“Our young generation particularly showed that it still possesses the same political enthusiasm, awareness, and commitment that we saw in the first generation of the revolution. However, with one difference: the hot furnace of the revolution created emotions in the hearts of people, later during the war in a different manner, but today the same circumstances do not exist, and yet we still see such commitment, feelings of responsibility, and enthusiasm in our present generation. That is no small thing.”
“These elections showed our religious democracy to the entire world. All those people who are ill-wishers towards the system witnessed what religious democracy really is.”
“I do not accept all of the viewpoints of these gentlemen [the four presidential candidates]. In my view, some of their viewpoints and performances can be undoubtedly criticized. I believe that some of them can serve the country better than others. But, it is up to the people to decide, and that is exactly what happened: they chose whom they wanted. My desire and my choice were never announced nor was there any need for the people to pay heed to them. People, based on their own criteria, have decided, moved, and acted in millions here and there.”
“The dispute is not between insiders and outsiders of the system. The dispute is not between the revolution and counter-revolution. It is a difference of opinion between the members of the Islamic Revolution.”
“If legal frameworks are ignored today, there will be no guarantees for the health of the elections in the future. In every election there will be some who win and some who lose. No elections will be safe or trusted any longer if the law is ignored.”
“If, after every election, those who do not win start street rallies and mobilize their supporters in the streets, and those who have won start street rallies in response, then, what is the purpose of holding elections?”
“The amateurish behavior of some people inside the country made them [the Western powers] greedy. They have mistaken Iran for Georgia. (Crowd laughing.) . . . The enemy’s problem is that they do not yet understand the Iranian nation.”
“It is mistaken to believe that street riots can create a leverage of pressure against the system. It is wrong to think that the officials of the system will concede out of expediency. (Chants in support from the congregants.) Giving in to demands under pressure is itself tantamount to the start of dictatorship.”
Full text of the Leader’s address:
Translation by the USG Open Source Center, <juancole.com/2009/06/supreme-leader-khameneis-friday-address.html>;
Translation by Press TV, <presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=98610§ionid=3510302>.
Ali Khamenei is the Leader of the Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The quotations above are excerpted from his Friday Address, 19 June 2009.