found most competent.
Well, these campaigns and debates were an important and interesting initiative. They were very clear, to the point and serious. The televised debates proved wrong those who were trying to say from the outside that these competitions are formalities.
They saw that these rivalries are real and serious. They saw that they are really battling it out and exchanging viewpoints. From this perspective, these debates were positive. But, they also had some negative points which I will touch upon.
The positive aspect was that in these televised discussions and debates everyone spoke their mind clearly and casually. A flood of criticism followed. Everyone was forced to respond. Everyone was criticized and they defended themselves. The stances that these individuals and groups had were unveiled before the eyes of the nation. They talked about their plans, commitments and projects.
All this was publicized for the people so that they could judge for themselves. People felt that in the Islamic system they are not the outsiders. Everything was clearly laid out before the people.
They were shown that the nature of their vote is not ceremonial. The right to vote truly does belong to the people. People want to have the right to choose. This is what the televised debates indicated.
One of the main reasons that ten million additional voters participated in this election was because the people\\\'s minds had been engaged, therefore they came and voted for the candidate of their choice.
These debates found their way into the streets and homes. These debates helped the people become better informed and hence make better decisions. The Islamic establishment is in favor of such debates.
Note that such debates should not be steered in a direction that may cause people to hold grudges against one another. If these debates had remained within their intended framework, they would have been positive. But when they turn into arguments than they will gradually bring grudges and hard feelings.
Of course, such debates should continue at managerial levels, but without a negative aspect. Officials should allow criticism and feel responsible to answer. If an individual is criticized, he must see it as an opportunity to enlighten the people and reveal fact and truth.
If these debates are regularly carried out [as normal government practice], at election time when there are such debates we would not witness such reactions. All arguments would emerge and all ideas would be exchanged over time. These are the positive aspects of such debates.
But, there have also been some negative aspects to the debates that need to be dealt with. In some cases, we saw that logical points were undermined and emotional and destructive responses dominated the debate.
There were efforts to portray the last four years as a dark era. There were also attempts to portray previous administrations in a similar light. Allegations were made that have not been proven in any court, rumors were used as a reference, and unjust remarks were made.
This administration, despite the excellent services it had rendered came under unjust attacks. Similarly, the performance of previous governments in the past 30 years came under attack. The candidates gave in to their emotions.
They made some positive points. They also raised some unpleasant negative issues. Like the rest of the nation, I sat and watched these TV debates. I took pride in the freedom of speech I witnessed. I enjoyed the fact that the Islamic Republic has been able to aid the people in deciding their future, but the shortcomings saddened me.
For supporters of the candidates the shortcomings and negative aspects were also a cause for concern; both sides were a party to this... both sides had their problems.
On the one hand, insults were hurled against the president of the country, even two to three months prior to these debates, speeches were brought to me and in them, I read the insults made and the accusations leveled against the president of the country who was elected by the vote of the people. They accused him of lying. This is not good. They fabricated documents against the government and distributed them everywhere.
I saw what was going on. They [accusations] were all untrue and contrary to the facts. They swore at the president, called him superstitious, and called him names. They closed their eyes to ethics and the law.
On the other hand, almost the same thing happened. The performance of the past 30 years of the Revolution was brought under question. People were named who are among the system\\\'s veteran figures.
They are people who have dedicated their lives to this establishment. Never before have I mentioned people by name in the Friday prayer sermons, but today, I have to mention some names, particularly Mr. [Akbar] Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mr. [Ali Akbar] Nateq-Nouri. I must mention their names and point out that nobody has accused them of corruption.
Now, if anyone has any claims or complaints regarding their [Hashemi Rafsanjani and Nateq-Nouri\\\'s] relatives they should refer to judicial authorities.
You cannot raise these issues in the media before they are proven. If it is proven, you can raise the issue as every member of society is equal, but you are not allowed to make claims. When such things are mentioned, misunderstandings are the outcome. This can cause misunderstandings for the younger generation.
Everyone knows Mr. Hashemi. My relationship with him goes back to before the Islamic Revolution. I have known him for more than 25 years. Mr. Hashemi was one of the main revolutionary figures.
He was one of the most active proponents of the revolution, and after the Islamic Revolution, he was one of the main political figures serving the people alongside the late Imam, And after the departure of the founder of the Islamic Revolution he has been alongside the leadership to date.
On several occasions, there were assassination attempts on his life. Before the revolution, he donated his possessions for the revolutionary cause. Our youth should know these facts. After the revolution, he had different responsibilities.
For eight years, he served as the president and before that he was the parliament speaker. He held other sensitive positions as well. Throughout these years, I am not aware of one incident in which he gathered wealth. These are the facts that everyone should know.
In the most sensitive of periods, he served the revolution and the establishment. Of course, my opinion and Mr. Rafsanjani\\\'s differs on numerous issues, which is natural. However, we should not create any misunderstandings for the people.
The president and Mr. Rafsanjani have had differences of opinion since the president took office in 2005. They have differences of opinion in foreign policy, in the manner of spreading social justice as well as on some cultural issues. However, the president\\\'s ideas are closer to mine.
The same goes fort Mr. Nateq-Nouri. He has also served the revolution, rendered great services for the establishment and there is not a shred of doubt about that.
The live televised debates are a positive step, but these shortcomings should be removed. After the debates, I had a talk with the president because I knew he would listen to me. The stance of the Islamic establishment is clear-cut regarding corruption and social justice. Corruption should be fought anywhere it is traced.
There is a point I want to make here. We do not claim that our establishment is free of all economic and financial corruption. Yes, there is corruption. If there was no corruption, I would not have written the eight-point letter to the heads of the legislative, judiciary, and executive branches of the country.
We have corruption, but the Islamic establishment is one of the healthiest establishments in the world today. However, it is not right to accuse the country of corruption based on some Zionist reports and sources.
Moreover, questioning the credibility of statesmen goes beyond the bounds of decency. Financial corruption is an important issue in the Islamic establishment. The judiciary, executive and legislative branches of the country must do everything within their power to fight against it.
Everyone is duty-bound to fight corruption. If corruption is not contained, it will spread in the same manner as you see occurring in many countries…. They are struggling with an alarming level of corruption as you have heard about in the UK. This is only a fraction of the scandal as it goes way beyond what has been publicized.
Let me summarize the points I made. The Friday election was a historical event, which touched the entire world. Some of our enemies, however, attempted to cast doubt over this absolute and definitive victory. Some even attempted to portray it as a national defeat.
They did not want you to enjoy this victory. They did not want to see the highest turnout in the world go down in history in your name. However, it has happened, it has been recorded in history. They cannot manipulate this.
The time for rivalry is passed... These four candidates have all fought in the battlefront of this revolution and they are members of this establishment. Forty million people went to the polls and cast their votes for this revolution.
It was not only the 24 million votes that went to the president; 40 million votes were cast in favor of the revolution. The people have trust [in the establishment], and all supporters of candidates should rest assured that the Islamic establishment would never betray the people\\\'s trust.
In fact, the electoral system of the country does not allow for any vote rigging, which is testified to by all those in charge of the election process.
When there is a margin of one hundred thousand or one million at most, then one can doubt that there may have been some form of manipulation or irregularity; however, when there is a difference of eleven million votes, how could any vote rigging have taken place?
However, as I have said, and the Guardian Council has accepted, if some people have doubts then it should be dealt with through legal channels. Everything must be dealt strictly though legal channels. I will never accept illegal demands.
If the legal frameworks are breached today, then no future election can be guaranteed. In every election, there is only one winner, and of course, some defeated candidates. Complaints, if there is any doubt, should be pursued through legal channels. We have a comprehensive and competent legal system.
Just as the candidates have the right to appoint observers, they are given the right to file complaints. I have requested the Guardian Council conduct a partial vote recount in the presence of the candidates and their representatives. We have no problem with this.
I want to address the politicians, candidates and political parties at this point. We are at a critical historical juncture. Look at current world affairs, the situation in the Middle East, global economic woes and the situation in our neighboring countries.
We are duty bound to remain vigilant and to be careful not to commit mistakes at this critical point in time. In the election, people fulfilled their duty in the best way possible, which was by going to the polls. We have heavier responsibilities on our shoulders now.
Those figures who are looked up to by the people and politicians, should be cautious about their words and deeds. If they show any amount of extremist attitude, it will penetrate into the ranks of the people.
It may have dangerous consequences and may eventually get out of control. Extremism in society will trigger or fan other extremist moves in the country. If political elites disobey the law and make wrong decisions, they will be held accountable for any violent actions or rioting that ensues.
I urge these people, these friends of mine, to exercise restraint and patience. You should see enemy hands at work [against the country]. You should see hungry wolves laying in ambush. They are taking off their masks of diplomacy and are showing their true colors. I urge you to open your eyes and see the enemy.
In the past few days the prominent diplomats of some Western countries, which have been dealing with us through diplomatic rhetoric, have removed their masks. Today you can see their true face. They are now showing their enmity toward the Islamic establishment and the most treacherous of them all is Britain.
I tell these brothers of ours to think of their responsibility. You are responsible before God. I call on you to remember what Imam has written in his will; the law has the final say.
All differences should be settled at the ballot box. This is what elections are for, to let ballot boxes and not the streets determine what the people want.
If after every election, the supporters of the candidates who have lost take to streets and the supporters of the candidate who has won respond in the same manner, then what need would we have for elections?
Why should the people have to suffer? We should not take to the streets to show off with the number of our supporters to the people. Such acts are not a political issue for those terrorists who take advantage of the situation to hide among the masses in order to carry out their agenda.
It is a very good cover for these saboteurs. Who will take responsible for this? Some of the people who were killed in these riots were ordinary people, ordinary Basij members. Who will be held accountable for this?
They may start taking advantage of this situation to assassinate Basij members, which will naturally provoke emotional reactions. Who is to be held responsible for this? One is grieved to see them attack religious students at Tehran University dormitories and afterwards chant slogans in support of the leadership.
Post-election rivalry on the streets is not the right way to go. It only challenges the election. I want all sides to put an end to this. If they do not stop such actions, then they will be responsible for the repercussions of such incidents.
It is also wrong to assume that street riots can be used as leverage to pressure the establishment and to force officials to listen to them for what they believe is in the interest of the country.
Giving in to illegal demands under pressure is in itself the beginning of dictatorship. This is a miscalculation and the consequences will be directed at those who orchestrated them. If necessary, I will tell the people about them in due time.
I ask all these brothers and friends of mine to act based on friendship and abide by the law. I hope God will help us choose the righteous path. The celebration of 40 million votes should be appreciated and the enemy must not be allowed to ruin the celebration. However, if certain people decide to choose another path, then I will have no choice but to talk with the people more openly.
The third group I wish to address are the leaders of the Western media and arrogant powers. In the past two to three weeks, I have heard the words and witnessed the actions of politicians from the United States and certain European countries.
Before the elections, they attempted to cast doubt over the election itself so that there would be a low voter turnout. They had their own assessments of results forecasts, but they did not expect the mass participation of the people. They never predicted an 85 percent turnout, or 40 million voters.
When they saw the mass turnout, they were shocked. They realized the reality of Iran. They came to understand that they need to adapt themselves to the new situation be it regional, nuclear or internal.
When they saw the great popular movement on Election Day, they realized that a new chapter had been opened with regards to Iran and that they must come to terms with it. When some candidates began protesting the results, they felt that there was a change, so they jumped at the chance to ride this wave.
Their tone after the election changed on Saturday and Sunday. Their attention shifted to the riots and that was when they gradually began removing their masks.
Western officials, their presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers commented on this situation. The US President said that we were waiting for the day when people would take to the streets. At the same time they write letters saying that they want to have ties and that they respect the Islamic Republic. Which are we to believe?
Inside the country, their elements [foreign countries] began street protests and vandalism, they set fire to public property, they made shops and businesses insecure, and they are trying to rob the people of their security.
This has nothing to do with the people and their preferred candidates. This kind of behavior stems from ill-wishers, mercenaries and elements working for Western and Zionist secret services.
The incidents occurring inside the country have misled some of those outside our borders, who imagine Iran to be the same as Georgia. A Zionist American capitalist a few years ago, had been quoted in the media saying that he had spent 10 million dollars in Georgia to start a velvet revolution.
Our nation cannot be compared to any another nation. Their problem is they have not come to know this revolution and its people.
American officials say they are worried about the Iranian nation, how can you be worried? Can you even speak about human rights when you are responsible for the blood shed in Afghanistan and Iraq? In Palestine who has and is supporting and funding the Zionist regime?
During the term of a previous US government, eighty people affiliated with the Davidian sect were burnt alive in their compound in Waco, Texas. For some reason these people were disliked by the then US administration. Eighty people were burnt in that building, how dare you talk of human rights?
In my opinion, these western officials should at least feel a little embarrassment!
Supreme Leader Ayatullah Sayyed Ali Khamenei - Friday Prayer Speech - 19Jun09 - English Show Less >>