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councils-inauguration , leader's message (29.04.1999)

tehran, april 29, irna -- the first term of the islamic city/village councils was officially inaugurated throughout the country with a message from the leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei and a speech by president mohammad khatami, thursday morning. in his message read by hojatoleslam mohammadi golpayegani, the leader said that through formation of city councils, the iranian national took a step forwards towards full realization of the constitution. the leader expressed hope that the islamic city/village councils will be successful in achieving the lofty goals of the founder of the islamic republic imam khomeini and in resolving the problems facing the iranian people. now that people have voted for their trustees, those elected to the councils are expected to do their best and spare no effort to fulfill the duties entrusted to them by law in serving the people, ayatollah khamenei said. the leader also called on the government and other officials of the country to seize this valuable opportunity to encourage people's participation in council affairs. highlighting the responsibilities of the islamic councils, the leader stressed that the prime duty of the members of the councils is ''understanding and consensus among themselves.'' otherwise, he cautioned, the newly founded body will fail in proving to be a source of blessing for the nation. political and factional disputes and involvement in any measure which affects the unity of council members is harmful to the councils, the leader said. underlining constant contacts between members of the councils and the people, ayatollah khamenei said that the members should fully recognize their responsibilities and make efforts to realize them. the leader advised the council members not to make people hopeful over issues not stipulated in the law and cannot be fulfilled due to certain restrictions. ayatollah khamenei also called on officials to consider council members as their reliable advisors and help them as much as possible to fulfill their duties.

Leader attends martyrdom anniversary of imam hussein a.s. (26.04.1999)

tehran, april 26, irna -- special mourning ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary of tasu`a and `ashura, ninth and tenth of the lunar hijra month of muharram ul-haram 61 (680 a.d.), of the martyrdom of imam hussein (as) and 72 members of his family and followers was held here sunday night in the presence of the supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei. chiefs of the three branches of government and chairman of the

expediency council were also participated at the mourning ceremony. mourning tradition has played a significant role in the history of the divine religion of islam and ensured the survival of the genuine path of islam, the holy quran, hazrat ali ibn abi talib and the shiites.

shiites literally means group or party, and the term was first applied in the lifetime of the seal of the divine prophets (sawa) to a group of his prominent companions like salman farsi, abu dhar, meqdad ibn aswad, ammar ibn yasser and other noble companions, who in obedience to the messenger of almighty allah, were particularly close to the person of his dearest cousin ali ibn abi talib (as). afterwards, the term shiite, came to denote all those who adhered to the path of commander of the faithfuls imam ali (as) and the prophet's ahl-ul-beit, reasoning on the basis of the divine words of the holy quran and the prophet's (sawa) sayings, that since islam is the fianl message for mankind, the vicegerent of the prophet (sawa), should be appointed by god and not left to the whims of fallible minds.

after the martyrdom of imam ali (as) in 40 a.h. the rule of the islamic sovereignty was completely usurped by the banu omyyah, at the head of whom was muaviyah ibn abu sufyan, a polytheist as late as 8 a.h. -- two years before the prophet's death -- who after a 20-year period of innovations and suppression of the sublime teachings of the divine religion of islam passed on the reins of power to his libertine son yazid.

imam hussein (as), second son of imam ali (as), the grandson and the third rightful successor of the seal of the dinive prophet (sawa) through his mother the lady fatima al-zahra (sa), could bear it no longer and in a heroic uprising at karbala on the 10th of moharram ul-haram (ashura) in the year 61 a.h. (680 a.d.) courted martyrdom along with his small number of followers and male members of the prophet's (sawa) clan the banu hashim. the tragedy, which did not end with the massacre of imam hussein (as) and took a more heinous form with the dragging in chains of the children and womenfolk of the prophet's (sawa) household to the court of the omayyid tyrant, who gloated over the carnage saying that he had avenged the killing of his own heathen ancestors in the battles of `badr' and `ohud' against the divine prophet (sawa), served as catalyst for islam, inspiring revolutionary movements against tyrannical regimes throughout the history.

the mourning ceremonies for imam hussein (as) have aroused sympathies even in the coldest heart, and many a non-muslim reformer have modelled their resistance on the life of the `martyr of karbala'. mourning ceremonies and processions are going on in different iranian cities, townships and villages on the occasion of tasu`a and the eve of ashura. muslim mourners have attended in the imam reza's (as) holy shrine in mashhad, hadhrat ma'someh's (sa)holy shrine in qom, other holy shrines, mosques, husseiniyahs, abbasiyahs and religious places around the country to mark the anniversary. muslim peoples around the world specifically in the former republics of the soviet union and the iranian, iraqi, indian, syrian, pakistani, bangladeshi, afghan and albanian muslim residences of the united states of america have also attended similar mourning ceremonies to commemorate the martyrdom of the infallible imam hussein (as) and his family members and loyal followers.

Bayat's Plea for Pardon Accepted (20.4.1999)

TEHRAN TIMES CITY DESK TEHRAN (April 20), The Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, accepted Assadollah Bayat's appeal for pardon and ordered his release from prison yesterday, an informed source said yesterday. In August, a lawsuit was filed with the Special Court for Clergy against Bayat, who was the prayer leader of a mosque in Narmak, northern Tehran. Bayat also headed the financial institution affiliated to the mosque. He abandoned his duties as the prayer leader but continued to head the financial institution. The charges against Bayat included misappropriation of the people's funds.

leader: any word serving revolution goals is welcomed (19.4.1999)

tehran, april 19, irna -- leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyed ali khamenei on monday called on governors-general to get to know the social, political, economic and endemic situation of the provinces. in a meeting with the governors-general from across the country, the leader said the governors-general are the representatives of the islamic revolution and they should visit every point of the provinces of their assignment to seek people's views in a bid to draw up their programs and fairly distribute the resources of the province. the leader recommended that the governors-general should be in more contact with friday prayers leaders and members of parliament and local influential figures to gain access to the factors that they

should include in their programming. the supreme leader called on the governors-general to mobilize the provincial resources to serve the welfare of the people. ayatollah khamenei said the revolutionary work is not irregularity, but is working on the basis of three principles of speed, discipline and goal. he also called on the governors-general to observe discipline and work to solve the problems of the people and honor the people's interests in decision-making. the leader pointed to the poisonous propaganda of the foreign media and said the foreign media are insinuating that the islamic revolution has become old, whereas the islamic revolution is 20-year old, young and lively with wide-scale popular support and their claims are unfounded. the islamic revolution has one thousand years old philosophical and religious background. "as far as i know about the revolutions in the world, the french revolution and the bolshevic revolution in russia had not made progress to the extent that the the islamic revolution of iran has made," the supreme leader said.

elsewhere in his speech, ayatollah khamenei said, "i as an official of the revolution who has most relationship with people announce that the officials of the islamic republic, the government have not been fed up with the principles of the islamic revolution and every thing is moving toward perfection and toward the goals of the revolution; therefore, any new word serving the goals of the islamic revolution is welcomed."

leader gives promotion tablet of martyr sayad shirazi to his son (18.4.1999)

tehran, april 18, irna -- the leader of the islmaic revolution, ayatollah seyed ali khamenei, here sunday dedicated a tablet to the son of martyr general sayad shirazi that conferred the rank of major general on his martyred father. in the same ceremony here suynday, also defense minister rear admiral shamkhani was promoted to the rank of vice admiral, brigadier general general gholamali rashid was promoted to the rank of major general. the leader of the islamic revolution also paid a personal tribute to the martyred deputy chief of the joint staff of the armed forces general sayad shirazi, saying that the multitudinous procession of the people who participated in his funeral ceremony was a token of god's feelings towards the martyred ex-commander.

leader: a faithful army cannot be defeated (14.4.1999)

tehran, april 24, irna -- leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei here wednesday underlined the need for the exercise of vigilance vis-a-vis the attack of the enemy on the internal foundations of every single force of the army. addressing a gathering of the commanders of the three branches of the armed forces at imam khomeini hosseiniyeh on the eve of the army day, the leader stressed: ''the real enemy intends to attack us from within with the aim to weaken our determination, faith and firm resolution.'' therefore, stated the leader, the outside enemy can be defeated only when the internal enemy is defeated. the supreme leader said that firm determination, strong faith, common goal, reasonable self-restraint and confidence in future can make any army powerful and strong in the world. however, remarked the leader, when this might is intertwined with the faith in god, no enemy in no front can defeat such an army.

ayatollah khamenei cautioned against showing leniency towards ''sweet diplomatic smiles'' and ''exchange of warm diplomatic greetings'' and stated that the world of diplomacy and international relations is not a venue for serenity and honesty. ''the enemy is the same element which is constantly at work to strip our nation and country of the means of power, namely faith, piety, firm determination, religious zeal and soldierliness feeling for the sake of god.''

because, the leader stressed, the enemy knows well that these same elements have guaranteed dignity of the nation in the world and created strong men. however, the supreme leader added, some who might not be enemy would negligently act in a way which would spread disappointment, doubt and mental instability among the people. therefore, the armed forces should make themselves, their families and those in relation with them secure in this connection. stressing the ever-increasing improvement of the army and its proficiency, ayatollah khamenei underlined the need for the armed forces to step up their efforts in such areas as education, discipline, research works, construction and institutionalization. at the beginning of his remarks, ayatollah khamenei congratulated the army on the occasion and expressed the hope that martyrdom of lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi will serve to further consolidate values and strengthen faith and determination in the armed forces. the leader termed the massive turn-out of the people in the martyred army commander's funeral procession on Monday as 'unprecedented'' and stated that participation of such a large number of people was an indication of the sincerity they had found in the person of sayyad shirazi in the post-revolution era. prior to the remarks of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, army commander major general ali shahbazi briefed the leader on the measures taken towards overall improvement of the armed forces and institutionalization of sublime islamic values in its three branches.

supreme leader attends ceremonies commemorating martyr shirazi (13.4.1999)

tehran, april 13, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei attended special ceremonies held in commemoration of the late iranian army commander ali sayyad shirazi at martyr motahhari college in tehran on tuesday. lieutenant general shirazi, 55, was gunned down in saturday morning by the terrorist mojahideen khalq organization (mko) agents, disguised as the city cleaner, as he was travelling to work. the mko claimed responsibility for the assassination in a phone contact with the agence france press (afp) on april 10. the ceremonies, arranged by the supreme leader on the occasion, was also attended by president mohammad khatami, majlis speaker ali-akbar nateq-nouri, judiciary chief mohammad yazdi, expediency council chairman akbar hashemi rafsanjani, members of the guardians council and majlis deputies, cabinet members, senior commanders of the islamic republic army and the islamic revolution guards corps (irgc), the state and military officials, and a large groups of people from various walks of life, including the bereaved family of martyr shirazi. addressing the audience, qom seminary instructor ayatollah ostadi praised the personality and bravery of the late `rmy commander and warned the youth not to be deceived by enemies of islam, who have been ''slapped in the face by islam and by father of the islamic revolution and founder of the islamic republic the late imam khomeini.''

leader laments plight of muslims in kosovo (12.4.1999)

tehran, april 12, irna -- the leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyed ali khamenei monday lamented the plight of muslims in different parts of the world, particularly in kosovo. "what is overlooked in the balkan war today," said the leader, "is the condition of the oppressed muslims in kosovo, and the aim of the enemies behind displacing the people of kosovo in the streets, is to exterminate the muslims and prevent the formation of an islamic state in that region." ayatollah khamenei, according to tehran radio, made the remarks at a meeting with clerics, including preachers and congregational prayer leaders on the eve of the mourning month of moharram (the month in which the third shia imam hussein and 72 of his close aides were martyred). "your duty is to keep the path and movement of imam hussein (a.s.) alive," the leader told the audience. he added that sound religious propagation is the best way for encountering cultural onslaughts. the leader doweling on the uprising of imam hussein (a.s.) said the blood and self-sacrifices of imam hussein (a.s.) and 72 of his loyal companions and family members have insured the survival of islam.

referring to the martyrdom of sayyas shirazi who fell a victim to the abhorrent act of terrorism by the terrorist mujahedin khalq organization (mko) saturday, the leader commemorated him and condemned the terrorist move. shirazi was an honest, religious and brave commander who performed his duties well either during the sacred defense (1980-88 imposed iraqi war against iran) or in the post war era.

leader orders checking further expansion of tehran (10.4.1999)

tehran, april 10, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei here on saturday called on the government and housing and urban development ministry to prevent further expansion of the capital city, tehran. ayatollah khamenei in his remarks to members of the islamic revolution housing foundation's central council praised efforts and activities of the foundation in building houses and stressed ''high importance'' of building houses at villages and towns. the leader also praised the father of islamic revolution and founder of the islamic republic the late imam khomeini's initiative to establish the foundation. ayatollah khamenei also donated rls 100 million in cash to the foundation.

message to expediency council chairman on 3rd plan (10.4.1999)

tehran, april 10, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei here on saturday instructed the expediency council to look into the proposals made by the government concerning the determination of the general policies of the third five-year economic development plan (2000-2004). in a message to expediency council chairman akbar hashemi rafsanjani, the leader called for the council's consultative views on the government's proposals on the third development plan, so as to make final decision in this regard. the leader also called on the expediency council to, while reviewing the government's proposals, take into consideration the following points:

"the general policies of the second five-year development plan (1995-1999) and policies of the government's economic rehabilitation plan as approved by him as well as the approvals of the high council for cultural revolution all deserve to be used in forging policies. "in drawing up economic policies, it is necessary that economic development be coupled with social justice, that certain individuals or groups be prevented from accumulating wealth, that the rights of the oppressed and deprived strata of society be protected, that non-oil exports be promoted to decrease dependence of economy on oil, that pivotal agricultural policies be adopted to guarantee relative food security in society and that measures be taken to check corruption, monopoly and illegally gained fortunes." elsewhere in his message to the expediency council, the leader of the islamic revolution underlined the importance of guaranteeing legitimate investments and creating jobs with regards to the country's natural and geographical capacities. the leader's message said in drawing up foreign policies, the already declared principles of the islamic republic of iran should be taken into consideration, with emphasis on the country's dignity and interest. ayatollah khamenei also reiterated that the general policies should be so ''transparent, explicit and realistic'' that can be executed by officials.

leader of islamic revolution issues message on shirazi's martyrdom (10.4.1999)

tehran, april 10, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei issued a message of condolence here saturday on the assassination of deputy chief of the joint staff command of the armed forces lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi. shirazi, former commander of the ground forces was gunned down at 6:45 hours local time (2:15 gmt) saturday by the terrorist mujahedin khalq organization (mko) and attained the rank of martyrdom. the leader in his message said ''the faithful and brave commander of the islamic army and devoted soldier of the religion and the holy quran attained martyrdom at the hands of the criminal, bloodthirsty and disgraced munafiqeen (hypocrites).'' he stressed that this is not the first nor the last time a faithful and lover of the lofty ideas of the divine faith has been martyred by the dirty, criminal and corrupt hands of those mercenaries who have to earn their livelihood only through serving the enemies of islam. praising the services rendered by the late shirazi, the supreme leader added that the hot plains of khuzestan and the high mountains of kurdestan had witnessed the preparedness and devotion of the brave and determined man who left numerous memories of his courage and self-sacrifice during the eight-year sacred defence period. the heads of arrogant powers, despite their claims to be opposed to any acts of terrorism, are expecting their hired terrorists in iran to assassinate sturdy and resistant revolutionary combatants in order to pave the way for domination over the islamic republic of iran. the supreme leader of the islamic revolution in his message also extended condolences to the nation, armed forces, war veterans and the family of the deceased.

leader describes this year's hajj as most successful (7.4.1999)

tehran, april 7, irna -- paramount leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei here wednesday received the staff of the leader's office in holy mecca and executive officials responsible for hajj. the leader thanked the officials and staff for their efforts in conducting the hajj ceremony and assessed this year's hajj pilgrimage as the most successful in recent years. ayatollah khamenei described the hajj as a blessing for the muslims as it was a demonstration of the greatness of the unified islamic ummah and an expression of the power to stand up to unbelievers and global arrogance. the supreme leader referred to the successful holding of the "disavowal from pagans" ceremony in this year's hajj and hoped that through greater awareness among muslims of the realities and the philosophy behind hajj, this ceremony will be held in a more befitting manner in the coming years. appreciating the frugality in this year's annual hajj pilgrimage, the leader referred to the spirituality ruling over the hajj rituals as a kind of mortification and endurance of hardships characterizing this ceremony and stressed the need to continue this practice. prior to the leader's speech, the amir-ul hajj of the iranian pilgrims, hojatoleslam mohammad mohammadi reyshahri termed this year's hajj pilgrimage as one of the most tranquil and successful. the disavowal from pagans ceremony in this year's hajj was conducted according to the views of the late imam khomeini and the guidelines set by the leader of the islamic revolution, he stated. referring to the frugality practiced in this year's pilgrimage, he announced that dlrs six million had been saved as a result of measures adopted.

leader says `western democracy' responsible for kosovo crisis (5.4.1999)

 tehran, april 5, irna -- the supreme leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei said here monday that `western democracy' was responsible for the sufferings of the kosovar muslims. addressing senior officials in a ceremony on the auspicious occasion of eid ul-ghadir, the leader said ''what is happening to the kosovar muslims today, the same thing which befell the bosnian muslims as well as the muslim people of palestine, is a consequence of western democracy which deals with anyone and any group opposed to them, in the severest manner.'' he added that sufferings and massacre of muslims in kosovo was a manifestation of apparently democratic but actually despotic governments. ayatollah khamenei said the aim of the ongoing war in kosovo, like the previous one in bosnia, was annihilation of the muslims in europe. referring to the unauthorized attacks of the nato on belgrade, the leader stated ''the presence of muslim in europe is contrary to the selfish and apparently democratic objectives of the western rulers. the nato strikes, contrary to the western propaganda, have not only failed to bring tranquillity to muslims, but have worsened their situation.''

on the auspicious occasion of eid ul-ghadir which commemorates the day the holy prophet of islam (pbuh) appointed hadhrat ali ibn abitalib (as) as his righteous successor and the first infallible imam of the prophet's household, the leader congratulated the muslim ummah particularly the brave iranian nation. the leader of the islamic revolution the elaborated on the lofty goal of the message of ghadir and called it a focal point of islamic thought for perfection of the human societies and said the principle of `velayat' has been source of unity and inspiration. ayatollah khamenei regarded `velayat' and `islamic state' as the features of the legal message of the ghadir. comparing the islamic state and velayat with secular states, the leader stressed that the islamic state is based on justice and performance of religious duties. the supreme leader rejected the idea that the establishment of religious sovereignty will harm the sanctity of the divine religion. he said the sanctity of religion is the truth which would leave a positive impact on the affairs of the people in this world and the hereafter and improve their livelihood. this, stressed the paramount leader, will only be achieved through religious sovereignty. prior to the leader's speech president hojjatoleslam seyyed mohammad khatami felicitated the supreme leader of the islamic revolution and the muslim ummah, particularly the iranian nation on the auspicious occasion of eid-ul ghadir which is a public holiday in iran.

iranian pilgrims felicitate leader on ghadir feast (4.4.1999)

mecca, saudi arabia, april 4, irna -- the leader's representative and head of the iranian pilgrims, hojjatoleslam mohammad mohammadi rey-shahri, issued a message sunday felicitating, on behalf of iranian pilgrims, the leader of the islamic revolution, ayatollah seyed ali khamenei, on ghadir feast. the message issued here on the eve of the muslim feast of ghadir called the event of ghadir as a great feast for the iranian nation who love velayat-e eslami and understood its outstanding status when it helped awaken iranian muslims. the message added that in the material-tainted world velayat-e eslami would be the only means that ensures prosperity of the wondering man. the iranian pilgrims who have just performed the hajj rituals once again reaffirm their allegiance to the leader of the islamic revolution, the message added.

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