[09 Oct 13] Speech in Meeting with Participants of 7th Elite Youth Conference - Sayed Ali Khamenei - [English]

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The following is the full text of the speech delivered on October 9, 2013 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with participants of the 7th Elite Youth Conference. The meeting was held at Imam Khomeini (r.a.) Hussainiyah. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Well, as usual, meeting with you dear youth is very sweet and inspiring for me and it prepares the ground for taking action and implementing policies and plans. Most of the things that the friends mentioned in this meeting was informative and notable. Today, I did not write down what you said because I decided to take the prepared notes of each one of you. By Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, officials in our office - they have heard what I said in this regard now - will collect and categorize the suggestions that you put forward in this meeting. It is necessary for us to pay attention to these suggestions and, by Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, they will receive attention. A number of these suggestions should be submitted to different organizations. A number of the points that the friends made in this meeting requires further explanation. That is to say, it was not clear to me what you meant. For example, one of the friends pointed out that a road map of knowledge should be prepared. I did not understand whether he meant that we should prepare something different from the comprehensive scientific plan on which extensive research has been carried out for a very long time and which has been prepared and implemented. You dear outstanding personalities who have participated in this meeting and all other outstanding personalities who have not participated in this meeting for any reason should know that whatever your field of study of is and whatever area you work on - including the humanities, technological sciences, fundamental sciences, medical sciences, sciences related to health and all other fields of study on which you work - you are the engineers of the future progress of the country. It is you who are building the future of your dear country, Iran. By Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, if you pursue this goal with firm determinations, great efforts and constant follow-up, you will achieve results and you will build the future Iran. The point that I would like to address to you is that you should know the strategy of scientific progress with rapid acceleration is a fundamental strategy for the Islamic Republic. The intellectuals of our country have reached the conclusion that if overcoming difficulties and taking difficult paths in Islamic Iran requires two, three prerequisites, one of them is scientific progress. This is a fundamental policy. This policy has been pursued for about 10-12 years now. Different administrations and officials in charge of such things and outstanding youth have worked and made many efforts in these areas and thankfully today, when we see the results, we become hopeful. I have said many times to the youth, to officials and to you and I would like to say it now: the young individuals and outstanding personalities of our country and our manpower are able to help their country and their people to conquer peaks of progress in different arenas. This capability exists in you. We used to say this based on the experience of other people and the information that we had received from them. But later on, we ourselves experienced this. I have said many times that Iranian youth and Iranian outstanding personalities can carry out all kinds of scientific and technological tasks provided that the necessary infrastructures exist in our country. There is nothing which Iranian talent and outstanding Iranian personalities cannot produce and build, unless the necessary infrastructure does not exist in the country and these infrastructures should be built. Our country enjoys such a high level of capability and talent. Real progress of the country is not possible except with scientific progress. This is the reason why we said our main discourse and policy is this. Real progress cannot be achieved except with scientific progress. A number of countries may offer their natural resources and oil barrels to leading countries in terms of wealth and knowledge and they may buy their products in return. In such countries, a kind of superficial progress may be achieved, but this is not real progress. The real progress is inborn and it is made when a nation depends on its own domestic capabilities. The value of countries, governments and nations depends on this inborn power. If a country makes a leap on its own and if it achieves growth from the inside, this will make this country and this nation valuable, important and respected. But if such growth is not achieved from the inside and if it is achieved with the help of others, then this country will not earn respect. Well, during the time of taghut, it was foreigners and westerners who were prepared to do part of the work related to the nuclear technology in our country and they used to sign certain contracts with Iran. The Bushehr nuclear power plant, which we built with great difficulty after the passage of many years, was supposed to be built by the Germans. Of course, the Germans took the money and did nothing in return and after the Revolution, they did not give us any answer. Now, imagine that such and such a western country builds and manages a nuclear power plant for us and then we benefit from the electricity that such a power plant can generate. This has no dignity and value for a nation. Respect and dignity are achieved when a nation shows its own capabilities. When you develop such a capability, then you can benefit - on an equal footing - from the capabilities of other people, as they benefit from your capabilities. The point that one of the friends in this meeting made was correct. It is evident that a country cannot only rely on its own capabilities in scientific and technological areas. It should borrow from others as well, but this borrowing should not take place in the form of begging. It should take place on an equal footing. You should offer your scientific achievements to others and you should benefit from their scientific achievements. You should offer your technological achievements to other people and you should benefit from their technological achievements. In such circumstances, you will remain respectable in the world. This is what is necessary. I will tell you dear youth - who are the children of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic - that the enmity of the camp which confronts Islamic Iran and shows hostility towards it, is focused on the power of Iran. They do not want Iran to become powerful. You should always pay attention to this fundamental point during all events including political, economic, international, regional and domestic events. You should not forget this point. Today, there is a political and powerful camp in the world which does not want Islamic Iran to turn into a powerful country and nation. Since the beginning of the Revolution, the situation has been like this. I will tell you that in the year 1357, when the Islamic Revolution emerged in Iran and caused that great commotion in the world, a number of outstanding western personalities such as Kissinger, Huntington and Joseph Nye - who are outstanding political personalities in America and Europe - published a series of articles during the early years of the Revolution. These articles and writings warned the western political system and western governments that the Revolution which has been conducted in Iran does not only mean a transfer of power and a change of governments. It means the emergence of a new power in - as they say - the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Middle East\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" region. I do not at all like this term. They said that a new power is emerging in - as we say - \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"West Asia\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". This new power may not be on a par with western powers in terms of technology and science, but in terms of political influence in areas surrounding this country, it is either better than or as good as western powers and it will challenge them. These outstanding personalities warned western powers about this. This means that, in their opinion, the emergence of this power would put an end to or at least weaken western influence in this sensitive, wealthy and very strategic region which connects three continents to one another and which is the center of oil, wealth and important and necessary minerals. The West has made many efforts to achieve political, economic and - naturally - cultural domination over this region. At that time, these outstanding western personalities guessed that this would happen and of course, they guessed correctly. Today, after the passage of more than three decades, the nightmare which they have been suffering from is gradually coming true. That is to say, a great national and regional power has emerged which has not been defeated by different economic, security, political and psychological pressures. On the contrary, this power has managed to influence regional nations, to establish and promote communal Islamic culture and to help regional nations have a sense of identity. The events which occurred two years ago in our region were very important events. You can see how westerners reacted to such events. The events in Egypt, North African and West Asian countries were very important events. The awakening of nations with empty hands and their resistance against the humiliation which the West and America in particular had imposed on these nations with the help of their agents were very great events. Of course, it has not come to an end. Westerners think that they have suppressed this Islamic Awakening but in our opinion, it has not been suppressed. This was a historical juncture and the region is passing through this historical juncture. The fate of this Awakening has not been sealed yet and westerners themselves know this. This can be seen in their analysis of Islamic Awakening and they are still concerned about it. They do not know what is happening in the region. This happened thanks to the uprising of the Iranian nation, the victory of the Revolution and the formation of the Islamic Republic which manifested the emergence of a national, deep-rooted, religious, steadfast, talented and developing power. Now, on each branch of scientific, technological and research areas you outstanding personalities throughout the country work, you are valuable constituents of this great order which is fulfilling this historical mission. Today, you have shouldered this great responsibility. What is important is that your movement should not stop progressing. What is important is that your movement should continue without any interruption or pause in the middle of the way. The same is true of all important social, political and military movements. When a movement starts, when a great and long-term task begins, you should not let any pause and interruption take place in the middle of the way. During the Sacred Defense Era, we saw this with our own eyes when we were engaged in battle. During the war, when a movement started, it would achieve victory if it was not stopped. But if our determination was undermined in the middle of the way, if there were doubts, if we showed laziness and if there was a pause or interruption in our work, it would lead to frustration and defeat. You should not let this rapid scientific movement stop progressing. Of course, I am addressing all people involved in this issue, both you dear youth and different organizations including the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Health and the Vice Presidency for Scientific and Technological Affairs. You dear youth work hard, acquire knowledge, carry out research and engage in self-edification and often, you carry out interesting and outstanding work. The statements that you made in this meeting is part of this work. Work is not only physical. Offering thoughts, ideas and opinions and making an effort in order to put forward excellent suggestions are among the best pieces of work. The Vice Presidency for Scientific and Technological Affairs is a very important organization and what it does is very sensitive. A few years ago, this organization was formed at my insistence and later on, the National Elites Foundation was formed. There were certain people who rendered genuine services such as Mrs. Soltankhah and Mr. Vaezzadeh. And today, Mr. Sattari, who is the son of a martyr, is in charge of this vice presidency and this foundation. My advice to the officials in charge of Vice Presidency for Scientific and Technological Affairs and the National Elites Foundation is that they should pursue the matter. You should not start to do things all over again. Outstanding work has been carried out in this regard. You should move forward according to such work. You should try to find and remove shortcomings and weak points and you should not forget about your strong points. In my opinion, the most important thing which these two organizations can do is that they should focus their efforts on preparing the ground for innovation. Innovation is very important. This process of innovation should not be stopped. Each step should bring about another step. Constant follow-up is necessary in order to preserve the process of innovation in the country. The honorable officials who are in charge of Vice Presidency for Scientific and Technological Affairs should constantly follow up this scientific process in the country. They should see where problems and hurdles lie and they should resolve them. The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution - which, of course, deals with these issues within the remit of its responsibilities - is important. The Vice Presidency for Scientific and Technological Affairs, which is an organization for coordinating other organizations, other scientific organizations in the country - that is to say, these two ministries - research centers and different scientific and technological centers in charge of implementing these policies should all act in a coordinated and well-organized way. Any kind of disorder and disharmony should be removed. Of course, our scientific growth is very good on a regional and international level. Our absolute growth rate is good and we enjoy a very fast rate of scientific growth, however this is not the sole standard. This rate of scientific growth should be preserved. This rate of scientific growth does not mean that we have achieved or are close to achieving our goal because we used to be very backward. And the world does not wait for us to move forward. It does not sit and watch. The world is constantly moving forward as well. Of course, the rate of our scientific growth is faster [than the global average] and we should preserve it. If this rate of scientific growth is preserved, there will be this hope that we can conquer peaks and reach front lines and, as I said many times, our country and our scientific centers can be reference points for the world. This should happen and, by Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, it will happen. Of course, I do not think that this will happen in five, ten, fifteen years. No, this is not the case. A few years ago, I said that you can picture this future in 40, 50 years when everyone in the world has to learn Farsi if they want to have access to new scientific achievements. Your efforts should be focused on this. You should do something to make others need your knowledge and learn your language in order to acquire the knowledge that you have. This is possible. The late Dr. Chamran was an outstanding scientific personality. In the present time, he is known for war tactics, martyrdom, military expertise and other such things, but he was also an outstanding scientific personality. He studied at an outstanding American university, but later on, he left this university and went to Lebanon and - after that - to his own country to engage in jihad. He used to tell me that in American universities - including the university that he was studying in - there were few outstanding students and the number of Iranians among them was larger than other nationalities. Iranians are more talented than the global average. We have repeatedly heard this from other people and, as I said, in the present time experience shows that this is true. The point which I have stressed from the beginning and which has not been properly addressed yet is the issue of the connection between science and industry, between universities and industries and between research centers and industrial centers. Of course, it is several years that I see this issue has been addressed by students, outstanding personalities and officials. This is a very important point. We have a scientific community and an industrial community. Our industrial community is thirsty for having access to the scientific and research achievements of our universities and research centers. And our scientific organizations need a market to consume their scientific achievements so that their enthusiasm continues to flow like a bubbling spring. In the present time, there is not a reasonable and complete relationship between these two communities. If we manage to establish a strong relationship between industries and universities, between industries and research centers or - in the general sense of the word - between industry and science, this will lead to the growth of industrial centers and the blossoming of our universities. Our industrial centers can turn to universities in order to solve their problems. As well as solving their problems, they can utilize the scientific achievements of universities in their industries. Our universities too can begin to flow smoothly. This is like a dam which has been built, but which does not have an irrigation system. Well, this dam has no value. Half of the work that we should do is to build certain walls and gather water behind these walls. The other half is to build an irrigation system so that the water behind these walls can flow to areas and lands which in are in need of water. This should be done. Of course, companies and factories should turn to scientific centers more than the past and scientific centers too should prepare themselves more than the past. Each year, we should witness hundreds of research projects - which are requested by industrial centers - in universities and scientific centers. Of course, these requested projects should address domestic needs. In my opinion, today one of our great weak points is that our scientific centers are after foreign projects. Even many youth, professors and other academic people sometimes acknowledge this. Such projects are not things that the country needs. I do not want to say that this is absolutely forbidden, but if you sit and work on certain scientific and research projects in order to meet the needs of such and such a scientific and technological organization in the world - which will buy these projects at a low price - this is not a major achievement. You should see what our domestic needs are, how your research - particularly the research that Ph.D. students and students at higher levels carry out - can help the country and what gaps it can fill. Therefore, there should be a great and serious competition in the area of innovation. There should be a competition, in the real sense of the word, whether in scientific or in technological areas. In graduate theses, particularly doctoral theses, one of the points which should definitely receive attention is innovation. In these theses, it should be clear in which areas innovation occurs and this should be the standard for evaluation. The National Elites Foundation should work in a serious way to create an environment for scientific enthusiasm. If this happens, the Iranian specialists who live outside Iran will be excited to come to their country and the talented Iranian youth will find the enthusiasm to stay in their own homeland and render services to their own country. There is a fundamental and important point in this regard which is piety and self-purification. The capabilities of outstanding personalities in our country - including young men and women and their professors - will increase in the shade of piety, self-purification and attention to God. Their capabilities will increase and they can easily make achievements. One of the greatest advantages that you have is youthful purity. This is not a permanent thing. During youth, there is a kind of purity and enlightenment which makes it easy for an individual to enjoy divine mercy. If Allah the Exalted opens up the path for individuals, if He smoothes the way for them and prepares the ground, they will achieve their goals more easily. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" [The Holy Quran, 92: 7]. You should appreciate the value of the piety, purity, faith and enlightenment which exist in you and which prepare the ground for spirituality. You should ask Allah the Exalted to help you and your country. By Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, we will be able to reach the desired point for our country and our nation. By Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s favor, I will always pray for you, as I have prayed for you so far. Greetings be upon you and Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s mercy and blessings

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