Feb 16, 2019 09:53 UTC

Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in his annual address to air force personnel on February 8 (Bahman 19) on the anniversary of the air force commanders’ historic pledge of allegiance in 1979 to the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), lauded the capabilities of Iran’s aerial defenders to thwart any hostile design by the enemies.

He made it clear that “Death to the US” is among the fundamental revolutionary slogans of the Iranian people, and on no account does it harbour any ill will against the American people, but means: Death to Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, and their ilk for their crimes against humanity.

The Leader after thanking God Almighty for His favours on the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people, and saluting the Prophet and his Infallible Progeny, said the Air Force played a very prominent role in the victory of the Islamic Revolution by its discerning of truth from falsehood, even if that risked retaliation from remnants of the British-installed and American-backed Pahlavi regime.

He recalled: “The youth were marching on the streets – including Iran Street where we ourselves were present – shouting: They are massacring the Air Force. At this the people, pour into the streets to help the air force personnel. Another important step of the committed personnel of the air force was their exposure in July 1980 of the coup plot at what is now the Martyr Nojheh Airbase in Hamedan.

“Yet another great stride taken by the air force personnel was the self-sufficiency jihad”, said Ayatollah Khamenei, elaborating: “At that time, I was working at the Ministry of Defence and I was busy attending to military affairs on behalf of the Revolutionary Council. That proposal was not by us, rather it was they who said that they were capable of establishing an organization named the Self-Sufficiency Jihad. We ratified and approved it, but the task was carried out by the youth at the Air Force. The technical experts among you know what great tasks were accomplished by the self-sufficiency Jihad.”

He further said: “Yet another feather in the cap of the air force is the first counter-attack in the 8-year war imposed by the US through Saddam. On the second day of the war, the Air Force attacked Baghdad with that astonishing number of sorties which surprised everyone. The enemy did not expect that. Our resources were extremely limited. Nonetheless, they carried out some 140 sorties or even more in the course of a single day. In retaliation to the bombardment of our airports, they struck theirs.”

The Leader said: “During Operation Val Fajr-8 in 1986, Mansour Sattari who later achieved martyrdom and was then a technical officer, acted in a big way to enable our soldiers to cross Arvand River and capture Faw by providing them excellent air cover. His role was very outstanding in those important events which really stirred the world. He and his colleagues lost sleep for several days. They constantly move defensive weapons here and there. They would shoot down airplanes and would switch their places so that they would not be targeted. They accomplished an indescribable feat.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Writers, eloquent individuals and choruses should recite and write about these events. These are great tasks which have been carried out. Most of our people – our youth – do not know what happened at that time. Another important task was building airplanes. The first fighter plane in the country was built by the Air Force. The latest example of the selfless services of the Iranian air force is supporting the defenders of the holy shrines – in Syria and Iraq. An astonishing endeavour. This was another great task which was carried out.”

He continued: “Well, this is only a part of our youth’s past. This is your history. This is your identity. You should preserve this identity. What I want to say is that the most important task – all the things that I just mentioned and even ten times more than that result from this – is building humans and human resources: strengthening the identity and personality of the people. This is the most important thing.

“At the Air Force, a youth like Martyr Abbas Babai was cultivated. A youth like Martyr Mansour Sattari was cultivated. There are many other martyrs – and all these were achieved thanks to the Revolution. During the Pahlavi regime talents existed, but they would not materialize. What managed to turn copper into gold, what managed to completely change individuals and turn them into such outstanding personalities was the Islamic Revolution and the great movement of the Iranian nation.

“The people of Iran have stood behind the Revolution and the Islamic Republic with all their power. Well, there are some complaints, expectations and instances of dissatisfaction, but these complaints and expectations have not made the Iranian nation turn their backs on independence, dignity and the honor brought about by the Revolution and they will not do so in the future either. All of us have certain responsibilities on this matter.

“This is my description of affairs: think of a mountaineer who is climbing up a difficult pass. He has climbed up an important part of this difficult, slippery, twisty and dangerous pass. There have been many dangers, but he has resisted them and he has gone up because he has to reach the peak. As long as he does not reach the peak, dangers will continue to exist. However, when he reaches the peak, the dangers will be ineffectual. Everyone should show determination. This is not particular to the Armed Forces. This is not particular to the Air Force. This is not particular to some tiers of society, officials and youth. This is related to everyone. Everyone, wherever they are, should show determination and work hard.

“They should recognize their responsibilities and fill in the boxes of the matrix. The boxes are filled like this: you carry out your duty and fill in one box, then another person fills in another box and yet another fills in his own box. When the boxes are completed, the task will be accomplished and finalized.

Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The enemy’s job is to cause panic. What the enemy does is to intimidate and to make people hopeless. This is what Satan does. And this is not something that has begun today. This has always been the case, throughout history – in particular, throughout the history of Islam. God says that you believers should not be afraid of Satan’s accomplices and followers and the devilish powers. You should be afraid of God Alone and of deviating from the straight path. If someone deviates from the straight path, this is a cause for fear. This is because when you deviate from the straight, proper and correct path, you fall into the abyss. You should be afraid of this, but you should not be afraid of the enemy, as ayah 173 of Surah Aal-e Imran says: “Those to whom the people said, ‘All the people have gathered against you; so fear them.’ That only increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the Excellent Tustee.”

“Notice that Qur’anic ayahs are lessons for leading a proper life and for making progress. He who wants to frighten and disappoint you is Satan. Today, these satans are busy working in radio, on television, cyberspace and social networks in order to frighten you. However, you should not be afraid: “Be not afraid of them.” You should not be scared of them, rather you should be scared of deviating from the path of God because if you deviate from this straight path, our fate will be like the fate of those countries which are under the sovereignty of the US. Our fate will be like the fate of Saudi Arabia and of the Shah’s regime. In such regimes, all the resources of the country belong to the enemy and the people are humiliated and are defenseless in the face of the enemy.

“The 22nd of Bahman rally really crushes the enemy in the true sense of the word. It is the manifestation of national movement. It is 40 years now that the people pour onto the streets every 22nd of Bahman, and not just in Tehran, rather in all the cities of the country. And not just ten, twenty thousand people, rather huge and massive crowds. Sometimes, there are crowds which amount to millions of individuals. I believe that this year, this movement will be even more glorious than previous years.

Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The US regime is the embodiment of malevolence in the true sense of the word. It is the embodiment of violence. It causes crises and it wages wars. This is not something that has begun in the present time, rather this has been the case throughout all these years, parts of which we were witness to and parts of which we read here and there. From the beginning – not the very beginning, not the time when the US achieved independence from England, rather a short time after that – their life has been dependent on transgressing against different parts of the world for achieving, protecting and ensuring their vested interests.

“As for other nations, they are not important at all for the US. They can be trampled upon. The US as the embodiment of evil insults the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation. They complain why the Iranian nation says, “Death to the US.” First of all, I should clarify this about the US leaders: “Death to the US” means “Death to Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.” It means death to the US leaders. We have nothing to do with the American people.. The issue is not about the American people. Secondly, as long as the US regime continues the same malevolence, interference, evil and malice in its actions, this “Death to the US” will continue to be heard from the people of Iran!

“Well, these days, there is talk of the Europeans and their proposals in the country. My advice is that we should not trust the Europeans either. As for the US, two, three years before the discussions about nuclear negotiations, I used to constantly say to officials – both in private and public meetings – that I do not trust the US. You should not trust them. You should not believe them. You should not trust their words, their promises, their signatures and their smiles. They are not trustworthy. Well, now the result is that those officials who used to negotiate in those days are saying today that the US is not trustworthy. Well, they should have known about this untrustworthiness from the beginning and then they could have moved forward! Today, I am saying that the Europeans are not trustworthy.

“I am not saying that you should not establish relations with them when it comes to the affairs of the country. After all, we are a government and a system which is thankfully powerful and capable. The issue is that you should adopt a skeptical outlook towards them as they are not committed to anything. Notice that they are blinding their own people on the streets of Paris! The people demonstrating on the streets of Paris are attacked by the armed forces of the French government and many of whom lose their eyesight! They treat their people like this, but they ask us to respect human rights. Well, what is it to you? What is your claim on human rights which entitles you to question another nation about it? Do you have any idea about human rights? They have no idea about human rights! This is not just the case today, nor was it the case in the past and throughout their history. They are like this.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution further said in his speech: “They request and demand something in a completely shameless manner and they use a very selfish and arrogant tone. They cannot be trusted and respected because they are like this. We have witnessed this many times on different matters. France, England, this country and that country are all like this, but in different ways. Their behavior is like this. Of course, we have relations with the whole world except for a few exceptions. And we will continue to do so, but we should know exactly whom we are faced with, negotiating with and signing a contract with and over what. This was another matter that needed to be discussed.

“As for the rally, the 22nd of Bahman rally is one of the wonders of the Islamic Revolution. We used to see the annual celebration of revolutions in the world on television – the ones which had conducted a revolution and which hold annual celebrations for it. In such countries, a few individuals stand at a podium and the armed forces march past them and that is it! The whole celebration is confined to that. However in our country, the people pour onto the streets for several hours in the dead of winter. These large crowds of the people walk on the streets and listen to speeches and this has continued for 40 years!

“The issue is not about one, two years. This is the 40th year. Well, this in itself is a miracle and one of the wonders of the Great Islamic Revolution. So, this should continue with the utmost power because this breaks and frustrates the enemy. The 22nd of Bahman rally is a manifestation of national determination. It shows the determination of the Iranian nation. It is a representation of the public presence of the people of Iran on the scene. The presence of the nation shatters the enemy. This presence on the 22nd of Bahman shows the presence of the majority. It represents national unity! There are differences of opinion, but when it comes to the Revolution, the 22nd of Bahman and the Islamic Republic, these differences fade away and everyone stands next to one another. You should allow this great movement – which is a manifestation of national determination, national presence and national unity –to continue with the same grandeur.

My dear ones, the future of the Iranian nation will be much better than the present time. And the future of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic will be much better than their present conditions. And the future of you dear ones will be much better than your present-day conditions.

“All of you should rely on God and work hard. All of you, wherever you are, should have a sense of responsibility and carry out your duties. Allah the Exalted will look at you kindly and He will open the path ahead of you, Insha Allah (God Willing).”