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Ceremony in which the Shahab-3 missile was handed over to the Corps

July 20, 2003

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. I would like to express my gratitude to Almighty God because of the existence of you faithful and dear young people. Faithful, highly motivated and efficient human beings are among the most precious assets of every nation. Today, alhamdulillah, we are at a gathering of such human beings. I would like to pay tribute to all of you dear young people, officials of the air force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and all the personnel of this force. I would like to thank all of you for your efforts.

Alhamdulillah, over the years, the air force of the Corps has emerged as a praiseworthy group. It has maintained a good level of readiness. Good forces have been brought together in this group. Precious work has been done. Every nation needs to be strong in order to defend its lofty ideals.

Religious and spiritual logic defines power in a vastly different way from capitalist logic. Capitalist logic detects power in instruments and equipment. It observes them in atoms, chemical weapons, biological weapons and various advanced instruments of materialism. Those things do not represent the totality of the concept of power. The major part of the concept of power inheres in the souls of the human beings who want to exercise power. A righteous group is one which works for the establishment of justice and struggles for lofty ideals and values. Such a group is ready to do its utmost, use all of its resources and do everything in its power to do so. Then it will be able to acquire real power.

A group which works for justice and just values, will not exercise its power as an animalistic concept. It will not establish tyrannies. It will not be imperialistic. It will not humiliate human beings. It will not encroach upon or commit acts of aggression against others' territories. It will not prevent various nations from furthering their interests or deprive them of their resources in order to acquire such things for itself. That is the moral code of spiritual power. Material power, however, does not care about or know anything about morality. Financial power is not used in the quest for justice or righteous values.

The logic of some of those who possess financial power is the logic of the jungle. They think that they are right because they have financial power. This equation is wrong. Today, if you look at the world scene, you can see that that America's imperialist face has been exposed. The Islamic revolution stamped the expiry date on the forehead of that imperialistic and nihilistic government which espouses nihilism. Its true nature has been exposed to the entire world. You can see how it is acting in the global arena.

The only thing they are not thinking about are the rights of human beings or nations. They are not thinking about human morality or observing the rights of the downtrodden people of the world. What is most important to them is securing their own imperialist interests. Financial power may give one a lot of clout when it is used for that purpose. However, one cannot have any hope of gaining victory.

When power is defined in divine terms, then financial resources can be used so effectively - by relying upon spiritual values - that the rights of human beings will not be violated. Then no-one’s right will be infringed or violated. Therefore, they will be righteous and work for justice. Final victory belongs to them. That definition of power, the main element of which is popular willpower and the movement in defense of lofty and commendable values, has successfully passed its test over the last 24 years.

On American foreign policy failures

Those who have had financial power could not put up resistance against the spiritual strength of the righteous in Iran, Lebanon, Palestine or any other part of the world where the righteous who exercised power entered the arena. They could not bring the righteous to their knees. They could not drive them out of the arena by relying upon their sheer numbers. That is the reality of the situation. It exists. It existed in the past and it will exist in the future. In Iraq, the Americans faced the Saddam regime which was a financial power like themselves, albeit a much weaker one. Therefore, they managed to advance and gain victory. However, today, after apparently gaining military victory, they are facing the willpower and demands of the people of Iraq. They feel weak and they think that they have been defeated and they want to retreat.

What is facing the occupiers of Iraq today, is not just a military power. It is not just sophisticated military equipment. It is the deeply-rooted willpower of a people - a people who do not want occupiers in their homes. They do not want occupiers to dominate them or their vital resources. They do not want their Islamic or national identities to be belittled by the occupiers. That is precisely what creates a righteous power. If it remains in the arena and if human beings remain committed to the resistance, then there is not a power in the world that will be able to put up resistance against them. Palestine provides a case in point. Lebanon provides another case in point. The Islamic republic defends justice as an ideal. It defends the rights of human beings. It defends the national and Islamic identities of its own nation. It defends the lofty status of a nation that deserves to have a lofty status. It does not retreat in the face of injustice.

On Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has said, and it has proved this not just in words but also in deeds, that it would not retreat in the face of bullying, tyranny, domination, pressure and the arrogant demands of global imperialists. It will not abandon its lofty ideals.

That is the correct logic. That is a humane and righteous logic. It also relies upon spiritual power. During the last 24 years, the Iranian nation has demonstrated this spiritual power. Throughout the imposed war (reference to 1980-88 war), the armed forces and the same young and faithful personnel of the Guards demonstrated this. One cannot possibly say that the miracles performed at Faw and Shalamcheh were simply the result of the use of firepower or military equipment. This was achieved thanks to the quest for martyrdom and steadfastness. It was achieved by their human will and relying upon God and their faith. They combined those factors with the resources at their disposal.

Today, the Iranian nation and the armed forces; the army and the (Islamic Revolution) Guards Corps and the Basij (Resistance Force), are ready to use their forces and their material power by relying upon this spiritual force, namely their faith and willpower. They are going to demonstrate it wherever it is necessary to do so and against any enemy that is intent upon committing aggression against the Islamic republican state. Victory belongs to such spiritual powers and strengths.

Our dear young people who are in the air force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps - and this force is playing an extremely sensitive role as a result of the new situation brought about by global confrontations - must maximize their readiness. Alhamdulillah, today, one can see signs that this force is ready and it is indeed ready. I know about this because of the information I have and the reports I have received.

However, there are still opportunities for continuing your efforts and activities. This can be done both in terms of spiritual values, namely, doing more to attain one's ideals and motivating oneself and ensuring one's material preparedness. You must do your utmost, you must do your best to be innovative and creative and you must draw upon all of your knowledge and expertise, as well as your faith, honesty and spirituality. You must be able to play your historic role and your role will be decisive for the entire world, not just for Islamic Iran.

We beseech Almighty God by swearing upon the immaculate blood of our martyrs and His righteous chosen ones to enable us to maintain our steadfastness so that we can continue the path of our martyrs. We call upon Him to ensure that we will also have the same blessed fate as that of our martyrs. May God bestow His peace and blessings upon all of you. (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps members chant: May God bestow His peace and blessings upon Muhammad and his progeny).

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World Will Not Accept US' Global Dictatorship

Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei has said that America intends to weaken the Islamic awakening in the Muslim world by creating unrest in Iran and by separating the Iranian nation from the Islamic system. Addressing the people of the small city of Varamin on Thursday June 12, Ayatollah Khamenei said that America would not achieve anything in Iraq and stressed that the people of Iraq would not tolerate the Americans. Elsewhere, the Leader called on the country's officials to do their utmost to resolve the problems faced by the people. The following is an excerpt from the address:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

. . . Today all the propaganda horns of the world are working to rationalize and to prove to the Iranian nation and to other Muslim nations that "it is useless, Islamic awakening will not work, even the Islamic system which exists in Iran will fail on the way". They want to force this idea on everyone. They have done, and will do, what they can, but with the grace of God, they will be finally defeated and they will bite the dust. (Chants of Allahu akbar by thousands of the residence of Varamin).

Their primary aim is to promote hopelessness among Iranian people. I want to tell all the Iranian people, including you dear people of Varamin: Anyone who promotes hopeless among the nation with his words or deeds is helping the enemy. It doesn't matter who they are.

Contrary to what the enemy propagates the enemy force can be resisted and remedied. They propagate the idea that the America force cannot be resisted. Why? Because they could not stand against them in Afghanistan and they couldn't stand against them in Iraq either. But they don't say that there were traitors in certain places. They don't speak about the types of regimes ruling these countries. They don't speak about the status of these nations who hated their despotic, dictatorial and discredited rulers. They don't speak about these things. They don't say how the Iranian people have proved that they are ready to make sacrifices in defence of their honour, their integrity, their Islam, their glorious Islamic system. They don't mention these things.

They frighten the people. The loud speakers of the enemy are trying their hardest to promote despair among people and to terrify them. I want to tell the Iranian people that neither the terror and threat nor the despair are genuine. They are both misleading.

It is totally wrong and inappropriate to portray the forces of the enemy as invincible. If the Americans could destroy the system of the Islamic Republic they would not hesitate for a single day. You hear the American officials saying that their policy towards Iran is not war. Yes, they are telling the truth. This is because, for them, war in Iran is not the same as war in Iraq. Here a whole nation is standing against them - a nation as brave and as great as this will give the aggressor a hell of a time (Chants of Allahu Akbar).

Please pay attention, please pay attention. Their policy is something else. For several years I have been repeatedly referring to this in my speeches and private advise to the various political and cultural authorities. Some faultfinders have said "Sir! These are all illusions". But things which they imagined to be illusions are being openly said by the Americans. The Americans are openly saying we want to create unrest in Iran. Yes, this is their policy. Their policy is to create discord among the nation. Their policy is to separate the nation from the system. Their policy is to find a group of unhappy adventurists who want to create unrest and who can be turned into mercenaries. Then the Americans will not wait. They will support them. Few individuals raise a voice in some corner and the Americans say they are their supporters. They are telling the truth. The Americans will support anyone who disturbs the peace and security, anyone who disturbs unity.

The Iranian nation should, therefore, be vigilant. The state authorities must remain vigilant too. And the young people in particular must remain alert.

Of course, at this point I must make the following recommendation to the committed young people, to free thinking young people and the Hezbollahis all over the country. The recommendation is this: Lest you should enter the arena when others pave the way for riots. The atmosphere should not become contaminated with the dust of uncertainty and chaos. No-one should be allowed to contaminate the atmosphere of society, the atmosphere of the university and the atmosphere of various areas through riots and insecurity and then blame the committed Muslim youth as the culprit. Should the Iranian nation decide to take action against the rioters, it would do the same as 23 Tir 1378 [14 July 1999] (Chants of Allahu Akbar).

Now that the enemies of the Iranian nation, that is, the existing American administration and the Zionists usurpers of Palestine, have blatantly said that they intend to create chaos among the Iranian people, the responsible state departments must be watching events with the highest attention and vigilance.

Our nation today is in need of employment. The people are in need of some relentless and continued endeavour for reconstruction. The same point was raised by the honourable governor of Varamin earlier in this place. We face similar problems in many regions of the country. These problems require serious efforts of the authorities to prepare plans. They are busy doing so.

They should pass laws, follow up, manage, execute, prosecute offenders. Those are the duties of the country's officials. That requires a safe and peaceful environment.

Those who wish to create tension do not want all that to be accomplished. They do not want the country to develop. They want the country's planners and managers not to succeed. They create tension, and few problematic people here and there - possibly lying in wait in some sectors of the system - join their voices with those of foreigners, ruin the atmosphere and prevent work from being done. That is what they want.

What should be noted in the first place today is that this move of the enemy stems from weakness. Because he knows that it cannot fight the Iranian people, who are united and have faith. Therefore, it is trying to disrupt that solidarity first. It wants to destroy the people's faith, so that it can deal with the Iranian nation.

As for the issue of creating despair. Some people make the people despondent. Some times it is with words and some times it is with actions. Some people make the people despondent with their actions. The Iranian nation has no reason to despair. With such a great nation, rich country, very good opportunity for hardwork and endeavour, with so many young people in this country, why should the Iranian nation be despondent?

The country's officials are busy with different programmes and making plans for the future. They are doing good things. Those who want to create pessimism magnify the existing problems and purposely overlook the great work which is being carried out nationwide. A lot of work is being done in the country. However, more has to be done because the work which is being done is little compared to what has to be done.

I have a protest to and criticisms against part of the executive establishments and some managers. Recommendations and warnings can be given to officials and managers as long as they can be motivated to work and their flaws can be overcome. Of course its a different matter if things get to the extent that a person realizes that an official is incompetent. However, the officials are busy and some good work is being done. Amidst all this, some actions undermine the value of the officials' endeavours.

One of these issues is the continuous rise in the price of goods which has occurred in the past few weeks. Undoubtedly, rising prices is not a government policy. I know that the executive officials are concerned about this situation. Well, they have to seriously follow up the issue and I have advised them in that regard. Different officials, the honourable president and the honourable Judiciary head have voiced concern over these issues and have made endeavours. I have called on them to follow up the issues and see where they will lead to.

Different centres gain permits to increase the prices of goods and services and concentrate on their own sector. However, they overlook the overall issues of the country. This is the result. There is need for more supervision in that regard. These are the problems.

On the other hand, great and positive work is being done in this country. These problems cannot make the negative side of the scale heavier. Much work is being done and, under God's blessing, more work will be done. Of course, the people must make demands from officials. There is nothing wrong with making demands. However, making demands is one issue and another issue is its reflection in the public opinion in a way that insinuates that nothing is being done - as some are trying to do.

Unfortunately, today some individuals are openly reflecting the establishment's problems in the same way as America. They speak and view the Iranian nation in the same way as American agents do. They do this because they are either guilty of being misguided or treason. It is not beyond these two cases. Those who have loudspeakers and podiums at their disposal have to be very careful about what they say and how they express their views. They have to protect the interests of this great nation against the enemies who think of nothing but their own interests.

Today, the Americans are seeking to establish a global dictatorship. This is despite the fact that a global dictatorship based on the power of bullets and bayonets, will be defeated by the world's freedom-seeking countries. Nations will not accept such a thing. A freedom-seeking and dignified nation will not accept a dictatorship inside its own country.

Just as the Iranian nation did not accept the satanic regime, they will not accept a native dictatorship let alone a foreign one. Just see what the usurper and self-invented Israeli regime is doing in Palestine today. What we can see today are the examples of America's bullying and unilateralism. The Zionists commit crimes against the people of Palestine who are the true owners of the land. And the Americans support them. They support them blatantly.

In the past we witnessed such matters in Palestine and now in Iraq. They have come to Iraq and imposed their domination on the Iraqi nation. They most unashamedly bully the Iraqi nation and think that they will achieve something. They, definitely, will not achieve anything. Definitely, the Iraqi nation will not tolerate them. And there is no doubt that the global dictatorship pursued by America is doomed to collapse and disappear (Chants of "death to America and death to Israel").

I call upon our dear, committed and courageous nation to remain united. I also call on the state authorities to pursue accomplishment of the tasks wisely. I once again call on the state officials to try and serve the people. I instruct the government and the executive apparatus of the state to implement the laws precisely in the service of the people and in their interest. I call on them to stop the abuse and misuse of assets in various departments.

I call on the Islamic Majlis to meet the people's requirements and to pass laws which help to solve the people's problems. I call on them to reduce the volume of political debates and deal instead with the country's and the people's fundamental problems. You must abolish the licences given to some departments whose actions are responsible for the current price rises.

I call on the judicial authority to implement the laws meticulously. I call on them to persevere in pursuit of the offenders and criminals.

Meanwhile, I call on the state law-enforcement, intelligence and security organs to remain vigilant. This nation trusts and relies on the state organs which have shouldered various burdens of responsibility in the Islamic state. The people's trust must be safeguarded.

The people's tranquility and confidence must be kept by organizations maintaining their own vigilance and alertness in all sectors. And this will indeed happen with the grace of God. The awakening of the nation and the support of the firm and determined faith of the nation, with God's grace, will allow state officials to prevent America from realizing its greedy objectives (Chants of Allahu Akbar).

Once more, I thank you the dear people of Varamin for being kind and for your steadfastness and faith. I am happy that I have been blessed to visit you on this day. If you had to suffer the heat of the sun here today I pray that you will be blessed by the Lord of the Age. Peace and blessings be upon you.


Occupiers would also be deposed in Iraq like Saddam

The following is an excerpt from his speech on 30 April:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

... The American officials have declared blatantly that even if all Iraqi people were to decide that they want an Islamic government, they would not accept it. It has become clear what the gentlemen mean by democracy. American-style democracy is like this everywhere, even inside America. A few years ago, an American personality who did not belong to any of the ruling political parties in that country, spent large sums of money, and created much hullabaloo in a bid to take part in the presidential elections. He even reached the midway point. But they crushed him in such a way to prevent any one else from outside the two traditional and well-known parities from ever considering a position of power. This is their democracy.

They have taken up the banner of fighting terrorism. They are still shamelessly repeating it. Then, they make contacts with the monafeqin [hypocrites]; [Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization ­ MKO] whose hands are tainted with the blood of the Iranian nation, the blood of Iraqi Kurds. They fought alongside Saddam's troops against the Kurds, and tainted their hands with their blood. Their hands are tainted with the blood of the Iraqi Shi'is, who in the event of Iraq's intifadah of [1369] 1990-91, were massacred by Saddam's forces in Iraq - in southern Iraq and many other areas of Iraq. These monafeqin fought the Shi'is alongside Saddam.

Moreover, terrorism is their business, as they have, and continue to, acknowledge. They are proud of their acts of terrorism. The world has recognized them as terrorists and America has taken them under its wings. Clearly, terrorism is only bad when it is not in the service of America. But if terrorism serves America, then, no, it is very good, and there is nothing wrong with it. You see, this is the litmus test. It shows what fighting terrorism means; what democracy means.

On the British-style tolerance

The British have made themselves known in the world for tolerance and compromise. Some of our personalities too are taking pride in emulating them, and their tolerance and compromise. We have seen the British-style tolerance in Iraq. They entered people's homes with guns, disrupting their security, causing young children to cry in fear. Then, the Iraq's people's demonstrations in Baghdad, Mosul, and God knows where else, which we may have not received reports on, were faced with the fires of the invaders' bullets. This is their democracy; this is their tolerance; this is their benevolence; this is their human rights. You see, these scenes serve as lessons. This is what should be understood.

But, of course, they are mistaken. They will be toppled. They will be toppled like Saddam was.

Had Saddam won the hearts of the Iraqi people, then the American military would not have succeeded in toppling him. He did not have the hearts of the Iraqi people. He did not hear the voices of the Iraqi people. Just as they [Americans] do not hear the voices of the Iraqi people. Despite these popular demonstrations, protests and cries, they pretend that they have given the people the freedom to protest. Well, yes. They protest, and you turn a deaf ear, and whenever necessary open fire on them. Americans and British, too, do not hear the people's voice. The same doom awaits them. Of course, they will not last as long as him Saddam Hussain. It will be much quicker, because they are occupiers.

Iran does not provoke anyone

And they must not blame this or that party for their failures. The officials of the American and British regimes should not keep standing behind microphones and saying: Iran is provoking things. No, Iran does not provoke anyone. That young Iraqi, who sees the tanks and boots of foreign troops in his own street, in his own house, does not need provocation. Where in the world have the young people of society, the honourable men of society, the brave women of society tolerated occupiers for Iraqis to tolerate it? Nowhere in the world has it been tolerated. They, too, will not tolerate it. It does need an instigator.

And the main factor for this is the Islamic awakening. They have realized this very well themselves. And it is not confined to Iraq. Today, if the Americans and the British and their like appear anywhere in the world of Islam, if they put themselves in a position of facing the people, they will sense this vast wave of the Islamic movement and Islamic awakening. It is like this everywhere. Wherever they go, it is the same story.

The nation of Islam, the Islamic ummah has sensed the breeze of awakening. It has sensed the scent of the return to the teachings of Islam. It has understood it. And all of this stems from the vast movement that you people set in train; it stems from that noble and divine man [reference to Imam Khomeini (RA)] who was able to make this ocean turbulent, to inform hearts; that eminent departed one. It all stems from here. And they have understood this. Their enmity with you and Imam Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic system arises from the fact that they know that a spring bubbled forth from here which has spilt into the entire world of Islam.

Our Revolution exports itself

They said: Do not export the Revolution. We said: We are not exporting the Revolution. The Revolution is not a product for it to be exported. The Revolution is like the enchanting scent of flowers. It exports spreads itself. The Revolution is like a spring breeze. It alters and shifts dank and foul places with its presence. The Revolution does not need to be exported by anyone. The Revolution exports itself.

And let me tell you dear ones, my brothers, my sisters, my children: Today, the eyes of the world of Islam are on you. If you live well, if you live in a disciplined way, if you live in a responsible way, if, with your endeavour, with your work, you will be able both to take your country to the pinnacle of honour, pride, felicity, learning and civilization and to encourage all Islamic nations to go down this same proud path, for them to rip the chains asunder too, for them to go down the path of welfare, the path of spirituality, the path of material life, and, God willing, succeed...


Imam Khamenei: Iraqi Muslims Should Not Cooperate with Foreign Rule

Friday-Prayer Therean 11th April 2003

The First Khutba

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

I would like to call upon all my brothers and sisters who are performing their prayers, as well as myself, to be pious and frugal. I would like to advise you to be careful about your words and your deeds and even your thoughts. Today, in the first sermon, I am going to talk about the important issue of the day which is the issue of Iraq and the extremely complex events taking place there. In the second sermon, I shall spend most of my time addressing my Arab brothers and sisters in Iraq and other Islamic countries in Arabic.

On Iraqi history

An important event has transpired in Iraq. A military attack has been launched and the group that was in charge has been toppled. There is a nation that has its own demands, ideals and desires. It has its own capabilities and a group of claimants have surrounded it.

Of course, perhaps you know that Iraq encountered many difficulties in the last century. Bloody events happened. After the fall of the Ottoman government, the British put a non-Iraqi family in charge and that family was supposed to be the royal family. They had three kings over a number of years. The first one died. The second one got killed in a mysterious accident. The third one was chopped into pieces by the people.

They were appointed by the British. Then government after government came to power, after staging coups d'etat. These governments lasted almost a decade, from 1337 (1958) until 1347 (1968) when the Ba'athist government came to power, in which Saddam was the second man, and the first was Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr. And they ruled for 10 years - three rulers resulting from military coups d'etat. The first was killed, the second was murdered in suspicious circumstances, and the third was removed from power. And from 1347 onwards - and the Ba'athists have been ruling for some 30-odd years.

One should consider these 37 years as Iraq's hardest period, particularly the period of Saddam's independent rule. And now, Saddam's government has been toppled, and no-one knows where Saddam is - which is a very suspicious situation.

This issue is in fact not just a isolated case. What has now taken place in Iraq involves four issues. The Americans, the British and their propaganda organs want to wrap things up quickly, and turn this into a simple issue, and to create a yes or no scenario about it in public minds. Yet, their attempts are futile. This involves four issues, not just one. It was only yesterday, or the day before that, when a message from Bush and Blair to the Iraqi people was broadcast. Well, of course, the Iraqi people did not have any electricity, and could not receive it. The gist of the message was that we came to Iraq to liberate you. They wrapped up the issue in the remark: we have come to liberate you and free you from Saddam's clutches. There are two major mistakes in this brief remark by the gentlemen.

American aim is not to liberate Iraq

One is that they are saying: we have come to liberate you', meaning that the Iraqi nation does not have the ability, strength and competence for doing that, and that they should do it for them. This is indeed a major mistake. Secondly that this remark was also a lie, since one does not liberate a nation by attacking them with fire, bombs and missiles. One does not destroy cities, villages and residential areas on such a scale or cause such tragedies - which I shall briefly talk about - under the pretext of destroying a military garrison.

No, the issue is not that of liberating Iraq. There are four issues, which one should separate. One issue concerns the fall of Saddam. Some kind of irritation and contradiction had occurred between the interests of Saddam and the interests of the ruling American administration - on which I will briefly elaborate later. This led to dispute and fighting. Well, they were stronger and toppled Saddam. This is one issue.

Our stance on this issue is clear, and I will also elaborate on that. We have a clear stance on each of these four issues. We separate these issues to clarify the stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is based on Islamic thinking, Islamic wisdom. One issue concerns Saddam's downfall.

The second issue which has occurred in Iraq, and is still continuing, concerns the tragedies which have been inflicted on the Iraqi nation. That is different to Saddam's fall. There is a different ruling for this, and we will also declare our stance on this.

The third issue concerns the fact that an act of military aggression has been carried out by foreign forces against an independent country - a military invasion - under various pretexts, saying that they possess weapons of mass destruction, or are supporting terrorism. Well, one can make such remarks anytime from behind tribunes. These are not permits for launching a military invasion against a country and violating a country's borders. This is the third issue, on which we will also outline our stance.

The fourth issue concerns the management of Iraq's future, for which they have also devised plans, programmes and projects, with the futile ideas that they are harbouring in their minds - which is also a separate issue. There is a ruling for each one of these issues.

Regarding the first issue, which concerns the fall of Saddam, the issue is basically is that in the beginning, earlier on in his rule, Saddam did not have any conflicts of interests with America. The Americans themselves have claimed that from the very start of Saddam's rule America's CIA had played a part in the coup d'etat staged by the Ba'athists in Iraq in 1347 (1968).

On American policy towards Saddam

However, there is no doubt that after that, their interests were intertwined. That was especially after the Islamic revolution and the formation of the Islamic Republican state. Before that, they got together with the Iranian satanic tyrant, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi [the Shah]. It was clear that their interests were similar to one another. Then after the revolution, they had common interests. He had coveted the territory of our country and America opposed the establishment of the Islamic Republican state. So they were connected with each other. Therefore, in 1359 [1980], when Iraq started its war on Iran, that is the imposed war, Saddam launched an air raid on he first day.

The Americans did not even so much as scowl at him from the first hour of the war. In fact, they increased their assistance to him every day. Those are the facts of the case. It means that this is not about different probabilities. Of course, one probability is that he had already coordinated his activities with America beforehand. I cannot make any claims about that because I simply do not know what happened. Of course, there are reports on this issue.

During my visits to other countries, when I was president, a number of Islamic heads of state said the same thing to me. They said that he had already coordinated with certain quarters. Now, we are not sure about that. What we are sure about is that after the war started, America gave Saddam maximum support. They supported him and they even put pressure on the UN and compelled it to support Saddam in various ways. We tolerated that war for eight years and Saddam served their interests. That is because Saddam acted to further American interests and he kept the Islamic Revolution busy for eight years and he kept it focused on an internal bloody affairs, namely, the war.

If a fledgling country or revolution is not involved in a bloody war, then, well, they will have an opportunity to focus on reconstruction and they will be able to accomplish great tasks. Now, Saddam took advantage of the best periods of our lives, that is eight years, and he kept us busy in a way that served American interests. Their interests were interwoven.

Later on, in 1369 (1990) Saddam attacked Kuwait. That was when their interests became incompatible. They saw that, no, this man was so ambitious that he was endangering American interests in the region. That is because attacking Kuwait was tantamount to attacking American interests. If they had not stopped Saddam, he might have attacked Saudi Arabia as well. Indeed, he used to say these things as well. He said: When I take Kuwait, I will go forward as far as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar and I will go as far as possible.

I mean that was Saddam's intention. Well, their interests became incompatible. From then on, the UN started to put pressure on Saddam and there was a propaganda campaign against him as well. Saddam was not a person who could put up resistance against America. He was prepared to make concessions or make a deal. However, the Americans could not do that. They faced a complex problem. If they had made a deal with him, they would have lost their friends in the Persian Gulf. The rulers of the Persian Gulf could not bear to see America strengthening Saddam as it had done before. That was because they were scared. If America wanted to exert maximum pressure on Saddam, then, well, it would have had to forego its interests in Iraq.

So America faced a paradox. Iraq is a country that has vast oil and other resources. It has a population of approximately 20 million people. It was really attractive to America in this important part of the Middle East. It wanted to stay there. It wanted to maintain its presence there and pursue its activities. It wanted to plunder its resources, but it could not do that. That was because if it made a deal with Saddam, it would have faced problems elsewhere. If it did not make a deal, it would have had to forego its interests. That is when the contradiction between America and Saddam's regime became more serious. They started thinking about the situation. They wanted to eliminate Saddam and pave the way for themselves in Iraq and make things easier for themselves. These things happened later on. Therefore, when the Americans or the British claim that they went there to remove Saddam to help the Iraqi people, they are telling a blatant lie. They did not do this for the Iraqi people at all.

Iraqis hate both Saddam and occupiers

They removed Saddam because their interests started to come into conflict with Saddam's interests. Otherwise, when their interests were the same, they used to support him, just as they supported him during the war with Iran.

Well, they came, put pressure on him with military force, and Saddam left. Is the Iranian nation happy or not? Of course it is happy. The Iranian nation has been saying Death to the hypocrites and Saddam' for 20 years. Now, death has come to Saddam.

The happiness of our people in this affair is like the happiness of the Iraqi people. Our stance is exactly the stance of the Iraqi nation. The Iraqi nation, too, is happy about Saddam's departure and we, too, are happy about Saddam's departure.

He was a dictator, bad, cruel, unmindful of obligations and commitments, very unruly. That was the kind of person he was and he was ruling dictatorially over a nation. He was a bad creature both for the Iraqi nation and for us as a neighbour.

Hence, the idea that the occupiers should say that the happiness of the people of Iraq is because of their presence, this is a claim that is worthy of derision. No, the Iraqi people's happiness is because of his Saddam's departure.

A few days ago, a European TV showed a sight from Baghdad. They asked something of a youth, the youth clenched his fist and said in Arabic : Death to Saddam, Death to Bush. He said death to both of them. Of course, they only showed it that once. In other words, news censorship did not allow it to be repeated. Otherwise, if they asked 1,000 people in Iraq, 900 of them would give the same answer.

Happiness about Saddam's departure has nothing to do with the arrival of the occupier; it cannot be put to their account. Well, a few people in Baghdad may wave their hands; then, to quickly say, yes, the people have welcomed us. No, not at all!

I have information, clear information from various perspectives. Neither in Basra where the British have come, nor in other towns where the Americans have come, the people have shown no delight at seeing the occupiers.

Iran, Iraqi people were neutral in war

Even if the people of Iraq were happy about Saddam's departure, their happiness paled as a result of the bombardments of the American and British forces. During those few weeks they truly inflicted a great deal of hardship on the people.

Therefore, the people of Iraq remained neutral in the war between Saddam and the invaders and aggressors. The Iranian government also announced its neutral stance towards this war. That is what being neutral means. Both sides are oppressors, both fronts are oppressors, Saddam is an oppressor and the invaders are oppressors too.

The Iraqi nation did not support any of the sides in this war and the Iranian nation and government did not support any of the sides either. That is the meaning of being neutral. That is, we did not provide the least bit of support to any of the sides. We neither helped Saddam to save himself nor supported the invaders to win faster. We used all our resources to make sure that none of the sides was helped. Of course those who spy on everywhere with their satellites know that well and we do not need to tell them. But, the Iranian nation should know that during that time the war the Iranian government and the country's officials did their utmost - and were successful - in stopping any kind of help to any of the sides.

Obviously, if the advance of the invaders was swift it was because the Iraqi nation stayed neutral. If the Iraqi nation had been behind Saddam in this war, the aggressors know well that they could not have advanced in the manner which they did. That is what happens when a nation does not believe in a system, in a country and in its officials. The Iraqi nation had been assaulted, hurt, insulted and tyrannized by the country's officials, therefore, it did not extend any kind of support to them. That is how the enemy, the enemy of the country, the invaders, managed to make swift advance, and there are things to be said about that too.

As we said, our nation is happy in this affair. Our government is happy. Our officials are happy. Of course, they are also a bit suspicious, both the nation and the government and officials. They are a bit suspicious about this affair. About why Baghdad did not resist like Basra. In other words, after the first week of the war, the situation of the war changed. The first week, there was a serious war. They were saying that the serious war will come after this, but, after that - the aggressors were stuck for a few days. Then, when the aggressors started to move, there was no proper defence.

Baghdad surrendered in two, three days. That is to say, it fell. No-one defended Baghdad properly; whereas, in Baghdad itself, according to the information that we had, there were about 120,000 armed troops. In Baghdad itself and in the suburb near Baghdad. Now, the defence circles that they had arranged around Baghdad with 100-km gaps were much more than this contained many more troops. The divisions of Saddam's Guards around Baghdad. Setting those aside, even in Baghdad itself, there were about 100,000 to 120,000 armed troops. It was unable to resist for more than two, three days in the face of the attack. Either it was unable or it was ordered not to resist. It is not clear now. The future will clear up these ambiguities.

Anyway, therefore, as far as the first event is concerned, namely the American and British aggressors toppling of Saddam, our policy is - if I can sum it up - that we did not help either of the tyrants. We are very happy that Saddam was overthrown. Our nation is happy as well. We were neutral and we did not support either of them. The Iraqi nation was neutral as well. We are happy in the same way that the Iraqi nation is happy. That is the first thing.

Criticizing bombings in Iraq

The second thing that happened was the atrocities committed towards the people of Iraq during that period. These are not things that will be forgotten. You see, 27 years have passed since the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War came to an end in 1354 [1975]. Now, 27 years have passed since the end of the Vietnam War. Many things about the Vietnam War have been forgotten. However, the atrocities that the Americans committed towards the people during that war will not be forgotten. Just look at how many films have been produced and how many stories are being told. The people of the world remember those things and the conscience of the people of the world will always keep them alive.

That was an attack on the people. The most important right of human beings is the right to live and exist. Those gentlemen claimed that they were defending human rights and they denied the peoples of those cities the right to live by bombing them. More than 1,000 Cruise missiles were fired. Unfortunately, I do not have the accurate statistics handy. Thousands of super heavy bombs were dropped. There were innumerable rounds of artillery fire. They repeatedly dropped those things on those cities in various ways. The cities of Basra, Al-Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Al-Hillah and Baghdad, as well as other cities, were affected. People, lived in those cities. We know the meaning of being bombed. We were bombed ourselves.

Missiles fell on us in Tehran, Dezful and other cities. The same was true of other cities. We know what that means. Tens or hundreds of missiles were fired on a particular city over the course of only one hour. Is that a joke? They claim that they wanted to destroy military targets. How many military targets were there in Iraq that they had to be attacked with more than 1,000 Cruise missiles and more than thousands of bombs? Those things exterminated the people. They created a reign of terror for the people. The people's children were frightened. The people's children were killed. The people's children went hungry.

The people who understand these things have infants who need milk, but they do not have any milk to feed them with. Mothers do not have any food. They do not have drinkable water to give their children. They understand the meaning of that statement. Look how many children broke their parents' hearts because they were crying. Look at how many young people were laid up in hospitals and their wounds could not be nursed. Look at how many children who were dear to their families were taken away from them.

Then they have insulted the people. They have entered their homes. Such scenes are really hear-rending. Really heart-rending. They enter people's homes and handcuff a man in front of his family. They cover his head and blindfold him and hand-cuff him. Then they insult and threaten him just because someone may have accused him of something or because they may have had unfounded suspicions about him. Are these things not important enough? They hand-cuffed Arab men from behind and they wrapped their heads with their kaffiyah and made them lie down on the floor and they were standing over them with their rifles. Foreign troops were there. Are these things not serious calamities? Can one make amends for such things? That is a really important event.

American troops frisked veiled Arab women. Arab women who were wearing veils, cloaks and long coats and they were covered from top to toe. Then a young American that no-one knows who he really is starts frisking them to make sure that they are not carrying bombs. Is that the meaning of human rights? Is that the meaning of showing respect for human beings? Is that the meaning of respecting human liberty which those liars claim they are doing? Such things cannot be resolved by apologizing. They have hit them and they are saying that they are sorry and they made mistakes. That is just what they did in Afghanistan.

The same thing has happened in Afghanistan. This sort of thing has happened many times since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Only a few days ago there was another such case. They bombed an entire crowd and then they say that they were sorry and that they had made a mistake. Can one erase the impact of one's crimes by saying sorry, we made a mistake?

That was the second thing. We sympathize with the Iraqi people. We condemn the aggressor. If the aggressor claims that it is defending human rights, then we say that the aggressor is a liar.

Now, the third issue is that a country was militarily invaded under the pretext of its possession of weapons of mass destruction. That is one of the ugliest and vilest things that could have been done. The conscience of the people of the world condemned it and considered it to be illegitimate. I remember that anti-American demonstrations were occasionally held in certain parts of the world during the Vietnam War. However, I did not see such gatherings that we saw during this affair during the Vietnam War. Such things did not exist. It happened in all parts of the world. Back then, it was said that the Soviet Union organized the assemblies and demonstrations. Who is organizing them today?

People gathered together and there were massive gatherings of thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa, as well as in Europe and even America itself. All of them chanted the same slogan. Who organized them? There is no headquarters that is organizing them? It is the conscience of the people of the world. It is the conscience of human beings. It condemns such things. This should be condemned. It sets a really ugly precedent. This means returning to the era of wars of aggression and the kind of expansionism that prevailed in the old days.

They found a pretext against a country and no matter how many times UN inspectors said that what they were saying was not right they told them that they did not know what they were talking about. They said that they knew what they were saying was right. Then they attacked. That was really wrong. We condemned and we shall condemn it again.

America proved itself as "axis of evil"

We, of course, believe that the UN failed to carry out its obligations in this matter war on Iraq . Why did the Security Council not condemn the American and British attack against Iraq? Whey did they not issue a resolution against them? It would have been fine even if they America and Britain had vetoed the resolution. The actual issuing of a resolution at the Security Council would have been a move against them. Why did they not do that? Why did they not hold a UN General Assembly so that the action could be condemned at the General Assembly. There was a great deal which the UN secretary-general should have done. There are many expectations from the UN. Of course, it is years since we have stopped to expect anything from the UN, because we see the actions, we see the influences. Nonetheless, such expectations exist. They UN and Security Council failed to carry out their obligations.

With its act of aggression, America proved that it is a rogue country. That it is what a former American president attributed to a number of other countries of the world. A rogue state does what they did the war on Iraq. That is what a rogue country does against humanity, against other countries' stability. They proved that it is the axis of evil in the true sense of the word. They proved that they are what our honourable Imam Khomeyni(A) called them: the Great Satan. It is indeed the Great Satan.

The British have also made a big mistake. They have followed America so that they can get a share of the spoils. But, they have made a mistake. This is because in this region and particularly in Iran, Iraq and India, the British have a hateful and shameless reputation because of the bad things they have done there. After 30 or 40 years, a government more evil than them appeared in the world and gradually this reputation was being forgotten. Mr Blair has once again enlivened this hateful and shameless reputation in the minds of the people. It was a great mistake.

So in this third case, which is a military attack, we were hormonious with the world people and deplored this action and we still deplore it. We believe it to be an unprecedented departure in international relations and an aggression against an Islamic country, Islam, the Muslims and the Islamic Ummah.

The fourth issue, is again different from the others. It is the future domination of America over Iraq. In addition to the fact that they have attacked and carried out such atrocities and crimes, they want to rule Iraq by installing a foreign American military ruler, who may be a Zionist or a person who is totally attached to Zionist circles, in that country. They want to place him at the head of an Islamic country and a brave Arab nation. This is the fourth significant issue.

Britain likes the scent of oil

They have made a division between themselves or so they imagine. Of course, there are clear signs of differences between America and Britain. However, on the face of it, there seems to be a division. Basra, where the scent of oil is a bit more intense and is closer to the oil regions - the British like the scent of oil. Basra is for the British according to the division. And Baghdad is the centre for the Americans' power. The Americans like making a show of power and acting like a brawny actor. So, Baghdad is for them. A kind of division of this kind has taken place between them.

Of course, they have many differences and these will increase and they will become known to the people. However, for the time being, they seem to have agreed on this kind of arrangement.

This is a return to the very first era of colonialism. Pure reactionism. It was like this in the early days of colonialism. Colonialist European governments would go and seize countries by force in Asia, in Africa. Then, they would put in place a military ruler so that that person could control the entire the region. They did this in India. They did this in Australia. They did this in Canada. In Africa, in numerous countries. Then, after a while, they realized that this is wrong, this is a mistake. Putting a foreign, military ruler over a nation, this is a mistake. They changed the formula. They would find rulers from those countries and put them in power, so that they would be entirely obedient to them. They would help them, provide them with facilities. And they would allow the colonialists to pillage the country freely, openly; so that they could do whatever they liked with that country.

Another period of time went by and they realized that they had made a mistake. That method was not correct either. Because, the nations will rise up against such rulers, despite the fact that they may be from their own country, one of their own, but because they are affiliated to them big powers and because they are tyrants and oppressors.

Later they changed their methods. They adopted a so-called democratic method through cultural domination and hegemony. They chose a ruler who supported them through so-called election. The same thing happened during the era of the taghut rule of the former Shah.

First of all, the British brought to power Reza Pahlavi and then Mohammad Reza the last shah and his father before the revolution. Then, they realized that there would be problems. So, they forced the shah to appoint Ali Amini as prime minister so that he could introduce the so-called reforms. Then the shah realized that he might lose his authority, he said that he was going to introduce the reforms himself. He introduced the disgraceful six-point reforms during the era of the taghut. These are what the colonialists have carried out in practice in various places at different times.

Now they have returned to the first period. That is, they occupy a place with the force of arms, and then they themselves appoint a ruler. That is a very strange, reactionary, ugly, insulting action which derives from such arrogance which will eventually topple them. Such lack of understanding of the situation and time. That is the next task. Almost the whole world has condemned such an action. They have said that such an action cannot be carried out.

On future American plans in Iraq

This is adding mistake to a mistake. The ruler should neither be foreign nor Zionist. The Iraqi people want a ruler who has been elected by themselves and without the support of the aggressive powers.

Of course, the Americans think that they have everything planned. They think that they will install him (Jay Garner) and then take control of the state of affairs and give some help to the Iraqi people and, at the same time, change the people's culture by controlling the education system.

They think that they can do the same in Afghanistan. The Americans have published tonnes of Farsi and Pashto primary school textbooks in an Asian country so that they can distribute them in Afghan schools. This is so that alongside their lessons, the Afghan children's culture, religion and historic outlook changes completely and America's image is not tarnished in their eyes. This is what they think they can do in Iraq.

Such a thing will most certainly not happen. The hatred of the Iraqi teachers and people towards their Americans and British atrocities is so deep-rooted that, without a doubt, it will be transferred to the next and later Iraqi generations.

At any rate, this is their American and British plan. This is the fourth issue. This issue is not the same as the previous issue. Even if they don't do this, the aggression, which is a great mistake and sin, would still exist. Regardless of whether they do such a thing or not, every other issue which I have mentioned is independently a great sin and mistake. It is an insult to the Iraqi nation. A person is surprised at how shameless they are. They are prepared to openly say in the television that the Iraqi nation cannot elect a ruler for itself. How can a person be so shameless and be prepared to speak in such a way and accuse a nation, with such a background, history, people, scientists and politicians, of being incapable? We believe this to be disregard for the Iraqi nation's rights. We deplore and can not accept such a thing. The Iraqi people will not accept a new dictator. The Iraqi nation has not come out of Saddam's ditch to fall into the well of an American military ruler.

Even if they bring an Iraqi national to power in such manner, the people will most definitely not accept it. In any case, we believe what they are saying at the moment is an act of aggression against the sanctity of Islam and Muslims.

Military victory, with all the ambiguities which surrounds it, does not mean final victory. The Americans have endured losses and they have suffered defeats in war on Iraq. Of course, they may not know it, but, most definitely, in the near future they will see the effects of such failure.

They have experienced defeat in three main areas. One is their defeat concerning the slogan of Western democracy and freedom. The kind of liberal-democracy which they propagate throughout the world. That concept was lost as a result of the war. They showed that liberal-democracy cannot bring freedom to a nation in the true sense of the word. When its America's financial interests are concerned, it is prepared to trample upon the peoples' freedoms, lives and their right to choose.

America, Britain and Israel are the "Axes of Evil"

If they were telling the truth and believed in democracy; if they believed in the rights of the people, then they should have immediately withdrawn their military forces from Iraq and not interfered in Iraq's affair. But that will not happen. It is obvious. They have been defeated from an ideological standpoint. Their slogans have turned out to have been false. The people around the world also came to see that. This became apparent in the slogans they broadcast around the world. It became apparent that the people around the world had become aware of their mendacity.

Some 10 to 15 of these slogans which the people had chanted or written on placards were passed on to me. They are all indicative of the fact that the people around the world have understood the exact truth.

This war is a war for oil, not a war for freedom and human rights. This was one of the slogans.

This war is for saving the bankrupt American economy.

This war is an aggressive occupation of the Hitler kind.

America, Britain and Israel are the axes of evil.

These were slogans chanted by people around the world, not just the people in Tehran. The people of Iran had felt these slogans from some time ago, thanks to their clear-sightedness. And today the world public opinion has become aware of them and is repeating them - and many other such slogans. Therefore, they have been defeated with regards to their thinking and their freedom and democracy- seeking slogan.

Their second defeat is their political defeat. Today, America has been isolated around the world from a political standpoint. This American formula, this American solution, which is to install an American military ruler - a retired American major-general in Iraq - has been rejected by almost every country in the world, apart from the two or three from among themselves. It has been rejected by Arab states, by Islamic states and by European states.

Their third defeat was that their military awe was smashed. They were pretending that they could overcome the Iraqi forces within three to four days. Ultimately, it became clear that, more than three days, four days and even more was needed and if the Iraqi forces had fought this story would have continued and it would not have been clear right to the end if they would have achieved a military victory because of the large number of casualties.

They Iraqi forces did not fight when they had to. That leaves many questions and ambiguities. As I mentioned earlier, we are not making a judgment here, but this is one of the question the answer to which will become clear in the future.

Their fourth defeat was the defeat of their media credibility. The credibility of their news media was totally lost. The whole world realized that they censor reports and they kill reporters. They shot a reporter and then they said that they had made a mistake and no-one believed that they had made a mistake.

They disseminate false reports about the number of their casualties. They said during that time something like 80, 90 or 100 forces were killed. Everyone knows that this is a lie. We do not know the number of their casualties. But, the number of their casualties should apparently be asked from the workers in Kuwaiti mortuaries. They should know. The people of America will find out later. After the war in Vietnam they said that they suffered 50,000 casualties. During the Vietnam war they had mentioned small numbers such as 10, 20, 100, 200. In any case, these are their failures.

Let me say one sentence, at the end of my remarks. First of all, my reading is that, in the event that took place - the issue of Iraq - the Zionists had the biggest role; both in encouraging the American administration to do this and in laying the groundwork for this task. The Zionists played a very big role.

For the Zionists, this new map of the Middle East which Bush speaks about and repeats - as well as his cronies - this new map means a map for the spreading out of the Zionists in the Middle East, in the Arab and non-Arab countries around us. Spreading out both in political terms and in economic terms, as well as - if it gets the chance - spreading out geographically. This is what the new map of the Middle East means. They have the most to gain in this affair. And they were the ones who laid the groundwork for it.

For the time being, too, the evil Israelis and the evil Sharon have exploited it the most. These days, all the world's attention is on Iraq. The Palestinians are being killed on a daily basis, being put under pressure. Heart-rending calamities are taking place.

Iraqis must not cooperate with foreign rule

Well, let me say a word to the political activists of Iraq. The Iraqi stage has had many political activists. Today, the political activists of Iraq are faced with a very big test. A historical test. They must be careful not to commit a strategic mistake. They must neither be over excited by America's victory over Saddam, military victory; nor terrified. Both over-excitement and fear will harm them.

Political activists must keep an eye on two things in Iraq: one is the issue of chaos, irrational acts of revenge, harmful rivalries. That is one of them. They must be very careful. Chaos is to the detriment of the people of Iraq and the future of Iraq. It will give an excuse to the occupiers to make their presence lasting there.

They must prevent futile rivalries, wrong-headed acts of revenge. They must sit and think, plan. They must not allow this. And it is possible. That is one thing.

Second, cooperating with and assisting foreign rule - they must be careful not to commit this error, because it will be recorded in Iraq's history. Today, if anyone assists foreign forces so that they can consolidate their rule in Iraq, this will be recorded in the history of Iraq as a shameful stain for any individual or any group that does this.

The Iraqi people seek independence. They seek freedom. They seek a government that is based on their religious and national ideals. That is what the Iraqi people want. Those who have been speaking in the name of the Iraqi people for many years must remain loyal to the Iraqi people. They must remain loyal to those ideals. They must demonstrate that this is indeed the case in practice. Underhand activities or making deals with foreign powers will make the people turn their back on them. The only things that they must bear in mind are God's, as well as their people's, satisfaction. They must know that military victory over the Saddam regime is not tantamount to political and cultural victory over the Iraqi nation.

Yes, they have gained military victory over the Saddam regime. However, that does not mean that they have vanquished the Iraqi nation from political ad cultural points of view. We beseech Almighty God and ask Him to consider the blood shed by the oppressed people and help the Iraqi nation, all the oppressed nations and the Palestinian nation to confront agents of tyranny. We ask Him to enable them to gain victory because of their steadfastness and religiosity.

The Second Khutba

I will now say part of the things that I said to you to our Muslim, Arab brothers in Arabic.

Peace be upon the Muslim brothers and Muslim sisters across the world, especially the wronged and persecuted Iraqi people. The events lived by Iraq these days are extremely important and complicated. The fact of the matter is that the Saddam regime has been overthrown. It was a model of wrongdoing, cruelty and violence and, for many years, it threw the Iraqi people into the prison of its bloody tyranny and despotism. So its overthrow should be a day of historical joy. Nevertheless, the terrible disasters visited upon the people as a result of the American-British attack and the plots being hatched by the attackers to define the future of this people have made this proud and noble people feel bitter and they have also saddened all the Muslims of the world.

On criticizing US, British massacres in Iraq

The massacres committed against an unarmed people that has found nowhere to go to escape; the cries of bereaved women and the injured; the cries of hungry; injured children left without medical treatment; the demolition of people's homes; the arrest and imprisonment of passers-by under futile pretexts; the disparaging of the sanctity of families; the spreading of widespread terror and fear; the humiliation of proud men and the shameful acts committed against them in front of their children and wife; the destruction of the vital infrastructure of the country; the dropping of thousands of bombs and missiles and the cannon shelling of cities; each of those acts constitutes a war crime and has led the invaders to commit even more crimes than those perpetrated by Saddam over many years.

On US, British support for Saddam Husayn during Iran-Iraq war

There is nothing more hurtful and more bitter for a people than to see foreign soldiers, who are in a state of drunken stupor because of their victory, enter their homes and lands unimpeded, and take over the control of their destiny. The Americans and the British claim that they have launched this attack of theirs to remove Saddam and establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, but they deliberately turn a blind eye to the fact that they were the ones who had equipped that cruel offender, Saddam. They backed him with everything they had to pave the way for him to perpetrate his cruel and criminal acts.

They were the ones who had unleashed him to commit the horrendous massacre of 1991. They did not reproach him for what he did and they did not even bat an eye lid. They were the ones who helped him use chemical weapons against the Iranians, and worse still, against the people of Iraq in Halabjah. They turned a blind eye to what he did, and, during the eight-year war he imposed on the Islamic Republic, they backed him and supplied him with weapons and offered to help him to manage the news media.

On US, British aims in Iraq

They had turned a blind eye to all the disasters he had been inflicting on the Iraqi people, day and night. The American and British claim that they are giving freedom to the Iraqi people is a travesty. As a matter of fact, they are acting to secure control of Iraq, its oil and the Middle East and they are trying to suppress the Palestinian intifada. They are also trying to bury the Islamic revival. The appointment of a foreign ruler in Iraq is a humiliation for freedom and popular sovereignty in Iraq. They are scheming to obliterate Iraq's Islamic identity and nationalism and to turn it into a springboard for American domination of all the Middle East and its valuable human and material resources.

They do not regard the Iraqi people as capable of self-determination and of being in control of their natural rights to their land. In their opinion, the best Iraqi elements are those who offer the biggest service to the foreign aggressors and who turn their back to their own people and their own homeland. The general feeling of the Iraqi people and all free men, as well as the judgment of history, is that any service offered to America that would help it achieve its vile colonial objectives is tantamount to the betrayal of Iraq, its people and its history.

On predicting failure of US, British policies towards Iraq

The American and British dreams will not come true because, there will be resistance everywhere and it will have its own language and style in the face of acts of aggression with their own language and behaviour. The Iraqi people who are renowned for their zeal, fervour and ardour, will not be an exception to this rule.

Through their valiant resistance, the wronged Palestinian people have deprived their Zionist enemy, who has been shedding their blood and imposing ferocious repression upon them, of its ability to undermine the resistance. Similarly, the faithful and revolutionary Iranian people, through their unity and rectitude, have been able to foil the war of aggression imposed on them by the Saddam regime, which was relying on the assistance of the same America and Britain, as well as of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. They helped the Saddam regime with arms, the news media and politics, but the Iranian people succeeded in preserving their borders - the borders of their country - and driving the enemy out of their borders.

At the hands of this criminal Saddam, the Iranian cities had suffered, for years, from missile attacks and bombs and their self-sacrificing, free youths were hit with chemical bombs. But the resistance of the people explodes the myths of dictatorship, colonialism, repression and aggression.

On Iraqi people's right to govern themselves

The invaders have been able to subjugate the Ba'thist regime, and this is what we had expected to happen to a regime that was not protected by its people - a regime that used to rely on organs and elements of repression. However, these invaders will not be able to subdue the Iraqi people, and if they want to avoid a confrontation with the Iraqi people, then they should evacuate their armies from Iraq immediately, and completely avoid interfering with the destiny of Iraq and its people.

Who rules Iraq is the business of the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi resources and wealth are its property. The Iraqi people are capable of appointing their own future government and if the Americans mean what they said and claimed about democracy, then they should not interfere in Iraqi affairs. In this way, through a general referendum, the Iraqi people themselves will be able to form their future government, elect its officials and define the appropriate method to reconstruct what has been destroyed by these invaders.

The position of the Iranian government and people is clear: We had been at loggerheads with the repressive and criminal regime of Saddam and we have opposed the foreign aggression against Iraq. As far as the war between Saddam on the one hand, and America and Britain on the other, is concerned, we believed that both sides were wrong. We have not given any help to any of them, and we declared our neutrality towards both of them.

However, we will not be neutral in the confrontation between the occupiers and the Iraqi people. The occupier is an aggressor and it should be condemned, and the people against whom an act of aggression has been committed are right and they have been wronged. Our political help goes to every wronged and aggressed people, and this is the line from which we will not deviate.

The Iraqi people today have a serious responsibility, and any abandonment or fragmentation of its position would entail a difficult future for them. National unity, presence in the arena and contributing to the formation of an independent government that defends the Islamic identity of Iraq, are the most important duties of the Iraqi people, especially that of the religious scholars, the intellectuals and the scientific and political elite.

I pray to God to guide our Islamic Ummah to follow the right path of honourable record and piety, to achieve its desired objectives; Almighty God hears prayers; "Work, God, his messenger and the faithful will see what you do" (Quran). I ask for the forgiveness of God for me and for you.

2nd speech since start of US-war against Iraq

In the Name of God, The Merciful, the Compassionate. . .

Emerging Hitlerism in America

Our dear people should realize the dimensions of the America attack on Iraq are greater than Iraq. Under any circumstance, an attack on any country, be it Iraq or another, by a power which has come from a long distance with pseudo and fabricated justifications is wrong. The people of the world and the world public opinion have condemned this action. You can see in on television. You see their huge rallies in the eastern and the western corners of the world, even in America. But the issue is even more dangerous for the Islamic world. It has even greater dimensions. You shouldn't just think that a certain regime with a certain motivation is attacking a certain other country.

The Americans want to portray the situation in a different light. They pretend that their objective is to dispose Saddam because he has weapons of mass destruction, or because he supports terrorism, or because the Americans want to help the Iraqi people. This is what the Americans are pretending in the world. But this is deceit. Many people around the world know this.

The fact of the matter is that a new shameless and very dangerous Hitlerism has emerged in history. They are creating a situation just like what Hitler created at the start of World War II. Hitler attacked his European neighbors with the justification - for the sake of world public opinion - that Germany needs a vital space Lebensraum. He said Germany is too small for the German people and the German regime. They need greater space to survive. This was the justification given to his people and the world public opinion. But it was a false and ridiculous justification.

Today, the American justification in attacking Iraq - and before that in attacking Afghanistan - is that "we want to safeguard our own national interests, we want to remove threats against us". This is their justification today.

But how far is Iraq from America? What sort of threat can Iraq pose? What are American interests which require and allow the American regime to use arms against another country? These questions are not answered.

The American definition of national interests is similar to what the ancient landowners and the old bullies did in the old villages and neighborhoods. If a village girl weaves a pretty carpet and the landowner likes it, the girl's father has to take the carpet to the him. The justification is that the he needs the carpet. If there is a valuable item, they have to give it to him. This was the culture of the landowners, the culture of the bullies. "I like what you have and you should give it me whether you like it or not." This was the situation, and this is how the Americans are interpreting their national interests.

First they define something as being in their interests. These things could be in the position of another nation in a certain part of the world. But because America has power and weapons, it should achieve these certain interests in any way possible. It does not matter how much suffering is caused, it does not matter how much destruction is brought about, or how lives are trampled on. This is how the Americans define their national interests.

America wants subservient regimes with democratic facade

Let me briefly define the general objectives of the Americans in this region. The fact of the matter is that this region, i.e. the Arab and then the Islamic world, is rich in terms of oil - a valuable commodity, and America needs this oil. There are also other underground resources. There are other resources in the Sea. Anyone who controls this region has access to other parts of the world. America needs all these things. It is the same story as the pretty carpet that the landowner needed, and had to secure.

The other thing that the Americans want from the region is the consumer market. The want to sell their products there. The region is well populated. The population should use American products, so American and Zionist capitalists can fill their pockets and prosper. This is another valuable objective for America.

If they want to achieve these things and if they want to keep the region for themselves, they need a type of regime which is totally subservient to them, which accepts their policies, which produces oil at an amount and a price which it is told, which consumes certain goods, which cuts its ties with American rivals, which establishes ties with the friends of America, which is subservient and accepts whatever it is told. In order to keep their rule in the region they need totally subservient and dependent regimes which don't resist. Of course, already there are these forms of regimes in the region. There are regimes which are subservient to America. But there is another phenomenon which they have to take into account.

Today reactionary regimes, monarchical regimes or despotic regimes are of no use for America even if they serve American interests. They need regimes which have a facade of democracy. Therefore, the danger of America is not limited to Iraq. Many regimes in the region, which have good ties with America but are not popular or dependent on people's vote, are going to be challenged by America soon. These types of regimes are of no use for the Americans. They don't want regimes like the Pahlavi Taqut which provoked people into revolution. The Pahlavi regime, was a reactionary regime and a stooge of America. The Americans failed to reform it so the people rebelled and destroyed it in order to establish their desired Islamic system. The Americans are worried that the same thing is going to happen in Arab and Islamic countries.

They realize this and they have said it. One of their important politicians, who is also a prominent strategist thinkers, recently said if democracy is created quickly in any of the Arab countries and people are given the vote, Islamic regimes will come to power. He said these things at the American Senate. They know these things. They want to bring a type of regime to power which has a facade of populism and which has come to power through popular vote. This is their next requirement. But in order for the people to elect individuals who serve American interests they also need another thing. And what is that thing? It is a promiscuous culture careless towards values. They want people to grow with an American culture, So when they vote they vote for an individual favored by the American regime.

The collectively of all these things requires an extensive effort in the domains of politics, culture, propaganda and, as a last resort, military action by America. Today you witness the military phase in Iraq. Saddam Husayn cooperated with America. If America and its allies had not supported Saddam Husayn he would not have survived against our brave and steadfast people and our young people. They helped Saddam but now he is no longer required. They realize that Saddam is a dictator and if he remains in power there could be a popular revolt which will leave America totally out of the picture. Then it will be like the system of the Islamic Republic in Iran. They have to remove him in order to bring someone to their liking to power. It is here that the true nature of war against Iraq becomes clear.

This war, therefore, is a most foul war and bloodshed - this war which is under way in Iraq. It will turn more intense. This is only the beginning. This is a most foul war because the objective is devoid of humanity. If the Americans say they are fighting for democracy, they are lying. They are fighting for oil. They are fighting to bring a subservient regime to power. They want to occupy Iraq. They want to totally control this ancient country and nation, this sensitive region, and their rich resources. They want to loot it without any difficulty. This is the situation.

The weakening of the American economy is also a factor. This is not just today. Their economic has been weakening for the past several years. They feel they need Iraqi's vital resources, and they want to take them from the Iraqi people at any price. These are the methods that they are using.

This plan is not limited to Iraq. All Arab countries even those who are helping America today and who are allowing America to use their airports, soil, airspace or other resources will be challenged by the Americans in the near future. We understand this from the analysis provided by the Americans themselves. What I am telling you is not what we believe. It is what the Americans have said themselves, and which reveals their aims and evil objectives. This is the situation. In the first stage, Arab countries, and in the later stage, Islamic counties are to be challenged. This is the American plan.

Islamic reaction to American designs

But is there any obstacle on the path of their plan? Yes. This is the main point. The main obstacle on the path of the Americans is the awakening of the Islamic world. The Islamic world is on the verge of wakening up. Don't look at the false propaganda of the radios which are managed by the Arrogant Powers and the Zionists. They broadcast these radio waves full of lies for the people of the world. But they don't speak the truth.

The literature of the revolution, and the culture of the Islamic revolution has taken root in the general living climate of Muslim peoples. They have sank into their hearts and minds. Look at the very people who were organized by the Americans on our eastern borders, i.e. the collectively of the Taleban. These people were puritans and were totally opposed to Iran and the late Imam Khomeini (RA). We were aware of these facts. This was obvious, and we received many reports in this respect. A number of years ago, when I was the president and the situation was very different in Afghanistan, an Arab official who was very close to the higher echelons of the Arab world, told me, "Dear fellow, the next threat against you is from Afghanistan, i.e. they are provoking certain groups in Afghanistan against you." You know the rest. They organized and fed the Taleban. They gave them advanced anti-aircraft missiles. They also helped and equipped Saddam Husayn. But their plots backfired. Why? Because the culture of the revolution and the literature of the revolution has revived certain ideas in the Islamic world.

Even though the Americans and their stooges established and organized Taleban and Saddam but the anti-arrogance culture, the culture of opposition to the rule of the infidels in the Islamic world, opposition to the World Arrogance, opposition to political and economic dependency, and the culture which has been promoted by the revolution and the late Imam Khomeini turned these very elements against them. The situation got to the point that you all know about. They were forced to occupy Afghanistan and American troops are still there today.

The culture of Islamic Revolution has infiltrated the Islamic world. They know that they cannot do anything as long as the Islamic world and Islamic people believe in Islam, as long as the Quranic culture dominates their minds, and as long as the puritan Muhammadan Islam is an ideal for them. Therefore, they have tried to degrade Islam in the public mind.

You saw how they behaved after the September 11 in New York and the destruction of the two towers. The very same American president, in his first reaction and without any investigation went on television and accused Muslims. How did they know that it was Islam or Muslims. They did it to direct public anger and hatred towards Muslims. Then they said this was a mistake and he didn't mean it. No! This was their plan, as it is still their plan. Today all the propaganda establishments affiliated to the Zionists operating in the Islamic world and the world at large use reports, films and cultural packages to make Islam the target of hatred. They want the people of the world to hate Islam and Muslims. This is their plan.

Of courses, when they attacked Afghanistan, which is an Islamic country or when they attacked Iraq which is an Islamic country, they may even say a word or two in praise of Islam in order to subdue Muslim public opinion. And they do this. But this is out of expediency. They realize that Islam is the main obstacle in the path of the Arrogance. They realize this.

They are against it because of Islam. Because of Islamic sovereignty. Because Islamic teaches us and our people that it is possible to live independently, courageously and powerfully free from the superpowers. This is what we have learnt from Islam. And they don't like this.

The American case against Iran

They also propagate against Iran, the Islamic Iran, as much as they can. Look at the case of Afghanistan and today the case of Iraq. Addressing the Islamic world, the American propaganda and their stooges say "Iran is cooperating with America". This is designed to undermine Iran's prestige in the eyes of Muslims . They say "Iran has worked with America in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq". Addressing the non-Islamic world, they say that Iran supports Afghanistan and Iraq. i.e. Iran supports terrorism, wants to build an atomic bomb. This is the nature of their dual propaganda. And of course, both are lies. We don't support terrorism or terrorists. The Iranian nation has suffered from terrorists. It hates terrorists.

Iran not interested in chemical or nuclear weapons

The statement that the Islamic Republic wants to obtain chemical weapons and the atomic bomb is totally false. We managed to learn the atomic know-how, despite the envy of the enemy. We are a member of the International Atomic Agency and we signed the conventions related to the International Atomic Agency, and they should have helped us according to regulations, but influential Zionist and American circles told the world not to help us. Our young people and scientists, with their brilliant ability, managed to obtain this know-how without any help. However, atomic and nuclear know-how are different from the atom bomb. Nuclear know-how is related to a particular field of knowledge and serves many objectives. If there are people who are interested they could use certain aspects of the know-how to build an atom bomb. But we are not interested in an atomic bomb. We are opposed to chemical weapons. When Iraq was using chemical weapons against us we refused to produce chemical weapons. These things are against our principles. They are lying to justify themselves.

American opposition to an independent Islam

The thing that the Zionists and the Americans fear today is the Islam that you people practice. Their enmity is not because of your daily prayers or fasting. It is because Islam wants to create an honorable, strong and independent people. They want subservient and dependent nations. But Islam does not allow this. They want to loot the wealth of the nations but Islam does not allow this. These are the reasons that they are opposed to Islam. Otherwise, if certain people want to serve them in the name of Islam they won't mind. They are afraid of Islam because Islam stands against their misuse, their looting. You can now see this American plan. Sometimes it is necessary to launch a military attack, as in the case of Iraq. But before any military attack, there is the culture onslaught, propaganda, economic, and political onslaught.

Enemy will not fight us militarily

What is the duty of the Iranian nation and government? Islam has awakened the Iranian nation. It brought honor and power to the nation. It freed the nation from being subservient and sheepish towards the butchers of World Arrogance and Zionism. But what are we to do now?

Listen my dear brothers and sisters. The enemy will not choose war to deal with Islamic Iran. In a country with the characteristics of Iran, the enemy will not find war worthwhile. Why? Because when a nation fights, not only with its military force, but with all its members, then the largest armies of the world will be brought to their knees. And this is the state of our nation.

Our nation is not an old, inactive and dull nation. It is a young nation. Some 70 per cent of our people are under 35. This is a young and enthusiastic nation. Fighting a war against this nation is not worthwhile for America and others. And they have tested us in the battlefield. They know about us and our spirit of martyrdom, selflessness and fearlessness in the face of death. This is not particular to any social group. State officials, young and old, old men and young people are all like this because of their Islamic belief. The factor of fearlessness in the face of death is the one factor which they cannot work out in their calculations. It works like a stone in a machinery. It cripples the machinery. It is like a rock in front of a fist. They cannot do anything to a nation whose members do not fear death and look bravely at death. [Public chants of "Our slogan is Husayn, Husayn - Our pride is martyrdom"] Please pay attention so I can bring my argument to a close.

Danger of inefficiency

It is very unlikely that the alternative of war will be chosen to deal with Iran. Most likely they will do the following two things. I ask the country's officials, the various managers of the establishments, and the various social classes to take note of what I say. The hopes of the enemies of the Iranian people and the enemies of the system of the Islamic Republic rest on two things. First, to make the people believe that the system is inefficient. They say the system is not able to meet people's demands. This is an effort to destroy the strong link that exists between the people and the Islamic system. Secondly, they try to promote disagreement and factionalism. These are the two hopes that the Zionists, the Americans and all the enemies of Iran have. These are the two things. Everyone should be aware of this.

The subject of the inefficiency of the system is an issue for state officials. In the Executive branch, in the Judiciary, in the Legislature, in the armed forces, in the revolutionary institutions, in all the organizations that are responsible for some part of the country's affairs, managers should be efficient and effective. They should manage things properly. They should work for the people. This is why I spoke about the movement of service to the people. This is why I spoke about rivalry in serving the people. This is why I insist so much on the fight against corruption.

If a manager, God forbid, is corrupted he will not be able to serve the people. He will not be useful for the people. So first of all it is necessary to prove that the system is efficient. The country has the necessary resources and capabilities to do this. It can be done. Our country is not poor in terms of efficient public servants. We have many efficient people. I know them. Among the existing mangers there are many efficient, good and capable people. And they are many efficient individuals who may not be among the mangers. They should all work, exert all their effort. They should compete to serve the people in order to bring security to the country. This is how they should look at things.

There should be a rivalry to serve the people. City councils which have been elected after the recent elections should be among those who want to serve the people more than anything else. This is a start. Leave out the deviant and useless talks which are irrelevant and from which some people have and continue to suffer. This was the first thing.

Danger of factionalism

Then we have the political factionalism, and factional clawing. This is very damaging, and the enemy reinforces this. Look at the situation. Naturally, there are differences of opinion in the country, but turning these differences of opinion into fundamental contradictions is one of the things which the enemy is very fond of. The enemy is active here, and we should be careful. It is up to us. Officials should be careful. Political factions should be careful. You may have differences of opinion. Why do you turn them into fundamental contradictions? Why are you repeating the slogans of the enemy? The enemy is opposed to both factions. Don't think that the enemy is fond of one faction and opposed to another faction. No! It is opposed to both factions, but out of expediency, it supports one faction in order to strength it against the other faction. But once one faction is sufficiently weakened and pushed out of the scene, the enemy will begin to undermine the other faction. This is the nature of the enemy. People should be very careful. People and politicians should be very careful. Our young people should be very careful. Political factionalism and division among the ranks of the people is one of the things that the enemy wants.

The policy of the enemy in our country is to divide the people from the system and to create a climate of chaos in the country. Our dear young people should be vigilant. They should understand how the enemy operates in our country and what it is trying to do. These are the two things, and the solution is to serve the people and to maintain unity among the people and among the officials. This is the solution.

America's weary battle cries

I should also tell you that America's battle cries are not all because of strength. They say that they are the first power in the world. They definitely have the advanced military equipment. And they have a great deal of money. But none of these things are the true manifestation of power on the scene of action. This very America, with all its might, was defeated by the Vietnam guerrillas after ten years of war. Vietnam is a small country. America had tremendous resources, aircraft, bomb, missiles, and all its communication systems against a people who had nothing. Most of them even didn't have a gun. They were defeated after ten years of war. It left Vietnam shameful and weak. Having money and weapons is not the sign of real power. In fact, sometimes, these war cries are a sign of fear. You see how timid individuals whistle in the dark. If you are looking from outside you think that he is very confident and happy. However, he is doing it because of fear. Some of these war cries are like the whistling of the timid person in the dark of the night.

If people rely on God, if they work for the power, honor and independence of the country - they will be blessed with divine support. Once the late Imam Khomeini (RA) told me in 1365 [1986] "I see the hands of God in the affairs of our country". Since the passing away of the Imam I too have seen the hands of God in all the affairs of our country. The nation is working hard. Hardworking people are working hard and they rely on God. You should rely on the Almighty, work hard. Young people should work hard, be it in the field of science, culture, religion or industry. Do your best in the domain of your responsibility. Managers in management. Honor and survival belongs to the true devotees of God. A nation which is devoted to Islam, which is in bond with the Quran cannot be defeated. . .

Supreme Leader denounces "satanic" US-led attack on Iraq

The following is an excerpt from the speech on March 21, 2003:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful...

Unfortunately, a war that is wreaking havoc on people is taking place now. This is an unjust war. This is a war that is based on high-handedness and bullying.

Unfortunately, America and the countries that are following it, including Britain, have their own satanic motives. So they have started to make a move. They have started this, but it is not clear that they will be able to put an end to it themselves or that they will have any control over this, unless, they withdraw from the fray and put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe. Of course, this is not the first time over the last 50 years that America has started a war or that it has inflicted massive suffering on a nation by shedding blood and waging war. This is not the first time that it is trying to occupy a country through the use of force.

We have seen the government of the United States of America getting involved in similar events in East Asia, Africa and Latin America. Incidentally, in all of those cases, despite the fact that America may have gained short-term victories, in the long-run, various nations gave it a really painful smack in the mouth. Where is the government that America defended in Vietnam in those days, that is in South Vietnam? Where is Pinochet whom America put in power in Chile? What happened to illegal groups that came to power in Afghanistan or in other regions because America spent money on them or because American agents spent their oil money on them? Where are they?

There were areas of Africa where America was present and where it maintained its presence by committing atrocities. However, it had to leave those areas after it was humiliated and disgraced and shamed. It was not successful during any of those developments and, this time round, the same thing is going to happen. Today, we can see that America and Britain have started this war. However, it is taking place despite the strong hostility of world public opinion. The opinion-formers of this world, as well as world public opinion, have condemned this war and those who are responsible for starting it. Those who claim that they value the votes of human beings are ignoring public opinion and they are doing what they wanted to do anyway.

USA, UK aim to "control" oil in region

Their aim is to occupy Iraq, dominate the Middle East region and gain total control of this precious treasure, namely oil, be it Iraqi oil or the oil of the rest of the region. They want to protect and safeguard the existence of the illegitimate Zionist government. That is their aim. Of course, first of all we are praying for the Iraqi people. We are not defending the Iraqi dictator or the Ba'thist regime of Iraq. We know them better than anyone else. We have felt their missiles and their chemical weapons with our own flesh and our young people have felt those things as well. However, they have not come here for those things. They are lying. They have equipped Saddam Hussain with those deadly weapons. Now, they want to interrogate him to find out what happened to each and everyone of those things. They are arguing that they are neutral and that they are making all sorts of claims.

Therefore, we are defending the Iraqi people. The future of Iraq will only be defined by the Iraqi people and not by anyone else, be they the UN nor various governments and powers. Only the Iraqi people themselves can do that. It is an old and ancient nation. Its civilization has deep roots and they have prominent figures and human beings. It is this nation that must define its own destiny. Every human being has one vote in Iraq. The sum of those votes will define the future, as well as the kind of government, that Iraq will have.

Therefore, we condemn this war and we declare our sympathy and support for the Iraqi people. We believe that this war must stop as quickly as possible. We believe that if they do not stop this war, then, the invaders, will, undoubtedly, make losses themselves. It will deal a blow to them. I would like to tell our own dear nation that that is what America is like. That is America unmasked for you. Whenever it thinks it is necessary and whenever it thinks that its national interests are at stake - however, illegitimately and illegally such national interests are defined - it will have no compunctions about attacking a nation or cities.

We were just informed that they have started firing at the city of Basra. They started this in Baghdad this morning. They have committed many atrocities. You can see the true face of the global arrogance when it is unmasked. The Islamic Revolution added the word arrogance to the political lexicon of our world. It means that a government relies on its weaponry and its power and its capability to encroach upon the national interests of others and it then claims that it is demanding the advancement of its national interests or defending the rights of the people or other such mendacious and false claims.

The Iranian nation must remain vigilant and it must be even more vigilant. It must know America. It must know Britain. It must know the global arrogance really well.

They must prepare themselves for possible confrontations, not just in the military arena, but also in the cultural, political and economic arenas. Now, I would like to address our dear young people. My message to the young people of our country is that they should work hard and they should be more determined and have stronger willpower. They should be brave and prepare themselves for entering various arenas. They must be prepared. It is possible that we may never be involved in a military conflict. However, undoubtedly, we will be involved in political, economic and especially cultural warfare. . .


Leader's message to this year's Haj pilgrims 

Tehran, Feb 9, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday issued a message to this year's Haj pilgrims on the threshold of the annual Haj rituals. The following is the full text of the message:

"In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful "

The assemblage of Muslims in millions during the Haj ceremony is a unique phenomenon and a pure demonstration of greatness in our faith. Muslims from all over the world and from all walks of life gather together in the House of Allah and in the birthplace of Islam, where our great prophet was born. During these symbolic rites and demonstrations, Muslims learn how to tie their hearts to Allah, how to stay together soul and body, and how to rally around our common belief to one God. "Everything we do is about our unity and togetherness to curse Satan, disavow infidels and evil forces, prostrate before divine glory, profess and renew our obedience, and feel dignity and honor under the light of Islam, that never fades. The lessons we learn is about being together, Islamic fraternity, perseverance in the face of hardships and against enemies, freedom from all materialistic manifestations of life, and joining to the ocean of divine grandeur. "Haj symbolizes the model of behavior the Ummah must adopt to achieve happiness. Haj can be briefly interpreted as a purposeful and conscious journey of the entire Ummah in the same direction. Its theme is remembering the Almighty, and staying in harmony together. Its goal is to build a solid spiritual base for humankind to live a life of happiness and dignity:

Allah has made the Ka‘bah, the Sacred House, a [means of] sustentation for mankind, and [also] the sacred month, the offering and the garlands. . . (5:97).

"The Muslim Ummah must seek inspirations from the model of Hajj in building the foundation of an all-out and purposeful movement. This is a crucial responsibility of all Muslim nations and states. "Over the past century, Islamic nations have endured a life of pain and anguish. Colonialism and expansionist world powers inflicted heavy losses on Muslims. They looted their wealth and resources, making them the target of their most horrific oppressions and ambitions.

"As a result of these encroachments on Islamic Lands, Muslims fell captive to colonial powers economically, politically and culturally. During this period of sufferings, colonialists benefited much from the material and human resources of Muslim nations through war, brutality, violence and occupations.

"Years after, Islamic awakening movements began to emerge. The flags of liberation started to rise throughout the entire Islamic world, opening new horizons for freedom. Finally, Islam embraced victory, as Islamic Republic was proclaimed in Iran, and a new chapter was opened in the history of Islam.

"Obviously, world powers, with all their material resources and destructive forces, will never easily succumb. Muslim nations will have a long painful way to go. However, the future ahead of us is bright and the outlook is promising. If we follow this path persistently with vigor and perseverance, we can save the future generations from the humiliation of political, economic and cultural captivity and that time will come when they can experience a life of dignity and freedom under Islam.

"This is a path to scientific and knowledge campaigns. This is a path to political struggles, and this is a path of fighting for and defending our cause. And in these campaigns, Muslims become the defenders of dignity seeking to restore their rights. It is human conscience, which consciously and uncompromisingly endorses Muslims' Jihad for freedom, and it is the divine tradition that gives them the promise of final victory:

Those who are fought against are permitted [to fight] because they have been wronged, and Allah is indeed able to help them. (22:39)

"The world arrogance, which is a complicated network of oil and arms cartels, world Zionism, and puppet regimes, have now felt the threat from the spread of Islamic movements. They have hysterically mobilized their forces to attack Islamic nations. The manifestations of new offensives involving political, propaganda, military and terrorist campaigns, can be clearly seen in the behavior, words and aggressive remarks of the military cliques ruling the United States and the Zionist regime.

"Palestinian people continue to be the target of the most barbaric and brutal crimes of the Zionists. They are being massacred, tortured, humiliated, with their property being pillaged and their houses demolished, only because they have now found the courage and the motives to fight for the restoration of their inalienable and downtrodden rights after half a century.

"The people of Iraq are facing war threats, because the United States needs to be militarily present in Iraq besides the borders of Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, in order to dominate the entire energy resources in the region, and control all Middle East countries.

"During the past year, Afghanistan suffered heavily with bombs, missiles and weapons of mass destruction poured on the Afghan population by the American and British forces. They have been forced to tolerate the bitterness of a foreign occupation, because the illegitimate interests of the United States have been defined in this way.

"There is no doubt that the United States and its allies will fail to achieve their goals, and once more the world will witness the collapse of another empire which is intoxicated with its evil power and whims. We saw how they miscalculated the situation in Afghanistan and Palestine. However, unless the Muslim Ummah -- Islamic states and nations -- make wise and bold decisions, once again they will suffer heavy losses, and pain.

"Following Sep. 11th attacks, which still remain a mystery, the United States staged a new round of its hysteric moves using its propaganda machines. They started their campaigns by flying the flag of democracy and anti-terrorism, uttering harsh rhetoric, and preaching Islamic nations on the consequences of the development of weapons of mass-destruction or chemical weapons. Don't they think that Muslims may have questions to ask: what government or companies gave all these weapons to the Iraqi regime? Your try to justify military action because you keep saying that Iraqis had 19,000 chemical bombs in their arsenals, used 13,000 of those bombs against Iranians, and now they are hiding the remaining 6,000 bombs. Who has provided all these chemical bombs and facilities for Iraq? Is there anybody else other than you and your allies who created this catastrophe in the history of mankind.

"Don't they ever think that they can not deceive Muslim nations with their rhetoric against terrorism and against an unknown group, while supporting widely the Israelis, who proved to be the most barbaric and dreadful terrorists of the world. With these costly campaigns and hysteria, the United States has now become the symbol of lie, deceit and deception before the public opinion in the entire Islamic world.

"The United States, with all its arrogance and illusions, has not been able to realize its goals in Palestine and Afghanistan, while suffering heavy spiritual and material losses. And Insha'Allah, the course of events will continue in the same direction. "Americans say they are going to overthrow Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime. They are lying. Their real intention is to control OPEC, dominate oil fields in the region, provide greater support to the Zionist regime, and redouble their conspiracies against Islamic Republic of Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The people of Iraq -- their dignity, wealth, honor -- will be the first victim of such a scenario. If the Iraqi nation and neighboring countries remain vigilant, the alien forces can not accomplish their goals, Insha'Allah. "The World Arrogance knows that the lofty teachings is the main source of inspirations for all Islamic resistance or movements towards freedom. Therefore, the enemies, started worldwide psychological war against Muslims and Islam after Sept. 11th. Although, there was strong evidence suggesting the involvement of the underground Zionist networks in those terrorist acts, they never hesitated to point their fingers to Muslims and Islam. A number of Muslims in the United States and Afghanistan were taken captives and sent to their horrific prison cells. Charges against them were never proved, and no names ever announced. But, they continue their psychological war against Muslims and Islam, and it seems that they will not stop their campaigns in the foreseeable future.

"Islam is the religion of freedom and justice. A real democracy is a religious one, that must be founded on the strong pillars of faith and religious responsibility, as it has been experienced in our Islamic country. The kind of democracy we promote is much more reliable and popular than other democracies such as the one in the United States. The democracy that Americans claim they want to offer to Islamic and Arab nations will certain bring the same devastations and losses as their missiles and bombs did. Even a single date offered by the enemy can be contaminated by poison. The Muslim Ummah in Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia have experienced all these agonies and pains all these years.

"At this sensitive juncture and at this crucial time, the Muslim Ummah need, ever than before, to seek blessings from the great tradition of Haj: a movement that embraces our purpose and spirations; a movement of awareness and universality, guiding us by the lofty principles and teachings of the Holy Qoran and on the path of Islam, as Allah says:

Those who have faith fight in the way of Allah, and those who are faithless fight in the way of the Rebel. So fight the friends of Satan; indeed the stratagems of Satan are always flimsy.(4:76). And God, the Most High, says: Moses said to his people, ‘Turn to Allah for help and be patient. The earth indeed belongs to Allah, and He gives its inheritance to whomever He wishes of His servants, and the outcome will be in favour of the Godwary.’ (7:128)

"Seyed Ali Khamenei "Feb. 7, 2003." BG/AH End

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