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officials in charge of this year's hajj pilgrimage (15.2.2000)

The following translation of an important speech by the dear
Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the Majlis election was done by
a foreign news agency, although the translation seems to be more or
less OK, its accuracy has not been checked with the original text.
As long as we have no better translation, we publish this

In the name of God, the Merciful, the

I hope that this year, God willing, the Hajj is performed as in
previous years, or even better than before. This is an important
religious duty...

The Hajj on the one hand is the symbol of
spirituality, of the relationship with God, of the understanding of
the people's hearts of divine verses and of the people getting
closer to God. On the other hand, it is the symbol of unity and
solidarity of the Islamic ummah, of the removal of barriers among
the ummah and of the putting away of differences and splits created
either by the enemy or by fanaticism. The Hajj is a step towards the
establishment of a single Islamic ummah...

I consider it to be my duty here to thank our dear people from
the bottom of my heart for the glorious epic that they created on
22nd Bahman 11th February, revolution anniversary this year. This is
very important: when all the enemy's propaganda mouthpieces were
trying their utmost to alienate the people from their past, from
their revolution and separate them from their Imam Khomeyni and make
them forget their imam - believing they could create certain new
values among the people - you could see that when it came to 22nd
Bahman, in Tehran and in every large city and small town, even in
remote areas and villages, the people came onto the streets. No-one
had to invite them, neither were there financial gains to be made.
They people come onto the scene here, and this is because of that
very same spirituality. Let me say this: those who are plotting
against us, those who are lying in ambush, they are waiting to see a
small sign from the people of Iran to make them hopeful that the
people no longer care about the revolution. They are really lying in
ambush. They are, however, confused: on the one hand, they listen to
certain remarks and read certain newspaper headlines which may show
that spirituality has ended in this country, show that no-one talks
about the revolution or the imam; show that everything has been
forgotten. They become happy when they see this, they think this is
the case. But when it comes to the people's presence on the scene,
when it comes to 22nd Bahman, they suddenly see a great popular
flood shouting the slogans of Islam and the revolution; remembering
the imam; honouring their glorious past. They get confused, they
don't know what to do next. They are, therefore, constantly going to
and fro, not knowing what to do...

I think I should say a few words about the elections on this
occasion. Elections are not just political phenomena. Elections
symbolize the people's participation and restoration of their
rights. Elections symbolise a country's national capability and
power. That is the meaning of elections. Today, throughout the world
- it does not make any difference whether it is our country or any
other part of the world - it is important what percentage of people
who could vote take part in the elections and vote. From the point
of view of the people of the world, analysts, and world
policy-makers, a system in which the largest number of people go to
the ballot box and cast their votes has stronger foundations than
others. This shows the strength of a system. Praise be to God, we
have always demonstrated this in the various elections which have
been held over the years. The people maintained a strong presence.

Our people have the right to determine the fate of their country
themselves. That is their right as well as their duty. They have the
right because the country belongs to them. The people must form
their own legislature and choose their own law-makers. They must
have a free choice and they must make the right choice. They must
choose their officials in accordance with the law. That is their
right. It belongs to the people. However it is their duty as well.
One cannot say that one does not want to use one's right. No, the
fate of the system depends on using and acquiring that right. That
is their duty. Everyone must participate. That is the divine right
which the Islamic republican system has been able to provide to our
people. We did not have this right in the past. In the systems we
had in the past, the people were deprived of such a right and they
could not use it. The Islamic republican system has enabled the
people to acquire it. Sometimes even a single vote can play an
effective role. No-one must say: What is so special about my vote?
What effect is it going to have? Yes, sometimes one vote or a few
votes can have an impact on the fate of a country. It means that you
can send a faithful and honest person to the Majlis by voting for
him. At sensitive junctures, that is when the vote of even one
deputy can determine the fate of the country, or a particular class
or the future of the economy, a person who goes to the Majlis can
cast his vote and influence the situation. Thus no-one must ever
say: What is the influence of my vote?

God willing, the people will do the most important thing that
they can do on election day. All the people must do that - women,
men and all those who are legally entitled to vote. In this way,
they must be enthusiastic about taking part in the elections and
make the election process dynamic. Whoever likes the Islamic system
will take part in the elections. Whoever is interested in the glory
of the Islamic republican system will take part in the elections. My
own prediction is that, God willing, as we have seen, this great
nation which is aware and intelligent, will take part in the
elections enthusiastically. In this way, the people will announce
their presence. In fact, they will demonstrate their support for
Islam and the Islamic state.

The second point is that the elections must be held in a tranquil
and friendly atmosphere in which there is no agitation, altercation,
hatred. There must be no such things. Obviously, there are
candidates everywhere who make their own decisions and who have
different views and tastes. The people will take a look at the
situation and, God willing, they will make their choice and act
adroitly after getting to know them the candidates . They will vote
for them. This must be done in a tranquil atmosphere. That is what
we are proud of. You see, a few days ago, we celebrated the 21st
anniversary of the victory of the revolution. In a few days, we will
be holding the 21st election in our country. That is not a trivial
matter. It is a very important thing.

Now, others can sit and feel sorry for our nation and say that
this nation should move towards establishing democracy. What is
democracy? If by democracy they mean the people's presence,
involvement, participation and choice, then, would you please tell
us where else you can see such a thing in this world [similar to the
level of democracy present in Iran]? Were those who ruled over this
country by relying on the Americans' money and political power for
years and destroyed everything in this country, able to hold such
nationwide elections even on a single occasion? Twenty-one elections
have been held over a period of 21 years. Is that a joke? In all
those 21 tests, the atmosphere in this country has been like this.
It has had a tranquil and friendly atmosphere. Of course, some
people run their own publicity campaigns and say things.

An environment in which there is violence, political agitation,
political violence, hatred and such things harms the election
process. Firstly, it will make a group of people hate the process of
participating in the elections. It will lead some people to have
doubts. It will make people despondent. It will disappoint people.
Unfortunately, I can see that through their remarks, writings and
some of the things which are published, certain people are trying to
ensure that an atmosphere of hatred prevails over our society. Why?
Someone insults the left and another person insults the right. Where
are they heading? Where are you going? What do you want? What are
these interpretations they have made up? More often than not, the
enemy has put words in their mouths. It has thrown a bunch of
ignorant people - now we are not saying that they are biased, of
course, some of them are undoubtedly biased - in there and they are
constantly chattering and saying such things. What is left and

This nation is a Muslim nation, a religious nation, a united one.
This nation has brought about the revolution as a result of its
joint efforts and safeguarded the system for 21 years also as a
result of its joint efforts. They, the Iranian people, thwarted the
great danger, that is the Iran and Iraq war which was imposed on us
for eight years. The nation is united. What is the meaning of
artificial divisions? Certain people come along under a certain name
and some people come along under another name. They keep trying to
create division and split among the people. The people also
demonstrated that they do not pay any attention to these kinds of
words. This is also obvious. The people are going about their own
business. Those who create division too can go about their own
business. The climate should be a calm climate. Some people bend on
spreading rumours about violence and tension; thus creating
confusion in the people's minds. No. People are not going to resort
to such things.

I want to say that as from now on and during the next couple of
days which are left before the election day, and may be in other
stages, our dear people, especially the young generation, should
control their emotions and use their logic. They should view things
with open eyes, and vote, assess and move on. There are various
political preferences. It has been as such so far. People have their
own preferences. The only thing to which we must pay attention is
that when we vote for someone we have to be able to have an answer
for our decision before God...

The next point is that the Majlis must be a kind of Majlis which
is able to stand up to coercion, scare-mongering, excessiveness and
avarice of world powers, and assess the problems of the country and
the nation...

Some are easily intimidated. I have said on several occasions
that the core of the operations carried out by arrogance, in other
words these hegemonistic world powers who interfere in this and that
country bringing governments and nations under their control, is
done through intimidation. Their real power is not as much as they
make out. Well, it is clear, if they had as much power as they claim
to have, then considering how they dislike our revolution and our
country, then if they had any power this revolution would not have
grown to this extent; it would not have lasted the way it has. Is
this not reason enough? That the hegemonists, America and the
Zionists in the world are not as powerful as they claim to be. The
core of their operations is done by virtue of threats. Threats and
acts of intimidation. A Majlis deputy should not allow himself to be
intimidated by them. He must be a person who is not intimidated. A
person who is not intimidated is one who relies on God. When a
person puts his trust in God, then that person will not be
intimidated by anyone. We saw a prominent example of that in our
very era, in the shape of the imam Khomeyni , and we also witnessed
thousands of other examples in the course of the Iran-Iraq war. On
the battlefield and in the arena of politics, these faithful and
self-sacrificing youth were not afraid of anything but God...

The second point is that a deputy should not become infatuated.
Some are infatuated and are allured. Naive people fall for imaginary
economic, political or security solutions which are presented to
them in great style; they suffer for years as a result of it and
finally make life miserable for themselves and others. They must not
be infatuated. The correct solution, the independent solution, a
solution which has been adopted after taking the special
circumstances of this nation and country is that which has been
presented by Islam.

Islam has provided a solution for
everything, in all issues.
It is up to us to go in
search of those solutions. If we do not understand something well,
or do not go in search of it, then it is not the fault of Islam. One
should not be greedy either. Some forget everything the moment their
mouth is sweetened by the enemy. If you want a deputy not to be
intimidated; infatuated or fall prey to greed, then you must go in
search of a person who is righteous and faithful. It is a well-known
fact that individuals who are not righteous place their wealth in
the hands of righteous people for safekeeping. Trust is a virtue. Of
course, an righteous and faithful person can also make mistakes, but
then on realizing his mistake he then seeks to redress it. This is a
great virtue. Not like those who make mistakes, head for a fall -
head for a descent into hell - but on realizing their mistake, they
stubbornly deny it, and stand on their word and sink in even deeper.

Therefore the election of a deputy is important...One must
conduct research and inquire from righteous people before making a
choice. God will reward those who have done their research, even if
they have made a mistake. The Almighty will not question you about
it. One must conduct research in order to do this task in the best
possible way. This is a test before the Iranian nation. This is a
big test before the nation, the government and officials. Recently,
some of these Americans have again made disparaging remarks about
the elections. One has said that we are carefully looking at the
situation and are hoping that such and such type of people enter the
Majlis. The people should smack them in the mouth. Another has said
that we will pursue the case of those who were deemed ineligible by
the Guardian Council . The country's officials must be extremely
vigilant. What happens when an enemy who is against the interests of
Iran seeks to restore its hegemony over this country? Why is it that
they are concerned about whether or not someone has been
disqualified? Is this not a sign that the manner in which our
legitimate bodies have disqualified an individual is in exact
contravention of the hegemonists' interests? Those who do not know
what they are saying, or are not aware of what they are saying, must
show a bit more care. The enemy has opened its mouth. There was a
time when this country, with all its resources, was under the
control of America and American agents. The revolution erupted and
totally altered the situation. It made the country, the nation, and
the resources of the country independent. They are lying in ambush,
waiting for an opportunity to take over this country and this
nation's vital resources and interests once again. The nation must
be vigilant, and it is vigilant. With the blessings of the Almighty,
the people's presence in these elections and their correct choice in
the elections will once again defeat the Americans, the arrogance
and the centres of Zionism wherever they may be in the world.

/ 8