Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran is stronger than ever as the country marks the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of its revolutionary founder Imam Khomeini.
“I start the discussion from here that among the revolutionary systems and establishments that have been formed in the last one or two centuries, I do not know of any system that has been predicted as much as the Islamic Republic to collapse,” the Leader said Friday in a televised address.
“From the first day of the revolution, the ill-wishers and those who could not digest and tolerate this great phenomenon, both inside and outside the country, said that the Islamic Republic would not last for another two months, six months or a year," the Leader said.
“It was one or two years ago when the esteemed Americans said the same thing and a high-ranking American official stated that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary. I do not remember so many predictions of decay and collapse to have been made about any other system," he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei was apparently referring to former US national security advisor John Bolton's infamous prediction while addressing a terrorist MKO convention in Paris in 2017.
At the conference Bolton said, “The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran.”
“But, thank God, the revolution and the system of Imam Khomeini not only did not collapse and did not stop, but became stronger day by day," Ayatollah Khamenei said Friday.
“It did not surrender, did not give up and rather showed its independence day by day. It achieved great success and overcame obstacles.”
The Leader said despite many successive political, security, economic obstacles created for Iran, “the Islamic Republic today is more developed than 40 years ago and is ahead in all respects by the grace of God.”
“The question arises, what is the secret of this permanence? Why did the Islamic Republic not face the fate of other revolutions in spite of all this hostility? Here I announce that the glorious and proud secret of this system is two words: the Republic and Islam. The existence created from these two words has every right to remain permanent, because it includes both people and Islam."
Every year on the anniversary of the passing away, a commemoration ceremony is held at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum in southern Tehran, with large crowds of mourners attending.
Like last year, authorities scrapped the ceremony and other events across the country this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, people in different cities attended local events by observing social distancing, to pay tribute to the late Imam.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Imam Khomeini’s outstanding initiative was that he created and introduced the idea of the Islamic Republic and then realized it.
“The great work of our esteemed Imam was to create this idea and theory of the Islamic Republic and to introduce it into the field of various political theories, in which there were various Eastern and Western political theories,” the Leader said, adding Imam Khomeini then took action and put his theory into practice.
"The Imam had many initiatives but the Islamic Republic is the most important initiative of the Imam," the Leader said. “This is the same religious democracy that was recognized as the Islamic Republic.”
Addressing the youth, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "You, the youth, who have not experienced the pre-Revolution era, it is hard for you to feel that era.”
He recollected that people played no role at all in their destiny, especially during the dark tyranny of the Pahlavi dynasty.
“The Imam brought the people to the field with a leaping movement. The nation believed in itself and the Imam used the great capacity of the nation's ability and will, and with his leadership and guidance, he was able to take it to a stage where he could do great things,” he added.
There was a time, the Leader continued, when the Islamic Republic was a sapling, and now it is a robust tree which cannot be uprooted by any storm.
Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini, better known as Imam Khomeini, passed away on June 3, 1989 at the age of 87.
Plot to divide nation, eradicate religious democracy
Ayatollah Khamenei called Iran's religious democracy a "divine gift", but warned of plots by the enemies to undermine it.
“Thank God, after the departure of the Imam, the Iranian nation preserved this divine gift and this religious democracy," he said.
"The enemies of Iran, who made all kinds of efforts to separate the people and make them lose belief in religious democracy, had their plot thwarted and every time they tried a new way they faced the steel barrier of the Iranian people,” the Leader said.
"It is the same today. The enemies are lying in ambush to drive a wedge between the people and the Islamic system, but they are facing the steel barrier of the Iranian people. They plotted both security and intellectual invasion, all of which failed.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said there are some people inside Iran, who either knowingly or unknowingly repeat the claims of the enemies.
“The idea that democracy does not go hand in hand with religion is also the claim of the enemies. Of course, some may say this out of negligence. They should know that this is the talk of the enemy and the enemy wants to eradicate Islam… It is a great mistake if we alienate democracy from Islamic thought and spirit."