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Supreme Leader’s Message to Haj Congregation

IRIB 30.1.2004 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on January 30 in a message on the occasion of the glorious Haj ceremonies laid emphasis on Islamic justice- seeking saying the Islamic world’s awareness is the origin of a big development at world level.

He said the Islamic world today after a long period of lethargy has once again found itself and the Islamic political theory has reached its deserved high status. The leader’s stress on Islamic awareness is a reality that many world thinkers and theorists are focusing on today. Experts believe Islam has for years been dominated politically and culturally by foreigners and has lagged behind its own modern political ideas.

Read the complete Meassage

Supreme Leader Felicitates Freedom of Lebanese Combatants

TEHRAN Jan. 30 (Mehr News Agency) ­- In a letter addressed to Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Friday felicitated him on the occasion of the freedom of hundreds of Lebanese combatants, emphasizing, "This was another test, proving to the Muslim Ummah the vulnerability of the villainous Zionist regime in the face of the resolute wills and the firm faiths of the 'Mujahedin' who champion the cause of Allah." Following is his complete message:

Dear Hojattoleslam Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah I congratulate you and all valorous Hezbollah combatants, the families of those noble souls and the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, on the brave victory of Hezbollah in obtaining freedom of hundreds of courageous sons of Islam from the prisons of the tyrannical occupying Zionist Regime."

My greetings to all those brethren who suffered long but never capitulated to the enemy's pressure.

This was another great test, which proved to the world the vulnerability of the villainous Zionist regime in the face of the firm will and the strong faith of the Mujahedin who champion the cause of Allah and which helps foster the will of the youth who place their ultimate trust in Allah in the arena of warring evil.

I entreat the Almighty Allah to grant victory to the valiant people of Lebanon and Palestine and implore Him for the freedom of other incarcerated combatants of Hezbollah. I wish you all dignity and longevity.

Seyyed Ali Khamenei January 29, 2004


Current Issues in Iran Moving on Legal Course: Leader

TEHRAN Jan. 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei met with the Austrian President Thomas Klestil here Monday. During the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed hope that Klestil's trip to Iran would help deepen Tehran-Vienna ties day by day through a suitable planning.

The Supreme Leader lauded Austria's independent stances on various international issues and praised the Austrian government for its favorable manner toward Muslims. Referring to the history of the positive bilateral ties between Iran and Austria, Ayatollah Khamenei added that Austria's sympathy toward the quake-stricken people of Bam highly influenced the Iranian nation and officials. He described the attempt for the dialogue among different religious followers as another common point in Iran-Austria relations. Highlighting the international need for religious dialogue, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the issue would largely help nations to reach mutual understanding. He added that religious dialogue would relate nations more closely, saying that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes the continuation of religious dialogues is very useful and logical.

The Supreme Leader described Austria as the center for exchanges of opinions among various religious followers, adding that the movements in some European countries against Hijab run counter to this issue.

Asked by Klestil what relationship exists between religion, "policy, and democracy", Ayatollah Khamenei said that in Islam there is no conflict between regarding Islamic and spiritual values and people's will in determining the government. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded to display a new experience to the international community by preserving people's participation in political and social spheres besides sustaining spiritual values," he said.

Referring to the various free elections held in Iran since the Islamic Revolution, the Leader stressed that the Shah's dictatorship in Iran, which was supported by the U.S. and England, never allowed the Iranian nation to truly participate in elections. "However, Iran has held 23 popular and free elections since the inception of the Islamic Revolution 25 years ago," he said.

The U.S. and British administrations who now talk of human rights and democracy supported the despotic regime of the deposed Shah for decades. Therefore, the Iranian nation has the legitimate right to avoid believing such slogans by these two governments.

Pointing to the U.S. and Zionist propaganda against Iran, the Leader added that the main reasons behind the heinous propaganda are that the Iranian nation and government are not liable to capitulate to U.S. domination.

Calling real democracy in Iran as an undeniable fact, the Leader said the realities should be taken into considerations in evaluating Iran. The real point is that the leader, president, the representatives of the parliament are all elected by people and that Iran boasts of this new form which is a combination of republicanism and Islam, the Leader underlined.

Usually, the Zionist-run media aggrandize the current issues of the anti-U.S. countries, the leader said, adding that current issues in Iran are moving on its legal course.

He said there are different interpretations of a law in different countries and that this is not something unusual, but those centers, which exaggerate such issues are seeking certain aims and Iran is quite aware of such ill intent.

The Iranian nation has been tackling with real problems such as war (the Iraqi imposed war against Iran) and none of these problems could have forced the nation and the elite to retreat in the face of enemies, the Ayatollah pointed out. The U.S. is a center for producing and exporting 'evil, violence, and hatred' across the world, underlined the leader, noting that due to its illogical policies and actions, the U.S. has faced many different crises especially in Iraq and Afghanistan and these crises will not end.

In the meeting attended by President Mohammad Khatami, Austrian president expressed his great joy for meeting the leader of the Islamic Revolution and called his visit here one of his most useful foreign trips. Klestil said the biggest ever Austrian trade delegation is accompanying him and this shows the great significance Vienna attaches to its ties with Iran. Klestil described his talks with Khatami as very constructive, saying the Tehran-Vienna ties have entered a new phase because of this visit and this is also very important for the European Union. Unlike the U.S., which has branded Iran as an axis of evil, Austria considers Iran as a center of peace and friendship.


Supreme Leader stresses serious attention to people of Bam

Tehran, Jan 26, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here Monday stressed serious attention to the daily needs of quake-stricken people of Bam. A killer quake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Bam in the southeastern province of Kerman, killing over 30,000 people and injuring several thousands of others. Head of the Housing Foundation Mohammad Saeidi Kia, Head of Iran`s Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Ahmad-Ali Nourbala and Governor General of Kerman province Mohammad-Ali Karimi, in separate meetings with the Supreme Leader outlined efforts to help quake-stricken people of Bam and measures to reconstruct the city. Ayatollah Khamenei gave guidelines on reconstruction of the quake-ravaged city. The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution paid an unexpected visit to Bam on January 16. It was his second visit to the city.


Supreme Leader: Sound Justice system makes community safer

Tehran, Jan 21, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said here Wednesday that sound justice system is a criterion for the health of the community and called for putting into force necessary measures to reform the body. In a meeting with Judicial officials, the Supreme Leader said that if for whatever reason, the justice system becomes unsafe and the Judiciary fails to accurately administer justice, the community will collapse. Elaborating on reforming the justice system, the Supreme Leader pointed to the need for acceptable standard of knowledge of the judges about civil law, piety of judges and their bravery in dealing with big shots involved in financial corruption. "Those criticizing the Judiciary are two different groups: the first group includes those who are against administration of justice and the second compriss the extremists who magnify the issues with an aim of creating an atmosphere in which the judge is forced to issue a heavy verdict. The Judiciary should stand against the two groups," the Supreme Leader said. "Any pressure on the Judiciary will lead to violation of justice and those standing against law are preparing the ground for dictatorship. Violation of law leads to chaos and a chaotic situation makes the people accept dictatorship," the Supreme Leader said. The Supreme Leader appreciated services of the Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and the justice system and called on them to strictly respect the legal code in giving verdicts. "The Islamic mercy and logics should also be taken into account in giving verdict while respecting the spirit of law in all dimensions of a lawsuit," he said. "The people expect the Judiciary to examine the cases as soon as possible. The Judiciary should win the people`s trust and help them handle their legal cases more easily and enjoy justice," the Supreme Leader said.


Khatami meets Supreme Leader

03:13:34 Tehran, Jan 19 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here Monday received President Mohammad Khatami on the threshold of the latter's departure for Switzerland.

During the meeting, Khatami outlined schedule of his visit to Switzerland and the Supreme Leader wished him success.

President Mohammad Khatami is to leave for Switzerland Monday to attend the world economic forum (WEF) to be held in Davos on January 21-25.

The President is expected to hold a number of visits with senior European officials on the sideline of the forum.mr/kd


Ayatollah Khamenei Orders Guardian Council to Revise Blacklist 

Ettela'at (Afternoon Persian Daily) Sunday, January 18, 2004, No 22973 Page: 7 Word Count: 965

Summary: In an attempt to defuse a brewing row in the society, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the top oversight body the Guardian Council to reexamine the election bans. In a meeting with members of GC, Ayatollah Khamenei said that massive turnout in the elections has fended off any threat to the Islamic establishment.

1,062 hopefuls out of 2,050 aspiring candidates in Tehran have been disqualified. Some 8,200 prospective candidates registered last month to run in the Feb. 20 elections for 290 legislative seats. GC is a senate-like body that vets all Majlis legislation to see if it complies with Islamic law and the constitution.

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei's speech:


In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I am happy to meet my brethren at the Guardian Council. We have not convened for a period of time although I personally met some members. I also appreciate my brethren who have undertaken ceaseless efforts to vet the candidates running for legislative elections. I pray to God for relentless efforts.

The elections is very important for our country. It has managed to strip our enemies of any pretext to disparage the Islamic Republic. The enemies could have enjoyed more freedom of action had the country not relied on Islamic principles. Any fulfillment of duty for the voting process is appreciable before God. The personnel of the Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council may have become tired but they will lean toward the divine benediction and pursue their task.

However, the Interior Ministry, central supervisory authority and the surveillance commissions have been routinely at loggerheads. I have always advised them to rely on the law to avoid any chaos and strip the malevolent of any excuse for denigration.

I have already talked with Mr. Jannati and some other friends regarding the screening process. The Guardian Council and the Interior Ministry should both abide by the law and vet the candidates for qualifications. You serve as supervisors at a crossing point linking the nominees to the Majlis. The aspiring candidates have to satisfy certain requirements like allegiance to Islam and the Constitution. The Majlis hopefuls may need not meet so many conditions required for the supreme leader or president. They are required to meet the least conditions. For example, somebody may utter something incorrect out of excitement but it does not imply his lack of allegiance to Islam and the law of land. Upstarts may talk about Islam and the Islamic government at a reunion. Their discussions are acceptable for their friendly gathering even if they criticize the supreme leader or the Islamic government. We cannot disqualify them because of their friendly reunion. Anyhow, certain conditions should be met but the vetting process should not be too strict. Sometimes we may misinterpret what somebody says. Someone may have said something and we construe what he has mentioned. But when you ask him he says he meant something else. In some cases, two or three witnesses are enough to testify for qualification of a subject.

Of course, as Mr. Jannati said the law has logical aspects. The Guardian Council has enough time to reexamine qualification of the candidates. It is a good opportunity. We should not insist on our wrong misinterpretations and we should retract our mistakes whenever we understand our errors.

Thank God, the Guardian Council comprises valuable, well-known and trustful jurists and clerics. You have enough time to review the blacklist and win the people's trust. Of course, I urge you not to bow down to pressures but you should be careful not to deny any candidate his/her rights. You should scrutinize the qualifications and make a decision. We should always gain a strong foothold and insist on our positions.

The people are willing to participate in the elections and they will do so. Vetting process is not special to Iran and it is routine throughout the world. Qualifications require probe specially for someone who is supposed to assume key posts. It is not special for the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Suppose that someone is introduced to the Majlis for a specific post. The lawmakers will not approve him out of the blue. They will examine his qualifications to see if he has any weak point. Then they can approve or reject him. The same goes for parliamentary elections. It is a routine task highlighted in the Constitution and the people endorse it. We feel obliged to fulfill our legal tasks and deny nobody his/her rights. A university professor had written a letter to Mr. Jannati saying he was disqualified and enumerated his qualifications. We do not care for such individuals. The important thing for me is denial of rights. Now you have enough time and you can review the dossiers.

As for the Majlis hopefuls, I sent a message to Mr. Jannati. If you find any fault with the hopefuls you can weed them out but you should take them as granted unless the contrary is proven. So long as the contrary is not proven, you should not disqualify them. The candidates who had been disqualified in previous terms are not acceptable at all but the incumbent lawmakers are considered qualified unless the contrary is proven.

It is easy task and you hit no snags. You should abide by the law and go through legal channels. You will enjoy more blessing when you work further. We have to battle for protection of the Islamic establishment and safeguarding our country. We have to tolerate the hardships.

Hopefully you will tolerate the difficulties and you will be awarded. Va-Salaam Alaikom va Rahmatollah va Barakatoh


Leader pays 2nd snap visit to Bam

05:00:41 Bam, Jan 16 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei who paid a surprise visit to quake-stricken city of Bam on Friday conferred with the local people on their life conditions and the hardships facing them.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that he would call on the officials to accelerate the reconstruction of the temblor-shattered Silk Road city.

The grief-stricken people of Bam said the visit by the leader brought joy and hope to their hearts.

Mohammad Ranjbar, a survivor who has lost his eight-member family in the quake said reporter that the Leader's remarks to him calmed him.

Maryam Shoja-Heidari, 40, said the officials in the country should follow the conduct of the Supreme Leader.

Commenting on her own condition, she said from a family of 20 members only her brother survived the quake.

Ayatollah Khamenei arrived in Bam Friday to inspect relief operations underway for the inhabitants of the city as he was accompanied by several senior officials.

He visited different parts of the city to see the process of relief aid distribution and temporary settlement of people.

The Supreme Leader is expected to give guidelines for reconstruction of the city and inauguration of housing projects for the people currently living in temporary shelter.


Leader Stresses Need to Observe Law in All Stages of Electoral Process

TEHRAN, Jan.14 (Mehr News Agency) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the people's participation in elections has forced the enemies to back down from their animosity toward the Islamic Republic.

In a meeting with members of the Guardian Council, the Supreme Leader said that the law should be observed in all stages of elections, adding that all these procedures have been taken into account by the law but some people seek to resort to illegal and complicated procedures instead of legal and simple approaches.

Noting that the Interior Ministry and Guardian Council are tasked with vetting parliamentary candidates, the Leader said the degree of qualification should be defined because qualifications vary from job to job; therefore the qualifications required for a parliament candidate should be taken into consideration.

He said that categorically certifying a candidate's qualifications is not possible but an acceptable and wise judgment is sufficient and achievable through studying the facts. He added that a candidate's negative and positive characteristics should also be taken into consideration.

The Leader called the GC a very important institution whose members are well-known and trusted figures with good records, saying that the Constitution stipulates the various stages of the vetting process and now the GC has a good opportunity to review qualifications carefully and legally.

Stressing that any investigation by the GC should be carried out carefully and with certainty so that no one's rights are trampled upon, the ayatollah said that the GC should not back down from its position despite bullying by some people.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that if the qualifications of incumbent MPs were approved in the last parliamentary elections they should be approved this time, too, unless the opposite is proven.

However, he said, this procedure cannot be used in the case of those candidates whose eligibility was rejected in the previous elections, saying such candidates' qualifications should be verified.


Leader Stresses Need to Adopt Wise and Islamic Outlook Toward Culture

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (Mehr News Agency) --Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution (SCCR) as the central headquarters of culture in the country.

In a meeting with members of the council, the Leader pointed to the inestimable importance of culture and said the grounds for cultural and ethical development could be established in society through the identification of realities, proper planning, meticulous management, careful supervision, and avoiding extremism.

Expressing his appreciation of the recent scientific, research, and cultural advancements and the activities of the SCCR, he said there are two extremist approaches toward culture: some consider culture to be something which cannot be managed and believe that it should be allowed to take its own course, while others believe that it should be tightly controlled and believe that special models should be formulated for public culture and personal ethics.

He said that these two approaches are extreme and dangerous, adding that people should adopt a wise and Islamic outlook toward culture.

The Leader said the system is indebted to the people in terms of spirituality and virtue and in order to repay this debt proper and precise planning should be used to enhance public culture.

He said an open atmosphere would prepare the ground for the true evolution of human beings, adding that the Islamic system actually believes in freedom and believes that individual and social growth is possible in an open environment.

However, the Leader said, people must be vigilant to ensure that deviations and so-called cultural inroads do not deprive society of true freedom.

On the attempts of world powers to impose particular cultures on human beings, he noted that those who talk about liberalism in the world employ the most sophisticated and subtle cultural tools in order to invade nations' cultures and this is something which should not be forgotten.

Expressing his pleasure with the steady efforts by scholars, researchers, and students to advance science and develop innovations, he stated that the proper grounds should be created in society for nurturing the youths' natural abilities so that the attractive slogan of advancing science takes root in the country.

Noting that paying particular attention to talented people is a must, Ayatollah Khamenei said a particular body could be tasked with handling the affairs and problems of such talented people so that highly talented students could begin constructive activities for the advancement of science in the country.


Supreme Leader meets Cabinet

Tehran, Jan 12 IRIB - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here Sunday evening underlined the need for speedy reconstruction of the quake-hit city of Bam.

In a meeting with President Mohammad Khatami and cabinet ministers, the Supreme Leader also called for acceleration of temporary settlement of the survivors of the killer quake in suitable camping and stressed on correct and fair distribution of humanitarian supplies among the quake-stricken people.

Ayatollah Khamenei also called on provincial officials to inform people of the way of distributing goods among the remaining residents of Bam and its surrounding villages.

He further appreciated great efforts made by the President, ministers and all local officials in meeting the basic needs of the survivors of the devastating quake.

Referring to the vast damage inflicted by the Bam quake, the Supreme Leader underscored the need for paying adequate attention to mental and psychological conditions of the people in the quake-hit areas.

Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei called on the President and ministers to pay occasional visits to the quake-devastated regions in order to reduce pains of the people suffering from consequences of the quake.

The Supreme Leader also urged the judiciary to seriously confront with the wicked and mischievous people trying to take advantage from the critical situation in the region.

Underlining the need for fortification of buildings in all parts of the country, particularly in Bam, Ayatollah Khamenei called for formation of an organization under the supervision of the first vice president to plan priorities for different kinds of natural disasters including earthquake.

During the meeting, President Khatami briefed the Supreme Leader on measures taken in the quake-stricken region since the first hours that the killer quake devastated the area.

He praised massive participation of the Iranian nation in providing relief aid to the victims of the quake.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari also outlined the situation of the quake-hit areas and the amount of relief supplies dispatched so far to the region.


Leader calls for legal channels to resolve qualification dispute

Tehran, Jan 12, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Monday recommended the Interior Ministry officials and the governors general to explore legal channels to resolve their dispute with the Supervisory Board. The governors general expressed their grievances about the performance of the Supervisory Board and told the Leader that the law has not been respected in disqualifying the incumbent members of parliament. The Supreme Leader appreciated the services of the governors general and said that the progressive movement is underway in the provinces thanks to blessings of the Almighty and the services of the governors general. He said that the governors general are representatives of the governing system in the provinces adding they are expected to consider the needs of the entire country in addition to insistence on meeting the needs of their own provinces. "The way to achieve the goals of the Iranian nation and that of the nation is difficult but possible. It calls for strong incentive and innate capability and the faith of the nation in Islam and their support for the ruling system," he said. The Supreme Leader said that capability of every official belongs to the Islamic Republic and all the officials are expected to mobilize their capability to advance the goal of the Islamic Republic. On the danger the quake-prone areas are exposed to, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the buildings in the quake-prone areas should be strengthened to stem the human loss in the event of a disaster. The Supreme Leader advised the governors general to explore legal channels to resolve their dispute with the Supervisory Board. "I hope the problem will be resolved through legal channels. Of course, if the legal process failed to resolve the problem requiring the leader's intervention, I'll do my job." The Supreme Leader advised those who think their rights have been violated by the Supervisory Board to observe calm and avoid tension to give the legal channels envisaged in election law the opportunity to examine the complaints. Ayatollah Khamenei advised the governors general to restore law and order in the provinces to guarantee a healthy election on February 20. Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said that the Interior Ministry and the governors general have done what they could to hold elections in the best manner, but, the Supervisory Board have not considered the report of the Executive Board in confirming eligibility of the candidates.


Sincerity and Loyalty Enhance Journalism: Leader

TEHRAN, Jan 11 (Mehr News Agency) ­ Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said here Sunday that journalism is an important and valuable profession, which becomes more valuable when sincerity and loyalty are involved.

Addressing a group of martyrs’ families and participants at a congress on martyred journalists, the Supreme Leader described the holding of such a congress as crucial both from the viewpoint of professionalism and the spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom.

The Leader said those involved with people through journalism and intellectual activities shoulder a great responsibility in creating hope and strengthening public will.

At the beginning of meeting, the director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Ali Larijani said the congress was held to commemorate the works of the martyred journalists from the IRIB, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and the press.

Larijani said that a total of 244 reporters have been martyred, 50 disabled and 12 others were prisoners of war from the IRIB and the press.


Supreme Leader stresses importance of news dissemination

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Sunday stressed the importance of news and information dissemination.

Addressing participants in the congress on martyred journalists as well as a group of martyrs` families, the Supreme Leader paid tribute to all those who have attained martyrdom since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, particularly the martyred journalists.

Those involved in dissemination of news shoulder great responsibilities regarding creation of hope and strengthening public determination in the society, the Supreme Leader reiterated. Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei`s speech, Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran`s Broadcasting (IRIB) Ali Larijani briefed the audience on the objectives of the congress.


No Sign of U.S. Animosity Toward Iran Decreasing: Leader

TEHRAN, Jan.9 (Mehr News Agency) — Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here on Friday referred to people’s extensive and enthusiastic efforts to assist the quake-stricken people of Bam as a great political movement which held a message for the enemies of the Iranian nation.

Ayatollah Khamenei was speaking in a meeting held in Qom to commemorate the anniversary of the city’s historical uprising on January 9, 1978.

The Supreme Leader mentioned the commotion created by the U.S. and its attempt to manipulate the issue of the Bam earthquake, adding that humanitarian assistance has nothing to do with ties between the two countries.

Ayatollah Khamenei went on to say that Iran will never forget Washington’s obdurate, deep-seated, and fundamental animosity toward the nation and interests of Iran, despite these measures.

He stated that Iranians are strongly attached to their national and Islamic identity and abhor all types of bullying, threats, humiliation, and deceptive gestures.

The Supreme Leader once more thanked the Iranian nation for their humanitarian, Islamic, and compassionate efforts to assist the quake-stricken people of Bam.

Through this great action, people showed their trust in the country’s rescue and relief organizations such as the Basij, the Red Crescent, and the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the people’s great show of solidarity and trust has certainly demonstrated to the Iranian nation’s friends and enemies in the international community that it is not easy to harm the Iranian nation and the Islamic system.

The Supreme Leader said that there is no sign that U.S. officials’ animosity toward Iran is decreasing since they brazenly threatened the nation and the Islamic system at the same time that they were sending assistance to the quake-stricken city of Bam.

“U.S. officials try to hide their iron fist in a silk glove,” he said, noting, “We are logical and reasonable and do not act obstinately.”

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the U.S. should stop its use of threats and pressure tactics against the Islamic system, its opposition to the interests of the Iranian nation, its support of the criminal and expansionist actions of the Zionist regime, its cruel treatment of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and its attempts to dominate Iran’s economy and natural resources.

The Supreme Leader said that the failure of Iran’s enemies, despite 25 years of animosity and conspiracies against the country, is a sign of the Iranian nation’s strength.

He called the people of Iran a dignified nation, adding that they will not surrender to force but welcome all who cooperate with Iran in a peaceful, logical, and friendly manner.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the Iranian people should always demonstrate their power, unity, and active participation in various areas.

He referred to the elections as a significant defensive shield against the offensive intentions of aggressive and interventionist forces, adding that the most important issue in this regard is people’s enthusiastic, healthy, and strong participation in the upcoming elections.

The Supreme Leader said that elections encourage healthy and non-confrontational competition, adding that only those who believe in Islam, the Islamic system, the Constitution, and the ideas of the late Imam Khomeini would be allowed to run in the upcoming Majlis election.

Ayatollah Khamenei called the Majlis one of the most significant foundations of the Islamic system.

He stated that if the parliament were made up of pious, capable, and knowledgeable people who strive to eradicate poverty and fight against economic corruption, many problems of society could be solved.

The Supreme Leader called on all electoral institutions, such as the Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council, to meticulously observe and implement the law in the upcoming elections.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the electoral institutions play the role of a referee, adding that if a referee took the side of one of the teams during a game, then he would be the true loser even if the team he favored won.

He stated that disqualifying competent candidates and approving inept candidates are both against the law, adding that electoral institutions should be vigilant in order to avoid making such mistakes.

“In this way, people can freely elect the more competent candidate during the elections and establish an accredited, honorable, and useful parliament for the country,” he added.

Referring to the devastating earthquake in Bam, the Supreme Leader said that the disastrous incident serves as a lesson, adding that the survivors should put their faith in God, who will grant them a heavenly reward.

Ayatollah Khamenei also said that some natural disasters and their consequences are caused by the actions of people.

He added that those involved in the fields of construction and real estate as well as supervisory organizations should responsibly prevent the occurrence of such incidents by using scientific methods and taking precautionary measures in construction projects.

The Supreme Leader also asked relevant officials to seriously scrutinize housing construction projects.

“Given that Iran is a quake-prone country, officials and relevant organizations should not allow certain people to put the lives of the people in danger because of their negligence,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei also thanked all the organizations and institutions that assisted the quake-stricken people of Bam and stressed the necessity to pay more attention to the issue of providing additional assistance to Bam.

He added that the officials should fulfill the needs of the grief-stricken people of Bam.

The Leader said that any kind of negligence on the part of relevant officials is not acceptable, adding that the people of Bam should not have to experience another tragedy caused by injustice.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the January 9, 1978 uprising as a turning point in the history of the Islamic movement and the Islamic Revolution.

The Leader highlighted the effective role of the people of Qom and the city’s seminary in the historic movement, adding that today the people and the seminary of Qom are still treading the straight path of the Islamic Revolution.

“Qom will remain the Islamic Revolution’s foundation, as it was before,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that over the past 25 years, the enemies have concentrated all their strength in efforts to turn the Iranian people away from the right path of the Islamic Revolution.

“But their hopes remained unfulfilled,” he said.

The Supreme Leader stated that the people’s vigilance, courage, inner purity, and free will guarantee that they will continue on the path of the Islamic Revolution.

He also said that the Qom Seminary and the country’s scholars, religious leaders, and young religious students play a significant role in this regard.

Leader: US policy on Iran unchanged

Tehran, Jan 8 (IRIB) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said here on Thursday that there has been no sign that American officials have softened enmity with Iran's Islamic establishment and nation.

"There has been no sign of reduction in enmity of the US officials against Iran's Islamic establishment and nation because they (Americans) impudently threaten people and the Islamic establishment, while sending (relief) aid to the quake-stricken regions," said Ayatollah Khamenei in an address to a group of people and officials.

Addressing the audience on the anniversary of the historical uprising of a group of clerics in holy city of Qom against former monarchical regime, the Supreme Leader insisted that humanitarian relief aid has nothing to do with relations between the two countries.

Ayatollah Khamenei said with through such measures the Iranian people would never forget the constant and strong hostility of the arrogant regime of the US towards them and their national interests.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the US should know that it must stop hatching plots and exerting different sorts of pressures on the Islamic system, stop opposing the interests of the Iranian people, cease supporting the usurper and criminal regime of Israel, halt doing injustice against the Iraqi and Afghan nations and discontinue blocking the financial and vital assets of Iran.

The Iranian nation, said Ayatollah Khamenei, is a distinguished nation that would not bow to any bullying. The Iranian nation will instead welcome those who deal with it peacefully and friendly, added the Supreme Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei praised the Iranian nation for rushing assistance to their quake-stricken compatriots in southeastern city of Bam, saying the "great political move" carried a message to the ill-wishers of the Iranian nation. The Iranian nation is highly interested in its national and Islamic identity, while strongly hating any bullying, threat, humiliation and false gestures, added the Supreme Leader.

The great show of solidarity and trust would definitely make international analysts and enemies of the Iranian nation come to the point that it will not be so easy to harm Iran and its nation and system, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei advised the survivors of the quake disaster to lay their trust in God Almighty and be patient.

The Supreme Leader also instructed officials in charge to adopt measures to make buildings resistant to quake, considering the fact that Iran is situated in a quake-prone region.

He said no mistake and blunder in that regard would be forgiven.

Switching to 7th Majlis elections, slated for February 20, Ayatollah Khamenei called on the Iranian people at large to have a high turnout in the decisive event.


Religious Minorities Enjoy Constitutional Rights: Supreme Leader

TEHRAN (IRNA - Tehran Times January 6, 2004) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Monday that religious minorities in Iran enjoy constitutional rights and are living in equity with their fellow compatriots.

In a meeting with religious leaders of Iranian Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, the Supreme Leader thanked Iranian followers of the Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) for their sympathy with victims of Bam quake.

The Supreme Leader said that the Armenian and Assyrian youth have set a record of sacrifice during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war (1980-1988).

In the meantime, the Supreme Leader felicitated Iranian Christians on the auspicious birthday anniversary of Jesus Christ (PBUH).

Majority of Iranian Christians regard January 6 as the prophet's birthday.

Prior to the Supreme Leader's remarks, Representative of the Armenians to the Parliament Davidian expressed condolence to the Supreme Leader on the Bam tragedy.

Meanwhile, Davidian expressed gratitude over equity of blood-money of Christians with their fellow Muslim compatriots.

Archbishop Ramsy Gremo of Catholic Church of Assyrians and Chaldeans and Archbishop Sarkisyan of Tehran Church thanked the Supreme Leader for the equal rights of Muslims with followers of Jesus Christ (PBUH) in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Leader meets farmers, officials

Tehran, Jan 4 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Sunday stressed the decisive role of agriculture in line with food security as one of the focal axes of development.

Speaking at a gathering of farmers and officials from the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, the Leader felicitated Imam Reza's (AS) auspicious birth anniversary and once more regretted the grievous catastrophic earthquake in Bam.

Turning to the tendency towards Jihad as one of the achievements of the Islamic revolution and its role on various occasions during the revolution, he added that the actual development of agriculture and cattle breeding in the country is associated with the consistence and promotion of Jihad.

Reiterating that focus on industries should not result in ignoring agricultural sector, Ayatollah Khamenei noted that Iran has plenty of fertile lands and plains and that despite the shortage of water, self-sufficiency can be achieved in raising a lot of products through know-how, persistence and proper use of water resources.

"Agricultural products should be subject to a stable policy and the problems faced by producers should be taken into consideration to make agricultural production economical and profitable."

"Given that agriculture is a sacred undertaking, the authorities of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad should approach their tasks as a sacred pursuance," he added.

Pointing to the wide participation of people in providing the victims of the deadly earthquake in Bam, he added that the recent public presence and their enthusiasm to assist the surviving victims has to do with the tendency of the Iranian nation towards Jihad, which is equivalent to the mobilization during the sacred defense period.

Ayatollah Khamenei underlined that given the need for continuous Jihad by the community in various sectors, it doesn't contradict scientific pursuances and the administrative system.

"The current scientific progress in the country is indebted to the attempts of revolutionary youth inclined towards Jihad," he added.

Denouncing any conflict between idealism and realism, the Supreme Leader termed overlooking idealism in view of realism as negligence.

"Idealism accounts for realities in a community, given that a system with elevated ideals and objectives would manage to materialize its ideals through endeavor and persistence.

This is the major law in life," concluded the Supreme Leader.


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