Updated in: 11 April 2021 - 02:30
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The following is the full text of the speech delivered on April 30, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a group of laborers on the occasion of Labor Day.
News ID: 69984
Publish Date: 03May 2018 - 09:29

The Best Way to Confront the Enemy's Economic War Is to Support Iranian ProductsTEHRAN (Defaprss)-All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

You are very welcome my dear ones. You have enlightened our Hussainiyah with your sincere, pious and revolutionary presence and with your statements and comments. You have given us the sweet taste of meeting with a large class of diligent, pious and self-sacrificing people. Indeed, as the gentlemen in the meeting pointed out and as I myself have said many times, our society of laborers is a pure, pious, sincere and diligent society. This diligence is not only manifested in factories, but also in the environment of the Revolution and its aim is to strengthen the essence of the Revolution and defend the Revolution and the Sacred Defense Era.

Today, we are close to the 15th of Sha'ban. I would like to say something about the 15th of Sha'ban Eid: the 15th of Sha'ban is the embodiment of our hope about the future. All the hopes that we have about something may or may not come true, but the hope about the final salvation by the absolute wali [representative of God] and the Hazrat of truth and justice – the Imam of the Age (may God hasten his reappearance and may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) – is an inviolable hope. "Greetings be upon you God's promise, such promise that has been guaranteed by him." He is the guaranteed promise that God has given. "Greetings be upon you hoisted flag, you abundant source of knowledge, you protector of the weak, you endless mercy and you manifestation of God's truthful promise" [Ziyarat Al-e Yassin]. This is an inviolable promise that God has given.

It is not only Shias that have made this claim. It is not only Muslims that have made this claim. All religions in the world are waiting for such a day to come. Our privilege is that we know him. We feel his existence, we believe in his existence, we speak to him, we address him, we make requests to him and he grants our requests. This is the difference between us and others. Others – non-Shia Muslims and non-Muslim believers – believe in a vague thing. However, this is not the case with us Shias. It is clear what we want and whom we speak to. The 15th of Sha'ban is the day of hope. My dear ones, dear youth, dear laborers, you should appreciate the value of hope and you should preserve it in your hearts. You should nurture the hope of changing the dark, gloomy and ruined face of a world which is under the domination of superpowers in the present time.

You should know and be sure that this situation will change. You should be confident that this environment of oppression and cruelty which is witnessed in the world today and which is imbued with bullying, slandering, malice and viciousness – this environment is embodied by the leaders of the US and the Zionist regime: others are like this, more or less, as well - will undoubtedly change. This is the hope that we have. We should help. We should ask God for this and we ourselves should try hard to hasten that day, God willing.

The next point is about the month of Sha'ban. The month of Sha'ban should not be ignored. This month is an Eid, from start to finish, just like the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is an Eid too, from start to finish. It is the Eid of God's saints. Every day which gives people the opportunity to attend to the purity of their selves and the enlightenment of their hearts is a valuable day which can be celebrated. The month of Sha'ban is the month of these opportunities, from the beginning to the end. Asking for God's forgiveness, praying, reading duas, supplicating before God, reading the Quran and saying daily prayers in this month are all opportunities.

We should do our best to build the world and there is no doubt about this, but we should also endeavor to build our own hearts. We should build our own hearts. It is by attending to our hearts that we can build a good world. If our hearts are derelict, dirty, dark and sinful, we might be able to improve technology to a level which is even higher than its present-day condition, but the world will not be a sweet world. The world will be a bitter and unjust world. The sweet world will be built only when the decision-makers, activists, forerunners and possibly the masses of the people will build and enlighten their hearts. Therefore, you should not show negligence towards the month of Sha'ban.

I would like to raise certain points about labor issues and after that I will discuss – of course briefly – the global issues which we are involved with. As for labor issues, manpower is one of the greatest sources of wealth for every country. That is to say, the existence of laborers, designers, engineers and activists for production in every area of the country is much more valuable than underground resources, gold, oil, diamond and the like. These are the things which can develop a country.

In the present time, there are some countries which provide all or most of the diamonds in the world, but they live in misery and poverty. Why is that? This is because they do not have enough manpower. They do not have active and intelligent manpower. Manpower is the greatest source of wealth for every country. And you are the manpower in our country. You laborers, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and activists in various areas of labor are manpower. This is the lofty value of manpower and the society of laborers is part of this lofty value and this great wealth.

The effort that our laborers make is an extraordinary effort, one that is higher than the global average in terms of creating value. I have said this many times about various classes – about students and researchers – and all the research which is conducted confirms this. I have the same belief about laborers. Iranian laborers are among the best in the world. Their artistic hands and thoughts and their great motivation are higher than the global average. This is while in the era of suppression and the Pahlavi cruelty and before that during the eternal slumber of the Qajar dynasty, labor, laborers, the society of laborers, production and national affairs used to be ignored. Of course, in the era of the Qajar dynasty, this happened because of foolishness and mental backwardness, but in the era of the Pahlavi dynasty, this happened because of treachery.

However, after the Revolution, labor and laborers have become dynamic, they have gained fresh impetus and they have moved forward in terms of quantity and quality. And therefore, we can witness that the capabilities and qualities of Iranian laborers are higher than the global average.

Yesterday, a small exhibition about domestic products was organized so that I would go and visit it. I went there and watched the exhibition for several hours. I saw the things that you have made. The artistic hands of Iranian laborers should really be kissed. Your hands should be kissed. Despite all the difficulties that we have and despite the sanctions that prevent ingredients, substances and advanced machinery from entering our country – the arrogant in the world create all sorts of problems for us – when we see these valuable and quality products, we are impressed at their excellence.

There was everything in the exhibition. Yesterday, tens of companies presented their products – which have been crafted by you – to us. Those products ranged from cloth, shoes, textile, various tools, chinaware and crystal to medication, cosmetics, utensils, electronic devices, fridges and stationery. There was everything and they showed them all to us. This lasted several hours. All of them were outstanding and excellent. One should really bow down in respect in the face of domestic workforce. That is while when I speak about supporting Iranian products, some people either do not believe it or they do not confirm and act on it. Well, supporting Iranian products means supporting laborers, labor and production. This support is comprehensive. All the people should support, including the administration and the people.

The gentlemen in the exhibition pointed to certain problems which are related to both entrepreneurs and laborers: the problem of insurance, the problem of lack of resources, the problem of lack of capital, the problem of tax obstacles and the problems related to banks, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and various other places. These problems should be eliminated. They should be eliminated with firm determination and comprehensive actions. When these problems are eliminated, when Iranian products are supported and when the value of Iranian laborers is appreciated, then we will not see a factory say, "I am working with one third of my capacity."

Yesterday, some people were saying to me that despite our resources and capabilities, we are working with one third or half of our capacity. Well, why? Where are the other two thirds of laborers? This will turn into extensive unemployment inside the country. When we speak about supporting Iranian products, this means creating labor and employment. This means that we should not have any unemployed laborer and that our educated youth should not only seek office jobs. They should know that they can work in various areas in line with their dignity and position. If Iranian products are supported, this will happen.

Why do some people insist on putting their money in the pockets of foreign companies? What is this disease to use foreign products? Sometimes, we do not have the Iranian counterpart of a product. Well, there is no argument about this. There are some products which cannot be manufactured in the country because it is not economic to produce them. Very well, we do not have the counterparts inside the country. However, when the Iranian counterparts are produced in the country and when they are equal or even better than the foreign counterparts, why should some people insist on using the foreign counterparts and brands? What kind of disease is this? What is this ignorance and foolishness that some people are suffering from?

We should consume Iranian products. We should decide to do so. Big organizations – including the administration and others – and everyone else should decide to support Iranian products. We do not have any prejudice against others. We do not want to show enmity. We only want to encourage our own children, youth and laborers to work. We want to engage them in employment. We want to save them from the detriments of unemployment. Unemployment is harmful in different ways. It leads to social, security, moral and all other sorts of harm. This is what we want and the way to do so is to support Iranian products. Iranian products and Iranian production should be advocated and supported.

And this is the best way to confront the enemy. My dear ones, notice that our enemies have understood that they will not accomplish anything in a difficult military war. A few years ago, another US president – who was as bad-tempered, nonsensical and foolish as this one – said certain things against us. In the same year, I said in a speech that the time of hit and run is over. If you strike, you will receive blows. They know this. They know that if they engage in a difficult military confrontation against us, they themselves will get stuck. Of course, they will manage to deliver some blows to us, but they themselves will be harmed several times more than us. They have understood this. The solution that they have found is to wage economic, cultural and other such wars against us. If we exclude the cultural war, what is important to our enemies is waging an economic war.

America’s war chamber against us is comprised of the US Department of the Treasury which is the same as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. That department constitutes the war chamber against us. Well, what is the way to confront this economic war? The way is to attend to our domestic economy. When our economy is dependent, problems arise. Of course, I do not believe that our economic relations with the world should or could be broken off. It is obvious that this cannot be done. Today, the entire world is connected and linked with other parts, but reliance on areas outside our borders is completely wrong. We should not be reliant on them.

Our officials can go and interact with the world with intelligence, acumen, correct policies, proper follow-up and seriousness. The world is big and it is not only comprised of the US and a few European countries. The world is very vast. They can go and establish relations as much as necessary, but they should not pin their hopes on any foreign force. On the contrary, they should pin their hopes on domestic elements. They should pin their hopes on this great value: domestic manpower. When the people see that we officials insist on resolving the problems inside the country and on utilizing domestic capacities, they will endure the conditions and they will help us even if they face certain difficulties. The honorable officials of the country should pay attention that foreigners should not be relied on.

One of the US's methods to confront the freedom-seeking and independent system of the Islamic Republic is pursuing this economic war. They are opposed to the Islamic Republic's pursuance of freedom and its independence. They say that we should be under their flag and umbrella, that we should obey their orders and that we should formulate our policies on the basis of their demands. They say that we should do this because they have more weapons, more power and more money. This is what they want. So, one way is waging an economic war and another is, this is for your information, provoking some stupid – what should we call them! – and inconsiderate governments in our region to create discord and cause conflicts, fights and the like.

The Americans go and sit next to the Saudis so that they can provoke them against the Islamic Republic. Well, why do you – who wish to provoke – not choose the Zionists who are your servants in one sense and your masters in another sense? Why do you provoke those wretched individuals, the Saudis? They say that they want to wage wars between Muslims. One of their plans is to encourage, entice and provoke such countries - I mentioned the Saudis as an example – to confront and wrestle with the Islamic Republic. If they have any wit, they should not be deceived by this enemy. If they wrestle with the Islamic Republic, they will certainly receive blows and they will be defeated. They [the Americans] do not want to bear the cost to confront the Islamic Republic and therefore, they want to make such governments pay the price for this confrontation.

America’s job is to cause insecurity. Wherever the Americans went in recent years, they caused insecurity. Wherever they went – including West Asia, our region, and other areas in the world – they caused insecurity, they waged domestic wars, they caused fratricide and they brought disaster to peoples, wherever they went. That is why America’s footprints should be erased from West Asia. The Americans should get out of West Asia. He who should get out of this region is the US, not the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic is comprised of us and we are from this region! The Persian Gulf is our home. West Asia is our home. This is our home and you are outsiders! You have come from a distant place and you have malicious goals. You want to cause sedition and therefore you should go. You should know that the Americans and others like them will be thrown out of this region.

One of the issues which I would like to stress regarding the issue of supporting Iranian products – I have said this many times and Mr. Minister is present here: by Allah's favor, this issue should be seriously pursued in the administration and other places – is the issue of preventing unnecessary imports and smuggling in a serious manner. Many officials and others who are active in the area of Iranian products – entrepreneurs, investors, skilled laborers and others – have complained that foreign products enter the country and compete, in an unfair and unbalanced way, with domestic products while most of them have a low quality and this way they prohibit the popularity of domestic products. This is one of the issues which should definitely be prevented.

Of course, the statements that Mr. Minister made here today and the tasks that have been carried out or being carried out are valuable. By Allah's favor, they should pursue these matters so that they will be accomplished and so that we can see the output. One should feel the results of these tasks. I hope that by Allah's favor, our society of laborers – particularly our young laborers – will become more optimistic about the future on a daily basis.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings

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