Ayn al-Asad was merely a slap, but the U.S. must leave the region (1)
Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday, January 8, hours after Iran gave a sampling of its avowed vengeance by attacking two American military bases in Iraq for the unpardonable U.S. crime of martyring General Qassem Soleimani, granted audience in Tehran to a large gathering of the people of Qom, on the eve of the 42nd anniversary of the uprising of the people of that holy city against the British-installed and American-supported Pahlavi regime.
He said to the cheering audience amid vociferous chants of God’s Majesty (Allah-o Akbar) and “Death to the US” that Iran’s lobbing of over a dozen destructive missiles on the Ayn al-Asad airbase that caused extensive damage in equipment was merely a slap, and full vengeance means the U.S. must leave the entire region.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution thanked Allah Almighty for His Favours and saluted the Master of Divine Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). He praised the Prophet’s Immaculate Household, the Ahl al-Bayt, and greeted the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (AS) – God hasten his reappearance for establishment of the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.
He told the audience: “It is 41 years now that we have been holding this ceremony in a magnificent way. The people throughout the country look to the people of Qom on the 19th of Dey (or January 9) and the occasion of that very important and determining event. First, I will raise a few points about the 9th of January 1978 and the historic event in Qom and then I will speak about the dear martyr of these days, Qassem Soleimani.
“As for the event of 9th of January 1978, we should deliberate on it and we should learn a lesson. Most of you brothers and sisters who are present here were not born on that day. You did not see that day, but its memory is still vivid. Therefore, we should learn lessons from that living memory. The past should always serve as a guide and a beacon for the future. On the 9th of January, in order to defend the position of the Grand Marja’ Taqlid and the Great and Honourable Leader of the Revolution – Imam Khomeini (RA) who was not in Iran at that time – the people of Qom showed resistance against the cruel armed forces of the evil Pahlavi regime. The people did not have anything. They were bare-fisted. What made them pour onto the streets? It was Faith and Religious Zeal. Note these two key words: Faith and Religious Zeal.
“When a large number of the people of Qom poured onto the streets and confronted the police and the armed forces of the regime, some of them were martyred and some were wounded. The elements of the evil regime thought that they had completely subjugated them.”
Ayatollah Khamenei recalled: “On that day, neither the demonstrators of Qom nor anyone else would ever have thought that this movement would lead to a great transformation both in the country and in the world. But was this not the case? Allah the Exalted blessed the movement that had been launched by the people out of faith and religious zeal and therefore, the movement continued in succession. The arba’eens [40-day mourning ceremonies] that followed, pulled the people into the arena and our Astute Imam Khomeini led the movement until it resulted in the great uprising of Bahman 1357 or February 1979. In other words, the movement of a number of sincere people of Qom brought about that great Revolution.
“Of course, there were many factors involved. The important point is that the starting point of the movement took place as a result of an uprising by the people out of faith and religious zeal. We should always bear this in mind. We can accomplish great tasks with faith and religious zeal, as was the case of the recent events. A great feat was accomplished and a great incident took place. A revolution was carried out that shook the whole world and it brought about a great transformation. It changed the course of history – that of the country, of the region and perhaps of the world. In the future there will be better judgments in this regard. We should look at Divine Assistance like this. We should adopt such an outlook towards Divine Guidance and the Divine Power in all stages of our lives.
On that day, the people were bare-fisted, but today we are thankfully bare-fisted. On the contrary, we are well-equipped. Today, the Iranian nation is well-equipped in the face of global bullies. However, we are not merely relying on military instruments. Military instruments are valuable only when they rest on faith and religious zeal. Only in such conditions will military instruments be efficient and valuable. We should always remember this in the face of the vast front of the enemy. When Allah the Exalted says in part of Ayah 249 of Surah al-Baqarah of the holy Qur’an “How many a small party has overcome a larger party by Allah’s will! And Allah is with the patient.”
“This is where it manifests itself. Sometimes, a small force can vanquish a vast and extensive front thanks to Divine Power provided that it is reliant on faith and religious zeal.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “You should not allow this lesson to be forgotten, my dear ones. The officials in charge of promotional activities of the country, the grand ulema who live in Qom and other parts of the country, the youth active in cultural areas and the masses of the people should not allow this unprecedented lesson that occurred right in front of our eyes to be forgotten. It is a lesson that is marked by innocence based on faith and religious zeal. Allah the Exalted blesses such movements and He keeps creating these great incidents in quick succession.
“Allah the Exalted has reiterated throughout the holy Qur’an that people should not forget what has happened to previous nations, as is evident by Ayah 16 of Surah al-Hadeed: “And to be not like those who were given the Book before? Time took its toll on them and so their hearts were hardened, and many of them are transgressors.”
“This is a reference to the Israelites who gained such spiritual power (under the leadership of Prophet Moses) that they managed to overcome the Pharaoh (of Egypt) despite the fact that their people, their women and their children were being tortured by him. They managed to resist until Allah the Exalted opened the path for them (through the miraculous parting of the waters) and helped them achieve that great success, while the Pharaoh and his troops were drowned. After a passage of time, however, their hearts grew hard, and they lost their trust in God, their movement on the path of God and their patience and endurance. The result was, as is evident by Ayah 61 of Surah al-Baqarah: “they were struck with abasement and poverty, and they earned Allah’s wrath…”
“This is just one of the Ayahs of the holy Qur’an in this regard. There are many other Ayahs where Prophet Moses has reprimanded the Israelites. For instance Ayah 86 of Surah TA HA quotes him as saying: “O my people! Did not your Lord give you a true promise? Did the period [of my absence on Mount Sinai] seem too long to you? Or did you desire that your Lord’s wrath should descend upon you...”
“He reminded that until sometime ago you were under the pressure of the Pharaoh. Did the incident occur a long time ago that you have forgotten it, that you say: “O Moses, make for us a god like the gods that they (the polytheists) have.”
“These are lessons. These are points that I have always repeated. Today, the pious, committed and enthusiastic youth are better than compared to the beginning of the Revolution in terms of quantity and quality. You should, however, take care to tread the right path. There is a great lesson presented to us by God in the holy Qur’an, as is evident by Ayah 49 of Surah Anfaal: “whoever puts his trust in Allah, then Allah is indeed All-Mighty, All-Wise.”
“We should not forget this lesson and we should always keep it in mind.”
That was the first of the three parts into which we have split the Leader of the Islamic Revolution’s memorable speech of January 8 on the threshold of the 42nd anniversary of the historic uprising of the people of Qom, and on the day last Wednesday when Iran gave a sampling of the vengeance awaiting the U.S. by targeting the Ayn al-Asad military base with a barrage of devastating precision missiles.