Leader extolls IRGC’s vital role in Iran and abroad (1)
Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, gave an audience on Wednesday October 2 to members of the Congress of Commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), during which he assured the gathering and the nation of the ultimate victory of Islamic Iran over its enemies.
The following is the first part of the speech:
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution praised Allah Almighty for His Favours, and saluted the Master of the all Divine Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). He paid tributes to the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS) and then greeted the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (AS) – may God hasten his reappearance for establishment of the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.
He said: I am really fortunate and I thank Allah the Exalted for giving me another opportunity to see your enlightened faces in this annual meeting. I hope that God will bestow His special blessings and guidance on all of you and that He will help you reach the loftiest position that one desires, Insha Allah (God Willing).
“Among the phenomena that have emerged because of the Islamic Revolution – phenomena which are not few in number – the Islamic Revolutions Guards Corps has a special characteristic. The IRGC is a phenomenon which has come into being because of the Islamic Revolution. IRGC has certain characteristics which are witnessed to a lesser extent in other phenomena emerging after the Revolution.
“First of all, the birth of the IRGC took place in the midst of great events and excitements, thanks to the Revolution. After that, the growth, movement and maturity of the IRGC coincided with the memorable epics of the Holy Defense Era – or the war imposed upon Iran by the U.S. through Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad. During the 8-year Holy Defense, the IRGC grew, like a teenager who reaches youth and adulthood and who finds courage. During the post-war era which as a period of wide-ranging movements in political and cultural areas involving the Revolution and the enemies of the Revolution and the subsequent tests that were ahead of us during these great movements, many individuals slipped and faced difficulties. It was during this era that the IRGC managed to reach maturity and a noteworthy perfection.”
Ayatollah Khamenei continued: “What I want to say is that the IRGC emerged victorious and honorable. It preserved the main elements of its identity and it walked towards transcendence and progress. “Not that the most exquisite arena that an organization like the IRGC can participate in, is the arena of jihad and martyrdom. Of course, there are other arenas as well, but the arena of martyrdom in the way of God is the peak and the most brilliant arena and it is the most beautiful point that one’s eyes can pursue.
“In the arena of martyrdom, 30 years after the Holy Defense Era, we have an experienced man with a white beard named Hussain Hamedani. We have a fresh teenager named Mohsen Hojjaji. All these phenomena are significant. All these are signs of the flourishing of that freshness and identity. This is true in other arenas.
“I would like to refer to a number of important factors in this regard which should definitely be taken into account. One is the issue of IRGC’s innovativeness and creativity. An example is innovation in military field, weapons and war machinery. One day, the same Guards Corps used to sweat heavily in order to have access to 120 mortars and to be able to use them. Today, you can see what weapons the IRGC possesses and what innovations it has had in the area of building weapons.
“Its creativity and success has been the main factor in the emergence of these resources in the country for the Armed Forces. The IRGC is creative both in the area of weapons and in the area of military methods: the methods of fighting and responding. The creations of the IRGC are very outstanding in this area. This is one element and one factor: the issue of innovativeness, creativity and success.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Another factor is the strong presence in different arenas of social services. Notice which organization and association and which armed force in the world can be compared with the IRGC in terms of the public services that this force has rendered in the course of all these years and is continuing to do. And it is increasing these services on a daily basis.
“An example is the Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters which has been a strong arm for various administrations throughout these years. Another example is the campaign to eliminate poverty. The IRGC, its ground force and its other divisions, have made many valuable efforts to eliminate poverty and I estimate that 90 percent of these endeavors are not reflected in publications. No publicity is done to reflect these endeavors and most people do not know about them, but we are aware of them. The endeavors to eliminate poverty throughout the country and in underprivileged areas are very vast in scope.
Another example is offering emergency assistance during natural calamities. For example, following the earthquake in Kermanshah or the floods that occurred in several provinces, the IRGC presence was a determining and outstanding one. And one can mention many other small and big tasks. This is another factor: the extensive public services which the masses of the people benefit from. This has nothing to do with military work, strategic issues and the like. These endeavors are purely for the sake of rendering services and helping the progress of the country. And in important areas, they help further the economy of resistance policy.
“Another factor is entrance into the arena of culture, thinking and art. In this area, the IRGC and Basij have carried out prominent tasks. Those knowledgeable in the area of culture, art, literature, poetry and other artistic fields feel that a new entity is being born in the world of art. This is an outstanding piece of work and it has nothing to do with strategic and military issues and the like.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Another arena which is very important is strategic evaluation of the geography of resistance in the region. The Resistance Forces have shown their capability to confront Global Arrogance, i.e. the US, and its oppressive forces in the region. See what a significant role the IRGC plays in this important field: it ranges from the issue of Palestine to issues in West Asia and other regions. The IRGC presence in this expanse and geography of resistance is so outstanding that it has provoked the enmity of others: the enmity of the camp of evil. This in itself is a great honor. If the worst people in the world are on bad terms with someone, this in itself is a great honor.
“Another factor which is the most important one in my opinion is the IRGC effort to preserve spirituality. The issue of spirituality is very important It is like showers of mercy on an orchard: it both revives and freshens it. When it rains, it is not just the case that it gives life to the orchard. It also gives it beauty, delicacy and freshness and it endears it in the eyes of people. The rain of spirituality is the same.
“These were the factors that I enumerated. We can explain, expand and clarify the different parts of these factors, and we can also add other factors. Thus, the IRGC has moved forward to a great extent in the area of hardware and software and in the path of transcendence and progress, emerging victorious in its test. I believe that the IRGC is soaring, and this explains the enmity of the U.S., the apparatus of arrogance and the evil elements towards the IRGC.
“You might have seen in the news, in writings, in speeches, in cyberspace and in other media that they speak badly of the IRGC to a large extent. The same is true of their cohorts inside the country as well. Of course, they are not large in number, but they exist anyway. They try to find a weakness in the IRGC and to magnify it. And as for the U.S., it naively thinks that it is hurting the IRGC by imposing sanctions on it. As a matter of fact, it is these achievements, these feats and these outstanding points that have caused such enmities. But for us, this is a source of pride since it increases the dignity of the IRGC, in the eyes of even the enemies.”
Such achievements place the IRGC high the estimation of enemies – let alone friends. And today, this is the case and this dignity has thankfully been achieved. These are some of the outstanding characteristics of the glorious IRGC.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution called the IRGC personnel “my dear children”, saying: “If I was asked whether I am pleased with these children, I would say that I am a hundred percent pleased [audience chants blessings on the Prophet and his progeny]. But I am not satisfied with this level. I am very pleased, but I am not satisfied. And this is not an unreasonable expectation because I believe that Allah the Exalted has given you such talent with which you can move forward ten times more than this. Of course, by saying “ten times” I wanted to be on the side of caution, but you can move 100 times more!
“What is the reason for this? Because your position in the present time is a 100 times stronger than that of the first day. The youth who had joined the IRGC on the first day of its establishment, are seated here [referring to senior commanders in the front rows, as the audience laughs]. What did you have back then? What were your resources? To what extent was your presence felt? You should compare the condition of the IRGC on that day and today. This shows that Allah the Exalted has given you the necessary talents, capabilities and resources. When He gives capabilities and resources, this is followed by certain obligations, as is evident by ayah 286 of Surah al-Baqarah: “Allah does not task any soul beyond its capacity.”
“The more resourceful you are, the more obligations you will have. This is what I am saying. This is the gist of my statements: because you are resourceful and highly capable, you have many duties as well. Because your responsibilities are heavy, these are some words of advice that I would like to offer:
The first word of advice is that you should not allow the IRGC to age and to become conservative. By aging, I do not mean elderly individuals, but what I mean is the spirit. The youthful spirit of the IRGC should prevail. We can imagine an organization that never ages and that always remains young with divine assistance and guidance and with different methods.
“First of all, we should mobilize youth. Thankfully, this endeavor exists. This began in the IRGC a long time ago with focus on the young generation. And another task is to build the second and third generations of the Revolution in a religious and revolutionary sense of the word. You should not allow a generational break to emerge. The same spirit that was exhibited by great and well-known IRGC martyrs in battlefields before, during and after the Holy Defense Era should continue to inspire the generations that enter the IRGC.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “So, we should cultivate the youth in religious and revolutionary ways, we should prevent a generational break and we should continue with creative and innovative methods. When I said the IRGC is creative in weapons and in tactics, you should not allow this to stop. This creativity in using methods, tactics, resources, weapons, the collective instruments of the IRGC and in some of the arenas that I mentioned should continue to exist.
“Of course, this spirit already exists in the IRGC and I can see this. One can already see this in various divisions – including in air and ground divisions – and at various levels. However, this should continue and be strengthened on a daily basis. Therefore, the first advice of this humble person is that you should not allow the IRGC to age, and become complacent about the current condition. You should move forward and improve on a daily basis in the direction of becoming revolutionary, religious and efficient.
“Secondly, you should keep being prepared for facing great incidents. This has been one of the IRGC characteristics. Since it was born, the IRGC has always shown its spirit of sacrifice in the frontlines. When it had just been born and when different incidents took place in the various corners of the country, the IRGC stepped up and showed its preparedness.
“During the auspicious lifetime of Imam Khomeini (RA), when the war was imposed, the IRGC thrust out its chest and showed its preparedness. Since the very first day and the very first hours of Saddam’s attack, the IRGC was present in the arena. Before that, it was present as well. Before the war, the enemies used to make sneaky moves, they used to keep pestering us and they would launch malicious attacks on our borders. At that time too, the IRGC was present in the arena.
“After the passing away of Imam Khomeini (RA), the IRGC showed that it was prepared in the midst of various political and social incidents and plots, and it showed this spirit whenever the need arose. Its presence was excellent everywhere. This preparedness should be preserved and I am not only speaking about security, military and other such areas. The IRGC should be prepared in all areas.”
The Leader said: “Some of these areas are: the economy of resistance, boosting production and helping the poor and underprivileged classes. As it happens, these are the important and day-to-day issues of the country. The IRGC should preserve its preparedness. In the area of offering public services and eliminating poverty, in the area of confronting enmities, in the area of organizational strength, in the area of scientific and practical preparedness and in the area of political awareness – in all these areas – you should be able to preserve your preparedness and agility.
“Thirdly, you should not lose this extensive strategic outlook towards the geography of resistance. You should not abandon this trans-border outlook. We should not be satisfied with our region, as the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), says in part of Sermon 27 of Nahj al-Balaghah: “No people have been attacked in the hearts of their houses but that they suffered disgrace.” This hadith means to say that those who were sitting at home waiting for others to attack them became ruined and humiliated. Therefore, we should not choose a restricted place and then ignore the incidents and the threats that exist beyond its walls.
“This extensive trans-border outlook and this expansion of our strategic depth is sometimes even more necessary than the most urgent issues in the country and we should pay attention to it! Many people are unaware of its significance. Some speak to the advantage of the enemy, by saying “neither Gaza, nor Lebanon”. You should not allow this outlook towards an extensive geographical zone – which is one of the duties of the IRGC – to be undermined from within.
“The fourth word of advice is that you should have a realistic evaluation of the enemy with a thorough outlook. And you should not mistake vigilance for fear. You should never be afraid of the enemy. You should never fear the enemy no matter how strong and great he is. This is because your enemy is devoid of the power of faith that you possess, no matter how strong it is. You should thus know your enemy’s strengths. You should not consider any enemy – big or small – as mean, weak, desperate and unworthy of attention. You should take the enemy into account even if it is a small one. You should have a correct evaluation and you should be vigilant. You should know who you are facing.