I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. Praise be to Allah the Lord of the world. Peace be on our Master and Prophet Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste Household, chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers.
Scholars, deputies, brothers and sisters! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
I have the honor to inaugurate this conference of yours which I consider a qualitative founding step in its field, as perhaps it's the first time an intellectual, scientific conference that tackles the character of His Eminence Imam Khamenei (May Allah prolong his life span) from several perspectives is held outside Iran. First, many thanks to the organizers and planners of this conference and to all the partakers and the attendance in this session of ours and which is the inaugurating session and in the discussion sessions. Special regards to the ladies and gentlemen who honored us by their coming from abroad and tolerated the hardships of traveling.
My personal, direct and close acquaintance with His Eminence Imam Khamenei goes back to 1986, when I had the opportunity to have may close meetings with him. Thus I got to know much about his ideas, views, principles, way of thinking, way of analyzing events, his methods in leadership and taking decisions besides his great morals whether his modesty, kindness, mercy, patience, serenity, asceticism and simple way of life among other moral values.
I have read many of his books, and I can claim that I have got acquainted with the overwhelming majority of his books, dialogues and statements since he assumed leadership following the departure of Imam Khomeini (May Allah sanctify his secret) until our day. I am saying that because I want to give a testimony. I also listened to a great number of his recorded lessens on several sections of jurisprudence. After getting to know the testimonies of many of those who know him closely whether they are jurists, men of intellect, or leaders or political and cultural elites and after a follow up of his personal, scientific, intellectual, jihadi and political biography, we may with all trust and honesty say that we are before a great Imam in leadership and ruling, a great Imam in piety and asceticism, a great Imam in jurisprudence and discretion, a great Imam in intellect, elaboration and renovation and a great Imam who owns a comprehensive, deep and firm vision which is based on the following pillars:
First: The original intellectual and scientific structures.
Second: Knowing the modern needs and existing problems.
Third: Knowing the human and materialistic capabilities of our nation.
Fourth: Knowing the appropriate solutions that harmonize with the Islamic foundations and bases.
I will mention some examples as illustrations of my media follow up of the meetings of His Eminence, the leader: Thus we find him approaching all the events and developments and issues with clarity and depth starting from this comprehensive vision. With all the various groups he meets and despite the differences in their specialties and interest, we find that we are before an Imam who is well acquainted with the topic and even with its details. He talks as an expert, and he continuously offers in every field all what is new.
- Religious scholars and teachers of religious schools (hawzas): When he meets with religious scholars and teachers and students of religious schools (hawzas) he talks about the (hawza) as an expert in teaching methodologies, ways of teaching and means of developing, preserving originality, the positive aspects of the traditional and classical curricula while taking into consideration what is modern...
- Men of intellect, men of letters and university professors and students: He talks as an expert in teaching curricula in universities, the problems met in universities and the horizons of universities as any well-informed and skilled university expert.
- Various women authorities: He presents in such meetings his view about women and their status, role and responsibilities towards modern challenges.
- Economists and economic institutions: He talks in the domain of economy and presents a viewpoint and general policies which the Islamic system calls for adhering to.
- The same applies with school principles, teachers, doctors, engineers, peasants and farmers. Some time ago he had a meeting with industrialists and he talked lengthily on industry.
- With cinematographers, he talks about movies and film making, goals, development and developing.
- With artists, he talks about poetry, music, painting and publication.
-With Qoran memorizers and readers and the enchanters of the Prophet and his Household.
-In the field of environment besides with political leaders and in the military field. I was attending a session in which he was talking, and by chance, I came to know that he knows the various kinds of weapons and military strategies and even fighting tactics and using weapons.
In fact, we find ourselves before a great and exceptional personality. We find that many in this nation do not know but little about this personality. Thus we come to know how oppressed he is and how alienated is this leader in his nation. Even in Iran - I take permission from our Iranian brethrens to say that - he is alienated even in the most prominent aspect of his personality as a leader and as a politician who is assuming the responsibility of this nation since 22 years. You find that you are before a personality which is in fact besieged by foes and unjustly treated by friends. In the whole sense of the word, we are before a personality besieged by foes who keep its truth and light away from the world and the nation, while the friends do not treat it fairly.
Our responsibility is to introduce this great Imam to the nation so that it benefits from the blessings of the existence of such a leader, jurist and man of intellect to the benefit of this nation's present time, future, world and Hereafter as this nation is facing challenges on all fields in a way it has not confronted all through the past decades and centuries. This is the decisive, critical and very important mission of this conference.
I will give some examples though I have many. However, I will talk about some only because of the limited time. I will also take into consideration the political conditions and perils. That means that even in what I will say, I will not say fully. I will rather be content with the portion in which I will not transcend the red lines and in which I observe the regional and the Lebanese political circumstances. In the available time limit, I would like to give a rapid testimony on the political leading aspect of the personality of the Imam through his stances and my direct experience with His Eminence what shows the extent of his knowledge, precision, depth and the soundness of his analyses and expectations on some of the events in the Middle East and our region in particular and consequently, the soundness of the wise and brave stances he has taken and still takes.
In fact, I prepared evidences from our region. When a jurist in Iran, an Islamic thinker in Iran or a leader in Iran deals with the events in our region with such precision and clarity, that would be a primary distinguishing feature. We are not talking about a man who lives in Lebanon or in Syria or in Palestine or in Egypt or in Jordan - meaning he does not live in the direct arena of struggle... I have chosen events with sufficient illustrations because they are events which we have all experienced in the past two decades.
For the first time, Arab delegations sat on one table. Delegations from all Arab states including Lebanon and Syria met at that stage as international formulas changed. Great changes took place in the world and in the region. On the other hand, the US administration announced its resolution to achieve what they call a comprehensive just peace and we call an imposed settlement. Many thought - there was rather a state of consensus or semi-consensus in our region - that we are at the verge of a settlement. A settlement is inevitable as the Americans will impose the conditions of a solution on all the states concerned in this settlement. I will start with Madrid Conference in 1991. All of us recall when the Americans took over following the Storm of the Desert when the equations changed in the region and the world and America became the only great power above all powers.
Today after around twenty years, we hear sides which partook in negotiations and from some personalities who were in Madrid Conference and carried on in negotiations talking about two decades of despair and frustration, failure and loss which were reached through what is called negotiations. On that day, I remember that Imam Khamenei had a vision which is outside this consensus or semi-consensus. This is what you will notice also with the other evidences I will tackle. He said that the Conference will not reach a solution, that this settlement will not be made and that America will not be able to impose any settlement on the governments and peoples in the region.
In 1996, everyone recalls the great development or breakthrough that took place in the "Israeli"-Syrian negotiations. There were talks about Rabin's trust and Isaac Rabin's willingness to withdraw - as was then said - back to the lines of June 4, 1967 (from Syrian Golan Heights until the lines of June 4, 1967). A definite state prevailed in our region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt). Everyone started saying that a settlement will be achieved especially that in 1993, Oslo Agreement was inked and the Palestinian Authority is still carrying on in negotiations.
Thus things were over with Egypt. Jordan inked Wadi Arabeh Agreement. The Palestinian Authority inked Oslo Agreement. There remained Lebanon and Syria. The primary condition for achieving a settlement between "Israel" and Syria is an "Israeli" declaration to withdraw to the lines of June 4th. Isaac Rabin made a declaration to this effect. So things were at their final stages. There remained only a group of details which might be finalized in some negotiations sessions.
Indeed, any miscalculation then might have had serious repercussions. That's because if the Resistance was to be stricken with paralysis or loss of insight or when it stops its activities, what might have been achieved following 1996 was not to be achieved. I mean by that the victory of 2000. I remember that was the atmosphere which prevailed then. Many from different places started saying to us to stop bothering ourselves.
(You know that in 1996, the performance Resistance was in an ascending momentum) Things were over and there is no need to offer blood and martyrs and to fight and offer sacrifices and carry on confrontations. Even more some called us to start reorganizing our affairs on the basis that the settlement was already achieved and called us to reconsider our existence not only as a Resistance movement but also our name, structure, political speech and political program and to consider what to do with our arms and military capabilities which was available then on the basis that things were over.
There was something different to what was prevalent in Lebanon. I tell you that this analysis was shared in Iran by a great number of officials. So when I went to His Eminence Imam Khamenei (May Allah prolong his life span) - I was with a number of brethrens - I presented this vision that such and such was prevalent in the region. His Eminence clearly said: I do not believe that will take place. I do not believe the settlement between Israel and Syria - and consequently Lebanon - will be achieved. I suggest - this comes in the framework of the rhetoric courtesy of his Eminence, the Leader as he always talks with such rhetoric - that you continue in the work and jihad of the Resistance and rather to escalate its work and jihad to make the achievement of victory. Do not listen to all these suppositions and assumptions and calls. Indeed, at that time we used to view such speech as outside all our analyses, given and the track that we used to see in Lebanon and many in the region used to see.
I remember that two or three weeks following our return from the meeting and no more, Isaac Rabin was delivering a speech in Tel Aviv. A Zionist extremist - and they are all extremists - opened fire on Isaac Rabin. He was killed. He was followed by Shimon Perez.
The third evidence is that as far as the Resistance in Lebanon is concerned, he always used to talk about the victory of the Resistance. However, prior to 2000, he used not to talk about an "era". He rather used to talk about the principle of victory. There was a condition in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad were subject to very hard hits. Some thought the Palestinian Resistance is helpless, incapable and unable to carry on operations. However, the martyrdom operations in Al Qods and Tel Aviv which shook the "Israeli" entity took place at that stage as you remember. Then the tension at the Lebanese South erupted, and Sharm Sheikh Summit convened. It gathered world leaders of 1996 to defend "Israel" and to condemn what was called "terrorism".
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah were mentioned in names. Threats were made. Decisions were issued to the effect of besieging these movements which they considered as "terrorist movements", drying their financing sources and practicing pressure on them. Then was the "Grapes of the Wrath" Battle in April 1996. Later, Shimon Perez lost in the elections, and Netanyahu took over. They returned to point zero and to square one. How was Imam Khamenei to reach this outcome and have a decisive and clear cut conviction at a time all political elites, political analysts and political leaders in the region used to see that things are moving in a different direction? This is the second evidence.
He used to tell us that he believes in the victory of the Resistance based on his convictional interpretation of the saying of Allah: "If you defend Allah, Allah will defend you". For the first time I hear someone telling us: "Well does Allah say jokes? Allah does not say jokes." With such simplification, he told us that Allah talks seriously with us when He tells us: "If you defend Allah, Allah will defend you." This Resistance is defending Allah, and Allah will surely defend it. Following 1996, he used to say that the "Israelis" are like someone stuck in the mud. They are not able to proceed and invade Lebanon again, and they are not able as well to pull out from Occupied Palestine as there are risks of such an unconditional pullout. Still they are not able to stay where they are.
So they are stuck in the mud. They are in a grave dilemma. We must wait and see what the "Israelis" will do. However, for sure that is dependent on the continuity of the Resistance.
By the end of 1999, elections for premiership took place in the Israeli entity. Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu ran the elections. Each of them promised that in case he won he would pullout from Lebanon. Ehud Barak even set a date for the pullout. I still bear in mind it was July 7, 2000. Weeks and months were passing. The prevalent atmosphere in Lebanon, Syria and the region was that the date of the pullout will come and the "Israelis" will not pullout behind the occupied borderline. Barak sought through the Americans, the Europeans and others countries in the world to gain guarantees or security arrangements or security agreements with the Lebanese government or with late President Hafiz Assad, and he flopped in that.
The prevalent atmosphere was that the occupation army will not pullout, and when the date would come, it would be easy for Ehud Barak not to keep his promise and tell his people: "I have promised you to pullout on July 7th, but as I have not received any guarantees or arranges or security conditions, the pullout would be risky and a great strategic mistake which I will not make." I will not frighten you, but even we in Hizbullah on the political and jihadi level we used to have this very vision shared by the other political forces in the country and in the region.
We went with a viewpoint and returned with a different viewpoint. Thus we were not surprised with the unexpected pullout of May 25th. We have prepared ourselves fully to deal with the region of the borderline, the collaborators, the residences of the region and the border when we reach the border. We also had a visit to the Islamic Republic and a meeting with His Eminence Imam Khamenei. We explained our viewpoint on the events and expectations. However His Eminence Imam Khamenei had a surprising totally different viewpoint. He said in the presence of a group of brethrens: "Your victory in Lebanon is closer than your expectations. You will see it with your very eyes." This was contrary to all the analyses, given, approaches and information. Even our information did not include any indication to the effect of "Israeli" preparations for a pullout from South Lebanon. He told the brethrens: "When you return to Lebanon, prepare yourselves for this achievement. What will your political speech be? How will you act should the "Israeli" enemy pullout from the borders?"
I received an oral message which one of the friends conveyed to me in Beirut Southern Suburbs (Dahiyeh) where buildings were collapsing under the effect of "Israeli" shelling. The oral message comprised several pages. During the first days of July War, (which was a world war on the level of decision making, an Arab war on the level of support and an "Israeli" war on the level of execution; it was an Arab war as concerning some Arab states which adopted the decision of war) the title was exterminating the Resistance in Lebanon. All of you have witnessed the harshness and the violence of the "Israeli" attack especially during the first days, when any talk about victory or even talking about surviving and going out soundly of this war closer to craziness. That's because you are in a Resistance movement with known capacities and in a small country against which the whole world is conspiring and launching such a fierce and severe war.
However I will read only some sentences that go with our narration. Imam Khamenei said in that oral message: O my brethrens! This war is similar to the war of the Trench (Al Khandaq) and the War of the Parties (Al Ahzab) when Qoraish, the Jews in Madina and all the tribes and clans mustered all their power and besieged the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his Household) and his companions in Madina and took the decision of uprooting the very existence of this faithful group. This war is similar to that. Fear will prevail and people will have doubts in Allah. However, trust in Allah. Here I am telling you that you will no doubt gain victory. This took place in the very first days. You will no doubt gain victory. I will even tell you more: When the war will be over, you will be a power which no power is willing to confront. Who would have expected or reached such a conclusion especially during the first days of the war?
On the wake of September 11 events - and this is the evidence before the last one - the US administration took a decision to wage a war on Afghanistan. Thus were the very first signs of the war on Afghanistan, the arrival of the US fleets and forces and the threat to occupy Iraq as well after getting through with Afghanistan.
I was in a visit to the Islamic Republic then, and I had the honor to meet Imam Khamenei, and I asked him about his viewpoint.
Here we are talking about Iran, about a human being who lives in Iran and who is an Iranian leader who is responsible of Iran at a time the Americans were coming to attack neighboring Afghanistan and neighboring Iraq. Fleets and military bases were surrounding him. So we were not asking a political expert, thinker or researcher or a research center. We are talking with a leader and on the light of his viewpoint a decision will be taken and a policy will be drawn.
He told me what was contrary to all what was prevalent in the region. You remember at that stage how minds, hearts and souls were shaken. Many believed the region had ushered into the US era and became under a direct US hegemony and control and that this US control will remain in our region for a hundred years or two. Some compared the new US invasion and war to the Crusade and its invasion to that stage and started saying that will last for a hundred years or two.
At that time, many governments and political forces started considering how to rearrange their affairs with the Americans, how to talk with them and reach solutions with them. This is what the Leader Sayyed said in the month of Ramadan. Was this not said by His Eminence, it would have been inappropriate for me to say it. Some officials in the Islamic Republic used to come to His Eminence, the Leader and tell him: These are the new facts.
We must search for a way out or a way to carry dialogue or a settlement with the US administration. However he used to refuse on the basis of a strategic view of the status quo and the future. At that day he told me after I told him that there is a worrisome situation in the region (Naturally we too were worried): Tell the brethrens not to be worried. The United States had reached the climax, the peak, and this is the beginning of the collapse. When they come to Afghanistan and Iraq that means that they are collapsing to the abyss. This is the beginning of the end of the United States and the US project in the region. You must thus act accordingly. This speech is based on an approach and indications.
He said: When the US or US project is incapable of protecting its interests through its subordinate regimes in the region and is not satisfied with the armies, bases and fleets in the region, it will be obliged to come with its bases and fleets from everywhere around the world to this region. This is a sign of deficiency and not a sign of power. Second this confirms the ignorance of the rulers and the decision makers in America about the peoples in the region who refuse occupations, hegemony and control and belong to the culture and history or jihad and resistance. So when the Americans come here, they will be drown in the mud and search for ways to run away. Thus what is taking place must not cause fear but rather it must cause great hope of an era in which the whole nation will be liberated from the hegemony of the arrogant.
Here in fact man stands before a brilliant and important aspect in the leadership of this Imam who is not known to many. I can tell you that during the past decade, our nation and region have faced the most dangerous war in its history perhaps. The United States of America and its western allies - the masters of the world with all their military, security, intelligence, media, technical, financial and economic capabilities and psychological war - came to control this region, occupy our countries and topple the remaining opposing regimes and resistance movements. This was the clear project of George Bush to found a Neo Middle East. Imam Khamenei was the leader of confrontation in the most dangerous, fierce and powerful war which needs much intellect, wisdom, awareness and courage. However up till now, it is impossible to reveal many sides of this role which was played by this great leadership. Still I asked: How is that so? What is apparent is something else.
His Eminence Imam Khamenei believes _ and I am talking about internal sessions besides what he says in speeches - that this entity, "Israel", is coming to an end. He decisively believes in that.
He believes that the end of "Israel" is not far off. He rather sees it coming soon. He believes that this settlement will not lead anywhere. I wrap up with the last evidence - the issue of "Israel".
All what is taking place around us in Palestine and in our region whether in the course of negotiations or the achievements and victories of the Resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine or on the level of the latest uprising of the Palestinian people outside the occupied territories prove that the Palestinian people own a firm will to resist. Thus after 60 years, the pain, catastrophes and sufferings that afflicted this people did not push them to despair and frustration. There are frustrated leaders but this generation of youths hears of the Nakba and the Naksa but is witnessing the time of victories. This generation confirms that we are before generations of Palestinian people who have a great hope and an enormous motive to return to their land.
What Imam Khamenei says about "Israel" might be understood simply when we assume the retreat of the US forces in the region and the US leadership in the world, we assume that events will take place to the interest of the project of the resistance and opposition in the region, we assume the despair of the track of negotiations, we see the readiness to give sacrifices in the eyes of the Palestinian people, Arab youths and Muslim people in general, we see also the flabbiness, feebleness and the absence of historic leaderships in "Israel" and we evaluate the experience of July War and Gaza War.
Then we will believe along with Imam Khamenei also that "Israel" is going to an end in the very near future Inshallah.
Here I do not want to talk about an intangible dimension in this intellect and in these expectations. This soundness is based on the firmness and soundness of the pillars and bases of the intellect of Imam Khamenei and his political intellect and on a sound reading of facts and also on the bravery of the Imam Leader. See even if the intellectual pillars were right and the reading of facts was sound but the person is coward and afraid, he will change the intellectual pillars and facts to the interest of a weak, feeble and surrendering stance. Thanks to the bravery of this leader - indeed along with divine support as this is the promise of Allah Al Mighty to the fighters: "And those who strive in Our Cause, We will certainly guide them to Our Paths for verily Allah is with those who do right" - we are witnessing an aware, knowledgeable, leading phenomenon who reads outside what is called the consensus of political minds, analysts, research centers and ordinary expectations.
Today as we are inaugurating this conference, we ought to stand with esteem, respect and high regard before these Palestinians especially those resisting, fighting, brave and strong Palestinian and Syrian youths who gathered on the Syrian occupied Golan Heights and their insistence to attend, partake, challenge, confront and defy. In the martyrdom of scores and the injury of hundreds among them, there is a clear message of the determination and will that exist in this nation. That also makes a new revelation on the US administration and the western government especially the US administration which looks forward to confiscating the Arab revolutions and deceiving the minds of the Arab youths.
This new blood came to expose this administration and its backgrounds and starting points and to assert its absolute commitment to "Israel" as Obama said and as the US Congress said when they applauded to Netanyahu days ago. On the contrary the US administration said that what took place yesterday on the borders is a legitimate self defense. So there is no conviction and blame to "Israel". It is rather telling "Israel" to carry on.
This is America that talks about human rights, dignity and liberty. This chaste blood of yesterday is a new evidence on consecrating the political and historic awareness that was launched by Imam Khomeini (May Allah sanctify his secret) and then by His Eminence Imam Khamenei. These are some evidences on one of the aspects of the personality of this Imam. When we talk about a wise, brave leader and administrator, we start off with these facts which are little of what we know and what we can not reveal.
May Allah grand you success. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessing.
I hope your conference will achieve some of the duty that must be shouldered by scholars, elites, men of intellect and the educated of this nation to the effect of introducing its prominent figures and leaders to the nation especially at a time of great ordeals.
Source: Hizbullah Media Relations