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Leader urges officials to strive for national strength (20.3.2001)

Tehran, March 20, IRNA -- The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his new year message called on the three branches of government to strive for national strength by relying on the God Almighty and public trust. Ayatollah Khamenei said national strength will guarantee the identity and dignity of every country. The Leader cautioned that plots are under way to undermine the country's national strength, adding that those nations interested in progress and development should take steps to consolidate their national strength. National strength is not confined to military power alone but rather it has wider scope, the Leader said, calling on the three branches of power to safeguard the country's national strength. Ayatollah Khamenei said the public's high turnout in the 8th presidential elections slated for June will be the manifestation of national strength and national determination. The Leader expressed hope that the Iranian nation, by relying on its national strength, will be able to foster unity and security in the new Iranian year. The Leader said the new year should be one for addressing the basic demands of the nation, that is creation of productive jobs. Ayatollah Khamenei said economic studies show that the starting point for any activity is employment. ``It is beneath of our country to see a large portion of its population, mostly talented youth, being deprived of productive jobs,'' said the Supreme Leader. The Leader said that of course the quality of employment is important. However, job creation has top priority. Ayatollah Khamenei said studies were conducted in the previous Iranian year in connection with employment and due planning were also made in this respect. All should endeavor in this regard to ensure proper implementation of relevant programs, added the Leader. The Supreme Leader said planning for employment is a task which rests upon the executive branch of government, but the Judiciary and Legislature too should give a hand to the government in this respect. Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader called on officials of three branches of power, including military commanders to follow the pattern set by Imam Ali (A.S.), the first Imam of Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) infallible household, in their deeds and words in the new Iranian year. Ayatollah Khamenei said last year was named after Imam Ali (A.S.) and many cultural and scientific programs were carried out in his name but what is important is to act like the Imam and try to move in the same direction as Imam Ali (A.S.) did. The Leader congratulated the Iranian nation, particularly the bereaved families of martyrs, the disabled war veterans and those missing-in-action (MiAs), as well as all other Muslim nations such as the people of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, who observe Noruz rituals, on the occasion. The Supreme Leader expressed hope that the new year would be full of blessing, prosperity, success and closeness to God, for all peoples, especially the noble nation of Iran.
:irna 17:09

Leader receives members of Imam's household (18.3.2001)

Tehran, March 18, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Sunday received relatives of the Founder of the Islamic Revolution, the late Imam Khomeini. The Imam's wife and his grandson Hojatoleslam Hassan Khomeini were among those who called on the supreme Leader.  Paying tribute to the Father of the Islamic Republic and his  beloved son Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khomeini, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the great patience and tolerance of the Imam's household.
::irna 14:15

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Ayatollah Khamenei addresses Iranian Hajj pilgrims caretakers (17.3.2001)

Tehran, March 17, IRNA -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei received the caretaker of Iranian Hajis Hojatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Nik-Reyshahri and members of the Hajj Pilgrimage Coordination Committee Saturday evening. The leader thanked the efforts made by the said committee, particularly during the annual rally staged to voice the world Muslims' denouncement of paganism in Holy Mecca. Ayatollah Khamenei stressed, "you must resort to innovative methods aimed at upgrading the level of the cultural propaganda you offer the Hajis and provide the necessary facilities for them in order to enable them to perform these most glorious Islamic rituals at more ease and get best results out of them." Ayatollah Khamenei referred to organizing such mass activities as reciting Imam Ali's Komeil Supplication and making necessary arrangements to answer the cultural questions that strike the minds of the pilgrims, particularly through providing good books for them. "Even in staging the annual demonstrations to denounce the pagans, you must not forget the innovation and quality factors," said the leader. The services offered to the pilgrims should be quite systematic and well organized form the time they register for this spiritual activity to the day the return to their homes, said Ayatollah Khamenei. The Supreme Leader elsewhere in his remarks stressed, "none of these measures should overshadow the spirituality factor, that is the main essence of the Hajj pilgrimage." Before the leader's address, Hojatoleslam Reyshahri presented some statistics about this year's Hajj pilgrimage and particularly referred to the glorious demonstrations staged in mecca to denounce the pagan's plots against the world Muslims. Referring to the victory of the Palestinian nation in their Intifada revolution and the Lebanese in forcing the Zionists to leave their soil, Reyshahri added, "we arranged for eight gatherings in Mecca and Medina during this year's Hajj rituals, which received the warm welcome of the Iranian and foreign Hajis." Hojatoleslam Reyshahri also referred to some of the problems with which some Iranian pilgrims were involved, including housing and transportation problems and hoped such problems would be eliminated through wise planning in the future.

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A record 1.5 million pilgrims poured into Saudi Arabia this year for the Hajj, in addition to around 500,000 Muslim pilgrims who make it from inside the Kingdom. Hajj is one of the five basic pillars of Islamic ritual. Every able-bodied Muslim with the financial means is required to make the Hajj at least once in his lifetime. 232 sorties of Iran Air flights transferred 75,033 Iranian pilgrims from various Iranian cities to to Saudi Arabia this year to pay homage to the holy shrine of Prophet Mohammad and visit their four infallible Imams' graves at Baqi'a cemetery and to perform the grand Haj rituals. The total number of the Iranians who had the honor of performing his most glorious Islamic ritual eventually reached 87,500 pilgrims.
:irna 22:54

Imam Khamene'i led the last Friday Prayer in Iranian Calender Year (16.3.2001)

Tehran, March 16 - The Islamic Republic of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led the last weekly Friday Prayers of Tehran in the run-up of the current Iranian calendar year 1379 (ending on March 21st) named by himself after Imam Ali (AS) at the mausoleum of the late Founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini. The pious inhabitants of Tehran had the chance to meet their beloved Leader, pay homage to the late Imam Khomeini, his passed away son,Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini on the anniversary of his demise (Friday March 16), and vow new allegiance with the martyrs of the Islamic revolution. Different walks of Muslim worshippers congregated in the religio-political ritual of the Friday Prayers led by the Supreme Leader at the shrine of the late Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In his first religious sermon,the Leader gave his special praise to Imam Ali (AS) and reiterated the first Shiite infallible Leader, Imam Ali(AS) is the role model for the Islamic State in Iran. Imam Ali(AS) is the manifestation of thedivine justice as well as personal righteousness and all Iranian and non-Iranian statemen and officials ought to follow his directives, the Grand Leader stressed. Quoting Imam Ali(AS), the Leader of Tehran's Friday Prayers said every single official in the Islamic territories must be righteous and then try to implement the justice and righteousness in the Islamic society.The Supreme Leader underscored that in Islam the ends never justify means and the incumbent politicians must not seek illegitimate ways to hold power. Imam Ali(AS) is resplendent star leading his followers to salvation , righteousness and justice, the Leader stressed.The Islamic of Republic of Iran is capable to implement justice and all officials are duty bound to fight with injustice and enforce the Islamic values, the Leader continued. In his second political sermon, commemorating the demise anniversary of the late Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini stood out among the issues raised by the Supreme Leader. He said the late Seyyed Ahmad Khomeiniwas devotee follower of Islam and the Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and that was why the enemies of the Revolution caused him lots of inconveneinces.

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Elsewhere in his second sermon, he warned the enemies were looking for infilterating among high ranking statemen or in some cases, conspiratorstake side with one of the political leanings to drive the wedge between them. Fortunately, most of the conspiracies to divide among Muslims in the country have failed but we must be vigilant and foil the plots, the Leader added. All political factions and leanings in the Islamic Iran should abhor any aliensor counter-revolutionies suspicious supports and express their disavowal ofthe Zionist and western media.IRIB

Ayatollah Khamenei warns of rift among Iranian officials (16.3.2001)

Tehran, March 16, IRNA -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called on officials to watch out for the covert and overt threats posed by the enemies to create rift among them, stressing that they should stand united against the enemies' plots. "... Enemies frequently change their strategies and in the status quo, they are seeking to create division among officials in different apparatuses of Iran's Islamic system," Ayatollah Khamenei told thousands of worshipers attending the weekly Friday congregational prayers at the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam

Khomeini. It was the last Friday prayers of the current Iranian calendar year which ends on March 20. President Mohammad Khatami, Parliamentary Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Judiciary Head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attended the function. Ayatollah Khamenei urged the officials to make efforts for establishment of national security in the country. "The enemies create rift among the officials by praising one and criticizing another affiliated to a camp different from the former through their wide-ranging media," he said. The supreme leader noted that the Iranian presidents have thus far looked out for the enemies plots and managed to foil all. He praised President Khatami, saying, "from the very beginning, the president (Khatami) thwarted all attempts by Western media which pretended to support him." Ayatollah Khamenei also warned against adopting any stance that might benefit the enemies. Ayatollah Khamenei called on Iran's reformist leaders, without identifying any by name, "to break free from the propaganda in their favor." "Even today, foreign media, which are run directly or indirectly by Zionist circles, give flattering words in favor of some while they fire shots at others," he said. "The remnants of the counter-revolution, foreign intelligence services and their agents in the country have always looked forward to dividing the political and also the religious leaders of the regime," he said. Ayatollah Khamenei also took the moment in his second sermon to condole the nation on the sixth anniversary of the passing away of Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khomeini who was the only surviving son of Imam Khomeini. Hoj. Ahmad Khomeini deceased at the age of 50 on March 17, 1995 in the wake of a heart failure. "After the demise of his beloved father, Ahmad continued the path of defending the values and principles of the Islamic Revolution which was initiated by his father," the leader said. Ahmad Khomeini was a prominent face in the struggle against the oppressors, and spared no efforts to safeguard the legacy of his immortal father. Before the 1979-Islamic Revolution, he suffered exile and hardships along with his father, and after the triumph of the movement and the founding of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Ahmad Khomeini was frequently seen flanking his father at his public appearances.
:irna 18:17

Ayatollah Khamenei to lead last Friday Prayers of Tehran (14.3.2001)

Tehran, March 14, IRNA -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will lead the last weekly Friday Prayers of Tehran at the end of the current Iranian calendar year 1379, named by himself after Imam Ali (AS) at the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini. Tehran Friday Prayer Headquarters issued a communique on the occasion in which the pious inhabitants of Tehran are encouraged not to miss the opportunity. "You will have the chance to meet your beloved leader, pay homage to Imam Khomeini, his son, Seyed Ahmad Khomeini on the anniversary of his demise (Friday March 16), and vow new allegiance with the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution," says the communique.
:irna 17:23

Leader felicitates Muslims on Eid al-Qadir (14.3.2001)

Tehran, March 14, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday offered felicitations to the Iranian people, the world Muslim community and all justice loving people on Eid al-Qadir. Al-Qadir is the place where Prophet Mohammad (PBHU) introduced Imam Ali (AS) as his successor upon his return from Hajj pilgrimage to Holy Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims throughout the world celebrate anniversary of the auspicious occasion which falls on March 14 this year. The Supreme Leader said in his address to thousands of people who had gathered to felicitate the leader on the occasion that the philosophy of the prophet's decision to introduce Imam Ali (AS) was to pave the way for continued guidance of human being to build a prosperous and fair human community in the entire globe. Ayatollah Khamenei said that Prophet Mohammad has been appointed by the Almighty God to guide the human being toward virtue and clean life and the Prophet assigned Imam Ali as his successor to indicate permanency of guidance to the human being. The leader said that the Imams of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Infallible Household proceeded with guidance of human community and that with advent of Imam Mahdi (May God hasten his reappearance), the human being will enjoy a real life. "The human community needs the beneficence of guidance Prophet Mohammad (SA) and Imams of his Infallible Household offered. That's why the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic resurrection have set a unique pattern to the entire human community," the Supreme leader said. "The Iranian nation resorted to Islam and leadership of Holy Quran which is in line with bright direction al-Qadir has set. The Islamic movement in Iran helped flourish Islam's influence in the entire world, the leader said. The Supreme Leader said that the Islamic Revolution has followed Prophet Mohammad's guidance so that none of the anti-Iran hostile propaganda campaign would work and God willing, the Islamic Revolution will be successful to prepare the ground for Imam Mahdi's reappearance.
:irna 15:24

Leader receives President prior to Moscow trip (11.3.2001)

Tehran, March 11, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday received President Mohammad Khatami prior to his three-day visit to Russia. The Leader wished Khatami success on the trip.
:irna 19:04

Leader lauds efforts to locate dead bodies of MiAs (10.3.2001)

Tehran, March 10, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei here Saturday praised those engaged in operations to search for the dead bodies of the Missing-in-Action (MiAs) and said the valuable service symbolically meant that martyrdom, martyrs and self-sacrifice have not yet gone into oblivion and would be kept in minds forever. The Leader said the fact that will be kept alive both in history and in future is the same path traversed by martyrs and passed on to mankind through devotion. Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran's destiny is linked with this path, revived by father of the Islamic Revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, and enemies will not be able to prevent Iranian nation from following the path of martyrs. The Leader thanked the forces involved in operations to search for the MIAs and lauded the patience shown by their families. Prior to the Leader's speech, Brigadier General Baqerzadeh, Commander of the team in charge of searching for the MiAs, said that in light of the operations, launched in northwestern, western and southern parts of the country, 47,000 bodies of the MiAs were recovered since start of the operations.
:irna 17:05

Leader outlines state policies in economic fields (10.3.2001)

Tehran, March 10, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Saturday communicated the country's general policies in the fields of economic security, energy, water resources, mining, natural resources and transport to the heads of the three branches of government. The Supreme Leader also called on the heads of three branches of government to put these general policies into force in state planning. The Leader said in the introduction of his directive that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic has stipulated the goals and demands of the Iranian nation and provided a framework for legislation and policy making in this respect. The Supreme Leader said that the major characteristics of the Constitution is its strong compatibility with the developments and needs of the time, removing the bottlenecks and utilizing expert studies to offer practical solutions to the problems. The Leader said that in line with Article 110 of the Constitution, he had assigned the Expediency Council to draw up the general and long term policies of the Islamic Republic and single out the matters to which the government should give priority and to this end, economic security, energy, water resources, mining, natural resources and transport have been specified as the priorities. "I issue the guidelines and the heads of the three branches of government are required to focus their planning on these topics," the Supreme Leader said. The Leader said that the guidelines should go into effect within the framework of the Constitution and its violation will not be acceptable. Elsewhere in his directive, Ayatollah Khamenei outlined in details the general policies for supporting the manufacturing sector, investment and job creation. The guidelines defines economic security as supporting public welfare, helping economic growth, preparing the ground for economic justice and eliminating poverty. The Leader further said that the government and the parliament are required to enact necessary legislations in this respect. The package also calls for modification in the taxation system. The guidelines said that the legislations supporting the goals mentioned above should be transparent and compatible with the respective laws. The guidelines require the Judiciary to make specialized investigations into economic offenses. According to the guidelines, the public sector, the cooperatives and the private sector should be provided with equal opportunities in business activities. The guidelines calls for exploration of oil and gas resources and optimal utilization of oil resources. The package urges export of oil derivatives instead of crude oil and provision of high-tech for gas, oil and petrochemical industries. It authorizes attraction of domestic and foreign investment in the oil and gas sector (in line with relevant laws). As for the mining sector, the guidelines calls for increasing the share of mineral industry in gross national product (GNP) and providing the hardware required for the mining industry from domestic industries. It also seeks development of scientific cooperation with international firms active in the field of mining industries. The package calls for development and conservation of water, soil and environment, development of genetic and ecological know-how and setting up necessary data bases to attract public participation. The guidelines recommended the development of transportation facilities to help the country play a satisfactory role in the international transportation, taking into account all safety, security and economic parameters.
:irna 19:34

Leader: Islamic world passing through a critical phase (4.3.2001)

Mecca, March 4, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday said that the Hajj makes every Muslim recognize that the prestige, all-round success and welfare of Islamic countries can be attained only under the light of the two principles of `tawhid' and `wahdah'. "Tawhid means negation of the lordship of tyrants and despots and rejection of the supremacy of wealth and might. The wahdah is expressive of the honor and power of Muslims," said the Leader in a message to the annual Hajj congregation here Sunday. The Leader said that the great Hajj congregation this year may receive scores of reports from dozens of Islamic countries that each creates responsibility for Muslims and together set in perspective the realities faced by the great Islamic ummah. Stressing that the Islamic world is passing through a critical phase in its history, the message underlined the great responsibility that Muslim governments and nations undertake in this connection. "Admission of this responsibility and commitment to it can close a sorry chapter of weakness and misfortune in the history of Islam and inaugurate another chapter of the prestige and greatness of the Islamic world and its material and intellectual glory," read the message in part. Elsewhere in his message, the Leader said the Western world which has been an aggravating agent of the weakness and backwardness of the Islamic countries, is itself entrenched in great and insoluble problems. However, the message further continued, a gentle breeze of awakening caresses the bruised and vexed face of the Islamic world, adding that the signs of this awakening are visible in its different parts, especially in the heroic Iran and in Lebanon and Palestine as well. Stressing that the spell of indignity and domination of the West has been broken, the message said however the road ahead is still a long and arduous one but is one which is without any uncertainty. "At the present moment the people of Palestine have taken up a great share in opening this road and in advancing on it. We should all assist that brave and oppressed nation. Other nations and governments can fulfill their role in advancing on this road by helping the heroic people of Palestine." The message noted that thousands of propaganda means are active to make Muslims lose hope in their future and to allure them towards a future that suits the enemy's evil intentions. "This cultural propaganda and psychological warfare have been the West's most effective tool in its bid to dominate Islamic countries," read the message, adding that struggle against this ploy is not possible except by rejection of the West's domineering and self-imposing culture. Western culture needs to be fractionalized and separated by the intelligentsia and the elite so that its useful elements may be absorbed and its harmful, destructive and corrupting elements need to be wiped out from the minds and practice of Islamic societies, it said. Reminding the religious scholars, the intelligentsia and the political elite throughout the Islamic world of the all-round and promising struggle that lies in front of them, the message expressed the hope that the Hajj this year will make everyone more resolute in advancing on this worthy and blessed path.
:irna 14:04

Leader's Hajj Message (3.3.2001)

Mecca, March 4, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent a message to the annual Hajj congregation here Sunday. The following is the full text of the message:

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May blessings and peace be upon our Master, Muhammad, and the pure ones of his progeny.

Allah, the All-wise, says in the Qur'an: This ummah (community) of yours is a single ummah, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.

Once again the Hajj season is back with its great pageant held yearly in the land of revelation and prophethood, once more with its wonderful and inspiring scenes. Like an ocean it receives the torrential streams of Muslim nations from all over the world, giving a concrete expression to the solidarity and amity of the one ummah under the banner of tawhid. The common sentiments of this huge congregation express the hopes, needs, problems and capacities of the great Islamic ummah.

The Hajj grounds are now playing host to visitors from Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa, Turkey, Bosnia, and from all over Asia and Europe. Their eager hearts may be spokesmen of the heart of the Islamic ummah. Of the purposes of Hajj is to bring about this nearness and exchange within the worldwide Muslim community.

The bond that connects all these hearts is the message that was first proclaimed in this land. It then spread throughout the world and history. It is the message of tawhid and wahdah, the unity of God (tawhid) and the unity of the Muslim ummah (wahdah). Tawhid means negation of the lordship of tyrants and despots and rejection of the supremacy of wealth and might. The wahdah is expressive of the honour and power of Muslims. More than anything that may be said or written, the hajj rehearses this eternal message every year in the form of its great congregation and sends it out to Muslims all over the world. Once again in the Hajj season it makes every Muslim, whatever part of the world he may inhabit, recognize the fact that the prestige, all-round success and welfare of Islamic countries can be attained only under the light of these two principles: tawhid in all its individual, social and political aspects, and wahdah in its correct, feasible sense in the contemporary world.

In the great Hajj congregation of this year one may receive scores of sweet and bitter reports from dozens of Islamic countries. Each of these messages creates responsibility for other brothers, and together they set in perspective before us the realities faced by the great Islamic ummah.

There is the message of the people of Iraq, who face adversity, poverty and humiliating conditions due to the wrongdoings of foreign intervention and the disruption caused by it, as well due to the dictatorship and unwisdom of its rulers. There is the message of the people of Afghanistan, the fruits of whose past struggles have been cast to the winds by prejudice and shortsightedness, making this nation a victim of a mindless belligerent group. There is the message of the people of Bosnia whose Islamic identity is threatened by the policies of de-Islamization pursued by the Americans and their allies, subjecting their national sovereignty to gradual destruction. There is the call of the people of Palestine who have firmly held up the proud banner of the Intifada and blunted the sword or Zionist oppression and cruelty with the blood of their youth. There is the message of the glorious resistance of the people of Lebanon, who have turned to a jest the myth of the invincibility of the usurpers of Palestine, making them swallow humiliation and ignominious defeats. There are the messages from the nations of Central Asia, East Asia, Africa, the Muslim minorities in Europe and the United States, each of which bring reports of their joys and sufferings, success and hardship. Ultimately there is the message of the proud people of Iran, who with all their endurance, resourceful faith, and daily accumulating experience in confronting hostilities and plots, convey to their admirers and enthusiasts their unshakable determination to establish an ideal Islamic society.

The Islamic Ummah is presently experiencing these victories and reversals.

The Muslim governments and nations have a great responsibility in relation to these facts. The Islamic world is passing through a critical phase in its history. Admission of this responsibility and commitment to it can close a sorry chapter of weakness and misfortune in the history of Islam and inaugurate another chapter of the prestige and greatness of the Islamic world and its material and intellectual glory.

The Western world, which has been an aggravating agent of the weakness and backwardness of the Islamic countries, is itself entrenched in great and insoluble problems. The corrosive influences of materialism and capitalism on the foundations of that materialistic civilization have become gradually evident. Step by step they expose the chronic maladies that have remained hidden under the glitter of industry and capital, giving warnings of an imminent crisis.

A gentle breeze of awakening caresses the bruised and vexed face of the Islamic world. The signs of this awakening are visible in its different parts, especially in the heroic Iran and in Lebanon and Palestine as well. The glow of hope illuminates the hearts of the youth everywhere. The spell of indignity and the domination of the West has been broken. This opportunity has not been obtained easy and cheap. Thousands of precious lives have been sacrificed for its sake. The road ahead is still a long and arduous one, but is one which is without any uncertainty.

At the present moment the people of Palestine have taken up a great share in opening this road and in advancing on it. We should all assist that brave and oppressed nation. Other nations and governments can fulfill their role in advancing on this road by helping the heroic people of Palestine.

The biggest weapon against this rising tide of awakening in the hands of the arrogant enemy, whose illegitimate interests are threatened by the awakening of the Islamic ummah, is that of psychological warfare. It consists of creation of despair and hopelessness among Muslims, affronts to Muslim identity, flaunting of its material power and capacities. Thousands of propaganda means are active today, and so will be tomorrow, to make Muslims lose hope in their future and to allure them towards a future that suits the enemy's evil intentions. This cultural propaganda and psychological warfare have been the West's most effective tool in its bid to dominate Islamic countries. The targets of this barrage have been the intelligentsia and educated elite in the first place, and then the mass of the people. Struggle against this ploy is not possible except by rejection of the West's domineering and self-imposing culture. Western culture needs to be fractionalized and separated by the intelligentsia and the elite. Its useful elements may be absorbed and its harmful, destructive and corrupting elements need to be wiped out from the mind and practice of Islamic societies. The criterion of judgment in this prodigious process of purification is the Islamic culture and the fruitful, guiding and resourceful ideas of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This is a basic part of the all-round and promising struggle that lies in front of the scholars of religion, the intelligentsia and the political elite throughout the Islamic world.

With the hope that the hajj this year will make everyone more resolute in advancing on this worthy and blessed path, I plead to Allah, the Most Exalted, to bless all the pilgrims with the performance of a hajj worthy of His acceptance, and to enable them to profit from the blessings and barakaat of this matchless observance. I invoke blessings on the Baqiyyatullah, (the Imam al-Mahdi), blessings as vast as Divine mercy and beneficence, may Allah appoint an early breakthrough for him and may our souls be ransomed for him whose auspicious presence is expected in this yearly ceremony, and I pray to Allah to grant the supplications and prayers of all the pilgrims.

Was-Salamu alayhi wa alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Ali al-Husayni al-Khamene'i

6 Dhul Hijjah, 1421, 12 Isfand, 1379 (3 March, 2001)

 
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