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Date: 3 août 1997

L'élection présidentielle qui se déroule en Iran le 23 mai 1997 porte au pouvoir Mohammed Khatami, considéré comme un religieux modéré et plutôt libéral. Il s'agit d'une surprise puisque Khatami ne bénéficie pas de l'appui des leaders religieux qui exercent une forte influence. Les appuis de Khatami proviennent surtout de gauchistes, d'intellectuels, de femmes et de jeunes. Dans son discours inaugural, il fait l'apologie du régime islamiste iranien, plus préoccupé de justice sociale que les pays capitalistes de l'Ouest.

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Today, praise be to God, is a blessed day for the Iranian nation and we hope that the Almighty will descend His blessings on this nation, the officials and the dear president who is officially taking the rein of power as of today. God willing, we will all be able to benefit from the Divine blessings and pious prayers of the twelfth Imam (may God hasten his reappearance). This great Divine donation, God willing, will have eternal and notable blessings.

At this crucial juncture, praise be to God, the country is in a situation that any other country or nation enjoying the same condition and capital, would have the right to look at its future with a rational and relevant optimism. We can witness signs and traces of Divine blessings and assistance in all the events. This 30 million vote (at the 7th presidential elections) is a manifestation of the grace of the Almighty to the Islamic Republic system.

When the propaganda loudspeakers of the countries which claim to advocate democracy, right at a time that they were claiming that the Iranian nation has split from its revolution and system and has turned its back to the ideals of its Imam, the nation came into the scene and fulfilling the last will of the Imam, launched a magnificent election which we had rarely witnessed since the culmination of the revolution. Look, what a Divine blessing it was! As our great Imam said once and I myself have experienced this in my responsibilities in various capacities, whenever we face hardship, the Almighty renders His assistance to us.

My dear ones! You must know that hncidents occur that the state officials, those who are informed of the events, including those behind the scene, know that the factor behind this incident cannot be something ordinary and natural and that nothing but the Divine dispensation was behind this event (elections). We really believe so... Therefore, Divine assistance is something natural and evident. We have enjoyed Divine blessings and assistance so far and we will continue to enjoy it in future as well...

Another major factor which we must taken into consideration is that of this great nation. A nation who is on the side of the government, interested in the ruling system, ready to make sacrifices for it whenever necessary, a faithful nation, a nation present in the scene, a nation who has proved in the past that wherever necessary it will enter the scene to protect its country, the Islamic system and Islam. This has been the case in the past and will be so in the future. The war scene demonstrated this and before that, the revolution proved this. During the recent years, the construction era also proved that the Iranian nation maintains a sincere, enthusiastic and cordial presence in the scene, wherever its presence is needed. Nobody is begged for his favor, everybody feels obliged and enters the scene. This will the case in the future, too.

Of course it is unlikely for us to have a military experience in the future but if we assume that this may again occur to an ignorant person or system to challenge our people militarily, they would once again have to deal with this same nation, this same youth and this same dynamic and faithful people who are present everywhere, in the elections, in the political scene, in demonstrations and in decision-makings. This nation is a great asset. This nation is loyal to the Imam and tows his path. Even now, the most popular person among this nation and in their hearts is our great Imam - Imam Khomeini (peace be upon him) no matter what others say or analyze.

It is a blunder for somebody to ask others about his own conditions. Some are of the habit to sit and see what the news circles affiliated to Zionists, oppressors and capitalists who are against Islam, Muslims and the Islamic system are telling about Iran! Obviously, they cannot tell the reality; they cannot even realize the fact. They do not know our nation, country, system, officials and personalities. You can see how many mistakes they are making. You see the way they comment about our dignitaries. All the informed and specialized persons laugh at their naivety. They speak out their dreams! It is the same old story of the "camel and cottonseed." They express as an analysis what they have in their mind and what they want.

This is not the story of the Iranian nation. The story of this nation is what you are witnessing. The story of this nation is written in the scenes of the eight year sacred defense (Iraqi war). The story of the Iranian nation is their 30 million vote in the recent (presidential) elections. The Iranian nation is a Muslim and revolutionary nation, who has faith in Imam, is interested in the Islamic system, is ready to defend the ideals and values it believes in and is committed to them.

This is a great asset. Any government and administration, having such a backing and nation behind it, should be hopeful about the future, must feel powerful, must feel that it can work and that it has the duty to work.

What I would like to remind the officials of the future government and the dear president who, thanks be to God, pays attention to these points, is that all our efforts should be aimed to first know the nation and secondly meet their needs. We are indebted to this nation. It is this nation who preserved the country. It is the nation who, in fact, is the sign of the power of the Almighty.

I was going through the statements of the great Imam when inaugurating the (previous) presidents and noticed that in all his speeches he has talked to all of them constantly about the people and the nation, the oppressed and the poor in particular. These are the forces who have been and will remain loyal to the revolution, the Imam and various governments. This is the same wisdom of the Imam, the same thing that when we observe or study from various perspectives, we realize that it is proper and preferred.

The dear ones who will assume responsibility in a near future must make use of these permanent assets and serve them as much as they can.

Praise be to the Almighty, this is the situation at present, this is our people and this is a country which has taken long and major strides towards development. Maybe during the previous regime, even part of what has been accomplished in the reconstruction era had not been carried out because nothing was done properly. If they did anything for the country, from quantitative point of view, was really little compared to what has been done in this short period. Even the little they did was so distorted because it did not manifest the independence of the nation.

The former regime's policies were dependent. A few relatively brave statesmen managed to write an oil contract at the time of Reza Khan (of the Pahlavi Dynasty) which paid little attention to the people's rights. Under the pressures exerted by the British, Reza Khan, with his boots on, entered the room where the cabinet was meeting, took the oil file and threw it into the fireplace before the eyes of everybody and burnt it! This has been related by themselves, people such as Taqizadeh and others.

Their policy was that of dependence. Even the railroads they tried to complete, served the interests of the allied forces rather than those of Iran and its trade. Because it was to the advantage of the allied forces to establish a link between two of their fronts, fighting against Germany on those days.

The North-South railroad aimed to connect the then Soviet Union to the south where the British troops were stationed in the Persian Gulf and to supply them with arms to enable them resist against the Germans and its allies.

The proponents of the notorious regime and the remnants of the former regime talk about the North-South railway even now after 50 years, a railway which came into existence on the basis of a treacherous plan, failing to observe the nation's independence.

You see, the huge railroads constructed after the (Iraqi) war in Iran is what the Iranian nation requires. An Orientalist who had traveled to Iran on those days, says, "I am very surprised that the Iranian railroad has not passed through the major trade centers of the country, the same places that have been linked to the network today thanks God and thanks to the efforts of the Islamic Republic.

Neither in quality nor in quantity, what had been done before the Islamic Republic in this country is comparable to what this popular and Divine Islamic Republic system has carried out. This shows what an spiritual and faithful system it is. Enjoying popular backing and having faith, spirituality, brotherhood, coordination, reliance on the Almighty and belief in the invisible (Imam), must have such consequences.

Despite all the enmity, conspiracies, opposition, various political, economic sanctions and propaganda wars, the Iranian nation has managed to support its governments. The governments too have been able to run the state affairs in terms of development as well as political and international prestige and national strength. This is a great Divine blessing - and a manifestation of the same power I talked about, i.e.- the Almighty has always supported and will support this nation.

This is what I have been recommending and still stress; I myself have focused all my attempts on this and advise others to do so; that efforts should be made to root out poverty, injustice and discrimination, a heritage of the diabolic regimes of the pre-revolution era.

If we fail to take this issue into consideration, what we have accomplished would be incomplete even if we achieve a result far better than what has been done during the recent years and under the administration of our dear brother Mr. Hashemi (the outgoing president).

My dear ones! The Islamic Republic is not a capitalist system. Four years ago on the inauguration day (of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani), I made the same statement to the audience. The capitalist system is after accumulation of wealth, economic flourishing, the national income on the whole. It does not care how this wealth is accumulated, who will make use of it and what percentage of the people use it.

This system believes that the national income should be high and economic efforts should be supported; The laws and the executive power are drawn towards this objective. The maximum they can do - of course not in all capitalist countries - is to provide insurance and some guarantees to the oppressed and deprived classes.

The Islamic system is not like that. The logic in the Islamic system is that justice is the principle. Of course people accumulate wealth. The Islamic administration is not after a poor society with petty public income. It makes use of wealth, advances science, exploits underground resources, helps people develop spiritually, launches on trade and puts into operation its industry. The history of Islam indicates that thanks to these same Divine principles, during the rule of Islam, the Islamic society made immense achievements and progressed in science and industry in the entire world.

Yet, all these activities were directed towards justice, there is wealth but justice should be guaranteed in the society. For justice we are in expectation of the 12th Imam (May God hasten his reappearance). All the prophets have been appointed to establish justice... These are very meaningful statements mentioned in the holy Qur'an and Nahjulbalagha (the sayings of the first Imam, Ali (a.s.)). These remarks have been brought up in the statements of the Infallible.

This is equity. We don't say that all should enjoy the same right. Because it is not possible since motivations, capabilities and efforts are different. Some make more efforts and some less. Some have a better power of innovation; talents are not equal... People differ in their talents and abilities. The question is not that people should be the same but that everybody should be able to work with respect to his/her talents, strive according to his/her ambition and gain as much as they have power, nobody must remain oppressed and deprived. This is the main objective.

When we came to office, on the day of struggle, we strived; on the day we were made proposals for accepting responsibilities, we accepted in one way or the other. Those who are not acquainted with our culture, should believe this - although we know they wouldn't - that responsibilities are not attractive to us. Those from among ourselves and those closely familiar with this culture and these people know this. These responsibilities are valuable and attractive only for the sake of safeguarding social justice and Divine laws.

Of course lots of things have been done in this regard. It is ungratefulness if we don't mention the efforts made by our dear brothers in various positions in the past. But a longer way, in comparison with what has been traversed so far, is in front of us. We have to perform greater work than what we have done so far. The direction of the activities of the government - be it in cultural, economic or construction areas - must be on this basis, while the activities are divergent.

Thanks be to the Almighty, the elections were held very well and coupled with popular contentment. Today one feels that it is an auspicious day for our nation and the country. This is also a Divine blessing.

May the Almighty bless this day and this event, subject us to His blessings, suppress the enemies of this nation and fulfill their great wishes. May God assist the dear president and the officials whom he will choose in the grave task they have ahead...

May the peace of God and His mercy be upon you all."

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