The camp of truth's active presence & not fearing the superficial splendor of enemies are keys to victory

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The camp of truth's active presence & not fearing the superficial splendor of enemies are keys to victory
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on February 8, 2022 by Imam Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The meeting was held in commemoration of the historic pledge of allegiance by the Air Force to Imam Khomeini on the 8th of February of 1979.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure progeny, especially the one remaining with God on earth

You are very welcome, dear brothers and good friends in the active and hard-working Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The unfavorable circumstances, due to the coronavirus, did not let us organize this meeting the way we wanted. I would have liked to have met with a larger number of you and to speak in a more comfortable way, but I am committed to the health protocols as announced by physicians.

I am committed to them and I feel obliged to observe and act on them. I insist on wearing a mask. I have also received the third dose of the vaccine. Of course, I did it a long time ago – several months ago. I feel obliged to do whatever our honorable physicians think is necessary. I advise our dear people as well, to listen to what experts say in this regard and to act on it. In any case, the meeting is held this way. You are very welcome, I hope that God will bestow success on all of you - God willing.

Well, the month of Rajab is upon us. The first thing that I wish to say to you is that we should appreciate the value of this month and these days. Rajab is the month of supplication and prayer. It is the month of purifying one’s soul and spirit. Hearts should get close to God, particularly you youth who are present at the meeting and in the Air Force. All of us need to strengthen our relationship with God. In each and every moment of our life, we need to strengthen our relationship with God and the days of the month of Rajab are suitable for satisfying this need as the ground is prepared for divine and spiritual blessings.

Well, today, it is the 19th of Bahman: the day of the historic pledge of support made by the Air Force. It is a day when a historic move and a turning point was created by the Air Force. Perhaps, no one from among the current generation of the Air Force was present on that day. Many of the youth were probably not even born that day, but I believe that all those who are working today in the Air Force in a dutiful manner have a share in that pledge of allegiance.

You who were not born on that day or were not working in the Air Force – most of you do not have the work experience dating back to that day – have a share in the move that was made then and in the honor and glory of that era. Why? Because the youth who participated in that astonishing meeting and made a pledge of allegiance to Imam – officers, high-ranking officials and mainly the homafaran [US-trained technical/engineering specialist of the Pahlavi-era Air Force] – did not pledge allegiance to a particular person, rather they pledged allegiance to goals and ideals. It was a pledge of allegiance to the holy jihad whose powerful commander was Imam.

Those individuals brought the Air Force under the umbrella of that powerful, magnificent and astonishing commander. That was a spiritual endeavor. Therefore, this endeavor continues to exist. It was not a move that was made then and that is over now. This is not the case. This endeavor is ongoing and anyone who moves on the path of those ideals has actually a share in that movement. You too are among those who are part of the achievements of the 19th of Bahman.

The move made by the Air Force that day was the last blow dealt to the rotten corpse of the Pahlavi regime as it destroyed the sinister tent of that regime. It was a really influential and determining move. On the same day, Imam (may God bestow paradise on him) in his speech addressed the same group that had come and said that they liberated the army and that they turned the army from the service of taghut to the service of Islam: “Until today, you were in the service of taghut, now you are in the service of Islam.” They were chanting, “All of us are your soldiers”, but Imam said, “You are the soldiers of the Imam of the Age. You are the soldiers of the Quran and Islam and you are moving forward on this path.” That was really the truth of the matter.

There are a few points in this regard. One point is that the move was a need of the moment. I place great emphasis on this issue, as I have placed great emphasis on it before. We must always understand the need of the moment in our affairs. There are certain tasks that if you do now, it will hit the target, but if you do the same thing at another time, it will not work. One must recognize what the need of the moment is. You can always do this.

For instance, you must see what the Air Force needs today and fulfill it immediately. In my opinion, one of the most intelligent things that those individuals did was this. Otherwise, if they had done it 10, 20 days later, it would certainly not have produced the same effect. It had that effect on that particular day. They identified the need of the moment. This is a lesson for us.

Another instructive and valuable point is that the dictatorial regime was hit from an area it did not expect. It did not think that it would be hit from there. In the Holy Quran as well, in Sura al-Hashr, there is an ayah about Jewish tribes, saying, “But the Wrath of God came to them from quarters from which they little expected it” [59: 2]. God the Exalted dealt a blow to them from an area that they did not expect.

No one in the taghuti regime would have thought that they would be hit by the Army and by the Army Air Force. They had invested heavily in the Army Air Force. Their American allies were surprised as well. The Americans sent General Huyser, an American general who was the second-in-command at NATO, to Tehran in order to organize the army and to prevent the regime from being overthrown at any cost – even if it meant a bloody coup. In other words, he had decided to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Tehran if it was necessary.

Huyser came to Tehran with that intention, but he failed miserably and returned. He wrote in his memoirs – of course, I have not seen the book myself, but it was narrated for me – that the Air Force was a place where they expected the least commotion because it had close contacts with the US in terms of command and military training.

Perhaps, many of those who participated in that glorious and historic movement on that day were people who had pursued their studies in the US and who were familiar with American culture, but the Americans were struck from that very same area.

Well, this is a sign that divine promise is true. As God said, “As for them, they are but plotting a scheme and I am planning a scheme” [86: 15-16]. The enemies devise a scheme and God devises a scheme against them as well. In another ayah, God says, “Those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [52: 42]. In the confrontation between the camp of the truth and of falsehood, it is the camp of falsehood that is harmed. This has always been the case. The American calculations turned out to be wrong on that issue. They had counted on the Air Force of the taghuti regime, but it proved to be wrong. They never thought that things would pan out like that.

Whenever the camp of the truth enters the field to confront the camp of falsehood, the enemy will make a mistake in its calculations despite all its superficial and hollow power and splendor. This is always the case. It was the case in the Revolution as well. It happened in the beginning of the Revolution and also in the past 40-plus years. 

They have always made certain calculations, thinking that it was they who were delivering the last blow, but they themselves were dealt the blow. If you show an active presence in every jihadi arena – in every era, a certain kind of jihad is necessary as there are military, scientific, research and various other kinds of jihad – you will defeat the enemy. Why? Because Allah the Exalted has ordained that the enemy’s calculations always prove wrong and they always fail to have a correct estimatation of things.

Today, the US itself suffers from this problem: “But the wrath of Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected it.” Today, the US is being dealt a blow from areas that it had never thought about. Today, two US presidents - the previous and the current ones - have joined hands to ruin whatever has remained of America’s reputation. Each is doing so in his own way. Would they have predicted this? Would they have anticipated this? They are weakening themselves and this will continue. Therefore, this is an important point to know that if you show an active presence in the arena and work in a hopeful way, then victory and progress will definitely be yours.

Another point is that no one should think that the move made by the youth of those days was based on fleeting emotions. This was not the case. Yes, emotions were definitely involved, but they relied on depth and guidance. I have many memories in this regard, but the sign of its depth is that this movement continued in the Air Force. If it had been a fleeting movement, it would not have continued.

This movement continued in the Air Force. At the very beginning of the victory of the revolution, the Self-Sufficiency Jihad Unit was formed in the Air Force. While there was still no self-sufficiency jihad organization anywhere in the army and in the country, the religious and revolutionary youth of the Air Force formed a self-sufficiency jihad. And from the very first day, they started working and endeavoring, and to this day, great things have been done. In addition, the jihadi forces of the Air Force did great things in the Air Force itself.

One of the first things that was done in the year 1358 was to thwart the conspiracy at the Tabriz base. At that time, Martyr Fakuri was the commander of the Tabriz base. A conspiracy was hatched at the Tabriz base. Those disrupters had even besieged that Martyr, something like an arrest. However, the revolutionary youth of the Air Force themselves, without asking for help from anywhere, dispersed them, taking Martyr Fakuri with them and bringing him to Tehran. This is one of the things that happened in early 1358.

Regarding the coup hatched in Hamedan base, Nojeh military base, the person who caused the coup to be foiled – [a coup] for which all preparations were made because all the details had been planned thanks to the Americans – [the person who foiled the coup] was a young officer who informed the organizations in charge and the youth in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the intelligence organizations and other such youth subsequently embarked on foiling and crushing it. That was started by the youth in the Air Force themselves. It was a young officer, a young pilot, who revealed their plan. In other words, the feat was achieved by the youth of the Air Force. The same is true of other matters.

In the very first days of the Holy Defense, the Army Air Force did the most outstanding work. That is, the sorties performed by the Air Force in a matter of days were unparalleled! I was a member of the Majlis at that time and I was also Imam’s representative in the Armed Forces. I went to the Majlis and reported it. Everyone was amazed by the significance of the report. Within three or four days, several hundred sorties were flown by the Army Air Force. Other organizations had not yet figured out what was going on and what to do. So, the Air Force was the first to arrive at the scene.

Those moves were a continuation of the first one. When I say that the movement was not based on fleeting excitement, it is because it continued later on in the Air Force. So, that spirit and insight helped build prominent martyrs both in the Air Force and in the whole army: Martyr Sayyad-Shirazi, Martyr Babaei, Martyr Sattari, Martyr Kolahdooz and thousands of other martyrs. These are the outstanding ones.

Of course, there are many more outstanding martyrs. Even in the army, some people from among the officers of the taghuti regime placed themselves among the martyrs. An example is Martyr Fallahi. Fallahi was the brigadier general of the army during the taghuti era, but the spirit of the revolution, the condition of the army and that great transformation caused Fallahi to become a martyr: Martyr Fallahi! The same is true of Martyr Fakuri. These were senior officers before the revolution. Well, this was due to insight. It was due to a deep insight that those people gathered together to take that historic pledge of allegiance.

What was the reason behind that insight? Why did others not have it? Different reasons could be mentioned for it, but most probably, one important reason was that the Air Force youth were witness up close to the dictatorial behavior of American advisors and their domination over everything. In no other division of the Army did the American forces have such a domination. There were tens of thousands of advisors. Their number reached about 50,000 in Iran. They had built a den inside the Air Force. They had a domination over all the affairs, they would humiliate the commanders and they would not listen to Iranian personnel in any way.

They did not take them into account at all and they were only in contact with courtiers [connected to the Shah]. So, they did not take heed of the Iranian personnel in any way. They would sell us equipment, but they did not allow our technicians to study them. Neither technical officers nor the homafaran, who were in charge of these affairs, were not allowed to study and repair those parts and components.

The spare parts, which were comprised of several components, were not allowed to be taken apart! Instead, they would be taken to the US by plane, were changed there and brought back and then they would receive the money for it.  This was how Iranians were humiliated. The Air Force personnel were witness to these things up close. There were instances of moral decadence as well, but they cannot be recounted here. Surprising things used to be done by them and the story of the Americans’ presence in the army is really a sad story.

Our youth do not probably know that the US and England frequently used our army in order to suppress other nations, including in Vietnam. They used to take our planes to Vietnam in order to bombard the Viet-Cong who were fighting against the transgressing and aggressive US. This was how our army was taken advantage of. The same was true of other countries. It is even said – of course, I do not have first-hand information on this – that there are reliable sources showing that Iran’s Phantoms were given to the Zionist regime. Well, what did it need them for? It probably needed them for suppressing the Palestinians or for confronting the governments that formed the Arabian Resistance of those days – the Egyptian, Syrian and other such governments. In other words, the machines and technologies that belonged to Iran and Islam used to be put at the service of the American cause so as to crush the oppressed and assist the oppressor.

Well, these are really important matters that we should know about. Of course, the treacherous actions of the Pahlavi regime are not confined to these one, two cases, but it is an important treachery committed by the Pahlavi regime. It was a treachery to the Army and to the Iranian nation because they would use the nation’s assets for serving the US. It was also a crime against other Muslim nations.

The point that I wish to place more emphasis on and towards which I want to draw your attention and that of others who listen to these statements is about the “jihad of clarification”. I have discussed this at length before. What I want to say today is that the day when the historic 19th of Bahman move was made, if that photograph [showing the Air Force giving the military salute to Imam Khomeini] had not been published and if that clarifying endeavor had not been made, that incident would not have survived to this day, nor would it have exerted any influence!

It would have become an incident like many others which take place and are then forgotten. The reason behind the perpetuality and influence of that incident was that artistic photograph. Such is the effect of clarifying, promoting and showing. Thanks to a limited and small media work - that day the media facilities were not like today, they were very limited - a movement like the Air Force pledge of allegiance movement on the 19th of Bahman became historic, everlasting, effective and transformative.

Such is the effect of correct narration. When I place so much emphasis on the correct narration of incidents, the reason is that today, with the expansion of media – at present, compared to those days, things have become different due to an increase in the number of the media by thousands, not hundreds, of times and due to the appearance of cyberspace, satellite and other such things, which were absent in those days – the importance of this issue has increased as much.

Today, a definite policy of the media working against the Islamic Republic and Islam is to distort facts and they are busy working to that end. They are continuously producing work by distorting facts and by telling lies. They tamper with the news on the Islamic Republic by making the most of all sorts of lies – professional lies, lies that are fabricated in a carefully planned way – and they try to beautify the ugly and corrupt face of the taghuti regime, covering up the thousands of crimes and treacheries committed by the regime.

The taghuti regime’s SAVAK was a place where all sorts of tortures, originating from the Israeli and American intelligence services, were practiced. Many of those methods were perhaps tested [in Iran] and many were put into practice. In the present time, many of the individuals enduring those tortures are alive and the effects of the tortures are visible on their body and they are suffering from it. They even intend to doll up the vicious, ugly and entirely criminal face of SAVAK and portray it otherwise. One of the agents of SAVAK, who was perhaps the most notorious person in the country, wrote his memoirs, speaking as if SAVAK – the center of torture and oppression – was a place of enlightenment!

In contrast, regarding the Revolution, they damage the reputation of the Revolution and of Imam and the activities that were done in the past 40 years. They try to undermine them as much as they can. You cannot find any reference to the achievements and the strong points in the western media empire. They conceal the facts. Conversely, if there is a weakness - which of course there is because no country and no political system is without weaknesses - they magnify it by a hundred times. This is a strange thing that is happening today. That is why the “jihad of clarification” is an obligation. The jihad of clarification is a definite and urgent obligation, and whoever is capable of working in this field should do it. Later on, I will speak about the role of officials in this regard because they have a heavier duty towards it.

Well, western powers are known as dictatorships. Those who claim to oppose the dictatorships of the world, are themselves the most dictatorial. In the political and economic sphere, they are dictating things to the whole world. Another form of dictatorship has been added to their collection, and that is the media dictatorship. For example, one cannot mention the name of Martyr Soleimani in cyberspace because they eliminate it. In cyberspace, which is controlled by them, they cannot stand the name and photographs of Martyr Soleimani. This is how things are now.

Of course, such forms of dictatorship existed before as well. The late Hajj Ahmad Aqa (may God bestow paradise on him) [son of Imam Khomeini and his personal assistant] recounted for us that once, Imam had delivered a detailed message – I think it was a Hajj message. Hajj Ahmad Aqa said, “I thought of publishing it in the US as it is alleged that in the US, there is freedom of speech. So, we wanted to publish it in one of their newspapers. I sent a message to one of my friends who was there and I said that I would spend as much as necessary to have it published there” – it was like giving money to publish a manifesto.

However, he continued, “No newspaper was willing to publish it.” Despite their claim to promote freedom of speech, they did not accept to publish Imam’s manifesto. The author of a book about the Den of Espionage [occupation of the US embassy] in which she described that place in detail – she herself was one of the people there – said that they called every publisher in the US to publish it, but they said no. They finally went to Canada and found a publisher there, but the publisher was made to regret his decision, receiving many threatening calls and the like.

Such is the media dictatorship. That is while they claim to be advocating freedom of speech. They prevent the publication of every word and every point which is contrary to western policies, but they make the most of the same space to magnify the problems in the Islamic Republic and to destroy and damage Islam and Islamic concepts and teachings. This is a bitter reality which places a duty on the shoulders of everyone.

As I said, those in charge of the media are primarily responsible including the national and various other media, cyberspace and the press. Everyone has a duty to enter this field, and everyone who has a center and a platform to speak to the public in society has a duty in this regard. Thousands of glorious incidents take place in the country. During these years, during the past four decades, how much great work has been done in the country! How much epic work has been done! Well, these should be stated.

These realities are concealed by the enemy and he does not let them be broadcast. Many feats have been achieved in social, economic, construction, educational and health areas. The same is true of industrial areas. The other day, a group of industrial activists were present here and delivered a report – a few of them delivered a report – and the pictures of their activities were shown here in this Hussainiyyah as well. It was amazing and astonishing, but there is no trace of it in the country’s media. This is a very strange thing. So much work is being done. So much important and valuable work is being done. All these are examples of epic work which can be seen in construction, religious, cultural, defense and security areas.

You yourselves are familiar with the issues and developments in the Air Force. You have carried out various tasks, but which of these is rightly reflected in society? Well, there is really lack of activity in this regard. Each of the areas that I just mentioned – social, economic, diplomatic, political and construction areas. So much work has been done in the area of construction- this can be a title for the activity of the jihad of clarification. We should not allow some problems in the country – well, the country has certain economic and livelihood problems – to overshadow these epic achievements with a cloud of dust, and to keep them away from sight. These problems are important in their own respect and there should be an effort to eliminate them. There is no doubt about this, but the important feats, achievements, construction accomplishments and valuable activities in various fields should not be forgotten either.

My last word is that our enemies – the camp of the enemy, as the enemy is a large camp – has engaged today in a hybrid attack. The enemy’s invasion is a hybrid attack. That is, it includes economic, political, security, media and diplomatic aspects. They have begun a hybrid and comprehensive attack in all areas. In response, we must make a hybrid move as well. We must work in all areas. Of course, we must defend too, but we must know that we cannot remain in a defensive position forever. When I say that we must defend, well, defense is necessary, but one cannot remain in a defensive position forever because the enemy attacks and we must attack as well in various areas including in the sphere of the media, the economy and security. Intellectuals are responsible in these areas. Intellectuals, activists and particularly officials must work in any of these areas that they can. As the Islamic Republic has moved forward powerfully for more than four decades and as it has become more powerful and deep-rooted on a daily basis, despite the wishes and worn-out illusions of the enemy, this movement too will continue in the future in a much better way and the enemy will continue to fail. However, each of us must know our duty in every area. 

You have a lot of work to do in the Air Force, you have important things to do in administrative, educational, and operational fields. There are many tasks in different fields that you have to do, God willing. I have discussed some of these tasks with the honorable commander, and God willing, you will follow them. By Allah’s favor, in the future, the country will be in a much better condition than today.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings

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