May 13  
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Supreme Leader Attends Graduation Ceremony at Imam Hussein (a.s.) University


Ayatollah Khamenei the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces attended the graduation ceremony of a group of cadets at Imam Hussein (a.s.) University on Monday. Speaking at the meeting, which was held on the occasion of the anniversary of the liberation of Khoramshahr on May 24, 1983, His Eminence described the great, valorous and enthusiastic participation of the Iranian nation in the upcoming election on the 24th of Khordad as an indication of greater achievements for the Revolution and the Islamic Republic.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution called on the people to pay careful attention to the statements and slogans of candidates in order to know which candidate is the most qualified. He also recommended that presidential candidates move forward according to the principles of the Islamic Republic and adopt wise outlooks. His Eminence stressed that they should avoid slandering, was ting the resources of the country and behaving in an inappropriate way in their election campaigns, further reiterating: "By Allah's favor, the future of our country and nation will be a bright and dignified future and it will be a model for everybody."

Ayatollah Khamenei added: "We do not know who will be the president and we do not know towards which person Allah the Exalted will lead the hearts of the people. But we know that the participation of the people through the ballot box - which represents the strong presence of the Iranian nation in the arena of movement towards ideals - will definitely prepare the ground for our dignity, immunity and international honor. Such participation will result in the happiness of friends and the unhappiness of the enemies."

The Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces referred to the propaganda of the ill-wishers of the Iranian nation in order to discourage the people from participating in the elections, further stating: "The reason for this widespread propaganda is that if the people enter the arena and show their enthusiastic presence, this will prove costly for the hostile enemies."

Pointing to the statements of American politicians regarding the elections in Iran, he said: "They express their opinions about our elections. Which kind of people are saying this? Those people whose Guantanamo prison is a source of disgrace for them, whose drones are a stain on their reputation because they fly over the underprivileged villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan, those who wage wars in this sensitive region and whose occupation of two Muslim countries is the sources of disgrace and whose unconditional support for the criminal Zionist regime is a source of shame and embarrassment for them."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed that it is not worth answering the criticism that they level at the Islamic Republ ic. He reiterated: "But their statements are a lesson for all the people because they show how sensitive the elections are for them."

Ayatollah Khamenei stated: "It is 34 years that the camp of the enemies has been causing uproar during the time of elections. This is while they have always remained unsuccessful. By Allah's favor, this time too, the Iranian nation will slap them across the face."

His Eminence called on the people to pay careful attention to the statements and positions of the candidates, saying: "The people should choose a candidate who can prepare the ground for the dignity of the country and its future and who can solve the problems, put up a strong resistance against the camp of the hostile enemies and make the Islamic Republic a role model in the eyes of the underprivileged people throughout the world."

The Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces reiterated: "The difference in the w ay the people decide whom to vote for and their interest in different candidates should not make them confront one another."

He stated: "In order to choose the person who will hold the highest executive position in the country - which is a very sensitive and important position - there are certain rules and regulations and we will act according to that. Therefore, differences of opinion should not result in irritation and displeasure."

Addressing presidential candidates, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: "The honorable candidates should move things forward with valor, enthusiasm and commitment and they should avoid causing turmoil."

Ayatollah Khamenei added: "The delicacy of elections depends on an environment in which there is enthusiasm, dynamism and heated discussions. But there should not be any kind of mudslinging in it."

His Eminence advised the candidates to pay attention to the cost of their election campaigns, stressing: "The people will make a judgment about the way candidates launch their campaigns, about the way they meet their costs and about wasting resources. Those who use public funds or money which may be harram in their election campaigns will not be able to win the trust of the people."

He stated: "We should take care not to give an encouraging sign to the enemies outside the country or to some people inside the country. Well, the enemy is doing his job. He is engaging in mudslinging against a certain individual or individuals and - more than that- against the Revolution, the Islamic Republic and the elections. Of course, there are impious voices inside the country. Unfortunately, inside the country there are some impious tongues, pens and voices who repeat what the enemies say in order to discourage the people and make them depressed. The people should not pay any attention to these people."

Elsewhere in his statements, the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces described protecting the Revolution as one of the outstanding characteristics of the students at Imam Hussein (a.s.) University, further adding: "There is a major difference between this university and all the other universities. Acquiring knowledge, achieving intellectual growth and developing one's personality are the major goals of all of our universities and educational centers. But in this university, there is also the matter of protecting the Revolution."


Supreme Leader Meets with People from Different Social Backgrounds


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met Wednesday morning with thousands of people from different social backgrounds. Speaking at the meeting, His Eminence called on all the people, particularly the youth of the country, to benefit from the great capacities of the month of Rajab. Referring to the hostile goals of the enemies of the Iranian nation in the upcoming elections, he stated that the elections on the 24th of Khordad are another glorious test for the people of Iran. He added: "In order to achieve their goals and frustrate the enemy, the people should choose a competent, suitable, religious, revolutionary, determined and steadfast candidate - from among the candidates which the Guardian Council introduces on the basis of legal standards - who benefits from a jihad-like determination and who is better than other candidates in undertaking the heavy responsibility of helping the country achieve dignity and progress."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the upcoming elections as the most important issue of the country in the present time. Pointing to the short-term and long-term effects of this event, he stated: "In these elections, as a result of the votes that people will cast, one individual will rule over the fate of the people and the major issues of the country for four years. However, a number of the decisions that this individual will make and the good or bad things which he will do can influence the future of our country for even 40 years. And this fact shows how important presidential elections are."

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the elections on the 24th of Khordad are very important, saying: "Despite the fact that we are still one month away from the elections, this issue has turned into an internationally important issue and international think tanks and the enemies of Iran carefully follow up even the introductory stages of this event."

His Eminence said that, in these elections, the enemies pursue goals which are completely different from the goals of the Iranian nation, further adding: "The people of Iran are looking for a person who can help the country move forward at a faster rate in material and spiritual arenas. They are looking for a person who can increase the dignity of Iran and preserve its independence - in the shade of the enthusiasm, excitement and hopes of the people - as well as solving the current problems and helping the people have better and more prosperous lives."

He stated: "In order to cool down the elections, the enemy is looking for a person who does not enjoy these characteristics and who can drag Iran towards being dependent, weak and backward in different arenas and towards treading the path of policies which are developed by foreigners."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated: "Of course, at first, foreigners were looking for a way to prevent the elections from being held, but now that their hands have been cut off from achieving this goal, they are trying to discourage the people, undermine the elections and influence the votes of the people."

Ayatollah Khamenei described the effort to discourage the people from participating in the elections as one of the main tactics of the enemy. He said: "They want to instill the idea in the minds of the people that voting and participating in the elections is useless. They want to make the people ask themselves, 'Why should we participate in the elections?'"

His Eminence referred to the role of the large Zionist networks and news agencies, adding: "Describing the conditions of the country as critical, magnifying problems, instilling despair into the hearts of the people about the existing problems and picturing the future of the country as dark are among the methods that these large networks, which lie and distort facts, are using in order to undermine the elections in Iran."

He said: "Of course, there are certain problems, such as high prices and unemployment, in the country, but which country exists that does not have any problems? Does the fact that the people of Europe shout slogans on the streets every day not show that European countries have many problems?"

Comparing the situation of Iran with the situation of other countries, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated: "Which country enjoys the national independence, solidarity and unity as the people of Iran? Which country has all these energetic young individuals who can conquer the peaks of great scientific achievements? Which nation has managed to enjoy significance, greatness and influence that the Iranian nation enjoys in international and regional events? And which nation has man aged - like the dear people of Iran - to frustrate the evil moves of its enemies and continue its path in a hopeful and glorious way?"

Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the political confrontation between the Iranian nation and the opposing camp, stressing: "The people should know that their enthusiastic and strong presence in elections will bring about immunity for the country and will reduce the greed of foreigners for transgression and wrongdoing."

Addressing the officials and political activists, His Eminence stated: "Dear people! Dear youth! Dear officials! Dear promoters of the Islamic Revolution! Dear public speakers! You should do the opposite. You should give hope to the people. This hope is not a vain hope. This hope is a genuine hope."

He stressed that the Iranian nation will emerge victorious out of its confrontation with the enemies, saying: "Because we know our people from experience and because we have constantly witnessed divine blessings and kindness, we are sure that - like previous elections - this time too the Iranian nation will deal a hard blow to the enemies."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted the characteristics that future executive officials should have, adding: "We should think carefully in order to make a good choice. We should know the standards. By Allah's favor, I will discuss certain points in this regard in the future. But the main standard is that those who will hold executive positions should make efforts to preserve the dignity of the Iranian nation and continue the movement of the country towards achieving the goals of the Revolution."

Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the necessity of choosing those candidates who are determined to preserve the dignity and progress of the country. He added: "Whatever blessings we have had over these long years is because of the goals of the Revoluti on. Whenever we could not go on, whenever we fell behind others and whenever we were defeated, it was because of our negligence to follow the goals of Islam and the Islamic Revolution."

His Eminence called on candidates to be careful about their slogans, reiterating: "Sometimes, in order to win votes, a number of candidates use slogans that are beyond their legal powers. Of course, they are making a mistake. Our wise people can identify these slogans and they can be vigilant about them. In their slogans, they should include issues which are crucial for the people, which are more urgent than other issues and which are compatible with the realities and the resources of the country and which will lead to the inner strength of the Iranian nation."

His Eminence mentioned that different people are running for the elections, adding: "By Allah's favor, the honorable members of the Guardian Council will introduce to the people - based on t heir legal responsibilities - those candidates who are qualified. After all, the honorable members of the Guardian council are pious and wise people. They will make a decision based on the law and as a result, a number of people who are righteous will be introduced to the people. You and I should take a look and see which of these qualified candidates is the most qualified, which candidate can realize the goals of the people and which candidate can undertake this heavy responsibility and continue this path with complete trustworthiness. You and I should understand and pay attention to this issue."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed the need for following the law in a strict way, adding: "The law is a very good standard. It is a tool for preserving national unity and the peace and tranquility of the country and for following the public path."

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the harmful events of the year 1388 resulte d from violating the law. He stated: "In the year 1388, the problems that were created, the harm that was inflicted on the country and the efforts of some people to prevent the country and the people from enjoying the results of their 40 million votes were the consequences of violating the law. Some people violated the law either because of their personal motives, their illegal political motives or whatever else - I do not want to make a judgment in this regard. They made a mistake by choosing illegal ways and they harmed themselves, the people and the country."

His Eminence stated that the right path is the path of the law, adding: "Sometimes, a law may not be one-hundred percent right, but it is better than lawlessness."

He reiterated: "It is possible that the enforcer of the law carries out an illegal action and you and I may find out that he has acted in an illegal way. But if we fail to correct this mistake with legal actions, t hen it is better for us to tolerate this mistake rather than taking another illegal action and correcting what we consider as illegal by violating the law."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution mentioned that acting according to sharia standards to choose an individual candidate will bring us tranquility both in this world and in the hereafter. He stated: "When one acts according to sharia standards, even if later it turns out to be an incorrect choice, one can feel proud and say, 'I carried out my duty'."

Elsewhere in his statements, Ayatollah Khamenei described the month of Rajab as an opportunity for developing our spiritual capacities, saying: "The month of Rajab is an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the month of Ramadan which is the month of divine celebration."


Supreme Leader Meets with Officials in Charge of Resistance and Revolution Literature Office


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met Monday morning with officials in charge of Resistance and Revolution Literature Office. His Eminence stated that creating a great, inspiring and motivating movement in areas related to resistance and revolution literature and preventing some hostile movements from distorting concepts and facts about the Islamic Revolution are two important and outstanding characteristics of institutes in charge of artistic activities. He stressed: "This pioneering and influential movement eliminated the need of the country for imported literature."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the efforts of a number of so-called intellectual movements to destroy and hide facts about the great and impressive valor which was created by the Islamic Revolution, further adding: "The efforts of committed artists to highlight the great spiritual capabilities of the country - which are the products of the Revolution - changed the wrong approach and tradition of these so-called intellectuals. These efforts reduced our dependence on translated works. This has led to a wealth of valuable and glorious works in different literary and artistic areas."

Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the necessity of improving research on resistance and revolution literature, reiterating: "Of course, this does not mean that we should confine ourselves to western methods of research. Rather, it means that we should develop innovate and intelligent ideas as well as using these methods."

His Eminence stressed the need for carrying out a comparative study of literature related to the Sacred Defense Era and literature related to other contemporary wars and also a comparative study of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and other revolutions in the world. He reiterated: "Compared to other revolutions in the world, the Islamic Revolution enjoys more depth, strength and competence. Nevertheless, it has not received enough attention unlike other revolutions. It is necessary to work more on producing historical books and novels and other such books."


Supreme Leader Meets with Outstanding Women


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met Saturday morning with hundreds of outstanding women who are active in academic, Quranic and seminary areas, areas related to women and the family, executive and public organizations and media networks. Speaking at the meeting, His Eminence highlighted the necessity of strengthening the family environment, respecting women in the family environment and creating an Islamic discourse on the issue of women in international arenas, further adding: "Active and competent women in the camp of the Islamic Republic should participate more actively in defending the Revolution."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that there should not be any stagnation in women's movement. He said, "Why should we adopt a passive outlook in the face of the western discourse on the issue of women despite the convincing and perfect discourse of Isl am on this issue?"

Ayatollah Khamenei described the western discourse on the issue of women as a very calculated and political discourse, saying: "Although the western discourse on the issue of women seems to be at its peak, it is on the verge of fall, destruction and disgrace."

His Eminence described making women behave like men and preparing the ground for men to indulge in pleasure as the two main parts of the western discourse on the issue of women. He reiterated: "Westerners are looking for a way to make women do jobs which are compatible with the physical and intellectual characteristics of men and they would like to describe it as an advantage and a source of honor."

He said that it is not wrong to let women hold executive positions, adding: "What is wrong is to feel proud of having a large number of women in executive positions because this is in line with the western discourse."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated: "What should make us feel proud is having a large number of intellectual and mujahid women who are active in cultural and political arenas."

Ayatollah Khamenei described adopting a hedonistic outlook on the issue of women as a big disaster, saying: "Today, a number of western intellectuals feel that they are in danger on the issue of women. Issues such as homosexuality result from such an outlook. This outlook is, definitely, one of the factors which will lead to the fall of western civilization."

His Eminence stressed: "We should not at all adopt a passive role in the face of the western discourse. Rather, we should highlight the discourse of Islam on the issue of women in a bold and determined way."

He stated: "All members of the family should always behave in a respectful way towards women. The family envir onment should be one in which children kiss their mother's hands."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution added: "If the culture of respecting women is firmly established, many problems of our society will be solved and women will not be oppressed."


Supreme Leader Meets with Teachers


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution met Wednesday morning with thousands of teachers from different parts of the country. Speaking at the meeting, which was held on the occasion of Teachers' Week, His Eminence described the educational system as a very important organization and the main infrastructure for building an advanced society which enjoys noble human characteristics and an Islamic lifestyle, further adding: "Making a quantum leap and achieving political and economic valor are necessary for the rapid movement of the country towards progress in different areas. The educational system plays a significant role in this arena."

Reviving the memory of Shahid Motahhari and the teachers and students who were martyred, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that teaching enjoys a much higher position than other occupations in an Islamic society, further reiterat ing: "Teachers are, in fact, makers of precious jewels. These jewels are children and teenagers and therefore, teaching cannot be put on an equal footing with other occupations."

Ayatollah Khamenei said: "Any society depends on proper education of children and teenagers for achieving welfare, glory, prosperity, scientific progress, courage, wisdom, liberation and rationality and a great part of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of teachers."

His Eminence added: "The reason why there is a great emphasis on the necessity of bringing about fundamental reform in the education system is that any reform in society is based on a firm infrastructure, namely the educational system."

His Eminence stressed that the plan for fundamental reform of the educational system should be put into practice, stating: "Of course, in the process of implementing the plan for fundamental reform of the educational system we s hould avoid any hasty action and we should move forward with acumen while considering all factors."

He described bringing about reform in the educational system as a deep process, saying: "The plans which enjoy depth do not produce results immediately. Based on this, implementing the plan for fundamental reform of the educational system requires extensive research in different areas so that the educational system is directed into the right channel."

Referring to the issue of teacher training universities, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that it is necessary to provide the educational system with financial support, further adding: "Such universities are different from other universities because teachers' personalities are built in these universities. Therefore, the educational system should support teacher training universities."

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the issue of textbooks is a ver y important issue in the educational system, further stressing: "We have included certain issues in our textbooks for years. A number of people omit certain subjects and some other people re-incorporate them into our textbooks. We should see what kind of religious, Islamic and civil knowledge is necessary and what kind of subject matter is required for building a civilization and for building human beings."

His Eminence expressed his gratitude to teachers for the efforts that they have made to educate students. He referred to the vigilance of teachers and their commitment to the interests of the Islamic Republic over the past 34 years, further adding: "This year has been named 'The Year of Political and Economic Valor' and definitely, the educational system can play a significant role in achieving valor."

He mentioned that achieving valor requires enthusiasm and cooperation from all the people - including teachers and students - further reiterating: "Although students who study at schools cannot vote according to the law, they can influence their families. And this large number of teachers throughout the country can play their part, both in elections - which are the essential instance of political valor - and in economic valor which is a long term process."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution added: "Because of the goals and ideals that the country and the great people of Iran have, they need to achieve valor and make a quantum leap in different areas."

Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the astonishing achievements - particularly scientific achievements - of the Iranian nation in the past three decades, stressing: "The rate of scientific growth in Iran is so fast that it has left international communities with no choice but to acknowledge our progress."

His Eminence reiterated: "The Iranian nation also enjoys a fast rate of progress in social and political areas. Moreover, it enjoys a fast rate of progress in terms of development, knowledge and understanding, communal wisdom, national power and international dignity. But the ill-wishers of the Iranian nation do not reflect these issues in their propaganda."

He said: "Despite all these achievements, the Iranian nation still needs more and greater achievements in order to reach its goals and ideals and achieve the position it deserves. And valor is a prerequisite for making these achievements and leaps."

Pointing to the successful experience of the Iranian nation in giving rise to valor during the Sacred Defense Era, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated: "By Allah's favor, the people of Iran will be successful in achieving political and economic valor."


Supreme Leader Meets with Officials in Charge of Elections


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met Monday morning with officials in charge of presidential and city and village councils elections. Speaking at the meeting, His Eminence described the enthusiastic presence of all the people in the elections on the 24th of Khordad as a guarantee for the success of the country. He stressed that organizations in charge of supervision and officials in charge of elections should act within the law at all stages.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described insulting the tomb of Hujr ibn Adi, the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) companion, as a tragic event, stressing: "Muslims - particularly scientific, political and religious personalities of the world of Islam - should carry out their responsibility in the face of this malevolent move and they should prevent the fire of fitna from spreading."

Ayatollah Khamenei described elections as the great manifestation of national and Islamic trust, adding: "The Guardian Council, organizations in charge of holding and supervising elections and organizations in charge of creating a safe and healthy environment for elections are responsible for safeguarding this great trust. They have important and valuable responsibilities which will exert a permanent influence on the country."

His Eminence pointed to the significant role of elections in reviving the country and the Revolution, saying: "Over these 34 years, elections have been a crucial and determining factor in helping our country move forward. Over these years, each time the people went to ballot boxes - more than thirty elections have been held in our country - they prevented many disasters. Each time their presence managed to give fresh impetus to our country, nation and Revolution."

He said that the elections on the 24th of Khordad are more important, in certain ways, than previous elections, stating: "Holding the presidential elections and city and village councils elections at the same time is one of the reasons why the upcoming elections are very significant."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the establishment of councils in all cities and villages throughout the country as the manifestation of the constant presence of the people in the arena of making decisions for the country. Addressing officials, the people and outstanding personalities, he said: "Paying attention to presidential elections should not make you ignore the significance of city and village council elections."

Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned that, as it has been specified in the Constitution and other laws, the president has many responsibilities and he has been provided with many resources, further adding: "The Constitution and the current legal system in the country have pr ovided the executive branch and the president with many resources and with a large budget so that it can tread the path of achieving ideals. Therefore, presidential elections are extremely important."

His Eminence described Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as an innovator and engineer who built the great structure of the Islamic Republic on the basis of the presence of the people. He stated that Imam (r.a.) insisted on holding a referendum and other elections for determining the role of the Islamic Republic. He said: "This is the nature of the Islamic Republic. Thankfully, this has been preserved in the Islamic Republic. Many people wanted to undermine elections and delay them. They wanted to undermine the presence of the people in elections. They had a motivation for doing this, but they failed. They have failed to do this to this day."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the presence of the people on the scene as the main re ason for the strength of the Islamic Republic, stating: "In the Islamic Republic, if the people are not present on the scene, The Islamic Republic means nothing. The Islamic Republic is not comprised of a few officials like me. The Islamic Republic means the widespread presence of the people of Iran and their movement towards ideals and great and practical goals. This is the meaning of the Islamic Republic."

Ayatollah Khamenei added: "The Islamic Republic and its power rely on the hearts, emotions and feelings of the people. They rely on the wisdom and the understanding of the people. If, over these 30-something years, the enemies have not managed to undermine the Islamic Republic, the reason is this. Otherwise, would this materialistic and arrogant world and these oppressive, cruel and evil powers allow such a system with its lofty claims to survive?"

His Eminence stressed: "By Allah's favor and grace, the upcoming election will b e one of our best and most enthusiastic elections."

He referred to the constant efforts of foreigners to counteract the presence of the Iranian nation in elections, further stating: "Like what they did in the year 1388, the enemy is trying to counteract the people's efforts. This was one of the things which the enemies did. They made some people build up certain illegal expectations so that, based on these expectations, they would try to pit the people against the Islamic Republic. Of course, by Allah's favor, they failed."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to a number of events which took place in the year 1388, saying: "In that year, if those individuals who inflicted a loss on the country and the people and those who imposed unnecessary expenses on the country had observed the law, that situation would not have been brought about. The law has specified that if anybody has a complaint, they shoul d step forward. This was mentioned in that year. We even asked the honorable members of the Guardian Council to extend the time for counting votes. We said that they can recount as many boxes as they want. But they [who claimed fraud] did not accept it. What they did was irrational. They imposed unnecessary expenses on the country. Well, our country overcomes these challenges because the Islamic Republic of Iran is strong."

Ayatollah Khamenei described observing the law as the only way to prevent problems that may occur during elections, further stressing: "Wherever they are, all the people - including the people in the capital, big cities and villages - should try to express their viewpoints on the basis of the law. If anybody has an expectation, they should express it within the law."

His Eminence stressed that all officials in charge of holding elections should act within the law, reiterating: "In order to honor the people's trust , you should observe the law. The law should be strictly observed on the issue of qualifying presidential candidates, candidates running for city and village council elections and other candidates who may run for future elections. Also, the law should be observed on the issue of counting the votes and protecting the ballot boxes."

He stated that learning how to show revolutionary patience is necessary for all the people, further adding: "It is clear that in each election a number of people do not achieve the desired results. I do not want to refer to these people as losers in elections. Words such as losers, winners and other such western and materialistic words and expressions should not be used. If we enter the arena for the sake of God and for carrying out our responsibilities, then winning and losing are meaningless. We should tolerate everything which may happen in elections - which is based on law. We should learn this. This is revolutionary patience. This is revolutionary tolerance."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution mentioned that anything candidates say may exert either a positive or a negative influence on the future of the country, further stating: "We should evaluate the commitment, faith, preparedness and capabilities of candidates and we should act according to our evaluation. If you and I, who want to vote, enter the arena with pure intentions and for carrying out our responsibilities and making decisions for the future of our country, then Allah the Exalted will guide our hearts."

Ayatollah Khamenei described elections as the right and the responsibility of the people, reiterating: "Those who want to evaluate the qualifications of candidates and make a decision according to that evaluation should take everything into consideration. The president should be diligent, popular, steadfast and wise. He should be committed to values and rules and regulations becaus e he is the enforcer of the law. Moreover, he should feel the needs of the people and he should pay attention to all the people from different social backgrounds."

His Eminence stated that each vote the people cast influences the results of elections, stressing: "Nobody should say, 'what kind of influence does my vote exert anyway?'. When individuals come together, they form millions-strong groups. Everybody should feel that they are responsible and, by Allah's favor, they should enter the arena."

He reiterated: "The security, immunity and progress of the country will be definitely reinforced with the widespread presence and maximum participation of the people. And, by Allah's favor, this country will be able to take another step towards the lofty goals of the Islamic Revolution."

Elsewhere in his statements, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described destroying the tomb of Hujr ibn Adi, the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) companion, and insulting his body as a tragic event, further adding: "Another reason why this is a tragic event is that there are some people among Muslims and the Islamic Ummah who have backward, superstitious and malevolent ideas and who consider commemorating outstanding and enlightened personalities of the early Islamic era as a polytheistic and blasphemous move. This is really a disaster."

Ayatollah Khamenei added: "These are the people whose forefathers destroyed the tombs of the Imams (a.s.) in al-Baqi. The day when Muslims throughout the world of Islam - from the Indian Subcontinent to Africa - rose up against them, they would have completely annihilated the pure tomb of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) if they had had the courage."

His Eminence reiterated: "They make these evil moves under the pretext that commemorating such people is a kind of worship. Is paying a visit to the grave of an individual in a spiritual environment and asking Allah the Exalted to show His mercy on him and on oneself a polytheistic act? Polytheism means being a tool in the hands of the intelligence services of England and America and distressing the hearts of Muslims. These people do not consider obeying, worshipping and kneeling before the current taghuti powers as a polytheistic act, but they consider respecting outstanding personalities as a polytheistic act. This is a disaster. The evil and blasphemous movement which has begun in the world of Islam thanks to the financial resources of the enemies - unfortunately, they have money and resources - is one of the disasters of Islam."

He referred to the appropriate response of Shia Muslims, adding: "Thankfully, Shia Muslims in our country, in Iraq, in Pakistan and wherever they became involved with this event showed that they enjoy intellectual growth and maturity. By doing this, the enemy wants to fuel the fire of Shia and Su nni differences. However, the great Shia community and the great family of the followers of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household showed that they were not deceived by this game."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that the reaction of Sunni Muslims to this event is indicative of their deep understanding, further stressing: "If these moves are not vigorously condemned by Muslims and if academic, intellectual and political personalities do not carry out their responsibilities in the face of these people, such fitna will not end in this. A disaster will befall the Islamic community and the fire of this fitna will spread on a daily basis. Muslims should prevent such fitnas through political actions, fatwas and articles which should be written by intellectuals and outstanding and political personalities in the world."

His Eminence stated that those who are acting behind the scenes are revealing themselves, saying: "Th ose who mourn and create uproar for the destruction of an archeological site - whether international organizations, international personalities or the politicians who are supporting the blind perpetrators of this crime - have remained silent on this issue."

He stressed: "They use tricks, but divine tricks will definitely outwit their tricks and will block the path of the movement which wants to create obstacles in the way of the Islamic Ummah and its progress."


Supreme Leader Meets with Poets and Panegyrists


Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met this Wednesday with a number of poets and panegyrists of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household. Speaking at the meeting, which was held on the occasion of Fatima Zahra's (s.a.) birthday anniversary, His Eminence congratulated the people of Iran on the birthday anniversary of Fatima Zahra (a.s.) and the coincidence of this day with the birthday anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.).

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described eulogy as an artistic method for increasing knowledge, creating hope and engendering feelings in the hearts of people.

Criticizing the western outlook on the issue of women, His Eminence said: "The Islamic and Quranic outlook on the individual and social rights of men and women is the most reasonable, the most dignified and the most practical outlook."

Ay atollah Khamenei described the outstanding capacities and enthusiastic hearts of young and experienced panegyrists as a great blessing and a valuable opportunity to promote love and respect for the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household, further adding: "This is the role of a panegyrist. He inspires feelings and then he puts these feelings at the service of thinking. The role of a panegyrist and a eulogist - a profession which is thankfully popular in our country today - is that he should promote knowledge and understanding among the people through artistic methods and means of expression."

He reiterated: "The poetry and tone that you choose and the way you speak with the people should be orientated towards increasing people's knowledge and deepening their understanding of religion and life."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that reciting a ghazal or qasida in a good way can play a significant role in conveying religious knowledge and understanding. He stressed: "This is an opportunity. You should use this opportunity. This opportunity should not be wasted. A poem which does not have content will waste this opportunity. If it contains a point that is poor or wrong, this opportunity will be wasted. If your performance is delivered in a way that it oversteps the boundaries of sharia, then this opportunity will be wasted. If it ignores the fundamental things which the people need to know today, this opportunity will be wasted."

Ayatollah Khamenei stated: "Imagine that during the Sacred Defense Era when the country was in need of enthusiastic valor in jihad and in practical arenas, somebody attends a meeting and he recites a poem in a good way in the presence of youth and fathers and mothers, but if he does not mention the needs of the time, he has wasted the opportunity."

His Eminence stated that putting such a God-given talent at the service of creating discord and provoking sectarian conflicts is another way of wasting this opportunity.

He said that sectarian conflicts may be provoked by using different means of communication in the wrong way, reiterating: "Today creating discord and provoking sectarian conflict are wrong moves and they are not to the benefit of our country. Neither today nor during the time of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) were they proper moves. The Imams (a.s.) prevented these moves."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described provoking domestic conflicts as another way of wasting opportunities, further adding: "The current year has been named 'The Year of Political and Economic Valor'. Valor is reinforced with wisdom, guidance and faith and it should originate from the heart. It cannot be ordered and imposed from above."

Ayatollah Khamenei said that strengthening the spirit of hope and optimism about the bright prospects of the country is a necessary condition for valor, reiterating: "Valor is not achieved by raising doubts in the minds of the people, injecting despair into their hearts and guiding them towards isolation, laziness and inaction."

His Eminence stated: "Continuous jihad is what everybody needs. All the achievements and developments in civilizations are because of continuous jihad. Continuous jihad does not mean suffering. Jihad causes excitement. Jihad engenders happiness and enthusiasm. In this regard, poets and panegyrists play a very outstanding role in increasing knowledge and understanding and sowing the seeds of acumen, hope and firm beliefs."

He mentioned that the people pay attention to the behavior and morality of panegyrists as well as their poems and their performance. He reiterated: "If you win praise from the people by behaving in a moral, religious and modest way, all the things that I spoke about will deeply influence the people. But if, God forbid, the opposite happens, if the people witness signs of moral instability, moral backwardness and, God forbid, immorality and other such things, then the effect of the art and the beauties which exist in your work will be minimized."

The second point that the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution discussed was the necessity of appreciating the position of women.

Criticizing western policies on the issue of women, Ayatollah Khamenei said: "The great sin that western civilization has committed against women cannot be wiped out or made up for any time soon, nor can it be easily put into words."

His Eminence stated that the role of women in western civilization is to put themselves on display and prepare the ground for men to indulge in pleasure. He said that the west refers to this as freedom and it refers to the opposite behavior as restriction.

He str essed that such an outlook will result in the destruction of the family, adding: "When the family is undermined and destroyed in a society, corruption will be established in that society. The problems that exist in the west today and the dim-witted and malevolent laws that they pass on sexual issues will push them off the precipice. This fall is not preventable. They are condemned to destruction. Whether it likes it or not, western civilization cannot prevent this fall. "

His Eminence said that the fall of civilizations as well as their rise happens gradually. He stated that western civilization is beginning to fall.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that the Quranic and Islamic outlook on the position of women is the most reasonable and practical outlook, further reiterating: "Allah the Exalted makes no distinction between men and women in terms of their spiritual, social and individual rights. Of course, in speci fic cases, women have been given certain privileges and in a number of other cases, men have been given certain privileges. This is based on the nature of men and women."

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to a number of exclusive privileges granted to women such as housekeeping, giving birth, safeguarding the family environment, preserving love in the family and raising children, further stressing: "Housekeeping and giving birth to children are great feminine efforts which are accompanied by patience, emotion and feelings. If these efforts receive attention, the progress of a country will be guaranteed."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted the necessity of respecting and appreciating the value of women, adding: "It is necessary to behave towards women in a respectful, loving, noble and moral way."

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