Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with thousands of people from East Azarbaijan province on Wednesday described the consolidated, powerful and vivid participation of the Iranian nation in this year’s Bahman 22 (February 10) demonstrations, which marked the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, as a "cause of prestige for the revolution and the Islamic establishment and Iran." Noting that officials must not take people’s participation in nationwide rallies as a sign that they have no complaints, the Leader said, “By repeating the ploy of threats and a military war, America wants to divert the attention of state officials from the theater of the real war, that is, the economic war. [Therefore,] officials must be vigilant and spend all their energy on solving such problems as unemployment, recession, high prices and discrimination."
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution once again described the magnificent participation of Iranians in nationwide rallies held to commemorate the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution on the 22nd day of the Iranian month of Bahman as a "source of prestige for the revolution and the Islamic establishment and Iran." While thanking the people from the bottom of his heart, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Today, not only domestic sources talked about the increased presence of people [in nationwide rallies] in many cities, but [even] the enemies of the revolution, unlike the past years, also used such terms as 'million'-strong rallies, [thus, admitting to this dignifying presence] and I really don’t know how to express my gratitude to the nation."
The Leader also referred to the incessant efforts made by the US intelligence agency, CIA, Israel’s Mossad, and the British spy and intelligence services, in addition to expenditure of petrodollars by tycoons, to create an atmosphere against the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran. He added, "Throughout the year, hundreds of satellite networks, cyberspace and bankrupt figures, who have fled Iran, are busy humiliating and undermining and accusing the [Islamic] establishment, but the nation's huge participation [in pro-revolution rallies] is like a downpour of the divine blessing, which on the day of Bahman 22, clears this misty atmosphere and does away with all contaminations like a placid and blessed river."
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that it was necessary and very important to muse over the demographic composition of the Bahman 22 demonstrations, adding, “The bigger part of this huge crowd has not experienced the bitter and dark times of the monarchy, victory of the revolution, the late Imam [Khomeini] and the Sacred Defense [eight-year Iraqi imposed war against Iran], but they pour onto the streets with [great] sentiments and knowledge and intellect and clear-sightedness".
The Leader then pointed out, “The hope-inspiring participation and steadfastness of the third and fourth [post-revolution] generations in the arena of defending the revolution and the establishment is a [clear] sign of growth and thriving of the revolution and is also a very important and thought-provoking point.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the enemies’ effort to prove inefficiency of the Islamic establishment as beating the air and added, “Of course, like all other parts of the world, we have problems, which by no means we take lightly, but the enemy is trying to show disregard for advances and very important measures taken during the past 38 years, and sow despair among people.”
Citing true reports, Ayatollah Khamenei described the advances that the country has achieved with regard to some infrastructural affairs over the past four decades as amazing, and noted, “Some of these advances and [growth] spurts are usually not possible [to achieve even] over one-hundred-year periods [of time].”
The Leader mentioned the increased prestige and national dignity of Iranians in comparison with the humiliating time of the past monarchial regime as one of proud achievements of the revolution and said, "The [monarchial] regime, which was an underdog for America and Britain, had made the nation abject and obsequious, but today, everybody admits to the dignity and might of the nation and the determining presence of Iran, and knows that when it comes to almost all regional issues, without Iran's presence and determination, nothing can be done."
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution then described nationwide rallies on the occasion of the Islamic Revolution’s victory on Bahman 22 as a “divine bounty and valuable opportunity” to declare positions and demands of the nation, adding, “This year, the nation showed that it stands in the face of the enemy and seeks to realize Islam and progress of the Islamic establishment, which has its roots among people, and any official, who does not accompany the nation and does not show steadfastness, the nation will reject them without a doubt.”
Addressing state officials, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, “Do not take the enthusiastic presence of people in the face of the enemy, who is lying in ambush to devour Iran, as a sign that they have no complaint about the performance of officials, because people have grievances about various problems, including discrimination and underachievement [by officials] and disregard for [their] problems, and have a feeling of disgruntlement and suffering.”
The Leader then reminded everybody that “the year of ‘Economy of Resistance, Practical Steps and Action’ is nearing its end and officials of the administration and other branches [of government] must give a report to people on what they have done in this regard.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, "Officials should not tell people that 'this must be done', rather should say 'this was done'."
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei mentioned “joblessness and stagnation and high prices” as important problems facing the country and said, “Of course, officials are making efforts [to solve these problems] but the country’s potentialities are more than this and the way out of the [existing] multidimensional problems is clear.”
The Leader referred to the remarks he made six years ago to the effect that the enemy is aiming to mount economic pressures and discourage the Iranian people, adding, “Officials must pay full attention to economic issues. Of course, cultural and scientific issues are also important, but in a short-term approach, economic issues are a priority.”
Analyzing the real goal that the previous and incumbent US administrations seek to achieve through repeating the ploy of “threatening Iran with war,” the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “Today, like the past, they are talking about military options being on the table and a European official also tells our officials that ‘if it were not for the JCPOA [Iran's nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries], war would be inevitable’. But this is a sheer lie and they want to divert our attention from the real war, which is the economic war, to the military war, so that, the country’s officials would not focus on the issue of economic progress and not pay attention to the cultural war of Western countries against the Iranian nation.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that supervision over and pursuit of plans and projects were totally necessary and said, “I have asked the esteemed president to give notice to executive officials that management [of the country’s affairs] must be combined with transparency and supervision and follow-up. Otherwise, no progress would be achieved and no objective step would be taken if merely managers say, ‘this must be done’ and the opposite side says, 'yes sir.'"
Citing the Quranic verse, which says, “And prepare against them using whatever power you're enabled with,” the Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasized, “This verse does not simply call for attention to [boosting the country’s] military power, but this verse means try to strengthen what is inside you as much as you can and this is the same strength of internal structure about which I have frequently talked.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that taking into account the viewpoints offered by specialists, and if internal potentialities of the country are taken full advantage of, realizing an eight-percent economic growth rate is feasible. He added, “The real meaning of growth is the growth of production and the internal strength of the economy, which is the same Economy of Resistance, not merely selling more oil, which is also of course useful [in its own place].”
Criticizing those elements, who simply point to the existing shortages and weaknesses and magnify them, the leader added, “The noteworthy point is that these elements are the same people who directed the enemy themselves to impose sanctions [on Iran].”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution touched upon the event that took place on the 29th day of the Iranian month of Bahman in the Iranian year 1356 (February 18, 1978) in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, describing it as an important lesson and a driving force that pushed the Iranian nation toward the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The Leader added, "The people of Azarbaijan have been among the main axes of struggles in all important social and political developments that happened in the country during the past 130 years, including in the case of [banning the consumption of] tobacco, the Constitutional [Revolution], the oil industry nationalization movement, the Islamic Revolution and the Sacred Defense and this is the proud identity and history of Azarbaijan."
Explaining divisive moves taken by certain groups in the early years following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Tabriz, the leader said, “When faced with those moves, which emanated from old British policies, our honorable Imam said, ‘Do not be worried at all, because the people of Tabriz will respond to them’, and that is what really happened.”
The Leader described as laudable the vigilance of various classes of people, including the people and youths and elites of Azarbaijan in the face of the enemies’ divisive measures and temptations, and added, “Azarbaijan is a point of strength for the Islamic Revolution and establishment and its people have sacrificed their lives on the path of defending the national unity, something which everybody must appreciate.”
Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned diversity of various ethnic groups as Turks, Persians, Lors, Kurds, Arabs and Baluch people as a valuable opportunity for Iran and pointed out, “The enemy always casts a covetous eye on creating ethnic gaps [in the country] so that, in his own imagination, it would [be able to] take advantage of any fault line in the country and cause an earthquake, while there is no fault line in the country and people are consolidated and united.”
The Leader then noted that all big Iranian ethnic groups, and better than all, the people of Azarbaijan, have taken up the cudgels and resist in the face of the evil policies of the enemies. Ayatollah Khamenei then brought the late Mawlawi Abdolaziz Sadati, from Sunni Baluch clerics, and the late Martyr Sheikholeslam, from Sunni clerics of Kordestan province, as well as Martyr Ali Hashemi, a young Arab commander from Iran's Khuzestan province, as examples of the united and coordinated moves by various ethnic groups to defend Islam and the revolution and added, “The Iranian nation is united, consolidated, coordinated, and empathic.”
From this very viewpoint, Ayatollah Khamenei touched upon the term "national reconciliation," which has been brought up by certain people during recent days, and while describing it as meaningless and criticizing newspapers for clamoring over it, said, "Are [Iranian] people not on talking terms with one another to need reconciliation? There is no estrangement [among people]. Of course, our people are estranged from those, who in the [Iranian] year of 88 (2009) insulted the day of Ashura, and with brutality and tomfoolery and lack of modesty, disrobed a Basiji youth on the street and beat him, and will never come to terms with them."
The Leader noted, "Of course, those people who were essentially against the revolution and said, ‘elections are just an excuse, the establishment itself is our target’, are a small group and are only a small drop in the face of huge and vibrant ocean of the Iranian nation.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution then pointed out, "When it comes to Islam, Iran, independence and resistance in the face of the enemy, the Iranian people stand with all they have and are united and act hand in hand. Of course, any two persons may have different opinions with regard to a given political issue, but this is not something important and effective and is considered as a normal and ordinary issue."
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, “The roaring, consolidated and unified ocean of the nation must be bolstered day by day.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that the flames of a sacred and divine hope always keep the nation’s heart warm, adding, “Despite all advances, we have so far taken only a short step toward the realization of the ideals of Islam and the revolution and we must take long strides toward [realization of] a just, advanced, mighty, and dignified Islamic society, which through God’s Grace [and] with the nation and the establishment continuing on their path, victory and future will certainly belong to the dear nation of Iran.”
Before the remarks by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Mojtahed Shabestari, the Leader’s representatives in East Azarbaijan province and the Friday Prayers leader of Tabriz, expressed condolences over the martyrdom anniversary of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), saying, "The zealous people of Azarbaijan created a historic and memorable epic on Bahman 29, 1356 (February 18, 1978), and once again on Bahman 22 this year, they proved their insight and awareness and renewed allegiance to their Leader."
The Leader’s representative in East Azarbaijan province noted that Iranians have never been, and will never be, deceived by the Great Satan, emphasizing, "The Iranian nation has proved through unity and solidarity that it is united in defending [the country's] interests and national security."