The following is the full text of the message issued on March 20, 2020, by Ayatollah Khamenei, on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O’ Conqueror of hearts and sights
O’ Planner of night and day
O’ Transformer of power and conditions
Transform our condition to the best of conditions!
This year, Nowruz has coincided with the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Musa ibn Ja’far (God’s greetings be upon him). Thus, it is appropriate to begin my statements with a recitation of part of the salawat for that great personality: “Oh God, send Your greetings to Musa ibn Ja’far, who is the successor to the righteous, the leader of the pious, the treasury of light and one of prolonged sajdahs, abundant tears and plentiful prayers. Dear God, send Your greetings to his fathers and to his pure, immaculate and infallible children. God’s mercy and blessings be upon him.”
I wish to congratulate all the dear people of Iran on the auspicious Eid ul-Mab’ath and on Eid-e Nowruz. In particular, I would like to congratulate the esteemed and honorable families of martyrs, the disabled war veterans, their patient and diligent family members, and the jihadists in the arena of health – who have performed brilliantly in recent weeks – and all diligent servants of the country who have undertaken part of the task in such difficult circumstances and who are busy rendering services in a sincere, enthusiastic and motivated manner in cities, in villages, on roads, on the borders and in each and every corner of the country. I congratulate all of them: May you have a happy Nowruz!
I also wish to send greetings to the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam and the pure souls of the martyrs.
I deem it necessary to express both my congratulations and my condolences to the families of the martyrs of the year 1398: whether the martyrs of defending the holy shrines and the martyrs of defending borders, especially our dear and great martyr – Shahid Soleimani, his companions and Shahid Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and his comrades as well as the martyrs of the Kerman incident, the martyrs of the airplane incident and the martyrs on the path of health.
The latter are people who achieved the high rank of death and martyrdom in the way of God while they were rendering services to patients. I would like to express my condolences to their families and congratulate them on this eid and on the position of their children. I believe that all these incidents will turn out to be to the advantage of the Iranian nation. I will expand on this matter in a moment.
The year 1398 was a tumultuous year for the Iranian nation. It was a year that began with the floods and that ended with the coronavirus. Throughout the year too, various incidents happened to the country and to some people in the country: incidents like earthquakes, sanctions and the like. The peak of those incidents was the terrorist crime committed by the US, which was the martyrdom of the well-known Sardar of Iran and Islam, Shahid Soleimani. Throughout the year, the people had a large number of difficulties. The year passed like this. Therefore, it was a difficult year.
However, the important point is that as well as such hardships, there were a number of achievements some of which were unprecedented. The Iranian nation shone brightly in the true sense of the word. In the floods which occurred at the beginning of the year, pious and determined people rushed towards flood-stricken provinces, cities and villages in order to help the people there. Our dear people – old and young – created a beautiful scenery by going to the flood-stricken areas. They washed the homes which were covered with mud and filth. They took the furniture out and washed it for the people in those areas. They did something to mitigate the hardships resulting from the flood for the people there. And following the great martyrdom of our dear martyr, the people launched a great movement by showing their presence – tens of millions of people – to the world.
The gatherings that formed in Tehran, Qom, Ahwaz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz and Kerman were gatherings that are usually not seen in any part of the world with such large numbers and such motives. It was also unique in our own history. Popular presence and enthusiasm and the fact that the people showed what things they are attached to, was very important for the reputation and dignity of the Iranian nation. Regarding the recent disease – the spread of the coronavirus – the sacrifices made were so dazzling that even foreigners felt obliged to admire them.
Primarily, these acts of sacrifice were made by medical groups, physicians, nurses, assistants, managers and the staff working in hospitals. Alongside these people, there were volunteers from among the people, students, the clergy, Basijis and various individuals who helped the medical staff and who nursed patients. All these phenomena are a source of dignity and reputation. The people rushed to the help of physicians and doctors. There were also support groups, some of which offered their factories and even their houses with the aim of manufacturing the products needed for patients or for the masses of the people- products such as gloves, masks and the like.
And there were public service groups such as the people who engaged in disinfecting streets or the places which are frequented by the people. Or the youth who decided to help the elderly by going to their door and doing their shopping for them. I can also mention the people who prepared goods and gave them to the people for free, including free gloves and masks. And some people helped salesmen and shopkeepers by not asking for rent. They said that the rent could be delayed and other such services rendered by the people.
These are beauties that manifest themselves amidst difficult events. The Iranian nation showed its virtues through these groups and these tasks, some of which I referred to. I genuinely and sincerely thank all the individuals whom I referred to and I want them to know that divine rewards – both worldly and otherworldly – awaits them.
Well, this was a difficult test. The tests of the 1398 were difficult ones, but overcoming and passing through such difficulties with good spirits makes a nation powerful. A nation will not reach anywhere with self-indulgence and simply seeking comfort. It is by confronting the difficulties and keeping one’s morale up in the face of difficulties that a nation will be successful. Thankfully, the Iranian nation has mastered this and it will continue to do so from now on too. This is what gives power and credit to nations.
There is another noteworthy point in the face of these incidents – including natural incidents like floods, earthquakes and the like, the incidents fabricated by foreigners such as sanctions - as they make us pay attention to our weaknesses - and our natural weakness because they help us know that there is no room for arrogance. We are all weak and vulnerable and the weaknesses that we face in the natural course of events – and the fact that we should know our weaknesses. We should avoid being arrogant and negligent, pay attention to God and ask Him to help: “He who calls anyone other than you will be disappointed. He who asks anyone other than You for help will suffer a loss and he who goes to the door of anyone other than You will be full of want”. These are the prayers of the month of Rajab. You should only go to the door of the Divine House, if you go to any other house you will return disappointed, if you stretch out your hand to anything other than God, you will return empty-handed. All causes in existence are Divine causes – He is the Cause of causes. You should work with these causes, use these causes, but ask the Most High for the results and effects. This is another point.
As for the year 1399 which is about to begin, first of all, we ask Allah the Exalted to render this year the year of great victories and we ask the Imam of the Age - may our souls be sacrificed for him - who is the captain of this ship, to help his country reach the shore of salvation and to help and support the pious people of Iran. And I would like to say to the Iranian nation that as they confronted various events in a courageous manner and with good morale throughout all these years – not only in the year 1398 – they should confront subsequent events with hope and by keeping up their morale as well and they should rest assured that bitter events will pass: “Verily, with every difficulty there is relief” [The Holy Quran, 94: 6]. Relief will surely await the Iranian nation. There is no doubt about this.
There are some people who think that there is a shortcoming of duties in some organizations of the country, but I do not agree with this. I am witnessing this up close and I see that everyone is busy working hard. Everyone is working within the scope of their capability. Scientific and research groups, social activists, and executive and judiciary officials are all busy working in different ways. Allah the Exalted will bless all these endeavors and will help the nation get through this difficult pass, safe and sound and with honor, God willing.
As for the slogan of the year, the year 1398 was the year of boosting production and I will tell the Iranian nation that this slogan was welcomed in practice. In the beginning, experts welcomed it, saying that production was the main criterion, but it received a warm reception in practice as well. According to reliable reports that I have received, the production of the country moved forward. Some of the factories that had stopped working and that had closed down returned to work and in the case of those which worked below their capacity, they increased their capacity. Knowledge-based companies entered the arena and various organizations made good endeavors as a result of which, production was boosted.
The issue of research which is the fountainhead of production was seriously pursued in the country and we witnessed instances of that. Well, these tasks have been carried out in the country and it is not the case that no work has been done. However, what I want to say is that what has already been done is not even one-tenth of what the country needs. Of course, “one-tenth” is not a hard statistical figure, but I estimate it to be around one-tenth. This means that we need to do ten times more work – including research, work related to production and various other tasks – so that boosting production can exert its effects in the lives of the people.
In the year 1398, production was roused and it moved forward, but its effects in the lives of the people were not yet tangible. We should make production reach a point where it can influence the people’s lives. Of course, the economic issues of the country are many. There are issues such as reforming the banking system, the customs regulations, the taxing system and improving the business environment and other such issues, but the role of production is a unique and peerless one.
Considering the large market that exists inside the country, if we manage to boost production, the main activity will be in our domestic market with our eighty-million population, despite the fact that production needs foreign markets. Of course, we can interact with foreign markets as well. If we can move production forward, God willing, economic problems will definitely come to an end and the sanctions that they imposed will prove to be to our advantage.
Of course, they have inflicted some damage until now, but they have also generated profits as well because they have made us think about our own resources, about manufacturing products and about satisfying the needs of the country through relying on domestic resources. This is very valuable to us and by Allah’s favor, it will continue. Therefore, we continue to need production.
Last year’s slogan was “Boosting Production”. This year, I want to say that we need a further surge in production - as the slogan of the year. This year is the year of “Surge in Production.” This is the slogan of the year. Officials should act in a way that production will witness a surge, God willing, and that there will be a tangible change in the lives of the people.
Of course, this requires planning. The Planning and Budget Organization, the Islamic Consultative Majlis as well as its research center and the judiciary branch have a role, each in a different way. The judiciary branch has a part to play as well. Knowledge-based companies and young and innovative organizations, which are thankfully large in number, have a role to play as well. Throughout the year – the year 1398 – and the year before that, I had very good and valuable meetings with some of them. I saw them and listened to them up close. They are youth who are interested in working and who are really hopeful, energetic, motivated, talented and creative. Such groups of people thankfully exist and they should participate in planning. This task should move forward with planning, God willing.
May all of you have a happy new year and a happy Eid ul-Mab’ath. I hope that you will receive Divine attention and that the Iranian nation will increase its spiritually and strengthen its spirit of paying attention to God and supplicating to Him on a daily basis.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings