The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with commanders and staffers of Iran’s Air Force

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

(Arabic prayer)

You are very welcome, dear brethren, hardworking and active and reputable staff of the Islamic Republic’s Air Force. The occasion is also an occasion, which is a cause of reputation for the Islamic Republic’s Air Force in the real sense of the world. I thank members of the chorus for their very good performance and the meaningful and relevant poem, which they performed and sang [here].
Well, we have been holding sessions and talking and saying things about the very important development [that took place] on the 19th [day of the Iranian month] of Bahman in [the Iranian calendar year, 13]57 (February 8, 1979), for many long years. However, what we can say [about this development] – in the real sense of the word – is unending; many things have been said about this event, but there are still more things to be said. As put by the [famous Iranian poet, Saeb Tabrizi:] “you can talk about your loved one’s flowing hair for a lifetime.” The event of Bahman 19, [13]57, was a determining event. During the period of the monarchial regime [of Iran], the Air Force was, in fact, the closest section of that time’s Army to the monarchial system and to the political system, which was also dependent on America. None of the other sections of the Army at that time was object of the monarchial regime’s trust and confidence and hope as the Air Force was.
The monarchial regime was dealt a drastic blow exactly by this section [of the Army]. This drastic blow, which I say, is in the real sense of the word. I mean, [it was very surprising that] despite that order they had established in the Army, [and despite] that atmosphere, which they had created for the Army, suddenly, a group of the personnel of this very Army – and that from the sensitive sector of the Air Force, which was so trusted by them – would come and swear allegiance to the Imam of the revolution, [and] the leader of the revolution. [And they did it] not clandestinely, [but] in broad daylight and by raising their ID cards over their heads! I was there. Along the Iran Street [in downtown Tehran], where these [personnel of the Air Force] were moving toward the school at which the Imam was living, they kept moving in droves – just like [army soldiers moving] in companies – [and they moved] in tandem and chanted slogans and had raised their ID cards over their heads. It was a very amazing development; I mean it was exactly an example of this venerable verse [of the Holy Quran, which says:] “Allah came upon them from where they had not expected;” they [the regime] were dealt a blow from a place, which the monarchial regime had not foreseen.
It was possible for them to include everything in their calculations except this one; and exactly, this one [possibility], which was [considered by them as] the remotest possibility, took place. I mean, the Army’s Air Force at that time [and] with that dependent commander, with various kinds of dependence [that the Air Force had on the West] – with all those numerous [forms of] dependence, [including with regard to] tools and equipment and training and so forth – would suddenly come and take sides with people, [and] promise fealty to the Imam and the Leader of the Revolution; this was a strange blow [to the monarchial regime because] they did not expect it at all. We did not expect it either. I mean, the revolutionary figures and the faithful on this side of the [anti-monarchy] front did not expect such a thing [to happen]. This, in fact, was “unexpected provision;” [as put by the Quran:] “And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he does not expect.” Sometimes a kind of assistance, help, [fresh] breath, [and fresh] blood is provided to a person from a place, which he did not imagine, and which was not included in any of his calculations. [The measure by the Air Force] was like unexpected provision for this [revolutionary] font. We did not count on it, that is, such a calculation did not occur to any one of us at all – the Iranian nation and [anti-regime] fighters and revolutionaries and [even] the honorable Imam – that it is possible for some people to enter [the arena of the revolution] from within the Army. Of course, before that happened, I had close and friendly relations with very few elements of the Army [when I was] in [the city of] Mashhad, and I knew that they shared our views. There were some other people in Tehran, who were inside the army, [and] who had contacts with [some of our] friends – such contacts existed – but [the fact] that such a [big] crowd would come toward [Imam’s residence] with this huge and evident movement, this was really [an example of] unexpected provision, [and] could not be foreseen.
Well, let’s learn a lesson right here: in a nutshell, always include [the factor of] unexpected provision in your calculations. It is true that rational and material calculations are effective, [and] there is no doubt about this and they are [also] necessary – [because] no teaching in the teachings of Islam tells us to abandon rational calculations and do not do intellectual and material calculations; no, such calculations are certainly necessary – but you must also leave room for those calculations that go beyond material issues, [and] beyond what occurs to one’s mind. This is unexpected provision. This is the same thing, which has not been calculated and is provided to us; this [factor] exists in all our calculations; [therefore,] this must be taken into consideration and be expected in everything that the faithful front does. We read in a prayer that “O [God, You are He] who at time of difficulty, opens a door for [dealing with] them, which does not occur to [any human’s] mind.” When various affairs become intricate, [and] when a deadlock is apparently created, sometimes the Almighty God opens a way from one corner of this deadlock, which – does not occur to anybody’s mind – [and] which human imagination and human thinking had not been able to foresee; such a thing does really exist. One example of this was [seen during the Iraqi] imposed war [against Iran].
The imposed war started at a time when there was a very, very big distance in terms of facilities, in terms of the number of forces, [and] in terms of order and organization [between us] and that invader – the Baathist regime of [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hossein] – [because] he was ready, his equipment was in order, his organization was strong, his divisions were well-formed, his air force and ground force both were ready, his defense [force], [as well as] logistics, engineering [and other] different [military units] and his everything else were ready, [but] we had problems with regard to all these issues. We had problems both with regard to equipment, and with regard to manpower, with regard to engineering [units], with regard to logistics, and with regard to tools and organization. Once I said in this very session [that is regularly held on the occasion] of Bahman 19 that at that time, [then] commander of the Air Force gave me the list of all useable planes. He said that over a maximum period of seventeen to eighteen days, all our [fighter] planes would be grounded and would end their flights, because they needed spare parts; the last of them was C-130 [transportation] plane. During the first, second, [or] third days [of war], [such fighter jets as] F-15s, and F-4s, and F-14s and the likes of them must have been gradually scrapped. For example, what remained [available to us] after 15 days or 20 days would be C-130 planes – which were transportation planes. For example, we had a number of these planes.
This is how we thought at that time. However, “[God] opened a door,” [and] our Air Force remained active up to the end of the war, endeavored, [and] worked [hard]. This is the meaning of [what we say in the prayer that] “[God] opens a door for them, which does not occur to [any human’s] mind”; [and] unexpected provision means this; [therefore,] always include this in your calculations. If we are faithful, if we take advantage of rationality under the aegis of trust in God and pinning our hope in God, then this door will be opened for us; [this does] not [mean] that we abandon rationality, nor [it means] that we must abandon material calculations; no, all of these [calculations] are necessary and I always keep repeating [this point], but along with these [material calculations], a room must be given to divine assistance, if we are given to putting our trust in God, [and] if we are given to pinning our hope on God. During these 37, or 38 years that have passed since the victory of the [Islamic] Revolution, it has been like this with regard to all issues of the revolution and we have always observed the divine assistance. Now, let me say a few words about the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army before returning to this topic again.
The Air Force passed good tests after this event as well. When I go back [in time] in my mind and look [at the past, I see more examples]. In the case of a coup [plot], which had been arranged before the beginning of the imposed war – [and plotters] included elements from the air and ground forces as well as civilians and so forth – that person, who was the first cause for thwarting this operation, was an Air Force officer, a pilot! He came and informed me, [after which] the establishment was alerted and became ready. An element from the Air Force thwarted a huge move, which was supposed to be taken at Martyr Nojeh Air Base in [the Iranian city of] Hamedan and from there spread to Tehran and other places. I do not forget this; [and] the [Islamic] establishment does not forget this favor, this help, [and] this great service.
The first place, where [Iranian] Army’s jihad for manufacturing [needed] spare parts started – [I mean] where they started to manufacture [needed parts inside the country] – was the Air Force. Before that, there was no such manufacturing activities in the Air Force, [because foreigners] did not allow our technical guys even to know compound and complicated parts. The jihad for manufacturing spare parts was kicked off in the Air Force under this very title of “jihad.” They really undertook a jihadi move. The first place [to do this] was the Air Force; of course, other sectors of the Army later started to do this, but the Air Force started this process and took the initiative for doing this.
During the imposed war, from day one, it was flights conducted by the Air Force, which boosted the nation’s morale. At that time, I was a deputy at the Majlis [Iranian parliament]. [When] I went to the Majlis and reported the number of sorties carried out by these [Air Force pilots], all their jaws dropped in amazement; [they wondered how] so much movement [and] this grandeur [would be possible]! The news spread [rapidly] and all people heard about it across the country. It was also like this in the course of time. In different operations, which were carried out either by the [Iranian] Army or the IRGC [Islamic Revolution Guards Corps] – especially in such important operations as Val Fajr 8 and Karbala 5 and the likes of these, in which important and great steps were taken – the role played by the Air Force was a determining role. May God bless [late commander of the Air Force] Martyr [Mansour] Sattari, who was an air defense officer at that time. He carried out the task of air defense during Operation Val Fajr 8 with such speed and seriousness that everybody was taken by surprise. [Even] the enemy was also surprised, [wondering how Iranians could] shoot down all those planes.
The Air Force is a reputable force. You have continued to work after that up to the present time. And [I advise you to] keep working dear youths! [You must] work, make effort, think, act, take steps, fill [the existing] voids, bolster [various] departments, [and promote] the reconstruction [work] within the Air Force as much as you can. I know your problems – [because] your problems are [in fact,] the country’s problems – [and you must solve] these problems and [fill] these voids through your laudable human endeavor, your knowledge, your piety, [and] your hope and trust in God’s Grace; and it is possible to fill [these voids], just in the same way that most of these steps have been taken up to the present day.
Well, this is the role played by hope and trust in the Almighty God, which is followed by unexpected provision; where does this take place? [It takes place] when one takes advantage of rationality under the aegis of trust in God and hope in the Almighty God. If the opposite takes place, no [this will not take place]. If we wanted to take advantage of rationality under the aegis of trust in devils, then the situation would be quite different. The Quranic verse in the blessed chapter of Nour [Light] says: “[Those who disbelieve] their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland, which a thirsty one thinks is water;” it is like a mirage. [When] one is thirsty, he sees the dry land [like] water from afar; [but] when he gets close, he sees “it is nothing but finds Allah before him.” He sees that it is nothing. This is [the final outcome] of pinning one’s hope on devils; [and] this is [the result] of pinning one’s hope on materialistic and evil powers. Rationality and foresight and rational action are necessary with regard to various issues – [including] in diplomacy, with regard to country’s affairs, for managing domestic issues of the country, with regard to equipment, in science, in industry, and so forth – but putting one’s trust in devils, [and] trusting that who is against your very existence, would be a grave error.
You cannot trust and cannot pin your hope on that power, which cannot tolerate and cannot accept the very existence of the Islamic Republic, [and] the very empowerment of Islam. [Such a trust would be] like a mirage in a lowland, which a thirsty one thinks is water.” This is the same mirage. [The bottom line is that,] if you put your trust in God, there is unexpected provision [waiting for you], [but] if you trust the Satan, [it would be] “like a mirage in a lowland, which a thirsty one thinks is water.” This is a point, which must be always kept in minds of each and every one of you and me; [and] each and every member of the Iranian nation must keep this in mind. Endeavor, work, show initiative, [and] bring your real [and] God-given force into the scene [and] into the arena through trust in God, [and] with hope in receiving the divine assistance, [and] then God will help [you]. However, if you simply remain idle waiting for the Satan – [and] that the Great Satan – to come and help, then it would be “like a mirage in a lowland, which a thirsty one thinks is water,” [because] he will not do us any good.
Now, this man [Donald Trump], who has just [come to office] in the United States, says ‘you must thank America [and] thank the administration of [former US president, Barack] Obama’! For what should we be thankful? We are not thankful at all. [Obama was also] part of the same system, which imposed on the Iranian nation these heavy sanctions with the goal of paralyzing the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation. It was their hope to paralyze [the Iranian nation]. Of course, they did not achieve this goal and will never achieve it and no enemy would ever be able to paralyze Iran. [However, Trump] says [we must] be thankful. No, we are not thankful at all. For what should we be thankful? For sanctions? For creation of Daesh [by the United States]? For setting the [entire] region on fire? They set Syria on fire, [and] set Iraq on fire. For what should we be thankful? For their support for post-election sedition [which they stoked in the Iranian year 13]88 (2009) in the country? On the one hand, [Obama] writes letter to me and expresses his friendship and compassion and [readiness for] cooperation, [but] on the other hand, he evidently and clearly supports the seditionists and says ‘we stand behind you’ and seeks to stoke sedition in the country. [This is the true] face of hypocrisy; [and this is] the same velvet glove that had been drawn over iron claws, to which I have referred many times.
We do not thank [the United States] at all. We know what they did, [and] understand what they did. This [new US president] tells us to ‘thank him [Obama, and] be afraid of me’! No, we are not afraid of you either. The people [of Iran] will respond to these threats and these remarks on streets on the 22nd [day of the Iranian month] of Bahman, [and] will show [you] what position the Iranian nation takes in the face of threats. No, we are not afraid of anybody’s threat neither. Yes, we thank this man, who has just come [to office]. Our thank is because he reduced our trouble and revealed the true face of America. What we constantly said during these [past] thirty-odd years [about] political corruption, economic corruption, moral corruption, [and] social corruption within America’s ruling system, this man came and laid this bare [both] during election [campaigns] and after [the US presidential] election. Now, by doing these things that he is doing, he shows what the truth is about America, [and shows] what is [the true meaning of] American human rights. They put handcuffs on a five-year-old child! This is their human rights.
The Iranian nation has found its way. The Iranian nation is moving with logic and rationality and with trust in God, with power, with speed, [and] with self-confidence and is continuing [its march] on this path. At the present time, the Iranian nation has confidence in itself, [and] our youths are working with self-confidence. Our academic organs [and] our universities are teeming with and full of thoughts and initiatives that are currently being taken in the field of science. It is also the same in the field of manufacturing, [and] is the same in various other fields. Rationality has the first say in the country, but through trust in the Almighty God [and] with confidence in the Almighty God. We know that the Iranian nation will certainly emerge victorious in this path and will achieve its desirable results and its desirable ideals.
May God bless the soul of the honorable Imam, who clarified the truth about this issues for the Iranian nation during the [last] ten years of his blessed life, in early [years after victory] of the revolution. Just look at the Imam’s remarks. Imam both knew the friends and knew the enemies and knew the Iranian nation and knew the goals [of the revolution]. The fact that the Imam time and again expresses, says, [and] insists that do not trust the Satan, [and] do not trust the enemy, [and] warns us against trusting the enemy, this was due to knowing the enemy. Of course, we [always] said these things, [but] today, these remarks are evident for all, are in the open, and everybody is seeing this. Behaviors of this man [Trump] show what the truth about America is, and how it is, and what is the true nature of their claims about human rights and humanitarianism and the likes of this. This is the conclusion that we can reach at these times and through musing over the remarks of the Imam.
I hope that the Almighty God would make you successful. You, the young people, [must] be, God willing, ready in order to [be able to do] the great tasks that are incumbent on you. Your generation must take a big step. The generation before you took important steps, [but] there are other important steps, which you must take. God willing, prepare yourselves though trust in God and hand down this trust to generations that come after you.

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