The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution at a meeting with university students and student unions:
Today's evening (Tuesday), The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with hundreds of university students and members of the student unions, called the university one of the most fundamental matters of the revolution. After explaining the results and achievements of the essential and constant challenge of "the revolutionary view and the anti-revolutionary and backward views about universities", he said: "The Islamic Republic is proud of its universities today, and today, young students must demand the ideals of the revolution and serious and real work from the officials of the country, by thinking and contemplating, getting deep into the country's main issues and avoiding any passivity and despair."
The leader of the revolution, considering that The International Day of Quds is near, emphasised: "Given the great sacrifices of the Palestinian people and the increase in Zionists' viciousness and crimes, this year's Quds Day is different from previous years, and everybody must express their sympathy and solidarity with the oppressed yet powerful people of Palestine, in order to lift their spirit and power."
He, at the beginning of his speech, expressed his satisfaction with the honest and explicit remarks of the representatives of student unions, then added: "Such remarks are useful and pleasing; of course, there are solutions to many of these issues, but the problem is that there is no dialogue between students and officials. And it is necessary that the officials, the ministers and authorities of different agencies respond to the demands and concerns by their presence at the universities. If they do not have a response to an issue, they should use the students' suggestions and advice to solve those issues."
Ayatollah Khamenei, referring to a saying by Amir al-Mu'minin in Nahj al-balagha, called preaching the revivor of hearts. On the value of preaching, attributed a verse in Sura Maryam and said: "The Day of Judgement is the day of regret. One should live in a way that on that difficult day, does not regret doing or not doing an action, or saying or not saying something, because it is not possible to compensate for it."
In his main discussion, the leader of the revolution considered the matter of the universities a fundamental and challenging matter, saying: "From the very beginning, two completely contradictory views, one being the "revolutionary view by the leadership of Imam Khomeini" and the other "backwards and anti-revolutionary view" started to confront one another in the matter of universities."
He added: "The revolutionary view considered university a place for raising intelligent people, solving country problems and progress, but the second view saw university as a place for raising the West's desired pieces."
Ayatollah Khamenei, in explaining the other aspects of the challenge of the revolutionary and anti-revolutionary views, added: "The revolution viewed university as the centre of creating science and scientific growth and thus, the provider of national power, but the backward and anti-revolutionary view, wanted the universities to be the centre of learning invaluable leftovers of the western science and wanted to train consumer masters and scientists and make a consumer society for the West by giving them control of the society to these people."
He counted religiosity and, on the other hand removing religion from the universities as the third aspect of the severe challenge of the revolutionary and the anti-revolutionary views in universities. He added: "Of course, for various reasons, they were not able to completely remove religion from the universities, and many of the commanders and martyrs in the holy defence and nuclear martyrs, graduated before the revolution."
The leader of the revolution called "giving identity to universities" the great work of the revolution and added: "The revolution gave the nation "identity, aspiration, personality, independence and perspective", and consequently the universities also gained these characteristics."
Ayatollah Khamenei considered fleeing from the sense of inferiority and weakness and standing up to the Western and Eastern imperialists the results of the universities' sense of identity and personality, adding: "young students, back in those days felt the sweetness of independence and standing against the bullies with all their hearts."
He called the revolution's move in the matter of the universities correct, strong and admirable, and while referring to the great successes of this move, he added: "Later, the Islamic associations of universities and then student Basij and the Basij of professors were raised as the flags of revolution in universities, forming the deep intellectual and theoretical discussions in universities."
The leader of the revolution, summing up the first part of his speech, said: "The Islamic Republic can be proud of its universities, but at the same time it can have a concern about the matter of university."
Ayatollah Khamenei added: "today's status of universities, in terms of quantity and number of students, the number of professors, great scientific advances and moves, the training of prominent intelligent students, the presence of university graduates in various management areas, and in terms of the presence of religion in universities, is incomparable with the beginning of the revolution. And the Islamic Republic can be truly proud of its universities."
after raising the issue of why should there be concerns about the current situation of universities, he added: "That dependent and backward anti-revolutionary view, which was related to foreign roots, is still active and with support and guidance, it is planning the new colonial policies for universities, so there must be concerns."
The leader of the revolution considered the extent to which the country's matters are affected by today's universities as another incomparable point compared to the beginning of the revolution, adding: "The wide arena of universities today has made their impact on the matters of the country much bigger, and this is another reason for the need to be concerned about universities. Therefore, in the case of universities, there are two areas to be seriously concerned about: 1- removing identities 2- removing ideals."
He added: "removing identities is the same as removing ideologies, and ideologies are the thoughts, values and the identity of a nation."
The leader of the revolution said: "The Americans are constantly emphasising American values, which is their own ideology; How is it that those who speak of ideology refuse to learn this adhesion to ideology from The Americans?"
Ayatollah Khamenei added: "removing identity means humiliating the country's thought foundations and historical and national approaches, humiliating the country's past and the revolution, making great works seem small and magnifying some imperfections."
He described the purpose of removing identity as the replacement of national and religious identity with the Western intellectual system and referred to the Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda) document as one of the manifestations of the modern Western colonial domination and said: "According to the Western intellectual system, the enormous legacy of thought and culture in the country must be diminished or faded. The huge number of young people ready to climb the peaks of national dignity and greatness must feel despair and disappointment, and the feeling of being at a dead-end [route] must be given to the younger generation; therefore, we must worry and stand up against this movement with good expression and strong logic."
The Leader of the Revolution considered removing ideals the second major concern and said: "One of the instances of removing ideals is to make the young and academic generation indifferent to "poverty, corruption and discrimination" as the three great devils and the three evil elements."
Ayatollah Khamenei added: "Among the instances of removing ideals is to make the youth indifferent to the Western cultural domination and discourage them to the elements of the Islamic Revolution."
He counted standing against cruelty and refusing oppression as elements of the Islamic Revolution and said: "These elements shook the world and made the nations notice the Islamic Iran, and because of these elements, in recent years, every president with any political tendency that was at work, on his foreign trips when they were among the nations, people expressed their feelings for them, and unlike the American flag which they burnt, they raised and waved the flag of the Islamic Republic."
The leader of the Islamic Revolution described the "return to pure Islam and the rejection of backwardness" and "the matter of Palestine" as other elements of the Islamic Revolution and said: "removing identities and ideals are the two main concerns that we should be vigilant about, but recognising who seeks to remove identities, and ideals and independence and to what extent they have been successful or not, is the responsibility of the academics and scholars."
Ayatollah Khamenei, on how more important these concerns are compared to the past, added: "Today the world is on the verge of a new international order, and this order is forming after the era of the bipolar order in the world, and after the theory of unipolar world order, which in this era the US grew weaker day by day."
He added: "We should view the recent Ukraine war deeper and within the frame of the formation of a new world order, which will probably lead to the formation of a complicated and difficult process, and in such a new and complicated situation, it is the duty of all countries, including the Islamic Republic, to be present in the matters of hardware and software in the new order, to provide security and take benefit and not to be neglected."
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasised: "In doing such a great task, the greatest responsibility is on the students and the academics; therefore, the concern for universities is now of great importance."
At the end of this part of his speech, the leader of the Islamic Revolution called on intellectuals, scholars and theorists to hold meetings and discuss and analyse these issues.
In another part of his speech, the revolution leader made some practical recommendations addressed to the university students and student unions.
His first recommendation was "Avoiding passivity and Despair", which in this regard, he said: "You must be the centre of spreading hope to other sectors, as the country has made stunning progress in various sectors such as science and technology and health over the years. All disorders in other sectors can also be resolved."
Ayatollah Khamenei described the frustration of the youth and students as a negative impact on other engines of the country's progress and noted: "During the holy defence, while some insisted that one could not stand up to the enemy's aggression, the young people, who were as old as you are now, saved the country with their effort and surprised the world by liberating Khorramshahr".
He added: "Of course, some people of the past generations, because of making errors or suffering from despair, left the field or went along with others, so be careful not to turn your back to the summit and ideals".
The following recommendation of the revolution leader was to "focus on thinking and improve thoughts".
He called damaging phenomena such as the weapons of mass destruction the product of "science without thinking". He said: "The correct thinking needs a master and a guide, which, for example, the late Ayatollah Misbah was a master and a guide on intellectual matters."
In his following recommendation, Ayatollah Khamenei called on students to "get deep in the country's main issues and be close to them" and added: "When you are focusing on one or two issues, you must think and research about them, so that the results of this deep research is useful to relevant agencies."
He described this year's slogan, the knowledge-based production, as a focusable matter for student unions, saying: "you should make discussions about this matter by focusing on it, and you must make movements against factors that are disrupting knowledge-based actions, such as the unfortunate and common act of selling raw materials or unnecessary imports or illegal imports."
The revolution leader then described the nature of university students as demanding and emphasised: "demand serious and real work from the officials, and forewarn them of doing theatrical actions."
Emphasising that demanding should be done with logical and clever literature, and it should be done without fighting or violence, he said: "a logical demanding prevents having doubts about the importance of students' roles, in a situation where the managing organisations of the country are revolutionary. Because you are of more importance in this period".
In this regard, Ayatollah Khamenei added: "Avoiding harsh confrontation does not mean reconciliation and praising, and I will never and have never given such advice to young people and students, but the point of my advice is to avoid harmful and sarcastic literature, which is unfortunately very common in the cyberspace today."
He called the field of students' demands a diverse field made of economic justice, culture and lifestyle. He said about another requirement of correct demanding: "Strengthen the foundations of your beliefs and faith by studying and attending the meetings of scholars of religion and ethics."
The revolution leader described the result of the correct demand as the essential separation of the ideals from the poor performance of some managers. In another recommendation, he said: "Your demands must be in a way that you do not find common ground with the spiteful enemy is neither the form of issues nor the solutions."
"Development of International Student Activities" was another point that Ayatollah Khamenei emphasised and added: "There are many young student groups in Europe and the United States, as well as in the Islamic countries, that are acting against imperialistic policies, and healthy communication with them gives the extra ability to these anti-imperialistic activities. It also creates a defensive shield against the media empire of the imperialists by introducing them to the Islamic Republic. Of course, there is a more emphasis on improving our communications with the university students of the neighbouring countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq."
The last recommendation of the revolution leader was addressed to the young people who work as managing officials in the three main government forces.
Emphasising that the work of the Islamic Republic would not advance without a faithful and motivated young force, he added: "My advice to the dear youth is, first of all, do not consider your current responsibility as a step to higher responsibilities, wherever you are, focus on the matters of that field and work for God, second of all, your goal must be solving the problems of the country in the sector you are entrusted to."
In the final part of his speech, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, referring to the fact that the International Day of Quds is near, considered this year's Quds Day different from previous years, saying: "The Palestinian people and the Palestinian youth are showing great sacrifices from themselves, and the Zionist regime is acting most viciously and is doing whatever the hell it can, and the US and Europe support it."
Ayatollah Khamenei called the Palestinian nation an oppressed yet powerful nation and referred to the struggle and the resistance of the Palestinian youth, who do not let the Palestinian cause be forgotten; then he added: "The Day of Quds is a good opportunity to show sympathy and solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and to lift their spirits."
He strongly criticised the actions of Islamic governments on the issue of Palestine and noted: "Unfortunately, Islamic governments are acting very bad, and they even refuse to speak about Palestine, and some of them think that the way to help Palestine is to communicate with the Zionists, which is a big mistake."
The leader of the revolution, referring to the Egyptian government making this mistake forty years ago and communicating with the Zionists, added: "Did Egypt's relationship with the Zionist regime end up in the reduction of the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian nation and the decline in disrespecting the al-Aqsa Mosque? Then why do some Islamic governments want to repeat the same mistake that Anwar Sādāt made?"
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insisting that communication with the Zionist regime will not be useful, said: "I hope that by God's grace, everything will end up well in Palestine and the domination of Palestinians on their own land and the al-Aqsa Mosque will soon be achieved."
Prior to the speech of the leader of the Islamic Revolution, representatives of the country's large student unions expressed their views.
Mr Mohsen Naraghi, on behalf of the Basij of students, Mohammad Hossein Kazemi on behalf of the Islamic Society of Students, Mohammad Eskandari on behalf of the Student Justice Movement, Ali Bozorgkho on behalf of the Office of Consolidation of Unity, Amir Hossein Panahi of Islamic Associations of Independent Students, and also Ms Zahra Sadat Razavi Alavi on behalf of girl students expressed these points:
- The need to create a change in the governance system by relying on existing capacities
- Updating the country's management software by evolving old structures and creating new mechanisms
- achieving a fair, honest and courageous governance
- The need to avoid degreeism and move toward applied sciences in universities
- The necessity for institution of science focusing on the issues of the system
- The need to create the necessary grounds for the dynamism of intellectual discussions and the exchange of opinions in universities and Hawzas (Islamic Seminaries)
- Emphasis on maintaining the principle of separating the branches of government and constitutional dignity
- The need to preserve the independence of the legislative institution from political institutions
- The necessity to fulfil the transparency movement
- Emphasis on the claim of responsibility from agents, political elements and intellectual elements of the system and to respond to public opinion
- The need for the vows of the electing officials to be fulfilled
- The necessity of proper confrontation with youth issues, especially women's
- And raising points regarding considerations of demanding manners, justice-seeking and its limits.