Revolution Anniversary 1: Rouhani and Khamenei Speeches

President Hassan Rouhani issued a call for unity as Iranians celebrated the Islamic revolution’s 39th anniversary. “Today, we need everyone, including principlists, reformists, moderates, and everyone who recognizes the constitution, for the country’s development and progress,” he told thousands gathered in Tehran’s iconic Azadi Square. The president suggested that a public referendum, in accordance with an obscure article of the constitution, could be used to end gridlock on "important social, cultural, economic or political issues." Rouhani's remarks followed widespread protests in January and December over economic hardships and corruption. He also touted his government’s achievements in improving the economy and helping Iraq and Syria to destroy the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hailed attendees of the annual rally in Tehran. “The roar of the Iranian nation will force the enemy to retreat,” he said. Khamenei urged the authorities and government officials to serve the people and defend the ideals of the revolution. “We, the officials, must not lag behind the nation, we must keep with them.” The following are excerpted remarks by the two leaders.


President Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

“Anyone who recognizes the constitution is a revolutionary and must be respected.”

“Today, we need everyone, including Principlists, Reformists, Moderates, and everyone who recognizes the constitution, for the country’s development and progress.”

“All ethnic groups, followers of different branches of Islam, Shiites, Sunnis and all religions, and literally everyone who recognizes the constitution, are revolutionary.”

“If we have differences, we must refer to Article 59 of the constitution ... which says, in certain cases of passing laws or legislative acts on important social, cultural, economic or political issues, we must send it to a direct vote by the people.”

“If we have differences on two issues, or the factions have differences, or they are fighting, bring the ballot box out and according to Article 59 of the constitution, whatever the people have decided, implement that. Our constitution has this capacity, and we must act within the capacity of our constitution.”

“The important feature of this year's ceremony is that we are entering the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, and next year should be literally the year of maturity of the revolution.”

“The fact that in these days, we witnessed projects were opened by the government and the private sector with a credit of 10 trillion tomans in one day in a province, it means that the Iranian nation has more hope for the country's prosperity than before.”

“When our revolution resulted in victory, we were all together, and there were plenty of passengers on the train of the revolution, some of them wanted to get off the train themselves and we got some of them off the train, whom we didn’t have to; today, we should invite them all on the train again.”

“We are a nation and have a common cause, which is the greatness of Iran and the superiority of the culture of Islam and the Iranian-Islamic identity in the hearts of our dear young people.”

“The last elections were the first achievement of the year, and all the people came to the polls and showed the world that they lover their country, revolution, political system and their future and destiny.”

“In this year, we won over terrorism and made many successes in the process of eliminating terrorists and ISIL in the region. We helped the people of Iraq and Syria and the peoples of this region were saved from the terrorists.”

“The conspirators wanted to eliminate the unity of Iraq, but the vigilance of the Iraqi people and the help of the countries of the region, guaranteed the territorial integrity and national unity of our friends in the region.”

“They also wanted to create long unrest in Lebanon, turning the country into battlefield, but the vigilance of the Lebanese people and the support of the friend countries neutralized the American and Zionists’ conspiracy.”

“We know that the solution to the issues of the region is political, and we should strengthen this stability and security with the cooperation of other countries.”

“Americans wanted to interfere in the internal affairs of our country, but our people rejected them and foiled the conspiracy of Americans through unity, integrity and resistance.”

“The Americans went to the U.N. Security Council and wanted to plot against the Iranian nation, but luckily the members of the Security Council responded negatively to the United States.”

“The Americans have so far attempted to eliminate this important regional and international agreement [the nuclear deal], but to date, they have failed. Today, I declare that our nation is committed to its pledges until the day that the other side does so; and I emphasize again that if they want to withdraw from the agreement, they will see the losses soon enough.”

“They wanted to announce Bayt ul-Maqdis [Jerusalem] as the capital of the Zionists [Israel], but the world stood against this conspiracy, and not only the Islamic countries but also all countries, except a few, opposed this conspiracy at the U.N. General Assembly.”

“Now we are seeing more stability in the region, the further weakening of the U.S. and Zionism and the vitality of the Iranian nation for excellence and progress.”

“In the past year, we have had significant social, security, cultural, political and economic progress.”

“The economic growth of the country over the past year has been more than the average of the world, and this year, we will have a growth of more than average global growth.”

“We attracted foreign capital more than any other year, and the fact that we were able to absorb $32 billion of foreign capital as direct investment or finance illustrates Iran's credibility and growth.”

Feb. 11, 2018, in an address to thousands of people in Azadi Square in Tehran via and Al-Monitor


“Iran is ready to embrace investment, especially in sectors such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, tourism and mining.”

“Iran can be a gateway for the Middle East to enter a new paradigm.”

“Developing transportation and banking relations have put relations between countries in a new paradigm.”

“Unfortunately, relations between the developed and developing world are not promoting fairly.”

“Due to the spirit of colonialism, many countries had no way but to stage revolution.”

“The people of Iran rose up against tyranny, interference of the United States and neglect of religious values.”

He also emphasized that “the message of our revolution was not expansionism, but independence and fair relations with the world.”

“The confidence of countries and international law created the possibility of multilateral industrial cooperation.”

“In the new paradigm, countries in the Middle East unfortunately did not enter the global economic chain.”

“Interference of foreign powers and rebellion of the Israeli regime were among the factors that led to the lack of growth in the Middle East.”

“The educated manpower and women who have a culture of social presence are the advantages of Iran.”

“Iran enjoys high security, ethnic unity, large mines and energy production as much as it is needed.”

“We need to save one million barrels of oil resources in our country; friend countries should use this opportunity to invest.”

“Within 3 years, we are scrapping all old vehicles; this is a great opportunity for investment.”

“To be active in the development paradigm, the Middle East needs security and this security is very important for the Islamic Republic of Iran and all countries of the region.”

“Problems and threats such as terrorism and separatism are among the threats that the region is facing with and the Islamic Republic of Iran has been very active in these two fields during the past years.”

“Military solution and foreign interference and pouring arms to other countries are not good solutions to the problems and the issues must be resolved through dialogue and political ways.”

“If a country thinks it can achieve its desired goals through intervention, bombing neighbors or the development of terrorism, it is absolutely wrong.”

“Today, we are witnessing trilateral and multilateral relations between and among the countries of the region and such relations are beneficial for the peace and stability in the region.”

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a successful model for solving global and regional problems through diplomacy.”

“This approach can bring about the benefit of security and more and better economic relations, as well as more effective cooperation to solve the problems, for the whole region and the entire world.”

“I want to state this clearly that if the parties to the JCPOA, especially the United States, were fully committed to their commitments, we would have a more secure region with more cooperation today.”

“If what the US is doing is not a political game and it decides to abandon this international commitment, I explicitly say that it is a big strategic mistake and that history and the world will see America's biggest mistake in political relations with the world, and especially with our region.”

“Even after the revolution, we were committed to the obligations of the former regime; we will never be the first party to violate the JCPOA.”

“If the United States exits the JCPOA, it will lose a lot and Iran is prepared for that, too.”

—Feb. 10, 2018, in a meeting with foreign diplomats and heads of foreign organizations


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ali KhameneiDear prideful nation of Iran!

Today, your determination and insight created a massive and splendid event. The magnificence of your gatherings today—which according to precise calculations, was greater in number and more passionate than previous years—was a resolute and staunch response to the nemeses, the enemies, and the oath breakers. Relying on their distorted and false perceptions of Iran and Iranians, the enemies spent all their propaganda efforts on trying to turn this year's 22nd of Bahman [February 11, anniversary of Islamic Revolution] into a frigid and anti-revolution event.

You've exhibited the livelihood and dynamism of the Islamic Revolution by expressing your adherence to the late Imam Khomeini's ideals, shouting out our slogans and through your passionate turnout. The roar of the Iranian nation will force the enemy to retreat, and their [the Iranian nation's] resolute willpower will ruin their [the enemy's] wrongful calculations. The authorities of the country should appreciate this unique phenomenon: they should serve the nation and defend the ideals of the revolution through comprehensive resistance, revolutionary spirit, and selfless endeavor.

The future belongs to our vigilant and insightful nation; we, the officials, must not lag behind the nation, we must keep up with them. "Do not weaken or grieve: you shall have the upper hand, should you be faithful.”

—Feb. 11, 2018, in a speech