Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei says the Palestinian cause is among the main issues of the Muslim world and added, “In the Palestinian issue, the three incidents of ‘land occupation’, ‘mass expulsion of millions of people’ and ‘massacre and horrible crime against humanity’ occurred.”
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with participants in the 13th Session of the Parliamentary Union of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
The below is the full speech:
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his chosen companions—and upon those who follow them in goodness until day of Judgment.
You are very welcome dear brothers, dear sisters! Here you are among your brothers and in your own home. I hope that God will help you all and lead you; so you can, by God’s grace, finish the great task you have initiated.
The collection of Islamic countries’ assemblies, which has lived for a quarter of a century now, plays a significant role: firstly, you, the assembly heads and officials, presiding over the members of the Islamic countries’ assemblies are representatives of your nations; this is an important point. Secondly, you do not have the limits of diplomacy that the states have; on the other hand, you can express, with more clarity and more serious positions, the needs of your people and the Muslim Ummah [Muslim nation or community] within the world of Islam.
I believe it is necessary to use this important position for shedding light on religious and historical duties. We have a great religious duty towards the Islamic Ummah, all of us, all those who have a place in the Islamic world. All of us have religious duties: that is, Islam, the religion, requires us to perform certain duties; we should carry these out first. Secondly, we have a historical duty. Today, the world is undergoing significant changes. It is as if the whole world is expectant of great change, not just the Asian region, or Africa, or West Asia in particular; but, changes are taking place around the entire world; we must play a role in these changes. The Islamic world has been hit hard for a while: it was torn apart during the aftermath of the First World War; and those who were not qualified, at all, dominated Islamic countries in Western Asia and North Africa for no reason–without any merit. Its [invasion/colonization by western nations] long-term effects stained the Muslim world, and its negative consequences persists. We should not allow such incidents, such experiences, to be repeated.
There are important topics on the agenda of this conference; and I will refer to some of them later on. But some important issues have been neglected and can be taken into consideration: issues regarding Yemen and Bahrain are very important issues; these issues reveal serious and deep wounds to the body of the Islamic Ummah; and these wounds must be healed. Well, the question of Myanmar is raised, the issue of Kashmir is raised. My advice to our believing Muslim brothers and sisters is that, when considering fundamental issues of the Islamic world, we should be explicit on vital issues regarding the Islamic world. If we are explicit, we can ignite meaningful trends across the world. We must initiate meaningful trends that shape the world’s public opinion and opinions of world elites’. There are facts: allow these facts be heard; influence public opinion among the people of the world; do not let them ignore you; do not allow important issues of the Muslim World fade into the conspiracy of silence. Under the pressure of controversies over unimportant or fake issues, the main issues of the Islamic world should not be ignored.
We should not allow this dangerous and horrendous Western propagandistic empire, which is largely in the hands of the Zionists, ignore these important issues of the Islamic world. I now refer to some of them: the issue of Palestine is one of the most important issues or the most important issue of the Islamic world; the pressures on the Palestinian people and the troubles they go through are almost completely ignored. It seems to me that the Western Zionist media empire can be defeated; it is possible to make this a reality; if we all try, we can accomplish this. The defeat of the Zionists during the soft war is possible, just as the Zionists were defeated in the hard war. As you saw, the Zionist regime was defeated. In Lebanon, the Zionist regime was forced to retreat: it was forced to admit its failure, while everyone thought it was an invincible regime. In the soft war, also, the Zionist regime and their agents can be defeated.
There are a number of critical issues that I will refer to, which, of course, all exists on the agenda of this conference. One of these topics is in regards Palestine: the question of Palestine must not be overlooked for a second; the issue of Palestine is an extremely important issue. What has happened in Palestine in the past seventy or eighty years is, I think, unprecedented throughout history. As far as we know, such a thing has never happened anywhere: not in our own time; neither in times close to our era; nor in any period of history. What is this event? The event is that they created three incidents for one nation. They first occupied their land and usurped it; well, in some other places around the world, lands had been occupied by foreigners, this is not unprecedented; however, besides this occupation, there was a mass exile. Millions of Palestinians are living in exile today, expelled from their own homes and from their own cities and country. They are displaced and far away from home, they are not allowed to go back; this was number two: a mass exile of millions of people.
Thirdly, these two incidents happened alongside events of mass murder; a large number of people were massacred at the beginning: women, men and children in towns and villages were murdered. A massive crime against humanity was committed: this is the case of Palestine. That is, occupation, exile, and the massacre on a nation—not just one human, or a limited few, but an entire nation. Well, this is an unprecedented case in history. They displaced a people, from let’s say one region to another, or massacred them, but it happened in their own homes and in their own country. What does this mean to expel an entire nation from their own country? For decades, those who were expelled from Palestine, themselves or their fathers, have been living in camps! This has not happened anywhere else in the world. This is an extraordinary issue. This is unprecedented historical oppression. This is, undoubtedly, unprecedented historical oppression. We have a duty, that is to say, commonly recognized by all Islamic religions: in such cases, we must intervene, defend and defend with every possible method. This must be realized finally, and I believe that this struggle against the Zionist regime will bear fruit, I firmly believe in this.
We must, by no means, think that it is too late even if decades have passed; certainly, by Allah’s Grace, resistance will bear fruit, just as the resistance has progressed today. There was a time when the Zionists chanted “From Nile to Euphrates.” Today they are building up walls around themselves, so that they can protect themselves on occupied lands. Hence, the resistance has progressed, and it will continue to progress. Palestine is a collective [nation]: a country with a history. As mentioned repeatedly, Palestine extends from the river to the sea; from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: this is Palestine, and Quds is undoubtedly its capital. This fundamental thought and fact can by no means be disrupted.
Furthermore, the recent move by U.S. officials—the U.S. officials do such things, too, however the man who rules over the U.S. today behaves a little more blatantly, but other U.S. officials would carry out the same method because they are no different from this new person in office whom has taken unjust measures against Jerusalem (Quds)–is an approach that, certainly, will not advance: they will fail at doing what they have set out to do. Today, in our region, they [some Muslims countries] are deceitful. Everyone should be aware this, it is a deliberate act of betrayal to compromise with the enemy, an enemy like the Zionists, while being hostile to their Muslim brethren, like what the Saudis are doing today. This is certainly an act of betrayal that works against the Islamic Ummah and the World of Islam. This was the first point to make.
The second point is the issue of Islamic unity: we should not allow our racial, regional, lingual and sectarian differences create disputes among us. We have declared this to everyone; we reiterate it today, as we always have said it. We have even told those who were openly hostile towards us, that we are prepared to treat you in a brotherly manner. Of course, there are some countries who cannot do it; they are incapable of acting in such a manner. However, we believe that the World of Islam—with such a large population, with plenty of facilities, with such an extremely crucial status and region that exist today in the World of Islam, whether in Africa, in Asia, in West Asia or in Central Asia—can, undoubtedly, create a great power within the world through unifying this collective community, henceforth playing an influential role.
We should form such unity; we should converge and help one another; we should send our forces to help one another. Such warmongering, which has become frequent—mostly by the hands of the U.S. and Zionists who are trying to create discord—should be stopped; and we should not allow a safe haven be created for the Zionists via such conflicts. The enemies of the Islamic World wish that conflict, discord, war and bloodshed exists within the Muslim World, so that a safe haven is created for the Zionists. We should prevent this as much as we can.
The third issue – the third very important point – is the effort to make scientific progress. The western world achieved wealth thanks to science; it achieved international power thanks to science. They made progress in science; and as a result they dominated the entire world. However, because they did not have faith and because they did not have the capacity to do so, they used it in bad ways. They did something to use science to aid in oppression, exploitation, colonialism and arrogance. We do not want to do these things. We are behind in terms of science. The world of Islam should try to help its youth move forward in the area of science because this is possible.
We have done this here. We have improved our scientific ranking to a great extent. We have done all these things during the time of sanctions. It has been many years now that we have been under sanctions by transgressing powers. Sanctions helped us to blossom, to think of ourselves, and to benefit from our own resources. Today we are on the borders of scientific breakthroughs in important fields, while in the past, we were behind to a great extent. In medical sciences, in nanotechnology, in stem cell, in nuclear science and in many other scientific fields our youth have managed to blossom: to work and to achieve great feats. In the present time, educated and scientific young adults are greater, in number, compared to many other countries around planet. Therefore, this is possible. One of the tasks that should definitely be pursued in Islamic countries is the issue of scientific progress. We should help one another in this area as well. Some other Islamic countries, too, have fortunately accomplished great achievements in this aspect.
Another point is that we should reveal the true nature of the claims made by “The Great Satan.” They make false claims. The nature of these claims should be revealed. One of these claims is the issue of human rights. They are against human rights, but they claim to be supporting it. They constantly highlight and speak about human rights. That is while the things that they do are against human rights. The person who holds office today expresses these things in their bare reality. Those who held power before him used to do these things, as well, but their acts were not so transparent. He speaks more candidly and more outspokenly. They speak against Africa, against various races of people, against Latin America, against all peoples, against Muslims, and against everything and everyone. In other words, they are acting against human rights, but they hold a banner claiming to defend human rights. This should be revealed. This is a major farce which should be revealed.
Another sham is that they claim to be fighting against terrorism. They claim that they are fighting against terrorism. First of all, they themselves are defending the terroristic Zionist government. The Zionist government is a terrorist government in occupied Palestine. They acknowledge this. The “Israelis,” too, do not deny the fact that they move their tasks forward with terroristic activities. They acknowledge this. They sometimes acknowledge this explicitly. And the main supporter of this government in the region is the US. So, they are supporting this government, but they support other terrorists as well. It was the Americans who created DAESH – the same DAESH who had turned into a big problem for some of our regional countries. They confessed this. They acknowledged this. In his electoral campaign that same person accused, time and time again, the former administration of creating DAESH. He was telling the truth. This is a correct claim. It was they who created DAESH. They were supporting and defending DAESH until recently, while DAESH was taking its last breaths. This was happening until very recently! Therefore, they are advocates and agents of terrorism, but at the same time they have waved that flag of fighting against terrorism. These lies should be revealed. These things should be announced to the entire world.
As I said, you should create orientations [some other suggestions: you should do organized work, you should create organized networks]. You should influence intellectual and public opinion throughout the world. They should discuss these truths with others. I will tell you, what we in the Islamic Republic discuss with our brothers, and what we insist on, are things that we have experienced ourselves. These are tasks that we have carried out in practice, not only in words. One of the points, that I place great emphasis on, and one of my recommendations to groups of Muslim brothers/sisters, during similar summits and meetings, is that when you issue some resolutions and declarations you should not consider the task as over and done with. You are sitting on this committee and in this general assembly, so you might issue a declaration. However, the issue should not be concluded with such declarations. This is only a fraction of the work. Another part of the work is doing follow-ups and helping the decisions to be put into practice. We should take action.
The enemies have waged an economic war against us because they’ve realized that the economy is important in our country. It is many years, now, that they have been engaged in an economic war against us. And they have intensified this. Today, the economic war continues as well. Sanctions are one part of this economic war against us. Thankfully, we have not been defeated nor brought to our knees. We have managed to overcome this obstacle. By Allah’s favor, we will continue to overcome any obstacle from now on. By Allah’s favor, we will turn sanctions into an instrument for development. We consider religious democracy a source of growth and development for worldly and otherworldly developments. Religious democracy is a lofty value, which we have used for the people’s worldly and otherworldly affairs.
By Allah’s favor and grace, the Iranian nation has managed to foil the US’s plots, and it will continue to do so from now on. By Allah’s favor, we will continue to foil the US’s plots from now on, too. And we hope that this motivation becomes so strong in Islamic countries, and among Islamic nations, that it turns into a solid fist, one made up of the entire Islamic world against all the plots of arrogance. I hope that you all will succeed, and I welcome each of you once more.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings