In a little noticed speech, Iran’s supreme leader urged athletes to emulate the determination of the country’s nuclear scientists. The West thought that “we would not be able to produce fuel plates and fuel rods. But our youth built them,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Olympic and Paralympic medalists on March 11. “We have managed to do things which the enemy could not even imagine… you can do this too [in sports].” The following are excerpted remarks from his speech that also covered morality in sports, female athletes, foreign coaches and competitions with Israelis.
“…You should adopt a scientific approach towards sports - the ones which have research-based guidelines. You should improve research. As other scientific research, the research that is carried out in the world on a specific sport is not the last word. It is possible to carry out research on the basis of such research or add new things to it in order to improve or even reject it. Well, you should do such things in Iran. We have managed to make so much progress in complex scientific areas with the help of our youth. We have managed to do things which the enemy could not even imagine. It could not imagine that an Iranian individual can do such things. Therefore, you can do this too.
The Tehran research reactor was running out of fuel. They said to us that we should give our 3.5-percent uranium to such and such a country so that it turns it into 20-percent uranium. Then this country would give it to such and such a country to turn it into fuel. Then they said that with the permission of the masters of the world, this fuel can come to our country. That is to say, it would have to go through several mazes. And it would not reach any results. If we had decided to buy nuclear fuel for the research reactors that we have, they would not have given a bit of it to us without making the Iranian nation completely humiliated. Once I said that if the oil that we have, belonged to the Europeans and if we wanted to buy oil or petroleum from them, they would sell each barrel of it to us at an exorbitant price. They are such people. They thought that we would have to buy the 20-percent fuel from them and we would give in to their demands. That is why they created such obstacles. But our youth carried out research on it and they themselves produced the 20-percent fuel. Then they thought that we would not be able to produce fuel plates and fuel rods. But our youth built them and they installed them. Now, they are faced with a fait accompli that the Iranian nation presented them with.
Such complex and great work is being carried out. Why do not we carry out great work in sports? The rules and practices that exist in sports - whether individual sports such as wrestling and weightlifting or team sports - should be researched. You should add new ideas to such research and you should improve parts of it.
You should improve sports in terms of scientific approach. This improvement is related to sports which have research-based guidelines in the world. A number of our sports do not have research-based guidelines…”
Photo credit: Khamenei.ir via Facebook