Address by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sayed Ali Khamenei, during a meeting with Teachers May 6, 2015

In this speech, Sayyed Ali Khamenei recalls the reasons for the hostility of the West against Iran, namely the fact that it is a major independent power opposed to US imperialism, which has stood all destabilization attempts orchestrated from outside. Just like Cuba, the current US-Iran talks are an admission of the US failure of their total aggression policy (economic, military, diplomatic, media, etc.) to impose a regime change in nations which enjoy a large popular support. Sayed Khamenei denounced the threats of military attack as vain boasting, and uses the example of the US-Saudi aggression against Yemen to show that the United States has lost all honor and respectability in the Middle East and all over the world.

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There is another point which is not relevant to the issue of the educational system but which is among the fundamental matters of the country. This point is about the way the enemies behave towards the Islamic Republic. During the past 35 years, the grandeur of the great movement of our people has always caught the enemies’ eyes. They have bragged and boasted a lot and they made as many efforts as they could, but they always held the people of Iran and the Islamic Republic in awe. Therefore, we should preserve it. This awe – which is a reality, not an illusion – should be preserved. We are a large country and a 70-plus million people who enjoy a cultural and historical background which is deeper and more original than the cultural and historical background in many other countries in the world. We are a people who have courage and determination. We are a people who defend our identity and character.

One example of this emerged in the eight-year Sacred Defense Era. During those eight years, all global powers in the east and west and their agents and cohorts joined hands to bring the people of Iran to their knees, but they could not do so. Therefore, do these people not deserve to enjoy grandeur and greatness in the eyes of global spectators? This greatness should be preserved. Politicians in different countries and those who are well-informed have said to us – some of them have said this to us and some did not, but they have said it among themselves and we have been informed of it – that if the sanctions that the enemies have imposed and the pressures that they have exerted on the Islamic Republic had been directed at any other country, they would have completely annihilated them, but they could not even stir the Islamic Republic. [Audience chants : « God is the Greatest ! Khomeini and Khamenei are our leaders ! Death to America ! Death to Israel ! »] We are such a system. This is not a minor incident, rather it is a very great matter.

Of course, global propaganda always places a cover, a curtain and a blanket of fog in the way of its addressees so that they do not see many realities. However, many people in the world and many nations – particularly, those who are close to us – see these realities. All politicians in the world see realities. You should not look at their statements. All those heads of countries, politicians and spokespeople in different western and European countries, in America and in other places – who sometimes make nonsensical statements – confirm in their hearts the greatness, grandeur, power and competence of the people of Iran although they do not show it in their words.

I have repeatedly spoken about the nuclear negotiations and other such matters and we have said what we should have, but everyone – including our officials in charge of foreign policy, other officials and the outstanding personalities of society – should pay attention that if a people cannot properly defend their identity and greatness in the face of foreigners, then they will certainly receive a blow to the head [they will be humiliated]. There is no doubt about this. We should appreciate the value of our character and personality. The enemies issue threats. Just a few days ago, two American politicians issued military threats. And such threats are issued by many other politicians who do not have very important and sensitive positions. I do not understand. What does negotiation under the shadow of threats mean? They want us to negotiate under the shadow of threats! It appears as if there was a sword being brandished above our heads!

The people of Iran are not like this. The people of Iran do not tolerate negotiating under the shadow of threats. Why do they issue threats? Why do they say nonsense? They say that under such and such circumstances, they may attack Iran. First, the hell you will do such a thing. [Audience chants : « God is the Greatest ! Khomeini and Khamenei are our leaders ! Death to America ! Death to Israel ! »]. You do not dare do so and second, I said during the time of the former President of America – at that time too, he used to issue threats – that the time of “hit and run” is over. It is not the case that you can say, “We will hit them and then we will run”. This is not the case. Your feet will get stuck and we will chase you. The people of Iran will never let go of those who transgress against them. We will chase anyone who wants to do that.

Everyone – including our negotiators – should pay attention to this. Our negotiators should constantly take red lines and the main guidelines into consideration. Of course, they probably do so. By Allah’s favor, they will take them into consideration and they will not cross these red lines. Nonetheless, it is not acceptable if they issue threats. Why do you issue threats? You do not need these negotiations less than us. Yes, we would like sanctions to be lifted, but even if this does not happen, we can manage on our own in other ways. This has been proven. One day, I mentioned this matter [Resistance Economy]. Fortunately today, I witness that economists, different officials and those who are familiar with economic matters of the country constantly repeat this. They say that it is not the case that the economic issues of the country are dependent on sanctions and that economic problems will be solved only if sanctions are lifted. Economic problems can be resolved with our own determination, intention, actions and measures whether sanctions exist or not. Of course, if sanctions do not exist, it will be easier to do so. If sanctions exist, it is a bit more difficult, but it is possible.

We have such an outlook towards negotiations, but the current government of America is in real need of these negotiations. One of the fundamental points that they raise in their performance sheet is that they have managed to bring the Islamic Republic to the negotiating table and impose such and such a thing on it. They need this. If the other side does not need these negotiations more than us – and it definitely does – at least it does not need it less than we do. So, why do they issue threats? I do not agree with those negotiations which are conducted under the shadow of threats. They can go and talk to them. They can negotiate and reach an agreement. This is alright – of course, if they observe the main guidelines – but they should not at all accept imposition, bullying, humiliation and threat.

Today, their reputation has been completely ruined in the world. The move that the Saudi government is making in Yemen cannot be justified by any logic and argument. If someone sends an airplane to another country saying, “Why do you want such and such a person to rule? Why not such and such a person?” and if they decide to strike the people, target infrastructure, commit crimes, kill women and children and set everywhere on fire, there is no justification in this. And the Americans are supporting this unjustifiable move and this great crime.

Can dishonor and disgrace exist at a higher level than this? Today, America has no honor and dignity in the eyes of regional peoples. Everyone is watching this situation. The Americans are outspokenly saying that they support this move and they are not embarrassed at all. Then, they say to us, “Why do you send help [the people of Yemen]?” We wanted to send pharmaceutical aid. We wanted to send drugs for the injured. We did not want to send weapons because they do not need any. All Yemeni military bases and armies are in the hands of revolutionary people and this group “Ansarullah”. They do not need our weapons. We wanted to send them drugs, but you laid a pharmaceutical siege on a people. You laid a food and energy siege on them and then you say, “No one should help them”.

You did not even allow the Red Crescent to provide some services. This is while they [Americans] themselves give military information to the Saudis. They give them weapons and resources and they provide them with political encouragement. They have no honor and reputation whatsoever. The path that the people of Iran have chosen is a reasonable, solid and promising path. Much to the dissatisfaction of the enemies, this path will produce results and the people of Iran will be successful. Then, the enemies will see that they have failed to reach their vicious goals against the people of Iran.

God’s mercy be upon our dear martyrs, who laid down their lives, and upon our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) who opened this path for us. God’s mercy be upon you dear, religious and enthusiastic brothers and sisters who show such great presence on the scene.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.