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Leader grants aid for Bam rebuilding

Tehran, Dec 30 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei allocated Tuesday rls one billion to rebuild the houses of quake-stricken people in the city of Bam, southeastern Iran. The Supreme Leader Monday flew to Bam, 1,000 km southeast of the capital, Tehran and pledged to rebuild the city. An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the open-ended Richter scale rocked the city of Bam, in the province of Kerman on Friday morning. 

Leader appreciates relief operations 

Tehran, Dec 30 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei appreciated the race against the clock operations of the rescue workers and the efforts of the government agencies to alleviate sufferings of the noble people of Ba m. Winding up his inspection of the tragedy-hit city of Bam, the Supreme Leader said that the operations should systematically continue. "The extent of the tragedy is immense, destruction is overwhelming, people of other cities have made good contribution. They are expected to proceed with their assistance to their fellow compatriots to leave behind the hard time," the Supreme Leader sa id. The Supreme Leader said on Monday that the hearts of all Iranians are full of grief for the bitter event in Bam. "My heart and that of all Iranians are full of grief for the immense tragedy that happened to the noble people of Bam. I and all Iranians share the heavy burden of the grief with those who lost their loved ones in the sorrowful tragedy," the Supreme Le ader said. Ayatollah Khamenei recommended that all the relief operations be brought under a centralized administration to avoid waste of time. The Supreme Leader said,"the tragedy is a divine test which should not weaken our spirit." "We should strengthen our spirit to leave behind the bitter tragedy. Many nations which had been victims to immense tragedies managed to build on the destruction and came out making progress and advance." "We should take advantage of the bitter tragedy to strengthen the national resolve to build the future." The Supreme Leader thanked the army of the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Basij (volunteer forces), Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS), the Islamic Republic of Iran Police (IRIP) and all rescue workers who have come to help the people of Bam since Friday. 

 

We Will Build a Flourishing, Stable, and Better City Out of the Ruins of Bam: Leader

BAM, Kerman Province, Dec. 29 (Mehr News Agency) — The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, visited the quake-stricken city of Bam Monday morning.

Ayatollah Khamenei told the grief-stricken people of Bam that the death of so many young people and other victims of the great calamity had pained his heart and aggrieved the nation and officials, adding that their memory would never fade from anyone’s mind.

The Leader visited various areas of the city during the first two hours of his stay in Bam.

Ayatollah Khamenei offered his heartfelt condolences to the patient people of Bam, the neighboring villages, and the Iranian nation.

“Our hearts are full of grief, but we will build a flourishing, stable, and better city out of the ruins of Bam with the help of God and by the will and determination of the officials and people,” the Leader said.

“Over the past few days, great grief has constantly weighed on my heart,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei called the Bam earthquake a divine trial, adding that, nevertheless, the heavy grief would continue to weigh on everyone’s hearts.

The Leader stressed that reconstruction of buildings damaged in the catastrophe could be carried out through determined efforts and timely measures.

He went on to say that the devastating event should inspire efforts to rebuild a stable city out of the ruins of Bam and referred to nations who similarly started off on the path of great advancements out of the heart of ruins and grief.

Ayatollah Khamenei expressed gratitude to the officials who have been in the quake-stricken city since the day of the earthquake, adding that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Army, the Basij (volunteer forces), the police, the Red Crescent, and many government organizations have been attending to the injured.

The Leader stressed that due to the massive damage caused by the earthquake, all officials and organizations are duty bound to use all the facilities at their disposal to organize relief operations for the injured.

He said that officials should continue to fulfill the needs of the grief-stricken people of Bam in line with plans of the centralized management team that has been established.

The Leader added that this management should be enhanced in order to alleviate every bit of the people’s suffering and pain.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the assistance process has increased in quantity and quality, stressing that the entire Iranian nation rushed to make efforts to help those injured by the terrible event with tears in their eyes and grieving hearts.

He stated that the Iranian people sympathized with the suffering people of Bam, adding that their assistance would continue.

The Supreme Leader also prayed to God to grant patience, forbearance, and heavenly rewards to the grief-stricken people of Bam.

 

Supreme Leader attends meeting of executive officials in Bam

Tehran, Dec 29, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Monday attended a meeting of the executive officials in the devastated city of Bam and offered necessary recommendations. The participants of the meeting, First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref, Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Rahim Safavi, Commander of the Air Force Brigadier General Reza Pardis, Commander of the Basij (volunteer forces) Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi, Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Police (IRIP) Brigadier General Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the head of the office for deprived areas Jalil Besharati, Kerman Governor General Mohammad Ali Karimi, Bam Governor Shafiei, and several other officials briefed the Supreme Leader on the stages of the intensive rescue operations and relief works being carried out in the city. The Supreme Leader said that the round-the-clock operations should go ahead to alleviate the sufferings of the noble people of Bam. The Supreme Leader emphasized the need for a centralized administration of the rescue and relief operations to boost the speed of service rendering to the people, including food and medical supplies as well as providing them with shelters in the freezing nights. All the survivors have been provided with sufficient tents and as the Supreme Leader said the government would rebuild the ancient city.

 

Supreme Leader: Hearts of all Iranians are full of grief

Tehran, Dec 29, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Monday that the hearts of all Iranians are full of grief for the bitter event in Bam. "My heart and that of all Iranians are full of grief for the great tragedy that happened to the noble people of Bam. I and all Iranians share the heavy burden of the grief with those who lost their loved ones in the sorrowful tragedy," the Supreme Leader said. The Supreme Leader, currently on a visit to Bam to inspect relief operations, said that every institution of the Islamic Republic is required to mobilize all resources to properly respond to the needs of the people of Bam and alleviate their sufferings. Ayatollah Khamenei recommended that all the relief operations be brought under a centralized administration to avoid waste of time. The Supreme Leader said "the tragedy is a divine test which should not weaken our spirit. "We should strengthen our spirit to leave behind the bitter tragedy. Many nations which had been victims to great tragedies managed to build on the destruction and came out making progress and advance." "We should take advantage of the bitter tragedy to strengthen national resolve to build the future." The Supreme Leader thanked the Army of the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Basij (volunteer forces), Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and all the rescue workers who have come to help the people of Bam since Friday. 215/212

Supreme Leader in Bam to inspect quake-hit city

Bam, Kerman prov, Dec 29, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei arrived here in this southeastern city this morning to become further familiar with the situation in the quake-hit area. The Supreme Leader along with several senior officials are currently inspecting different parts of the city and are being briefed on the latest relief aid provided to the survivors of the killer quake. A killer quake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale hit the city of Bam in the southeastern province of Kerman at 05 :28 hours local time (0158 GMT) on Friday, killing more than 20,000 people and injuring tens of thousands of others. 

 

Supreme Leader receive Haj officials 

Tehran, Dec 27 - Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said here on Saturday that Hajj ritual is the symbol of convergence and unity among Muslim Ummah. Addressing a group of officials in charge of Hajj, Ayatollah Khamenei said Muslims should properly benefit from the exceptional chance made available to them by Hajj to demonstrate their power to the enemies and ill-wishers of the world of Islam. While arrogant powers have concentrated all their efforts on the campaign against Islamic faith and unity, Hajj season will provide a great chance for Muslims to show their immense power and firm beliefs in a bid to prove that power of Muslim Ummah should be taken into consideration in any global equations, said Ayatollah Khamenei. Highlighting the significance of unity among Muslim Ummah, the Supreme Leader stressed the need for the Saudi government to help pilgrims observe the "significant" ceremony of disavowal of pagans. He called on the audience to avoid raising any divisive issues and said Muslims should have strong logic in defending justice and appreciate the importance of unity among Muslim Ummah. Ayatollah Khamenei said Iranian pilgrims should behave in a way that their deeds would set a model of the Iranian nation's adherence to religious values to other pilgrims during Hajj ritual. 

 

Leader Offers Condolences to Bereaved Families Over Deadly Quake

TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (Mehr News Agency) ­ Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei offered his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the deadly earthquake which hit the historic city of Bam on Friday morning and called on all officials to aid the injured as soon as possible.

Through a condolence message, the Supreme Leader also conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the noble Iranian nation over the heart-rending incident.

Ayatollah Khamenei further prayed to God for fast recovery of the injured people and called the executive bodies to take immediate action in rendering aid to the needy people.

The Supreme Leader asked all the Iranian people specially those in the provinces neighboring Kerman to assist their brothers and compatriots.

 

Islamic Armies View Martyrdom as Honor: Leader

TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (Mehr News Agency) — The graduation ceremony of the first joint class of cadets of military colleges of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran was held yesterday at the Imam Ali (AS) Military College.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who is also the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, also attended the ceremony.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Iran’s national anthem was played. The Leader then visited the Martyrs’ Memorial to pay his respects to the great martyrs of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Afterwards, Ayatollah Khamenei reviewed a military parade.

In his speech at the ceremony, the Leader stressed the difference between the militarization of hegemonic systems which use force to dominate people and the Islamic culture, which uses power for the benefit of humanity, humanitarian values, and divine ideals.

The Leader said armies helping corporations and powerful governments in their plan to dominate the world can more efficiently achieve their goal by being more cruel and uninformed.

But an army which is established with higher goals in mind and depends on humanitarian and religious values is more efficient when it is more informed and popular, he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that martyrdom is the pride of any army whose soldiers fight in the path of Allah.

He stressed that if a war arises between this army and hegemonic powers victory will naturally be with those who view martyrdom as an honor.

The Leader referred to the Iran-Iraq war as an instance of such opposition, calling the event an example for the brave youth of the world.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that Saddam Hussein’s army did not have high ideals and was not able to defend itself and the independence and dignity of the Iraqi nation against the United States, adding that the Iraqi army melted despite its advanced equipment.

He stressed that the U.S. army is doomed to failure against the mountain of faith, stability, and determination of faithful people because it was established to help the hegemonic owners of power and wealth.

The Leader stated that in the Armed Forces strict discipline, a scientific approach, up-to-date education, and access to weapons should always be taken into consideration along with piety, trust in Allah, and dependence on the people.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that most of the international community opposed the U.S. military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, and added that world conquest, domination, and the rule of the jungle are the last achievements of the liberal democracy of the West.

He noted that the inability of international organizations, particularly the United Nations, to prevent the U.S. attacks, adding that those who have pinned their hopes on international organizations are only deceiving themselves under the current circumstances.

The Leader stated that if a nation believes in its honor, dignity, sovereignty, and identity, it should enhance its defensive capabilities.

In conclusion, the Leader said that the Islamic system’s defensive capabilities have spiritual and material aspects, stressing that national unity, cooperation between the general public and officials to create a brighter future, and the preparedness of the faithful Armed Forces to defend their land, people, values, independence, and national honor are the main elements of this power.

 

Supreme Leader attends Army Academy graduation ceremony

Tehran, Dec 25, IRNA - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday attended the graduation ceremony of Imam Ali (AS) Army Academy. The honor Guards performed national anthem and the song of the Islamic Republic in the beginning of the ceremony. Then the Supreme Leader attended the monument of the martyrs to pay tribute to them. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces then reviewed the parades of the graduates of the Army Academy. In his remarks to the ceremony, the Supreme Leader said there is difference in philosophy of the military might in view of the hegemonic powers and that of the Islamic culture. "In the Islamic culture, the power is in the service of humanity and the humanitarian values as well as the divine aspirations. So that the army which serve the interest of the interventionist powers and their greedy companies are preferred to be ignorant and ruthless, but, the army in the services of the lofty humanitarian aspirations are required to boost their knowledge, understanding and give preference to lofty values and popularity as well." "The army in which the soldiers enter into the battlefield in the name of God, death for the sake of the Almighty is a great pride. "In case of conflict between the army of the Islamic culture and the army in the service of hegemonic powers, victory will be on side of those who regard their death for the God's sake." "You see that, (Iraqi) Saddam's army, despite possession of advanced hardware, could not defend national dignity and independence of Iraq, because it had been stripped of lofty aspirations," the Supreme Leader said. "The US army is vulnerable, because it is in the service of the hegemonic goals and greed." The Supreme Leader recommended that the faithful army should observe discipline, boost professional capability and rely upon the Almighty. Ayatollah Khamenei once again recalled the illegitimacy of the US military action in Afghanistan and Iraq and said that the US follows the "rule of jungle" which is another outcome of the "western liberal democracy". The Supreme Leader said that the experience of the US unilateral action against Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the inefficiency of the United Nations to stop such action. "Those who pinned hope in the international forums have deceived themselves. Any nation should think about defense power to safeguard national dignity and independence," Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces said. Prior to the Supreme Leader's remarks, The Army General Commander Major General Mohammad Salimi said that the interventionist powers should know that any greed to Iran's territorial integrity is doomed thanks to preparedness of Iranian armed forces to defend the country.

 

We Will Never Back Down in Our Opposition to Foreign Interference

TEHRAN, Dec. 23 (Mehr News Agency) - The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, met with a group of Muslim scholars, thinkers, and intellectuals on Tuesday in Tehran.

Elaborating on the new and important chances and also the serious threats which the Islamic world faces today, Ayatollah Khamenei told those gathered at the meeting, “Today, through the presentation of a practical religious democracy proving Islam’s power and efficiency, the West has been marginalized and liberalism, in its own homeland and policymaking centers, has faced many contradictions on significant issues such as freedom, democracy, and women’s status.”

He said that holding the conference on the opportunities and challenges facing the Muslim world was a timely and felicitous measure, adding, “Despite the fact that the colonialists were able to dominate the Muslim world and make Muslim nations dependent, now new opportunities for the Muslim world have emerged, the most important of which is Islam itself and its power, since Islam is able to equip Muslims materially and spiritually and unite them.”

He called the gift of the immense power of faithful youth who resist the beguiling attractions of the West one of the opportunities of the Muslim world, and asserted, “That is why the Muslim world today is more lively and hopeful, while Muslim youth and intellectuals feel proud of Islam. This has not been the case in the past.”

Mentioning the death of Marxism and Communism as major opponents of Islam and the advent of political Islam as another chance, he added, “Under the current conditions, the awareness and intellectuality of Muslims in dealing with Western slogans has drastically increased since they have realized that the promise to help develop the Muslim world was only meant to make Muslims submit and depend on them.”

Referring to the real contradictions within liberalism such as chanting slogans about freedom and its silence about the massacre and oppression of children and youth in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Supreme Leader said, “The West, and particularly the United States, chant democratic slogans on the one hand and confront those nations which have voted for Islam in the past on the other hand. Despite the fact that they chant slogans about women’s liberation, we are witnessing the decline of women’s status and the collapse of the family foundation in the West.”

Referring to the U.S. support for the dictators of the region over the past few years, in particular its support for Saddam Hussein and his crimes against the people of Iraq and Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, “With such a record, the U.S. now chants slogans about democracy for the Middle East, which is another example of the current contradictions.”

He said the Western slogans about democracy show its reactionary attitude towards religious democracy, adding, “Religious democracy possesses a powerful and clear logic since Islam is against dictatorship however it is named or from whatever source it might come from.”

Insisting that religious democracy today has been introduced practically to the world, he said, “Twenty-four elections have been held over a period of 25 years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while the people have been directly involved in establishing, shaping, and preserving the system, which is the perfect manifestation of religious democracy.”

He said that he considered the current ideological void in the world to be another opportunity for the Muslim world. “Today we have the best chance to introduce pure Islam to the world since pure Islam insists on human dignity and justice as man’s long-cherished aspirations,” he continued.

Mentioning that pure Islam seeks glory, grandeur, justice, religious democracy, and scientific development for Muslims, Ayatollah Khamenei asserted, “That is why the enemies of Islam, led by Zionism and the U.S., are opposed to the introduction of pure Islam and try to depict this religion either as stone-aged, illogical, unscientific, and lacking in insight, like the Taleban, or as a transmogrified one which has lost its identity in confrontation with the West.”

The Supreme Leader postulated that the enemies of Islam do not dare to confront Muslims directly due to their fear of Muslims’ great power. “Today the enemies of Islam have started a campaign against Muslims all over the world under different pretexts such as the issues of human rights, democracy, the campaign against terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.”

Once again he emphasized the new chances before the Muslim world, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to make use of such opportunities and will stay on the path of religious democracy and never backtrack on Islamic decrees.”

Emphasizing that the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on cooperation and relations with other countries and making use of their scientific expertise, he said, “We will never back down in our opposition to foreign interference and influence and this has infuriated the enemies of Iran.”

Describing the endeavors for expanding justice in society as another important measure taken by the Islamic system, the Leader also noted that there is still a long way to go to reach the desired objective.

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes in the potential of the Islamic world and is capable of taking great steps in the areas of sciences. Therefore, he added science is on the top of the agenda of the scientific centers and universities. In this arena too, good achievements have been gained, he noted.

Referring to the resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in realizing the peoples’ spiritual and material potential, the Leader described disunity as the as the major threat facing the Islamic world. He also noted that through resolving contentious issues and boosting unity and solidarity, the Islamic world should direct its attention to the main enemy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that although the Islamic Republic offers its hand of friendship and unity toward all Muslims and Islamic states, the U.S. and the Zionists are the great Satan and the archenemies of the Muslims. He added that the intellectuals and elites of the Islamic world should identify the people’s main enemies and reveal the hostile methods used by the enemies so that they would not fail to recognize the enemies.

The Leader went on to say that the conference could prepare the scientific grounds for utilizing the views of the elites.

Prior to the Leader’s remarks, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi gave a speech in which he referred to the presence of the scholars and academics from 26 Islamic countries in the International Conference on the Muslim World, Opportunities and Threats. He noted that Islamic vigilance is the main factor for making use of the opportunities and also for thwarting the threats facing the Islamic world. He also mentioned that the Islamic Revolution in Iran led by the late Imam Khomeini has had a main role to play in awakening the Muslims.

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Excerpts of the speech

Nation Should Defend Lofty Goals of Martyrs: Leader

QAZVIN, Dec. 21 (Mehr News Agency) — Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Saturday in Qazvin that honored families of martyrs and other war veterans have institutionalized martyrdom in the country, adding that all grateful Iranians are proud of these families and their devoted sons.

Ayatollah Khamenei was speaking to thousands of family members of martyrs, disabled war veterans, and former prisoners of war (POWs) on the third day of his trip to Qazvin Province.

The Leader referred to the undeniable magnificence of martyrs, disabled war veterans, POWs, and their long-suffering families, adding that once the banner of Islam raised in Iran was seriously threatened by the attack of the beastly Saddam Hussein and his international allies, which included the United States and the Zionist regime.

“But our epic martyrs and other devoted soldiers defended Iran from the great danger that threatened Islam and the Iranian nation, and thus stood on the summit of defense and jihad in the path of God,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that resisting the combined attack of Saddam and his Western and Eastern allies was a magnificent accomplishment, stressing that any other country would have been defeated by the attack.

“But the Iranian nation and the Islamic system resisted the aggressors’ attack for eight years, leaving them disappointed,” he said.

The Leader referred to Iranian families’ patience, forbearance, and insight as the main factors that helped the faithful Iranian youth fight the imposed war, adding that officials and those who influence public opinion should be grateful for the sacrifices, forbearance, and numerous glorious accomplishments of the martyrs, former POWs, and disabled war veterans, and should make efforts to protect their families.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that in order to protect the martyrs’ magnificent accomplishments, officials and the general public should defend the country’s independence, Islamic values, social and moral justice, and spirituality.

“Our honored martyrs sacrificed their lives to keep these goals alive. The grateful nation is indebted to the great martyrs. Thus any person or group not defending the lofty goals of the nation’s martyrs has acted against the will of the nation,” he added.

The Leader went on to say that the sovereignty and stability of the Iranian nation and the Islamic system is a reward from God for the martyrs’ numerous sacrifices, adding that the martyrs’ fathers, mothers, and children are treading on the path of their beloved family members and are proud of them.

At the beginning of the meeting, Faseeh Ramandi, the managing director of the Qazvin Province Office of the Foundation for Disabled War Veterans, greeted Ayatollah Khamenei on behalf of more than ten thousand members of martyrs’ families as well as a great number of the city’s war veterans.

During the meeting, a mother of two martyrs, Mohammad-Reza and Mahmoud Kabiri, and two disabled sons who were injured during the Islamic Revolution, announced that families of martyrs, war veterans, and former POWs are continuing to follow the path of their children with great pride.

Later in the meeting, Mahdi Shahrvash, the managing director of the Qazvin Province Office of the Martyrs’ Foundation, delivered a report stating that the religious and revolutionary people of Qazvin offered 3000 martyrs, 5600 disabled war veterans, and 700 POWs to Iran during the war.

Fatima Azarakhsh, the daughter of the great martyr Azarakhsh, also recited a text expressing martyrs’ children’s affection for the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

 

Islamic Countries Should Strive towards Advancement of Muslim Ummah: Leader

TEHRAN, December 21 (Mehr News Agency)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here on Sunday met with Askar Akayev, President of Kyrgyzstan and his entourage.

During the meeting Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the necessity of further development and stabilization of Iran-Kyrgyzstan bilateral ties, adding that the Islamic countries, the regional countries in particular, should cooperate closely for the progress and advancement of the Muslim Ummah in regard to their facilities and natural and human resources.

The Supreme Leader referred to the current regional problems such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and the occupied Palestine as yet another reason for the Islamic countries' close cooperation.

He went on to say that the U.S. has transferred its military forces to the Middle East under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the U.S. actions in this regard are illogical, unwise, and against the interests of Afghanistan and Iraq and in fact an attempt to conquer the world.

The Leader reiterated that world conquering is doomed to failure, adding that the U.S. should be ousted from the region and that the Middle Eastern affairs should be handed over to the nations and the regional intellects in order to resolve current problems.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the problems in Palestine are the result of ignoring the country's nation and their interests.

He said that disregarding the rights of the Palestinian nation will get nowhere as was the case with the former Soviet Union that disregarded the rights of the Middle Asian nations for tens of years.

The Leader pointed out that today Palestinians, men and women, old and young, have all entered the scene and stood against the bullets.

During the meeting which was also attended by President Mohammad Khatami, Akayev stressed the necessity of multilateral expansion of Iran-Kyrgyzstan ties.

He said that a number of agreements are due to be signed during the trip in a bid to improve the bilateral relations between the two countries.

"This issue shows the good mutual understanding and high trust that exists between the two sides," Akayev said.

The President of Kyrgyzstan referred to the active Muslims in his country as well as the youth's increasing tendency toward religious and Islamic issues.

He stressed the necessity of close cooperation among Islamic countries for the progress and resistance of the Muslim Ummah and the region toward the current problems.

Akayev, addressing Ayatollah Khamenei said, "I too hold the same opinion about the situation in the Middle East especially the current circumstances in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine".

Nation Should Defend Lofty Goals of Martyrs: Leader

QAZVIN, Dec. 21 (Mehr News Agency) — Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Saturday in Qazvin that honored families of martyrs and other war veterans have institutionalized martyrdom in the country, adding that all grateful Iranians are proud of these families and their devoted sons.

Ayatollah Khamenei was speaking to thousands of family members of martyrs, disabled war veterans, and former prisoners of war (POWs) on the third day of his trip to Qazvin Province.

The Leader referred to the undeniable magnificence of martyrs, disabled war veterans, POWs, and their long-suffering families, adding that once the banner of Islam raised in Iran was seriously threatened by the attack of the beastly Saddam Hussein and his international allies, which included the United States and the Zionist regime.

“But our epic martyrs and other devoted soldiers defended Iran from the great danger that threatened Islam and the Iranian nation, and thus stood on the summit of defense and jihad in the path of God,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that resisting the combined attack of Saddam and his Western and Eastern allies was a magnificent accomplishment, stressing that any other country would have been defeated by the attack.

“But the Iranian nation and the Islamic system resisted the aggressors’ attack for eight years, leaving them disappointed,” he said.

The Leader referred to Iranian families’ patience, forbearance, and insight as the main factors that helped the faithful Iranian youth fight the imposed war, adding that officials and those who influence public opinion should be grateful for the sacrifices, forbearance, and numerous glorious accomplishments of the martyrs, former POWs, and disabled war veterans, and should make efforts to protect their families.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that in order to protect the martyrs’ magnificent accomplishments, officials and the general public should defend the country’s independence, Islamic values, social and moral justice, and spirituality.

“Our honored martyrs sacrificed their lives to keep these goals alive. The grateful nation is indebted to the great martyrs. Thus any person or group not defending the lofty goals of the nation’s martyrs has acted against the will of the nation,” he added.

The Leader went on to say that the sovereignty and stability of the Iranian nation and the Islamic system is a reward from God for the martyrs’ numerous sacrifices, adding that the martyrs’ fathers, mothers, and children are treading on the path of their beloved family members and are proud of them.

At the beginning of the meeting, Faseeh Ramandi, the managing director of the Qazvin Province Office of the Foundation for Disabled War Veterans, greeted Ayatollah Khamenei on behalf of more than ten thousand members of martyrs’ families as well as a great number of the city’s war veterans.

During the meeting, a mother of two martyrs, Mohammad-Reza and Mahmoud Kabiri, and two disabled sons who were injured during the Islamic Revolution, announced that families of martyrs, war veterans, and former POWs are continuing to follow the path of their children with great pride.

Later in the meeting, Mahdi Shahrvash, the managing director of the Qazvin Province Office of the Martyrs’ Foundation, delivered a report stating that the religious and revolutionary people of Qazvin offered 3000 martyrs, 5600 disabled war veterans, and 700 POWs to Iran during the war.

Fatima Azarakhsh, the daughter of the great martyr Azarakhsh, also recited a text expressing martyrs’ children’s affection for the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Participation in Majlis Elections, Religious and Logical Duty: Leader

QAZVIN, Dec. 17 (Mehr News Agency) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday elaborated on the differences between Western democracy and religious democracy, saying the legitimacy of the Islamic system is based on piety and justice but the system loses its popularity and effectiveness without people's vote and that is why elections and the people's vote is very important in a religious democracy.

The Leader made the remarks at a gathering of thousands of fervent students, professors, and youths in the city of Qazvin, west of Tehran.

On the differences between Western liberal democracy and religious democracy, the Leader said, "Relying on liberalism, Western democracy sets the legitimacy of governments in the majority vote. Of course, it is just in theory, because in reality many Western states lack such a privilege and whenever they notice a popular government is against their interests they will try to topple it through a coup or any other means as they did in Chile and in Iran in 1953 and in many other states."

Pointing to Qur'anic verses and Hadiths describing legitimacy in Islam, the Leader said piety and justice are the main pillars of legitimacy in Islam but this legitimacy has no popularity or effectiveness without the people's vote because Islam has given a special status to the people's vote.

"In the logic of religious democracy, no rule or sovereignty is acceptable without the authorization of Allah, and in different ranks of Islamic sovereignty, Allah bestows this rule only on those who are just and observe piety."

On the importance of the Majlis and legislation, the Leader said, "The law determines the fate of the country. By approving laws, the Majlis representatives determine the country's fate for four years and this demonstrates the great importance of the Majlis."

The Leader described elections as the most important manifestation of religious democracy, saying that the parliamentary system is a good form of democracy because parliament originates from people's votes and whatever it approves should be observed and if anybody notices some shortcomings in these approvals or feels that they do not consider the country's expediency in a certain juncture, he should reconsider his views because the MPs have been elected by the people.

Emphasis on the necessity of a high turnout in parliamentary elections is not due to the extensive propaganda orchestrated by foreign media because they will repeat their views no matter if people participate or not as they interpreted the people's votes in the May 2 (presidential) elections in 1997 as the people's vote against the system and described a low turnout in municipal elections in big cities also as a vote against the system with a 180-degree difference.

The Supreme Leader added, "The emphasis on a high turnout in the Majlis elections is due to the fact that the Majlis seeks to determine the fate of the country and the nation for a period of four years. Therefore, participation in the elections to select the representatives becomes a religious, logical, and human duty and no one should refrain from voting."

He also urged officials to provide people with more services, which could become a significant motivation for people's participation.

Reviewing various qualifications of representatives in Western democracies and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Supreme Leader said, "There are also special qualifications in Western systems which are mostly factional leanings, while in the Islamic Republic, in addition to knowledge and political qualifications, there should be moral and doctrinal qualifications. Everyone should bear this in mind."

He pointed out, "The issue of morals and beliefs of officials, unlike those of people, is not something private or personal; rather it is a public matter. If someone enters the Majlis in order to fill his pockets or if he is a xenophile, a coward, or corrupt he will be a source of various problems for the nation."

He added, "What is meant by moral and political qualifications is not that we inquire into people's affairs, unless they are openly against the values and principles of the system. Such a person should not be allowed in the Majlis and all should be sensitive to this issue.

"The Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council are responsible for confirming the qualified candidates."

Referring to the legislature as a means for preserving and strengthening the system, he added, "The common feature between Western and religious democracy is that the parliament is not meant for opposing the system but is for completing and strengthening the structure of the system since the parliament is a part of the system. Thus parliament is never the opponent of a system in any country. It is quite illogical to enter the Majlis in order to fight the Constitution and the Islamic Republic."

Emphasizing the political and social liveliness of the Majlis, Ayatollah Khamenei postulated, "A silent and stagnant Majlis is of no use. It needs active intellectual and practical elements, but it all should be done within the system's framework since the Majlis is meant for the development of the system not for fighting against the system."

Enumerating the system's general policies and analyzing the process of the logical, precise, and expert organization of the system's policies in the government and the Expediency Council, he continued, "After ratifying and publicizing these policies, the Majlis will also legislate within that framework."

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the necessity for all officials and people to obey the law, adding that the leadership holds the same position in this regard.

He stressed that the principle of velayat-e faqih (rule by the supreme jurisprudent) mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that the Leader has absolute freedom of action, but merely indicates his role in resolving the problems of the three branches of government or referring certain problems to the Expediency Council.

The Supreme Leader said that the three branches of government are responsible for their performance and duties, adding that the leadership does not interfere in the powers' authorities unless an issue is bound to create a dangerous matter of concern for the nation in which case he will give a notification.

"This issue occurred once when the sixth Majlis attempted to change the press law. The leadership notified the Majlis according to his legitimate duty and the parliament cooperated efficiently in this regard," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized the bright future awaiting the Iranian nation and the Islamic system, adding that the 20-year prospects for Iran are a sign of the nation's hopefulness, pleasure, will, and determination to reach the high summits of progress and advancement.

He referred to the cunning criticisms made by foreign radio networks and certain internal sources about the previous movements of the nation and the Islamic system, adding that Iran's great nation and the officials will continue to implement their plans despite disruptions.

The Supreme Leader expressed hope that God willing, the efforts made by the youth, intellectuals, the general public, and officials would lead the country to the high summits of progress, honor, security and safety.

Ayatollah Khamenei expressed pleasure that students and university professors would attend to issues such as the development of science and the software movement.

"The issues mentioned in such gatherings include our goals and ideals. Allah is sure to guide faithful and enthusiastic youth whenever they gather together," he said.

The Leader pointed out that Islam, the Prophet (S) and the holy Imams have repeatedly emphasized the importance of wisdom and knowledge, adding that relying on a transplanted science, belief, economy, and policy is a disgrace for any nation.

Ayatollah Khamenei went on to say that according to Islam, nations should rely on their own beliefs, analyses, and wisdom in order to manage their socio-political and economic lives.

The Supreme Leader stressed that nations should cooperate with other cultures and benefit from their positive points, but avoid surrendering to cultural invasion and the enemies' ideas and beliefs.

Today's Humiliation of Saddam, Ultimate Fate of Imperialists and Tyrants

TEHRAN Dec. 16 (Mehr News Agency) -- The warm welcome shown to the Supreme Leader by the revolutionary people of Qazvin created a truly indescribable day in the honorable history of the city.

The car carrying the Supreme Leader arrived at the old Tehran Square of Qazvin on Tuesday at 9:50 a.m. while an ocean of people welcomed him with exciting chants of Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great) and jubilation. The presence of the lively youth infused a fresh spirit into the crowd.

Warmly welcomed by people, the Supreme Leader met with tens of thousands of other Qazvini people waiting enthusiastically for his visit at the Martyrs' Cemetery who were chanting revolutionary slogans.

Ayatollah Khamenei underlined the significance of the seventh Majlis elections and enumerated the characteristics of an ideal Majlis. He described the proper method of holding a Majlis election as a guarantee for future and present needs, adding, "The correct holding of elections means safe, free, and lawful elections with a high turnout which is looked upon as a religious duty by people and this can result in the formation of a truly ideal Majlis."

He described an ideal Majlis as a house of the nation, a manifestation of Islamic and national glory, a guarantee for public interests, a guardian of the country's security, and a consolidated wall against the enemies' avarice, adding, "An ideal Majlis will emerge when people elect their true representatives with insight."

He then alluded to a statement by the late Imam Khomeini who regarded the Majlis as the quintessence of the nation's virtues, adding, "A high turnout in the election will magnify its function and prestige and the MPs will be given a better chance to serve the people."

Enumerating the characteristics of an ideal representative, the Supreme Leader referred to piety, lively and optimistic revolutionary spirit and added, "An ideal representative is one who also has the spirit of public service, is experienced and qualified, has a good reputation and program, and is also interested in the problems of the youth."

He emphasized that those possessing such characteristics should regard it as their human, religious, and national duty to register as nominees for the Majlis elections, taking into consideration the country's present and future interests while preparing the ground for a more enthusiastic election.

Reflecting on the enemies' relentless efforts to prevent a successful election, he continued, "The enemies of the revolution will not dare to openly discourage the people from participating in the election despite their eagerness for such participation. But they will definitely do their best to put a damper on the seventh Majlis election. With the help of Allah, they will be disappointed this time again, and we will have a great turnout in February."

Elsewhere in his remarks, he described the current international climate as a vindication of the stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, adding, "Twenty-five years ago, the Iranian nation regarded the U.S. as an aggressive world devourer, but those days the powerful propaganda machine of imperialists did not allow nations to realize the truth of the Islamic Iranian stance. But today the U.S. measures in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven to everyone the violence of the U.S. beautified face as the slogans of the Iranian nation about the Zionist regime have been proven to the world."

Referring to the Iranian nation's slogans during the eight-year imposed war and the brutality of Saddam, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "The U.S. helped Saddam with his war against the Iranian nation as other nations of the region could not understand Saddam's bestial nature, but today the world has realized the sincerity of our nation in describing him as a cruel dictator."

The Supreme Leader described history as full of moral lessons. Referring to the Iranian nation's satisfaction over the capture of the dictator Saddam, he postulated, "Today's humiliation of Saddam is the ultimate fate of all world imperialists like the U.S. and the Zionist regime, while the U.S. president must realize that the region is better off without Saddam as the world will be better off without George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon."

Then he referred to the growing awakening of the Muslim Ummah and added, "The horizon of the Muslim Ummah is bright, while the Iranian nation is still a pioneer in the Muslim world movement and will remain a living model for nations."

Expressing his sincere thanks for the warm welcome of the faithful and religious people of Qazvin, he analyzed the cultural and religious characteristics of the region's people, saying, "The people of Qazvin, throughout their glorious history, have been well-known for their piety, magnanimity, sacrifice, and generosity while hundreds of jurisprudents, scholars, historians, mathematicians, and prominent artists have been raised in this region. The Qazvini youths should rely on this ancient and glorious record."

He remembered martyrs Rajaei and Babaei, and the late Abu Torabi as three unforgettable figures of Qazvin from the Islamic Revolution era. He also praised the honorable martyrs of the region, adding, "The people of Qazvin, like the people of other regions of the country, have justified expectations of officials, the most important of which are that they overcome economic problems such as inflation and unemployment, resolve the problems of the youth, and promote urban and rural development. Hopefully, after this journey officials will pay more attention to this region and satisfy the needs of its decent people in accordance with the country's facilities and ability."

He stated that attending to people's needs is the intention of all officials, especially high-ranking ones. "The system of the Islamic Republic is based on the people's will and affection, while they review the performance of their selected officials in action," he continued.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged officials to make use of every single chance to develop the country while maintaining national honor.

Regarding the growth in economic indices as an essential but insufficient thing, he emphasized, "The philosophy of the Islamic system is to establish justice and to promote morality and spirituality in addition to material welfare. Of course these sacred goals are not easy to achieve but the great nation is determined to proceed."

Prior to the Supreme Leader's speech, his representative Hojjatoleslam Barikbin, who is also the Friday prayer leader of the city, welcomed him and said he regarded this day as a turning point in the history of Qazvin Province. He added, "Over the turbulent history of Iran this province has been one of the most important political, cultural, and religious centers of the country."

Referring to the manpower and industrial potential of the province, Barikbin urged officials to develop production and industrial centers and overcome the problem of unemployment, adding, "Once the problem of agricultural water is solved, the province will be able to produce a major part of the country's food."

Leader stresses turnout in elections

Tehran, Dec 16 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that active participation of people in the upcoming general elections will lead to formation of a model parliament.

The Supreme Leader said that the free and fair elections will be held with lively participation of people on February 20 in line with respective regulations.

"The parliament is people's house and symbol of the Islamic and national dignity. It guarantees national security and interest and is a stronghold against aggression and greed of the enemies.

"The model parliament will take shape when the people take part in the elections with open eyes and send well qualified people to the parliament," the Supreme Leader said.

The Supreme Leader recalled late Imam Khomeini's assertion that Majlis is the essence of the people and said that the more actively people take part in the voting, the more credibile and more efficient the parliament will be.

"Your representatives can enjoy strong power to extend service to you when they enjoy your strong turnout in elections," the Supreme Leader pointed out.

The Supreme Leader said that the enemies are used to launching propaganda campaign to spoil the atmosphere on the eve of the elections.

"They don't dare to encourage the people to refrain from voting thanks to the public enthusiasm for taking part in the elections. Of course, they will do what they can to overshadow the upcoming elections, but, God willing, they will be driven to despair with the magnificent polling in which the great nation of Iran will participate on February 20," the Supreme Leader said.

Supreme Leader arrives in Qazvin

Qazvin, Dec 16 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei arrived in the city of Qazvin in northern Iran Tuesday morning.

The Supreme Leader was warmly welcomed by provincial officials, including the Friday prayers leaders, as well as masses of people.

Thousands of local people enthusiastically had waited for arrival of their beloved Supreme Leader since early hours in the morning.

Ayatollah Khamenei is to meet and address the local people and to become further familiar with the problems facing them at the city's cemetery later this morning.

Leader urges to solve difficulties

Tehran, Dec 8 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Monday expressed pleasure over the coordination between Tehran City Council (TCC) and municipality to extend service to the people.

In a meeting with TCC members and the Tehran mayor, the Supreme Leader said, "extend sincere service to the people taking advantage of science and intelligence which will bring eternal blessings (for you) and satisfaction of the people as the quick reward for your service."

The Supreme Leader said that nothing pleases the people more than seeing sincere service of the officials in charge of administrative affairs.

The people want to see determination on part of officials to offer service to them, the Supreme Leader said adding that such trend brings lively atmosphere in the community.

"The pleasant atmosphere of efforts to render service is being heard thanks to the reliable services of the organs, like the municipality, working in close cooperation with the people.

All the government organs should view the service to people as their main objective," the Supreme Leader said.

The Supreme Leader said that the officials should be stead fast and rely upon Almighty God in their efforts to serve the people, of course the 'seven-winged' dragon of corruption would not be uprooted easily.

Those who took possession of the national lands and have filled their pockets by breaking the law, will not abandon their deeds, the Supreme Leader said.

"But, God willing, we should fight corruption with precise application of science and intelligence and advance the people's goals," the Supreme Leader said.

The Supreme Leader said that Tehran metropolis affairs needs to apply scientific methods to overcome the current difficulties.

"Of course, it will take time. You should study the difficulties and adopt plans to deal with them," the Supreme Leader said.

The Supreme Leader drew attention of the municipal council to the cultural affairs and said that the Islamic sentiments should prevail over all the cultural institutes.

Leader stresses inoculation campaign

Tehran, Dec 4 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday called for public participation in national vaccination campaign against measles and rubella.

In a meeting with health minister and the officials in charge of the vaccination program, the Supreme Leader said all the institutions must cooperate with the Health Ministry to push ahead with the campaign.

Ayatollah Khamenei described the campaign as "a very great service to the people", and said that Islam attaches high significance to any such services.

The Supreme Leader further underscored importance of prevention of diseases to boost health standard and thanked the health officials for their hard works in this respect.

The one-month national vaccination campaign against measles and rubella will start on Saturday.

Supreme Leader calls for Muslims unity to tackle enemies

Tehran, Dec 3, IRNA -- The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with Djiboutian President Ismali Omar Geulleh and his accompanying delegation here on Wednesday, said that bolstering ties with Islamic states is one of the priorities of Iran's foreign policy. In the meeting, also attended by President Mohammad Khatami, the Leader added that despite enemies effort to magnify the discrepancies and further pull apart the Islamic countries, the Muslims should try to strengthen their ties and materialize the concept of the Muslim Ummah in the real sense of the word. Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the agreements reached between the two states would prepare the grounds for more sincere communication. He said that bolstering relations will be fruitful for both countries and the two sides will be in a position to benefit from such solid ties in the global assemblies. For his part, President Guelleh expressed satisfaction with his visit to Iran and conveyed the greetings of the Djiboutian people to the Supreme Leader and the Iranian nation. Turning to several memoranda of understanding (MoU) so far inked between the two states in the course of his visit to Tehran, the president called for broadening of mutual ties in all fields. President Guelleh hoped that the unity of Muslims will further bring to light Islam's power and grandeur. The Djiboutian president and the accompanying delegation arrived in Tehran on a three-day visit for talks on bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest. Djibouti's ministers of foreign affairs, financial affairs, health, energy and international cooperation accompany the president in his visit to Iran. MP / 212

Leader outlines eco, social plans

IRIB - Tehran, Dec 3 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday forwarded outlines of the fourth economic, social and cultural development plan to President Mohammad Khatami for taking into consideration in earmarking funds for the next five-year development plan (2005-2010).

The Supreme Leader said that the recommendation is being made in line with article 110 of the constitution.

The recommendation included 52 points and a note covering a wide range of economic, political, cultural, social and defense topics.

It follows a macro plan for the next 20 years the Supreme Leader declared last month in which the Supreme Leader forecast bright prospects for the national progress, welfare and social security for the years to come.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader's recommendation were dispatched to the parliament and the Expediency Council.

Leader grieved by Sammara massacre

IRIB - Tehran, Dec 2 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday expressed grief at desecration of holy shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Asgari (AS) in Samarra, Iraq by the US troops.

Issuing a statement, the Supreme Leader expressed condolence to the lord of the time, Imam Mahdi (may god hasten his reappearance) and the entire Muslims on the savage attack of the US occupying forces against the shines of the 10th and 11th Imams of the Muslims, killing over 50 men, women and children and wounding a large number of civilians in Samarra.

"The brutal and arrogant occupiers showed once again that they respect none of the religious sanctities and embarked on a military show-down in dealing with the Iraqi people.

The arrogant and ignorant officials of the United States think that they can force the Iraqi people with weapons and bullet to surrender.

This wrong mentality will lead the occupying forces to despair and humiliation," the Supreme Leader said.

"I extend my condolence to Imam Mahdi (AS), the entire Muslims, especially the Iraqi people, and the theological centers and pray to Almighty God to bestow victory upon the Muslims to end occupation," the Supreme Leader said.

Leader Condemns Desecration of Holy Shrines in Samarra

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a message condemned the fierce attack of the occupying forces against the people and the desecration of the holy shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hasan Askari (AS) in Samarra.

Following is the full text of the message:

In the Name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

The ferocious attack of the brutal and arrogant occupiers against the people of Samarra and their desecration of the holy shrines of the two great Imams Hadi (AS) and Askari (AS), which resulted in the death of over fifty men, women, and children and the injury of a larger number, was a source of great sorrow and grief.

Once again, the brutal arrogant occupiers showed that they care neither about the lives of people nor their religious sanctities and that they intend to resort to terror and force. The ignorant and arrogant U.S. politicians were seized with the stupid idea that they could make the faithful and brave people of Iraq capitulate to the flames of their fire. This same misunderstanding and arrogant view will doom this aggressive regime in the near future.

I would like to express my condolences to Imam Mahdi (AS), the Muslim world, and especially the oppressed people of Iraq and the seminaries. I also pray to Allah to bring victory to the Muslim world and to defeat the enemies of the nations.

Seyyed Ali Khamenei

December 2, 2003

 
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