Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei has vowed that the nation will stand firm in the
face of America's threats. In a speech at Imam Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran on
4 June, 2002 he said the occupation of Palestine "is the cause of many
weaknesses and problems in the world of Islam."
Ayatollah Khamenei said "any kind of negotiation that is based on the
acknowledgement of the Zionist regime is an illegitimate negotiation and it is a
negotiation that will not endure." He added "The quest for martyrdom
[in Palestine] is not based on emotions; it is based on belief in Islam and
faith in Judgment Day and faith in life after death. Anywhere Islam exists in
its true sense, arrogance faces this threat. In order to gain mastery over
Palestine, arrogance has to fight Islam."
The following are excerpts from the speech, delivered on the occasion of the
13th demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (RA):
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate....
The anniversary of the demise of His Eminence the Imam [Khomeini]- may he be
admitted to God's paradise - is, on the one hand, an opportunity for the nation
to convey its affection and respect for its noble Imam. On the other hand, it is
an opportunity for those whose hearts are infatuated with the Imam, his ideals
and strategic ideas and principles, to reiterate their loyalty and commitment
once again. Therefore, 14th Khordad of every year [4th June] has a special
importance for political analysts the world over. Today, in all parts of the
country, the people are showing the kind of affection and love for their noble
Imam that has now become customary...
The Islamic revolution, as a new and unique phenomenon, was able to revive
the rays of hope in the hearts of people in Muslim societies. Everyone in the
Islamic world and even outside it realized that our revolution was not emulating
the slogans uttered by the untrustworthy tongues of the Eastern and Western
regimes. They realized our revolution was a new phenomenon that had a new
vitality and momentum. As a result, with the establishment of our Islamic
Republic, all over the Islamic world, Muslim nations achieved a new momentum and
a new sense of hope...
Islamic revolution is not weak
The reason why the dominant arrogant powers led by America work so hard
against the Islamic revolution is that they want to destroy this focal point and
this origin here. They know as long as this spring is boiling and as long as the
focal point of this new thinking is alive here, they cannot discourage the
nations of the world in their quest for justice. Therefore, they try to do one
of these two things: Either they try to destroy this origin here totally, or as
they know that this is not possible with the awakening of the nation and its
being lively; they try to destroy the content of the Islamic Republic although
its facade may be still there.
They try to change the directions and orientations. They try to distort the
principal and clear concepts of Islamic revolution and Islamic Republic. Of
course, they keep propagating all over the world that the Islamic Republic is
declining and is becoming weak. This is part of the everyday propaganda of the
enemies of this revolution and this system. Some simple-minded people may
believe this. It may depress some of our friends across the world and make our
enemies happy. But this is not a historical or scientific forecast. This a
If the Islamic revolution is weak and old and incapable, why they spend
billions of dollars to oppose the Islamic revolution? If the Islamic revolution
is breathless, why America comes to face this revolution with all of its
military and propaganda equipment and makes its tone increasingly violent
No. This revolution is alive, dynamic and progressing. The movement and the
basic trends of the revolution are still alive...
Unfortunately, the enemies of the state ascribe all weaknesses - even if they
concern only one institution, to the state itself. The state has firm
foundations. It has clear contours. The mode of reasoning and the rationale
behind the main contours of the state are immutable.
Need for vigilance in the face of foreign threats
The officials and executives of the Islamic state, be they in the legislature
or the executive or the judiciary, or the armed forces or anyone who is working
anywhere, must overcome their weaknesses. The way to ensure prosperity for this
nation is to implement the very principles that our magnanimous Imam defined and
which were incorporated into the constitution. The nation has expressed its
loyalty to them a number of times.
It became clear that the enemy opposed those very principles. The enemy
opposes everything that may prevent its infiltration. The enemy intends to
infiltrate through different channels. The Iranian nation, particularly our
officials, must be vigilant. Praise be to God, they have already demonstrated
their vigilance. During all these years, our dear nation has demonstrated that
it is aware of those things. What the enemy must know is that it will not be
able to force the nation to surrender by addressing it in a peremptory manner or
by using the language of force and bullying.
What is clear to our nation is that any foreign domination in this country
would threaten their religious and material happiness and would impose
inferiority and humiliation on them. Today America talks to the world - not only
to us - with the literature of arrogance. America speaks of war in order to
expand its domination and influence in the world. This is arrogance. Any nation
and any government that is intimidated with this literature and this way of
treatment and surrenders to it, is digging its own grave and acting against
The regime of America, sees it as its right to treat the nations with force
and talk to governments with the language of force. You see that America
humiliates Arab governments and exerts pressure on Arab nations. It takes as
many advantages as it can. It wholeheartedly supports the usurper regime of
Israel against the world of Islam and the Arab world. It is planning to expand
its influence. And this causes hatred around the world.
Therefore, America is becoming more and more hated in the world everyday. You
saw this demonstrations of tens of thousands of people in European cities
against the American president in his recent trip. This is unique in the world.
It is unprecedented. What does this mean?
In the world of Islam the regime of America is the most hated regime. This is
according to the polls they have taken themselves. Now it has been clear that it
is not merely in the world of Islam. In Russia, in various European countries,
this public hatred against the regime of America and its leaders is on the rise
day by day. What they are going to do with this public hatred?
Our nation is a nation of dignity. It attaches importance to its independence
and dignity. It does not accept and tolerate insults by anyone. No government
and no regime in the world is entitled to insult the Iranian nation for their
Unity is the only thing that can stop America's impudence
The enemy is a violent one. In Afghanistan and some other places, America
showed that it does not deem it necessary to heed any humanitarian point in its
In Afghanistan, in the poor and wronged country of Afghanistan, they entered
the arena under the guise of combating a group or even a few individuals. They
did not get their hands on those individuals, but they massacred many innocent
people, bombarded them, and killed them. They are violent, but this imposition
of violence or expression of violence cannot help America achieve its aims and
succeed. Undoubtedly, they will be slapped in the face by nations, through the
steadfastness of nations.
Let me also say this to our dear nation, to the country's honorable officials
and to the political groups: The thing that can stop America's impudent assault
is only and simply national unity. Unity. In any spot where they wish to appear,
they must first sow dissension. The means of their success is the existence of
dissension within nations' internal ranks. In any place where they have
succeeded in bullying and exercising violence, if you look, you will see that
there were rifts in the nation's rank there.
Wherever there is unity, they will not dare approach. The cure for
confronting America's threats consists of the nation's unity, unity among
officials, consideration for the different political factions and gathering
around the same axes that our eminent Imam Khomeini (RA) designated as the
principles of this revolution and the principles of this system - which are
accepted by this nation. These are the things for which the nation committed
acts of sacrifice.
See for yourself, anywhere in the world, when someone presents certain
slogans as a presidential candidate and, then, a majority, even if a weak
majority, vote for him, the mere fact that those people have come to the ballot
boxes is thought to constitute support for those slogans.
The Iranian nation did not merely come to the ballot boxes for the principles
of our eminent Imam Khomeini (RA) and the main lines of this revolution, which I
spoke about; it took its life into its hands and stepped into the arena. This
nation has put its signature in blood on this revolution, these lines, these
principles, which are crystallized today in the constitution;, not just at the
start of the revolution but also during the imposed [Iran-Iraq] war. The people
stood up to the aggressor for eight years. They defended this sacred system,
with their youths, with their entire existence. This is different from people
coming to the ballot boxes to endorse an individual. This is dozens of times
These principles are principles for which the nation has sacrificed lives,
sacrificed its youths, and sacrificed its blood. Now, too, it is standing firm.
Now, too, if a dramatic event comes about which makes the people of Iran feel
that they have to come into the arena with their bodies and lives, all the eyes
of the world will see that the people's enthusiasm and eagerness will be even
greater than in the imposed war.
These principles in which the people believe, which are trusted by the
people, loved by the people - these principles are the axis of unity. People
should not look elsewhere for the axis of unity. Everyone should show their
loyalty to these principles again and again, with their words and pens, in their
speeches, with their behavior, whether officials or other people involved in
This becomes the axis of unity. This is what national unity means. We are not
saying that the different preferences that exist among the people and the
political groups must be removed from the country's political arena. No, this is
neither possible nor beneficial.
Differences of opinion should not lead to conflict
However, such differences of opinion must not lead to conflict or create
rifts. That is the main point. Everyone must observe this unity and preserve it.
That is the way to defend this country and that is a barrier to the enemy's
audacious onslaught. They are constantly threatening us and they are talking
about it and repeating it all the time.
At the same time, our officials have a gargantuan task as well. Officials of
our country must serve the people and they must be indefatigable in their
efforts. They will have to work hard and around the clock. It does not make any
difference whether they are in the executive branch in the government, or in the
legislature as Majlis deputies or in the Judiciary and judicial institutions
throughout the country.
They must be serious and they must try to implement the principles of the
revolution and the Imam and they must follow this course of action. In fact,
that means putting the constitution into practice. They must work regardless of
any special considerations and they must make efforts like that. They must not
permit their time to be spent on doing other things. Everyone is duty-bound to
They must know that if anyone shirks his duty during this period, the people
will condemn them and that Almighty God will hold them answerable as well.
Dereliction of duty is totally unacceptable during this period because the
people really need our officials to serve them. They must not shirk their duties.
They have ample opportunity to serve the people. They have ample opportunity
to resolve the people's complex economic problems that affect their lives. They
have ample opportunity to establish justice and narrow the class gap.
Unfortunately, this should not exist in our society that is an Islamic society.
However, unfortunately, it does exist. They have ample opportunity to narrow
this gap. There are rational and logical ways.
Officials must make efforts. That is something that the immaculate soul of
that magnanimous man expects us and our officials to do. The people want the
same thing as well.
An issue that has become important these days - and praise be to God our
country dealt with it very well - is the issue of Palestine. That is because
these days our friends made efforts on the occasion of the anniversary of the
demise of our magnanimous Imam. They convened the international conference on
Palestine. The necessary and beneficial things that had to be said were said.
The country of Palestine will certainly be established one day
The issue of Palestine is the most important issue in the world of Islam. No
international issue is higher than this in the world of Islam, because the
mastery of the usurpers of the land of Palestine and the usurpers of Quds
[Jerusalem] over this part of the Islamic Ummah's body is the cause of many
weaknesses and problems in the world of Islam.
Today, of course, America is Israel's accomplice. The American president, who
presents himself as a mediator, says explicitly: Supporting Israel is a part of
our foreign policy. In other words, in front of the Arab world, in front of Arab
leaders, in front of the Islamic ummah, he displays, plainly and shamelessly,
his bias in favor of Israel, which is the usurper of the land of Palestine.
Brothers and sisters, today the Palestinian people's struggle has fallen into
place; it revolves around the axis around which the hope of victory lies. In
other words, the nation has come onto the stage. Israel is a contrived regime.
It is an illegal regime. It is a usurper regime. They have taken a country from
its people by force, through injustice and with ploys. Hence, any kind of
negotiation that is based on the acknowledgement of this regime is an
illegitimate negotiation and it is a negotiation that will not endure.
Of course, today, the Palestinian nation has understood the facts very well.
They have understood that the language of force is the only language that the
occupiers of Bayt al-Maqdis and the occupiers of the country of Palestine
believe in. They have understood this. They know that any kind of negotiation,
any kind of deal will inflict damage on them.
The battle that the Palestinian nation has started today is not the battle of
one army against another army, for us to be able to say, this side has a few
tanks and that side has more tanks. It is the battle of the bodies and lives of
people who are not afraid of death.
Every single selfless youth, who stands before the occupying regime,
threatens them as much as a military division. The answer to this cannot be
given with tanks, missiles, aircraft and Apache helicopters. When an individual,
even just a single person, is not afraid of death, when he prepares himself for
sacrifice in the path of God and in the path of duty, he turns into the biggest
threat for unjust powers. You, therefore, saw that, in the face of these
martyrdom-seeking youths, the Americans took an explicit stance at the most
Let me say to you: these stances will not be of any use. This quest for
martyrdom is not based on emotions; it is based on belief in Islam and faith in
Judgment Day and faith in life after death. Anywhere Islam exists in its true
sense, arrogance faces this threat.
In order to gain mastery over Palestine, arrogance has to fight Islam and
fighting Islam means fighting the world of Islam. This fight will not lead
anywhere. The solution to the problem of Palestine does not consist of these
imposed, fraudulent solutions. The solution to the problem of Palestine is for
the true people of Palestine - not usurper, occupying immigrants - the true
people of Palestine, whether the ones who remain inside Palestine or the ones
who are outside Palestine, must determine their own country's ruling system.
This is the only solution...
The Zionists imagine that they have managed to gain mastery over Palestine
and that Palestine is theirs forever. No, this is not true. The destiny of
Palestine is that the country of Palestine will definitely become Palestinian
The Palestinian nation has risen up to this end. It is the duty of Muslim
nations and Muslim governments to shorten the distance to that day as much as
possible. They must make it so that the Palestinian nation reaches that day...
The following is excerpt from Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyed Ali Khamenei's speech
on the current situation in Palestine, delivered on May 1, 2002:
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. First of all I would
like to welcome you my dear brothers and sisters. In particular I would like to
welcome the esteemed families of the martyrs as well as my friends, brothers and
sisters who have come from other cities and remote areas...
The issues of the Islamic world are very important. It should not be imagined
that there is no connection between our domestic issues and the problems of the
Islamic world, Palestine and Middle East. No, today the issues of the world are
all inter-connected. The problems of nations are all inter-related. The powers,
which formulate policies that lead to problems for the nations of the world, do
not distinguish between this or that nation in their bid to fulfill their
objectives and interests.
The Palestine issue is not merely an issue for a single nation. The issue is
in effect about the sovereignty of international dictatorship and the domination
of force and coercion. Just look at the events in the Palestinian lands today.
We are witnessing some of the most tragic events in history in Palestine. The
usurper and counterfeit government of Israel - relying on its military power,
tanks, aircraft and the ruthless and oppressive firepower - has imposed a siege
on Palestinian towns. It is occupying these towns one after the other, and
continues to massacre the people and destroy their homes. One day it is
Ramallah, and the next day it is the turn of Jenin, Nablus and Al-Khalil
[Hebron] and other cities.
One cannot begin to even describe the tragedies that have taken place in
these towns. We have seen military forces entering these towns, killing,
wounding or arresting many innocent people. There are many thousands of wounded
people and thousands of martyrs in these towns now. Moreover, they have
kidnapped thousands of young people out of their homes and have taken them to
unknown locations. They have destroyed countless number of homes.
Generous US support for Israel
I have heard that 70 per cent of Jenin was destroyed by Israeli forces. Can
you imagine, tanks rolling in and destroying 70 per cent of a city? What is the
meaning of these crimes that are committed before the eyes of humanity? It means
that a government that is a tyrannical government that does not care about any
humanitarian, religious and divine regulations. Such a government is creating
these tragedies to satisfy its own greed and to continue its tyranny of the past
several dozen years. Despite doing so, the American government offers total and
unstinting support to Israel.
In the midst of these developments, all the international slogans in support
of human rights, defense of nations, democracy, freedom and the rest are
forgotten. Despite the fact that the global conscience was moved, the conscience
of the American leaders and the White House administration was not distressed in
They, the American administration, intend to make the world understand the
following two points: The first is that they intend to keep this cancerous tumor
at all cost. Secondly, they wish to make the world realize that they are going
to resort to force. They say: We intend to force and bully the rest of the world
and we do not care what is said against us. In other words, they wish to
convince the people of the world that no word and no action will be able to
stand up to America's power of bayonet and military might. That is what they are
trying to prove, but they have failed so far. Despite all their demonstration of
might, they have not reached their objectives so far. Why? Because the nation of
Palestine has not surrendered.
They - by exerting pressure, by resorting to massacre, by demonstrating lack
of compassion and by trampling on all humanitarian principles - intend to force
the Palestinian nation to surrender. They intend to force the nation of
Palestine to submit totally to their demands and abandon its own justified
wishes. But they have failed to realize this objective.
Contrary to the assumption of America and Israel, the power of force will not
win. The final word in all problems is uttered by the people's power of
determination and faith. This is true in this case too.
Martyrdom-seeking Operations: "Zenith of Courage and Bravery"
In response to the horrendous tyranny that the people of Palestine are
subjected to these days, there are two solutions. These two solutions are
inevitable and must be accepted by everyone. The first is to continue the
intifada. The people of Palestine must continue their resistance. Praise be to
God, they have stood firm so far. The climax of this resistance can be seen in
the martyrdom-seeking operations.
It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be
prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and
his religion. This is the zenith of courage and bravery. This is what frightens
the enemy. We have therefore seen that everyone, from the American president to
the lowest rank of officials who work to serve the American policies all over
the world, has tried to put a stop to these martyrdom-seeking operations by
censuring and denouncing it. On the contrary, martyrdom-seeking operations
demonstrate the pinnacle of a nation's honor. They demonstrate the zenith of the
Are there not any martyrdom-seeking operations when a military force is
offering to sacrifice everything to defend its homeland? Are there not any
martyrdom-seeking operations when a belligerent and ruthless army commits an
aggression against another country, whose people put up a resistance against the
invading army? In such cases, who can condemn such operations? Who can mar the
value and esteem of such operations in the minds of the fair and conscientious
Martyrdom-seeking operations are the zenith of the Palestinians greatness.
This is the truth even though some people may decide to utter and write
contradictory words and censure a nation which has been suffering for 50 years,
because of the failure of the past generations to pay attention to its long-term
interests, and is now left with no option but to sacrifice its blood to restore
its rights. The Palestinian nation is alive and alert and is moving forward.
This was the first solution.
Suspending Oil Exports
The second solution is support. The entire world should support the
Palestinians. Of course, the nations have lent their support. Even in Europe,
the nations have given support and have staged demonstrations. They have used
different vehicles to express their heartfelt support. Even inside the United
States there has been expression of support. These trends will continue.
Nonetheless, the governments must also fulfill their duties. In particular, the
governments of Islamic countries, and specifically the Arab states, must do
What we said about suspending oil exports for a month was a fundamental issue,
which obviously cannot be approached superficially. Of course, this action is
not merely a theatrical move that one government alone says I will suspend oil
exports and it is not clear whether that has happened or not. It is a real and
serious action. Everyone must make this decision. Some arguments have been
offered saying that in the first place, such a move would be detrimental to
those cutting off their oil supplies. This is not true. This is an error in
calculations. Cutting off the oil supplies is not disadvantageous to the nations.
It will in the end prove beneficial to them.
Right now one day the price of oil is 24 or 25 dollars per barrel and within
a few days, it comes down to 15 or 16 dollars. You can see that the nations are
coming to harm because of the dramatic fluctuations in the oil price. This is
because someone else holds the reigns. By cutting off oil exports for a month,
the Muslim nations will demonstrate their decision making clout. The Islamic
governments and nations will prove their ability to take action against the
system of international dictatorship, and against the will of those bullies who
only rely on the power of their bayonet. They should do this. This action is
Some governments such as Syria and Lebanon have adopted good positions on
this issue. All the Muslim governments, and the oil-producing and exporting
countries must attach a lot of importance to this historic duty. History will
judge them for their ability to take decisive steps. Even today, the nations are
going to judge them and come to a decision about their sincerity and virtues on
Of course, this is only one of the ways by which help can be given to the
Palestinians. There are, however, other ways. The governments and nations must
provide financial aid. I said this to our nation and other nations in one of my
recent Friday prayer sermons. One should support the oppressed people who are
fighting in defense of their homeland, Bayt al-Muqadas and the identity of a
Muslim nation, and are seeking to put a stop to the presence of global arrogance
in this region.
Both the governments that neighbor Palestine and all the liberation movements
and popular resistance forces must assist the Palestinians. Anyone who is able
to render such assistance must do so promptly. This is a duty for everyone.
Islamic Republic Not Scared of the U.S.
The American government is standing firm behind the Israeli government,
despite all the deceptive claims that the American media relentless put forward
about the leadership of the world, human rights, and so on and so forth. One is
really astonished at the shameless audacity of some arrogant statesmen of the
They consider their actions to be the embodiment of justice, even though they
do not understand the meaning of the concept. The American government does not
know what justice means. Which of their actions can be called just? They
consider this the Israeli action as a just war and as a war against terrorism.
However, they themselves are openly supporting the most cowardly terrorists.
Humanity's brow is covered with the sweat of shame and embarrassment [Audience
chants: Death to America].
Of course today the Americans have totally fallen from the eyes of the world
nations that is, they have lost the respect of the world nations, thanks to
their irrational behavior. They are despised. They have attracted the hatred of
all the people who have pure hearts and clear conscience.
In the eye of the American government any state that adopts a justified
stance against their actions in Palestine, is a forsaken state. They bear a
grudge against the Islamic Republic because the Islamic Republic speaks of
justice, because the Islamic Republic is not influenced by fear of America,
because it is not scared of America, because it refuses to abandon its will just
to please America's statesmen and because it is not prepared to lose its
independence. That is why they are hostile with the Islamic Republic.
In the past, whenever they intended to say something against the Islamic
Republic, they used to make allegations that human rights are not respected in
Iran, etc, etc. But today everything has become obvious. It is now clear what
the reason for their opposition to the Islamic Republic is. The reason is that
the Islamic Republic has not submitted to the logic of bullying and shall never
do so [Audience chants: Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel].
The Islamic Republic of Iran's stances are very clear and 100 percent
rational. The state authorities have mentioned these stances on many occasions.
The esteemed president has repeatedly reiterated these stances during his visits
in recent days before other nations and at international organizations. These
are the logical stances of the Islamic Republic.
When you look at the Islamic world, you will see that every single member of
the Muslim nations lauds these stances. The nations are after justice. The basic
strategy for global system of arrogance and bullying is to force the nations to
accept its logic of coercion, oppression and injustice.
They are seeking a world that is based on oppression and tyranny. They want
to run this world with tyranny to the advantage of large companies and
capitalists or the Zionist or non-Zionist managers of the world's huge financial
resources, and to the detriment of the nations.
Moreover, they expect everyone to obey these stances. But, how can this ever
materialize? It is possible that some governments may give in to this pressure,
because they want to safeguard the personal interests of their officials.
However, a justice-seeking government or nation - which speaks and acts under
the banner of Islam and adopts its stances on the basis of its independence and
national identity - is never going to succumb...
(Two different translations)