The following are excerpts of the latest speech of the Rahbar, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei delivered on 11 Muharram 1430 AH [January 8, 2009]. In an earlier address on December 28, he had chastised the Middle Eastern rulers for their silence and called on the ulama at Al-Azhar to fulfill their obligations toward the suffering people of Ghazzah.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
First of all I would like to express my condolences on the martyrdom of the greatest martyr of human history, Aba Abdillah al-Hussain (as), the creator of the unforgettable awakening epic in the course of history. Second, I would like to welcome you dear brothers and sisters who have come here from Qom on the occasion of the uprising of the conscious and vigilant people of Qom [in 1978]. You have formed a lively and sincere session by your presence here.
The arrogant powers’ apparatus, which does not believe in any human principles, wishes to dominate the sensitive Middle East region that has enormous wealth and is situated in a strategic geographical area and enjoys great economic advantages. The way they want to achieve that objective is through the usurper zionist Israel that occupies Palestine. All the events of the past few years, from what happened in Lebanon to what happened in Iraq and Palestine, can be interpreted through this perspective. The objective is that this region must be dominated by America and the global arrogance.
The case of the global arrogance is of course separate from that of America, however America is the main manifestation of the great Satan. The arrogant powers wish to have this region under their domination. They need this region and the agent assisting them with achieving this objective is Israel. All the events of the past few years can be analyzed through this perspective.
You saw that during the 33-day [Israeli] war [on Lebanon], the US foreign secretary of state said this was the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”. That is, a birth that will bring an American-desired Middle East into being. Of course that hollow dream was shattered by what happened to them. The bravery, vigilance, devotion, sacrifice and jihad of committed youth inLebanon punched in the mouth not only Israel but also America and all their supporters and followers.
The issue of Ghazzah is the same. They do not want anyone in the region who would show resistance. They consider the Islamic Republic to be the source and center of resistance. They have of course understood this correctly. Here [that is, Iran] is the center of resistance. The Islamic Republic is a source of inspiration for all the people in the region even if we do not take any action, or utter a single word.
Iran with its Islamic identity that despite the disruptive tactics of all the arrogant powers and contrary to the wishes of the enemies is standing firm in the region and is becoming more consolidated. Its roots are getting deeper and firmer with every passing day. The very existence of this great and glorious State is a thorn in the side of the arrogant powers and a source of hope for people. Yes, they are right. Here is the center of resistance. No doubt about that. Others have also received their inspiration from this center. However, in order to undermine this resistance, they have targeted a weak chain first, the popularly elected government of Hamas in Ghazzah. They have found some defenseless people to suppress.
Anyone in the world of Islam today who considers the issue of Ghazzah to be a regional, restricted or local matter is in deep slumber, one that has caused immense problems for the Muslim Ummah. The issue of Ghazzah does not only concern Ghazzah, it is an issue that concerns everyone. Right now Ghazzah is the weak link and that is why they have started their onslaught there. They will not leave the region alone if they succeed there. The governments of regional Muslim countries that refuse to give aid [to the Palestinians] that they can and should give, are misguided. The more Israel establishes itself in the region, the more the dominance of arrogant powers will increases, the greater will be the weakness and trouble of these governments. Why don’t they understand this? These governments will also take their people with them toward abject surrender. An abject, obedient and dependent government will make all the people abject, obedient and dependent.
That is why people should be aware. The Iranian people have demonstrated their awareness and readiness regarding this issue. I thank them for showing their stance and determination with their slogans and participation in rallies. I particularly wish to thank the enthusiastic and pious youth, who gathered at airports requesting to be sent to Ghazzah. But our hands are tied. If we could have a presence there, we would have done it, we would not have been worried about others’ views, but this is not possible. Everyone should know that the government and officials of the Islamic Republic will do whatever they can to help those innocent people, as it has done so far and will do so in the future as well.
Our youth are enthusiastic. This generation has shown by this act [requesting to be sent to Ghazzah] that they are the same as the generation that took part in the Karbala-Five and ValFajr-Four and Kheybar and Badr operations [reference to military operations during the Iraqi imposed war of 1980s]. These young people are the same as the young generation of 25, 30 years ago, ready for the battlefield.
The money that the enemy’s espionage apparatus has paid to some internal elements to divert our youth and to write analysis and denounce this readiness is wasted. Our youth are moving in the same direction that the revolution, Islam and Imam Hussain (as) have laid out. This is the situation in our country. However, in the world of Islam the people should show their presence and determination clearly. They should demand this from their governments.
Some Muslim governments have made good efforts, but this is not enough. The enemy should be forced to withdraw under political and popular pressure. Take a look at the catastrophe the Israelis are creating today [in Ghazzah]. This is unprecedented. If one person in one corner of the world falls down in some incident, all human rights organizations start a furor. They [the West] claim to support human rights with lies, hypocrisy, pretence and deception. And now, little children and innocent women are falling down like autumn leaves [being martyred] and they [the West] don’t say a word.
Allah Almighty disgraced those who claim to defend human rights, at the United Nations and other so-called defendants of human rights. These European nations constantly talk about human rights. What human rights? They do not believe in human rights; they only lie. Their statements on human rights are deceitful otherwise how could the head of a European state see these events and not condemn Israel if he believes in human rights? Worse than them [Europeans], are some of the intellectuals in the world of Islam. Unfortunately, the corruption of media and broadcasting and intellectual systems in the world of Islam is very regrettable. They write analysis against the current legal government of Palestine to justify the crimes of the Zionists. Allah Almighty will not forgive them. . .
God forbid, if the enemy were to take out the Palestinian combatants, who are bravely fighting and defending their country with determination, one by one, the issue of Palestine will still remain and will not go away with such tragic acts. Without a doubt, past experience has shown that they will rise up much stronger than before and deal a blow to the Zionists and will come out victorious.
Our Muslim Ummah must keep this determination alive in its mind and heart and respect this insight, this awareness that it has been blessed with, and maintain its presence. It should show its stance clearly and announce to the world that the Islamic Republic will stand by its anti-oppression stand and will fight and make every sacrifice for it. And surely, what it will gain will be much more valuable than what it may lose.
The immaculate souls of our dear martyrs and our great Imam will be behind the Iranian people and behind these efforts and the spirited defense. Insha’Allah, all Muslims will taste victory in the not too distant future.
May the prayers of Baqiyatallah, may our souls be sacrificed for him, include us all and regard us among the true followers of Hussain ibn Ali (as). Wassalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah waBarakatuh.