The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with laborers on occasion of Labor Day

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

(Arabic prayer)

You are very welcome dear brethren, dear sisters, [all] organs related to labor, laborers, labor-class elites, entrepreneurs, [and] concerned state officials; may your eid (Labor Day), God willing, be blessed. This year, the auspicious birthday of Seyyed osh-Shohada (Imam Hossein) (PBUH) coincides with these very days, which are related to labor and laborers. We must take this as a good omen and, God willing, take advantage of the purified soul of Seyyed osh-Shohada (PBUH) in order to find the [correct] path and tread that path so that we could put an end to these problems that exist [in the country]. I will say a few words about the issue of labor and laborers and [secondary] issues that surround this important issue, and will also say a few words about other related issues, which are of interest both to me and you.
Fortunately, our nation’s love and veneration for Hadhrat Seyyed osh-Shohada (PBUH) is quite clear and evident. Both during these days, on the occasion of [Imam Hossein (PBUH)’s] birth, and on the occasion of [his] martyrdom, and on the occasion of the Arba’een [which marks 40 days after his martyrdom], [Iranian] people really pay homage to Hadhrat Seyyed osh-Shohada (PBUH). This is a cause of honor for us; this knowledge [and] this love is an honor for our nation.
Well, on Labor Day and on [this] occasion [which is related to] the working class, the issue of laborers – [that is,] the issue of laborers in the country – must be discussed in addition to the issue of employment itself, one side of which is related to the issue of labors and laborer, because the issue of employment, in the real sense of the word, is one of the problems facing the country and must be solved.
As for the labor issue, well (I should point out that), the importance of laborers has been explained by everybody time and again [and] in all different languages. If a country is willing to have an advanced economy, have an independent economy, [and] have economic prosperity in the real sense of the word, it must attach importance to the working class, because laborer is the backbone of any country’s production and working economy; there is no doubt that this is true. [The fact] that I have raised the flag of national production during this recent juncture [of Iran's history] and keep emphasizing on [the need to promote] national production, a large part of it is related to laborers. If we want our labor community to enjoy those privileges and rights, which it deserves, we must put emphasis on the issue of national production. If laborers are encouraged to work in any society and those necessities and requirements that exist [in this regard] – to which I have already referred [and] now will give a brief explanation as well – are observed, the country’s economy will be in an orderly state. Our economic problems are not insolvable; it is not a problem without any solution; [and] is not a knot, which cannot be cut. We must find the correct path, then endeavor, [and] make effort [in order to solve this problem]; [and state] officials must also strive.
A major step with regard to this issue is to observe and respect and take into account the country’s labor community. The labor community must feel it is being venerated, feel that it is being respected, [and] feel that it is being appreciated [and] its work is being appreciated. If this [feeling of appreciation] is created [among labor community,] then tiredness of work, impatience toward work, [and] inattention to work would not be there anymore and the work would be done in the right and correct way. Well, one of the requirements, which exists in this regard, is that we must promote work culture, [and] promote importance of labor. Yes, there are a group of people who are avidly seeking jobs and do not find a job, [while] there is another group, which is not unwilling to remain idle. We must promote work culture, value of work [and] its importance in the society. It must be a state in which working would find its [deserved] place [and] find its [deserved] position in the public opinion. This is one of the necessary steps [which must be taken]. And [the issue of] “work” is important, [while] the type of work is a secondary issue. It is a secondary issue to say that I don’t want this work, [and] that [other] work must be given to me. The foremost issue is the mere interest in work and enthusiasm to work. This [issue] must be promoted in the society and work [must be known] as a value. When a laborer says “I am a laborer,” he must feel proud, [and] must not feel humiliated, because this is the reality of this issue. If we gather all the riches of the world in a single place, [and] all rich people of the world come together at a single place, [but] there are no laborers to do the labor, it would be useless. Laborers are the backbones of [any country’s] economy and the backbone of production.
Of course, I have frequently said that any sector [of the economy] has a share; the entrepreneur and employer and laborer and state manager they [all] have their own [respective] shares. If these different elements work together, the work will be done with utmost beauty and goodness and perfection; this is quite clear, [and] everybody must work together. However, the role played by the laborers as the [main] pivot of work and activity and employment in the country, must be introduced [as a] value, which would be a cause of pride. If a person [for example] asks a young man ‘what is your father doing?’, he would proudly say that [his father] is a laborer; just in the same way that he would proudly say, for example, that he is a manager. This is a very important step. Job security is one of the requirements, the realization of which is related to state officials. Job security of laborers is very important. The issue of providing laborers with [an acceptable level of] livelihood is very important. Every word of what the  Minister [of Labor] said here must be followed up on, [and] work must be done for [realization of] every single one of them. [Every necessary] step must be taken, [and] everybody [must] feel responsible so that these realities are materialized. Therefore, everybody is responsible; both the administration is responsible and the employer is responsible, and the laborer is responsible, and the entrepreneur is responsible; everybody is responsible to some extent. If [these] responsibilities are fulfilled, everything will be alright.
Now, what I am going to say is not a sermon; it is not like that now I am preaching [or] advising [you], [but] this talking and this saying is aimed at helping create a public way of thinking, [and] create a public demand and everybody would want these goals to be achieved. When a name is assigned to [every Iranian] year and “Economy of Resistance” is repeated [in them], the reason is that this public demand [must] show itself in [people’s] hearts, in words, [and] in deeds and everybody [be encouraged] to move in this direction. When something turns into a public discourse and becomes a public demand, it will naturally be realized; I mean, [even state] officials will move in that direction. 
Well, it is an important point to point out that we must be not forgot the Islamic Republic establishment must be really very thankful to the labor community in this regard. As you now, the labor community plays [a major] role in political and social issues; it is like that in the world. Labor strikes at that given factory or that given organ, or assume, various organs, [usually] deal important economic and political blows to governments. Since the first day of the victory of the [Islamic] revolution, enemies tried to take advantage of this weapon against the Islamic Republic. Since the first day [following victory of the Islamic Revolution], they tried to get workers one way or another to have a negative political impact on the Islamic Republic establishment. And workers have always taken sides with the Islamic Republic, have take sides with the [Islamic] establishment and have supported the establishment. In fact, during these [past] thirty-odd years, our labor community has slapped the enemies of the Islamic establishment [in the face]. The Islamic Republic and all its officials must be thankful to labor community; [and] by God’s Grace, it will be like this from now on as well. Our labor community is a religious community and despite all efforts made by the enemies, it moves and acts according to it divine and Islamic duty and, naturally, takes sides with the establishment, [works] for the establishment and serves the establishment. Well, everybody must appreciate this.
Let me bring up the issue of employment as well. Employment is a broader issue compared to the issue of labor. Employment is an important issue for the country. Any official – now it is the election season and [later on] I will say a few words about elections as well – and anybody who would become an official of the country or an official in the administration or an official in economic sectors of administration under the next administration, must put his focus on the issue of employment from day one. These [issues] are not those which one could allow himself to [have any] delay [in dealing with] them. The issue of employment must be attended to since the first day [after future officials come to office]. If our officials managed to create jobs inside the country in a suitable way, social maladies would subside, [and] various problems plaguing young people would [also] subside, [and] numerous plights, which exist and stem from unemployment and idleness would [also] subside. All this money that we spend on countering narcotics and smuggling of illicit drugs and the likes of these, part of these [problems] are due to  unemployment, existence of jobless people, and lack of job opportunities. The issue of employment is very important, [and] takes the first place [among country’s economic problems].
And I said that there is a relationship between employment and national production. If we want jobs to be created in the country, we must attach importance to national production – [I mean,] production in general sense of the word, [which includes] industrial production, agricultural production, [and] service production. All these cases must be taken into account and plans must be made for them. These issues are nothing that we would be allowed to delay them. Concerned officials – the current and future officials – [must] pay attention to this issue in the first [possible] opportunity. Therefore, these matters are among prioritized and foremost issues for the establishment. 
Let me say a few words on elections. Well, praise be to God, elections in country are heating up and this is a very important thing and a very necessary thing. [Therefore,] this must not be disregarded. The issue of elections is very important. I want to say something to people, say something to officials, and something to the candidates.
My main addressee is the people. Our dear people must know that their presence in various arenas is determining. What does determining mean? [It means that people’s presence] determines national security. If people are present in the arena, the country will remain secure. [The fact] that you see rude, outrageous and roughneck enemies avoid any hard action against the Islamic Republic, it is because of people’s presence [in the arena]; [and it is because] they are afraid [of our people], [and] are afraid in the real sense of the word. These remarks are not [mere] analysis, [but] what I tell you is [sum of] realities whose documents are proven beyond doubt. When the nation enters [the arena], that enemy, who wants to fight this establishment will have to backtrack and does not attack. [On the opposite,] when a gap is created between the nation and establishment and the nation is not present in the arena, then [enemies] can do anything they want. [And] it is not very difficult for them, [because] they can do anything, just as they have done in different places in the world. The enemy has not been able to do anything in the Islamic Iran due to presence of people; it has been because of people’s presence that enemies have not been able to attack. Sometimes we hear, and we [have also] heard in the past that some [officials], assume, have said that “when we came [to office and] assumed responsibility, we managed to dispel the shadow of war [that hovered] over the country.” No, these remarks are not correct. Take it from me, what has dispelled the shadow of war, [and] the shadow of the enemy’s attacks over these long years, has been presence of people [in the arena].
Well, how this presence is demonstrated? The most important manifestation of this presence is [people’s participation in] elections; this is what I want to tell people. I do not tell people to elect this given person [or] do not elect that given person; I will never say this to people, but I tell people and insist that [you must] certainly go to ballot boxes and vote for anybody who you recognize [to be the best]; this must take place [in practice]. Anybody who loves the country, anybody who loves the establishment, anybody who loves security [of the country] – [I mean,] all people – must enter the arena of elections, [and] go to ballot boxes. This is what repels the enemy’s harm.
Those who are alienated from their own people want to put up an act in front of the [global] powers by showing that people support [them], but of course, it will not be effective. People are good with us, people are on the establishment’s side, people are attached to the establishment, [and] along with this establishment, people have gone through [many] difficulties, have trod difficult paths, [and] have provided the Islamic Republic establishment with vital assistance during these about forty years. This progress that we have achieved, this might that the Islamic Republic has today, [and] this influence that it has in the region has been due to people’s presence, [and has been] because of people’s assistance.
Just look! When one of your young people is martyred at a point – I have followed this issue with care – it does not make difference from what city, from what province, [or] from what part of the country he is, [because regardless of these issues] people welcome these elements with such vibrancy and enthusiasm, and show [such strong] support [for them] that one is bewildered. What is the reason behind this? [It is because] the movement of the establishment [and] the orientation of the establishment is desirable for people. They know that the Islamic Republic establishment is striving for their dignity, is striving for their security, [and] is striving for their progress.  The Islamic Republic establishment has cut the enemy’s hand off this country, [and] this is not a small step, [but] is a very big one.
You see. Oil-rich countries, their oil, their revenue, [and] their wealth is under control of foreigners. They allow foreigners [into their country] so that they can stay in power for a while longer and enjoy it. Under the monarchial regime [of Iran], it was just the same in our country. Several thousand Americans were paid [salaries] in this country out of the nation’s coffer and issued orders here and bullied officials of this country from top to down. It is the same in other places. The Islamic Republic came and cut the enemy’s hand, did away with limitations that the enemy had caused for the country, [and] got the country moving. At the present time, Iran is a country that is rapidly progressing, is a prestigious country, [and] is a powerful country. These [issues] are very important. People know this and this is why they are on the side of the establishment. I tell you that the symbol of people’s cooperation with the Islamic Republic establishment is their participation in elections. This is the gist of what I say about elections. 
Another point I want to tell people is that people should not take the issue of elections lightly, [but rather] vote thoughtfully and after [adequate] deliberation; they [must] think [before they vote]. When we think on the basis of a logic, make our choice and regulate our vote on the basis of that choice, we would be excused before the Almighty God. It is still possible for us to make a mistake, [but] again, we are excused before the Almighty God. [However,] if we take action without [due] consideration, without care, [and] without thinking, [we would be] not only responsible before God, but [would be] also responsible before ourselves. Later on, we would say, “Alas, I did not correctly think about this issue!” I mean, even ourselves will condemn ourselves. However, when you think, study, consult [with others], and chose [your candidate] on the basis of [good] thinking, then the Almighty God will be content with you, because you will have done your job. Your conscience will be also clear, [because] it tells you, “Well, I did what I could. Even if I have done wrong and made a mistake, well, everybody can make a mistake, but I did what I could.” This is another point I wanted to tell people.
I have something to say to the esteemed [presidential election] candidates as well. Now, six esteemed gentlemen are candidates. First of all, I tell the esteemed candidates to purify their intentions for God; [your nomination for presidential election] must not be aimed at [obtaining more] power, [but] must be aimed at serving [people]. If somebody enters the arena in order to serve people, especially serve the underprivileged classes, every move he makes, every word he utters, [and] everything he says is [considered a] good [deed], [and] is rewarded by God. Enter [the election race] with this intention; with the intention to serve. This is the first point.
The second point is that choose your slogans in such a way that everybody would know that you want to support underprivileged classes and less fortunate classes of the country, [and that you want] to solve problems faced by [people] who have problems. We are like a single body; the society is like a human body. [We must] see what part of us is weak, what part is not receiving [enough] blood, [and] what organ needs more care [and then] pay attention to it. [This does] not [mean] that we would be careless about other parts of the body, no; but [we must] give the priority to this [part]. Under various administrations, I have sometimes raised stern objections to various officials. I usually do not voice such objections in front of people and before the public opinion, because people do not very much like fighting and bad-temperedness and the likes of these, [and on the other hand,] they are of no good too. However, [in meetings] with state officials themselves, I have sometimes been very sour. One of the instances in which I have been very sour has been over why they do not observe priorities? What is a priority? In various sectors – well, the country has economic sectors, has cultural sectors, [and] has various political, scientific and other sectors – [and] there is a certain priority in every sector; that priority must be observed, that [priority] must be pursued, [and] that [priority] must be dealt with out of turn. These gentlemen, who are candidates for [presidential] election now, [must] make a decision and make a vow between themselves and the Almighty God that if they were accepted by people and got their vote, they would observe priorities; pay more attention to those places, which need more care; [and] pursue [various] plans in that manner.
Everybody must also know this, [and] esteemed candidates know as well that we will not be able to put this country in order except through jihadi work and revolutionary work. In all sectors, it is needed to be ready to work like a person engaged in jihad. If this happens, everything will be all right, [and] if this happens, deadlocks will be shattered [and] will be cracked. [I mean, we need] to work hard, extensively and with [high] quality and like a Mujahed and revolutionary [person]. What does revolutionary mean [in this context]? Some people think that when we say revolutionary [work] it means disorderly [work]; no, order happens to be among the main characteristics of being revolutionary. However, being revolutionary means that we must not get busy taking unimportant and perfunctory and outwardly glamorous steps and so forth. Revolutionary work means [the path to obtaining] a permit must be shortened. A group of these committed and religious entrepreneurs had a meeting with me a while ago and said that in order to get a permit to do a small thing – which they named it and I don’t want to go into details – one has to ask for permission from, for example, 20 or 25 authorities; these [formalities] are non-revolutionary work. Revolutionary work means those people who set the rules must [take steps to] shorten the paths [to obtaining such permits], and provide people, provide an entrepreneur, [and] provide any person who wants to render a service [to his country] with shortcuts. These are necessary steps [which must be taken], [and officials] must muster their will and really do this.
Another recommendation is related to those state officials, who are in charge of elections. Both in Ministry of Interior, and in the Guardian Council, and in the publicity – which is done by the IRIB (Iran’s state-run television) and other places – and in various sectors, which, God willing, would be getting [people’s] votes on the voting day, [they] must safeguard people’s trust. These people’s votes, [and] this participation of people [in elections], is [in fact] people’s trust. This trust must be safeguarded and kept with ultimate care. God forbid, nobody should be able to encroach upon this trust. [Election officials] must painstakingly observe the law, [and] must not stand on ceremony and the likes of this with regard to anybody when it comes to [observing and enforcing] the law. Law is law, it is for everybody, [and] there is no exception with regard to [enforcement of] the law. [They must] observe the law, so that, God willing, a step would be taken, which would be correct, right and desirable and satisfactory in the eyes of the Almighty God. And I have frequently said and keep repeating that people’s vote is the right of people. [Therefore,] if anybody violates it, it would be violation of people’s right and it is a very difficult task to make up for [the violation of] people’s right.

O Almighty God, [I swear you] by [Prophet] Mohammad and Mohammad’s Household to enable us [to do and achieve] what we say and want; make the purified soul of the honorable Imam [Khomeini] and the purified souls of martyrs pleased with us; [and] make the sacred soul of Vali Asr (May Our Souls Be Sacrificed for Him) pleased and content with us.

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