The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s Remarks in Meeting with People of Isfahan Province

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

(Arabic prayer)

I am very happy that, thank God, I have succeeded to once more meet with a group of the dear and prominent people of Isfahan at this Hosseiniyeh (a place for religious ceremonies). There are many things to discuss about Isfahan and the people of Isfahan, but this meeting is [held] on the occasion of the 25th [day of the Iranian calendar month] of Aban (November 15). Therefore, I start my remarks from this point. [The period of time] from the 25th until the end of [the Iranian month] of Aban, are among those days, which not only Isfahan, but also our country and history and [religious] teachings must never forget them. On the 25th of Aban in the [Iranian calendar] year, [13]61 (November 15, 1983), the people of Isfahan held a funeral for about 360 martyrs in a single day; this is not something insignificant. About 360 martyrs entered [the city of] Isfahan in a single day and a funeral was held for them by the people. You, young people, were not [born yet at that time], [and] have not seen those days, that epic [event] and that enthusiasm. A few days later – when I say [these days] up to the end of Aban [must not be forgotten], it is because [when this funeral took place] it was not the 30th [and last day] of Aban yet – 250 more martyrs arrived in Isfahan. People once again held a funeral for them, raised [their coffins] on their hands and showed endurance through their steadfastness; it needs a lot of endurance, [and] a lot of [spiritual] capacity [to pull this off]. The spiritual capacity is superior to the physical capacity and social capacity. 
[The fact] that people of a city hold [such a glorious] funeral for their children, their youths, [and] that the best of youths, without breaking a sweat, is very important. If they had written this in [books of] history, [and] read it to us from [those] books, we would not have believed them easily, but we saw them with our own eyes. How they could endure [such a tough test]? On the same day and the day after that day, when the funeral was held for about 360 martyrs, the young people stood in line in order to go to the war fronts and they went. Two powerful divisions [of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps], which were [stationed] in the city of Isfahan and [other] cities of Isfahan province – [including] the Imam Hossein (PBUH) Division and the Najaf Division – were filled up with [new volunteer forces and] the young and sacrificing people again. Neither fathers and mothers prevented [their children from going to the war fronts], nor the youth hesitated. Those two special divisions, which had been dealt heavy blows [during a military operation], were filled up again. Most martyrs in Operation Moharram were from Isfahan; this is how Isfahan is. You must not allow this to be forgotten.
My dear ones! Know that one of the main points [which is the target] of the onslaught launched by enemies of this country and enemies of this revolution is to downplay these salient points; they [enemies] focus their effort on making [these points] slip into oblivion, [and] be forgotten. You see that [if] there is [even] one martyr in a given Western and European country – which now [I don’t care] how he has been martyred, [and] slain on the path of a motivation – they do not allow his name to be erased from books, [and] do not allow him to be erased from [people’s] memories; [so,] why we should allow this huge move by the people of Isfahan to be forgotten? This is Isfahan. Well, this year, these days have fallen on the days [that lead to] Arba’een [which marks the 40th day after martyrdom of Imam Hossein (PBUH)]. Do you see this [Arba'een] march? Do you observe this huge million-strong movement between [the two Iraqi holy cities of] Najaf and Karbala, [and] between Najaf and [the mausoleum of] Imam Hossein (PBUH)? Do you see this zeal and enthusiasm? Do you see this movement? [Even] when this movement is necessarily accompanied with a [certain] risk, this zeal and enthusiasm still exists in our nation, in our people, [and] in our youths; this must be preserved; [and] this is the thing, which guarantees this country’s survival.
Well, now Mr. [Ayatollah Seyyed Yousef] Tabatabaei [the Leader’s representative and Friday Prayers leader of Isfahan] said a few sentences and noted that I have things to say and views on the merits of [the city of] Isfahan and the people of Isfahan; this is true. Isfahan is the city of science, the city of religion, the city of Velayat [guardianship of a religious leader], the city of work and initiative, the city of art and culture, and the city of martyrdom; [Isfahan is also] the province of martyrdom. When I say the city [of Isfahan], I mean the entire Isfahan province whose center is this old, ancient and proud city. [The city of] Khomeini Shahr in Isfahan [province], which is one of the [other] cities of Isfahan [province], has offered more martyrs than some provinces of the country. A commemoration ceremony was recently held for two thousands and a little more of their martyrs. One city of Isfahan [province] has sometimes offered more martyrs than an entire province; these are meaningful [signs]. Why they are martyred? Why they go [to the war fronts]? What motivation is this? What spirit is this? [Isfahan, therefore,] is the city of pioneering people and vanguards [of martyrdom].
They referred to measures taken by the people of Isfahan in the field of the Economy of Resistance; yes, I also believe in that. When it comes to [charitable] donation – [and] donating one’s property on the path of God – the people of Isfahan are so generous that they are ahead of others, but they save in their ordinary life, and also in this part, they are ahead of others; [and] both of them are good. [The fact] that when we want to spend [our] property in personal life, [and] in ordinary life, we would save, this is a characteristic of [the people of] Isfahan; [but] when we want to spend it on the path of God and for public purposes, we would be generous, this is also a characteristic of [the people of] Isfahan. Benevolent people [who are active] in various sectors in Isfahan [are like this]. [Isfahan] is the city of delicateness, the city of art, [and] the city of great and renowned martyrs; a martyr like Ayatollah [Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini] Beheshti, on one side, and [on the other side, there are] martyrs like [former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commanders like] Martyr [Hossein] Kharrazi and Martyr [Mohammad Ebrahim] Hemmat and Martyr [Ahmad] Kazemi and Martyr [Mostafa] Raddanipour, and [other] dignitaries and renowned people each of whom can serve as a torch to shed light on a nation’s path and open [the way]. These are merits, [and] these are your identity; this is the identity of the people of Isfahan.
Steadfastness on the right path [is a characteristic of Isfahan, which means that it is] the city of the [Islamic] Revolution. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in the time of the former dictator, martial law was declared in ten [or] fifteen cities; in Isfahan, the martial law entered into force a few months before all [other] cities and before anywhere else; this is [the true face of] Isfahan. This is the identity of Isfahan: the city of the revolution, the city of religion, the city of Velayat, the city of [providing] service [to the entire nation], the city of work, the city of science, [and] the city of training [committed] manpower. Now, I was telling some friends in the other room that in various sectors, the presence of the manpower trained in Isfahan is prominent and clear and evident; you must maintain these [merits], [and] must preserve these.
All our dear youths, [must] know that enemies will not remain idle, [but] they [continue] to make plan; it would be an advantage to know the enemy’s plan, the enemy’s plot, [and] the point that is the [main] target of the enemy’s attack and have plan, have motivation, [and] have [correct] thinking in order to confront it, to counter it, [and] to thwart the enemy’s work. Submission in the face of the enemy is the gateway to all harm that is done to a country. We want to take our country to the peak [of development and perfection] due to blessing of Islam; we want to take the Iranian nation to such a point – as this nation deserves – to become a model; not only for the Islamic world and Muslim nations, but for the [entire] humanity; well, this is a great thing to do, [and] this is a difficult and long way. The enemies of Islam do not want the name of Islam to find such grandeur and glory; the enemies of Shia [Islam] also don’t want this [to happen]. Therefore, they start hatching plots, start [various kinds of] activity, [and] start making plans. Their plans must not be neglected.
What I consider to be necessary today, first of all, is steadfastness on the principles of the revolution. The principles of the revolution are the same things, which exist in the last will and testament of [the late] Imam [Khomeini] and in the Imam’s remarks. These are the pillars of the revolution and the columns of the revolution. I recommend the youth to read the last will and testament of the Imam; you have not seen the Imam, but the Imam is materialized in this very last will and testament, [and] is embodied in these very statements and remarks. The content of that Imam, who managed to shock the world, is these very things that exist in this last will and testament and the likes of these; the Imam cannot be interpreted [in any other way, and] the Imam cannot be construed to the contrary of what he was, [because] his remarks are available. [Therefore,] insisting on the principles of the revolution [is necessary]. 
The other day, I told a group of scientific and elite youths, who were here, that this is not out of obstinacy, [and is not] out of bias and zeal and ignorance, [but] this means that if this country is going to rise from the dust of backwardness caused by centuries of imposition, it has to go this way; if we want the problems of this country to be solved, if we want this country to be dignified, have welfare, [and] turn into a country, which would be a role model in terms of material and spiritual and ethical and cultural advances, we must continue treading the path of the revolution, [because] the revolution was and [still] is and will in the future be the sole way to remedy [problems of] this country.
Today, one of those things, which are important in scientific terms, is the issue of economy. The enemy has zeroed in on our country’s economy. From the viewpoint of the enemy, the country’s economy is a weak point, and [it] can achieve its negative goals with regard to our dear country and with regard to the Islamic Republic by counting on that weak point. [Therefore, we] must [work] on the economy. [When] I said the Economy of Resistance, I meant that economy, which relies on internal resources and will cut our need to others and increase the strength of the country in the face of foreign impulses; this is the [real] meaning of the Economy of Resistance. [Since this year’s motto is] the “Economy of Resistance, action and practical steps,” this action and practical steps should be shown to people and people must see this. This is my expectation and demand from [state] officials, which I have discussed  with them. I regularly discuss these issues with officials and tell them [what to do]. The indexes of action and practical steps must be shown [to all people]. 
One of those things that are necessary today is political insight; [because] political insight [is very important]. Look, when there is insight, a person can know the environment around him as well as [other] environments that are close and far; this is the meaning of insight. When insight is absent, a person will be attracted to the things, which are not really attractive. [For example,] some people are attracted to America, but this attraction is false; [because, the United States] has no attraction. Now, I kept saying these [facts about America]; later on, you saw that in this [recent presidential] election the most prominent political personalities of the same country said more than what I said or double or several times more than that. This president, who has been elected in America, says that ‘if the money that we Americans spent on war during these past few years, had been spent inside America, we could have rebuilt America twice and we would not have so many dilapidated roads, so many rickety bridges, so many out of order dams, so many devastated cities, [and] so many poor people in America’. Those people who are attracted to that imaginary point, are they ready to understand these [realities]? This state of ruin exists in that country and the money of that country is spent on dishonorable things. Were these wars, which he says they have spent several trillion dollars on – he says several thousand billion dollars were spent [on these wars] – were these honorable wars? The war is also of two types; one war is honorable, in which one would respect human laws.
Well, [there is a time when] an enemy has attacked one and that person has to fight against it; this war is honorable. However, that war, which America has been launching in this region during these years has not been an honorable war. They destroyed people’s houses, killed tens of thousands of civilians, killed women, killed children, dropped bombs [on innocent people], bombarded [both] mourning and wedding ceremonies, [and] destroyed the infrastructures in a number of countries. You just look what they have done to Libya, have done to Syria, have done to Iraq, have done to Yemen, and have done to Afghanistan! These several trillion [dollars] have been spent on such things. These are things that I always said. Insight is that you know whom you are faced with, know what he thinks about you, [and] know that if you close your eyes and do not think, you would be dealt a blow; this is [the real meaning of] insight. I expect political and non-political elites of the country to have this insight. [Ordinary] people, fortunately, have this insight, [and] it is [really] surprising! Ordinary people and general masses do have this political insight, [but] some of our elites do not have this insight because of their reliance on the illusions that they have [in their minds].
Of course, now I pass no judgment on this [presidential] election, which was held in America. America is America; this party or that party [makes no different to us, because] every one of them ascended to power, they did us no good, [but] harmed us [as well]. One of them imposed sanctions [on Iran], the other one shot down [our civilian] plane [over the Persian Gulf]; one of them attacked [our] oil platform, [and] the other one helped our enemies. We have no concerns as well; [because] through God’s assistance we are ready to face any contingency. Some people have been grieving in the world over why the election in that country has turned out like this; [while, on the other hand,] another group in the world has been happy and rejoiced. Not us; we neither grieve, nor rejoice, [because] it makes no difference to us [which American party wins the election]. We think about how to get the country through possible problems; [our] nation must think about this. The way to get through all problems, which are possible for the country, both at this time, and in ten years from now, and in fifty years from now is that the country must be strong from within.
See how strength is obtained. Internal strength of the [Islamic] establishment is the basis of the job; both political strength, and economic strength, and cultural strength, and most important of all, spiritual and psychological strength of people, especially the elite and senior officials of the country. If this strength does exist, no danger will threaten the country. The country is ready in the face of all dangers. Our dear youths must continue this blessed growth of the revolutionary spirit. Debates and disputes and controversies and paying attention to small and trivial things and the likes of these are not [the main] issues of the country, [because] the [main] issue of the country is [to preserve] the revolutionary spirit; the [main] issue of the country is [to preserve] the revolutionary orientation, and from a scientific and planning viewpoint, the [main] issue of the country is the economy about which I have frequently talked, is the scientific progress [of the country] about which I have frequently talked, and is the unity and solidarity among all members of the nation, about which  I have also frequently talked. These are the main issues of the country.
The people of Isfahan, praise be to God, have been successful [both] in far and near past and have passed [various] tests with their heads held high. Difficult tests for [the people of] Isfahan in far and near past have been constructive tests. Test means exercise, [and along the same line,] a divine test [also] means exercise, [and] means a [spiritual] drill. A drill reveals the weak points of a person to him and [after that he] would try to do away with those weak points and turn them into fortes. This is the [important] issue, which exists for the Iranian nation. Praise be to God, Isfahan has been also a pioneer and vanguard in this regard. I hope it would remain like this forever. 
My dear ones! know that the future [outlook] of this country will be much better than the present [state] of this country and through God’s Grace and through assistance and strength of God, this country through the blessing of the revolution, through the blessing of divine verses [of the Quran], [and] through reliance on [its] faith in the Quran and Islam and the teachings of the Guiding Imams (Peace Be Upon Them) will be able to overcome all the problems and will continue to move ahead and I hope, God willing, this will be the case. I am very happy that I met with you dear brethren and sisters. Convey my greetings to all brethren and sisters in Isfahan.

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