On October 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asserted that Iran’s economy is strong enough to “defeat” U.S. sanctions. He delivered a defiant address to a stadium filled with thousands of members of the Basij paramilitary. Khamenei criticized President Donald Trump for “wishful thinking” about the frailty of the Islamic Republic. Khamenei acknowledged that having an oil-dependent economy was a shortcoming, but he claimed that Iran's enemies were using the media to present a distorted picture of the situation in Iran. The following are excerpts from his speech organized by topic.
The United States and Iran’s Enemies
Enemies have no option but economic sanction to confront Iran. All other means are blocked to them. Economic sanctions are frailer than our national economy. Our national economy can defeat sanctions; sanctions’ defeat is US’s defeat & US will once again be slapped by Iranians. pic.twitter.com/eUTnRTStgB— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) October 4, 2018
“If you have an accurate understanding of the country’s facts, the enemy will be at loss. The enemies try to mislead the Iranian nation by presenting distorted images. Enemies present distorted images of Iran, of themselves and the region to pretend they are in power; while they're not in a powerful stance.”
“Another extremely distorted image which is presented by them is their image of the Islamic Iran. Recently I heard that the President of the United States has said to some European leaders that, wait for two to three months; in two to three months the Islamic Republic will come to its end. Hearing that, we were reminded of the words that 40 years ago-- four decades ago-- were uttered by the same people who served the U.S. like footmen, inside Iran; they bid one another wishful thinking by saying, wait for some six months and the Islamic Republic will fall. Six months would pass by and then they would say, wait for one more year, it will come to an end.”
“Today, forty years have passed by and the delicate sapling has grown into a thick tree. Yet, this miserable man [President Trump] bids himself and his European counterparts wishful thinking that, wait for two to three months.”
“Currently, the enemy is using the media tools to influence our public opinion. Media tools are important tools, and in the hands of the enemies, they are dangerous tools. Media tools are analogized to chemical weapons in military wars. Chemical weapons don’t destroy tanks or equipment, but they eliminate humans, purging the power to use the tools. Media tools work in the same way. TV, cyberspace and social networks are used against our public opinion today.”
“On the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic, it suffices to point out that it saved Iran from the domination of U.K. and U.S.; a domination that had begun in early 19th century and arrogant, merciless foreigners ruled over country's every matter.”
“For the first time in the recent century, the Islamic Republic could prevent dissolution of the country in a war. For the first time, the Iranian nation during the eight-year imposed war [with Iraq], managed to disappoint the extensive front of the enemy, and maintain the country’s territorial integrity.”
“I pointed out to the invincibility of the Iranian nation—which is, of course, because of Islam. This invincibility can be observed in the nation's victory during the Sacred Defense against Saddam's invasion and their resistance against enemies' conspiracies during 40 years.”
“Surely, we have economic problems; we have an oil economy, which is a major shortcoming. In our culture, we don’t learn and teach to save on resources; wasting resources is a shortcoming. We admit we have these shortcomings, but the real shortcoming goes beyond these. The real shortcoming is feeling stuck; which we don’t have it, thanks be to God. We don’t have a dead end [in the affairs of our country]. The real shortcoming is this. The real shortcoming is that the youth of our country think there is no solution, but to rely on enemies.”
“The tip of the arrow of the huge popular movement is you, the youth. The experienced elderly, if not tired and exhausted, can guide and lead; but the youth are the engine for movement; similarly, it was so in the past.”
“During forty years of struggles—during the fights against the separatists at the early years following the revolution, while making efforts for building infrastructures, in fighting against the treachery of terrorism during the early 80’s, in the fight against invaders during eight years of Sacred Defense against Saddam’s invasion, in efforts for reconstructing the country after the war, in cultural fights of the 90’s—it was the youth who managed to change the tough situation in favor of the revolution. In the academic efforts since the early 2000’s, in combats against the Takfiri terrorism in the 2010’s and today, in intellectual and practical fights for resolving economic problems, again it is the youth who act and save the day.”
“You should not think that the path ahead is a highway with no obstacles; no! The path to progress is ahead of us, but it is a rough path with twists. There are obstacles. The enemy is fully active in opposing us. We should go through this path while surpassing the obstacles. This requires some conditions:
“The first step, for being able to take this road, is to recognize and understand the presence of the enemy. As long as we don’t know the enemy is there, we won’t build defensive bases to protect us.
“The second stage represents confidence and persistence in resistance. Weak, unconfident, opportunist people have nothing to show in this way.
“The third stage is about recognizing the area of the invasion. In which area is our war with the enemy taking place? We should identify that appropriately. We should understand the enemy’s threats. We should know where the enemy will first target. All the people must have a clear understanding of the realm of the fights.
“Based on the information I have on the status of the country, I firmly declare that this nation and the new generation has decided not to be humiliated again, not to follow foreign powers and enemies; the new generation has decided to make Iran attain the peak of honor and dignity. And they have the capability to do it.”
“The crowd of 100,000 here is a reminder of the crowd of 100,000 for whom I made a speech here in the late 1980s; once my speech was done, they left for the war fronts and brought about great victories for the country. And you dear youth, God willing, will be victorious and successful in the fields of science and economic movement, and entrepreneurship, in the fields of individual and teamwork as well as efforts in the field of social and cultural networking, in the required fire-at-will zones of action, and everywhere else.”
Click here to watch the full speech.