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Sehaty Foreign Exchange

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Khatami's speech in Hamadan

Tehran Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran

First Program Network in Persian 1435 GMT 27 July 1999

[Address by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in Hamedan on 27 July -- live]

[FBIS Translated Text]

I have a few brotherly pleas. Since I have a few points which I want to make in your presence to the noble people of Iran, I ask you to show your kindness and magnanimity in the form of your silence, so that I can express my points. In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

[Koranic verses in Arabic] I have asked you to permit me to speak. Your kindness will be in the form of your silence. Otherwise, the kindness and magnanimity of you men and women is as clear as daylight, and the more you express your feelings, the more you embarrass me. I beseech you to allow me with your silence to talk to you for a few minutes. You can now pray. [the crowd shouts Koranic verses in Arabic]

When one travels in history with the vehicle of ideology and creditability, when one arrives in Hamedan from Hegmataneh, one passes through a great galaxy of knowledge, religion, mysticism, culture, and arts. Hamedan is the cradle of civilization and Islam. Hamedan is a great museum of the culture and civility of the noble people of Iran, both before and after Islam. Hamedan is a shining star of the ethics, honour, and identity of the great nation of Iran.

From Hegmataneh to the Book of Treasures [a book]; from the stone lion [a statue] and other relics, to the Jame Mosque and the Alavian dome; from the many tombs of the descendants of great imams who are lying in various corners of this land; from the tomb of the doyen of Muslim philosophers, Avicenna, and the tomb of Baba Taher [a poet] to the tomb of the great scholar, Ayatollah Molla Hoseyn Qoli Hamedani; from the great theologian Ayatollah Akhund Hamedani to Sheykh Mohammad Bahari, the outstanding pupil of Molla Hoseyn Qoli Hamedani; from the great martyrs Mofatteh and Qoddusi to the great martyred commanders and generals, including those great martyrs of [Operation] Ambuscade, the anniversary of which is today; The tens of thousands of martyrs and war-disabled and freed PoWs, who are documented proof of the pride of our country, including 2,677 martyrs, 393 freed PoWs, and 5,128 war-disabled from Hamedan. Hamedan, this centre of Islamism [Eslam-khahi], seeking independence, seeking freedom, and one of the shining centres of the Islamic revolution.

And today too, our hearts and souls are filled with the glorious memory of the presence of the great second martyr of the alter [killed while performing Friday prayers in the early days of the revolution], Ayatollah Madani, both before and after the revolution. We remember the decisive role he played alongside the Islam-seeking and Iran-loving women and men.

Greetings to you, greetings to the noble people of Hamedan, greetings to the martyrs, greetings to the families of the martyrs, greetings to the freemen [former POWs] [crowd cheers], greetings to the war-disabled, greetings to the noble women and men of Hamedan, and greetings to the brave and strong young generation [crowd cheers], this honourable and proud sector. [Crowd chants in support: Greetings to Khatami!] Please, let me continue, thank you; it was agreed that you would show your kindness towards me with silence.

These people with such a glorious past and with such noble capability are rightly the representatives of the honourable nation of Iran. In the presence of you women and men and in the presence of you the noble people of Hamedan, as the honourable and worthy representative of the nation of Iran, allow me to speak to the entire Iranian nation, to speak to the people of Iran about the great revolution of the people of Iran.

My dear ones, our revolution was the revolution of word as opposed to weapon. It was the revolution of kindness as opposed to violence. It was the revolution of freedom [crowed cheers] Please, if you continue this [cheering] I would not be able to speak. I asked you to show your kindness with silence. It was the revolution of freedom, it was the revolution of law, and it was the revolution of smile. Yes, our revolution was the revolution of smile [crowed continues cheering] Well, you do not let me [to speak]. I begged you to allow me to speak for a few minutes. I appreciate your sentiments. Yes, the revolution of the nation of Iran was the revolution of kindness and the revolution of smile. The smile of ridicule to oppressors and bullies and the smile of kindness to each other, to all those who are deprived and to all the nations of the world. Those who are sounding the drums of violence are alien to the kind and gentle spirit of this noble nation.

Hail to the compassionate people of Iran! Hail to the Islamic revolution of the people of Iran! Our revolution sought independence, freedom, and an Islamic republic. Independence has always been sought, particularly in the past 200 years, by all reformers, including the great son of Hamedan, Seyyed Jamalodin Assadabadi [Islamic reformer of 19th century], who re-emerged in our Islamic revolution.

Our revolution sought freedom. Freedom is the great objective of the prophets of God. Didn't they have a mission to break the chains of internal and external bondage from the hand and feet of God's people? Has not freedom been the noble aspiration of all human beings throughout history? Is it not correct that the greatest sacrifices were made for freedom? Our revolution was a revolution for independence, a revolution for freedom. It was a revolution for an Islamic republic. It was a revolution of the people. It was a revolution to place the determination of people's destiny in their own hands. It was a revolution to establish government from among the people and to make government responsible towards the people. It was a revolution for the presence [of the people], a revolution for their participation, a revolution for the sovereignty of the republic, and a revolution to allow the people to determine their own destiny. And all these came within the context of lofty Islamic values which make people independent, free, and honourable.

Islamic democracy, consolidation and strengthening of independence, and ensuring freedom, coupled with spirituality, is the message and the fruit of the Islamic revolution which has been realized with the cost of the blood of martyrs. The charter of the Islamic republic is the constitution.

This nation with its great revolution and with its great aspirations also faced great problems in the past 20 years. Problems, conspiracies, and hostilities against this nation have been as great as the nation itself and its revolution.

Irrespective of the economic difficulties, our nation has gone through many other pains during these years. The difficulties have been encountered in various fields -- because the peoples energy was directed towards safeguarding the foundation of the system and the Islamic republic - the difficulties which especially the middle class and people on low income suffered for the sake of good and lasting construction plans, and the difficulties the nation has faced, especially in the past two years, because of the fall in the price of oil and the harsh drought of 1376 [year beginning 21st March 1997] and 1378 [beginning 21st March 1999]. This year we are in the middle of a drought, although with the grace of God the recent rainfall has to some extent compensated for the damage caused by the drought. However, we are still facing problems. And in this situation it was God's will that there should be a flood in some parts of the country, including in Mazandaran, and that a large number of our dear compatriots lose their lives, get injured, and cause great damage.

Speaking here as the president and on your behalf, I express condolences to those honourable people who have suffered in Mazandaran Province, particularly those who have lost relatives in the flood. We pray that we will be able to solve their difficulties and thus help heal their broken hearts.

In the past 20 years there have been various social and economic problems but there have also been many other difficulties. There was eight years of imposed war and the imposition of violence on our people only because they wanted their independence and freedom.

For the sake of its devotion to Islam, independence and freedom, our nation has faced bitter waves of terrorism in the past 20 years. There have also been the sanctions, the economic pressures, and worst of all the destructive blizzard in the world public opinion against this honourable and great nation -- an attempt to give a bad name to the system and our people. These problems have existed in the [past] 20 years. In the past two years the same problem and the same sedition against the people has continued in a new form and with a particular strength.

Oh, brave and honourable men and women of Iran, my dear young people, 2nd Khordad [23rd May 1997 presidential elections] was a great event in the history of the Iranian nation. Our great leader referred to this event as an epic. The 2nd Khordad has had many achievements. I have never spoken, or have spoken sparingly, about 2nd Khordad. But today I want to speak about 2nd Khordad and about the problems which our honourable nation has faced since then. The 2nd Khordad event had many great achievements and incidents. Here, I am going to speak about two great consequences of 2nd Khordad, and the pressures which have been exerted on the honourable people of Iran as the result - and we continue to be the target of these pressures and problems.

First, the presence of people in the 2nd Khordad elections was unprecedented. It was unique in the history of the revolution, both in terms of quality and quantity. It was important particularly because a great section of the social elite and learned people who were unenthusiastic until then came on to the scene. The presence of our honourable and intelligent women was particularly significant in the 2nd Khordad elections. The tremendous presence of young people -- the intelligent and enthusiastic young people -- [public uproar] turned 2nd Khordad into a remarkable event. The 2nd Khordad event has had many consequences, but one of its most important achievements was to heal the separation between the two generations; the generation of the revolution and the generation of the post-revolution. Separation between generations is a most severe disease that all revolutions suffer from. The enemy placed much hope in this separation. They were hoping to use the discontent and the enthusiasm of the generation which had grown up after the revolution to hurt the system and to bring crisis to this society.

The events of 2nd Khordad turned separation into union. Women and men, young and old, intellectual and worker, all devoted to their revolution and system, took part in determining their destiny. This was the first consequence.

The second great achievement of 2nd Khordad was in the international domain. Detente was the policy that was chosen and announced. But detente did not mean the abandonment of our national principles and interests. Detente was pursued precisely within the context of the three principles of wisdom, honour, and expediency. Then, suddenly, the whole situation in the world changed in favour of the Islamic Republic. Prior to that our security was being threatened. The system of the Islamic Republic was under many threats. The wise policy of detente not only removed the threats, it turned these threats into security for the country and the nation.

Without abandoning our principles or without sacrificing our national interests, but through this new policy, we brought credit for the Islamic Republic in the world, and this was unique and could be only compared to the situation that the nation and the revolution had at the very first moments of the revolution, in the first years of the revolution.

We have not only created a new climate and credit for the honourable people of Iran through the use of a policy of detente and cooperation; the Islamic Republic of Iran has also taken the initiative on the international scene -- through the language of you people and through new slogans and proposals for new projects. The world now understands that the Islamic Republic does not only seek independence, freedom and honour for its own people but that it seeks peace on the basis of justice for all humanity. In this new international context and within this new climate, the Islamic Republic has not been and will never be isolated. Furthermore, those powers which tried to isolate you people and your great system have now fallen into a reactive position.

These two consequences were no minor matters. It was obvious that the enemies of this revolution, the enemies of this people, the enemies of the honour and progress of this country, would not bear to see this and that they would react. They entered into new plots against you. What has been happening in the past two years -- and particularly what has happened in Tehran recently -- is the continuation of the same problems and a link in the chain of conspiracies of the past 20 years against the system of the Islamic Republic and against the honourable people of Iran. But this time it had a new form and intensity.

You see that following the Mersad affair [joint operation by Iraq and Mojahedin-e Khalq to capture parts of western Iran shortly before the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988], when the bloodthirsty enemies of this nation lost all hope of being able to exert pressure on this country -- or as they liked to put it, when they left the military phase and entered the political phase -- they once again revived the process of terror [preceding word in English] in the last two years or so in a bid to demonstrate their anger with this nation and the achievements of 2nd Khordad. In the course of the last two years they have been perpetrating bomb explosions and other acts of terror and sabotage in order to create instability in our country. The last act of terror by them was the assassination of the valiant son of Islam and Iran, the great national and Islamic hero, martyr Gen Sayyad-Shirazi [former ground force commander]. In the course of the last two years they have once again resorted to the methods of terror, sabotage, and explosion.

Moreover, on the world arena, they have made hasty manoeuvres to mar the international image of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They have tried to give the impression that instability and insecurity prevails in Iran so as to prevent other countries from improving ties with us or transferring their capital or technology to our country. They made a great deal of efforts to revive the process of terror, undermine the status of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and bring about and intensify the trend of violence inside the country so as to portray the political system as unstable, paint a savage picture of the revolution for all the beloved young people who have opened their arms to the revolution, and introduce the Islamic revolution to the people of the world as an ugly and violent phenomenon.

Violence in any form and shape is abhorrent and deplorable, as our eminent leader also stated in his recent remarks. However, I want to make a point in brief here and I hope to be able to elaborate further on it in another time and place. The supporters of violence are committing a mistake, no matter what pretext they use. In fact, their guilt is made worse if they use violence under the sacred pretexts in which people have a religious faith, or under the cover of the distinguished personalities of the system and revolution. [Crowd applaud and whistle] Please allow me to go on. Please allow me.

However, more than blaming the supporters of violence -- among whom there certainly are some caring individuals who want to serve the country but are in fact committing an error -- one must blame those who have tried to theorize [preceding word in English] violence in this period. In other words, those who have resorted to philosophical sophistry and the use of religious wallpaper and facade in a bid to portray violence in society as a revolutionary duty and provide philosophical and religious justifications for it. In any case, creating a wave of terror, making international efforts to portray society as insecure and unstable, and spreading the trend of violence inside the country were some of the problems that began to surface in this country in a more extensive manner after the 2nd of Khordad. [The enemies' campaign has included] Efforts to pit the seminary and university against each other -- that is to say two institutions whose unity was emphasized so much by his eminence the Imam [Khomeyni] and is being stressed so strongly today by our eminent leader -- and efforts to say that the university is against the seminary, the revolution, and Islam;

Efforts to pit religion against freedom and create the illusion that there is an inherent contradiction between the revolution and development. Furthermore, very recently we witnessed efforts to insinuate that security and freedom do not mix well, and that to have security one must suppress freedom. A great deal has been done to spread this notion among this nation, even though our vigilant people will never be deceived by such insinuations. Most importantly of all...[interrupted by crowd's whistling]. Most important of all, we must refer to efforts inside and outside the country to create the illusion that there are disputes between the top echelon leaders of the country. No such dispute has ever existed. I want to declare here that the president and the government enjoy full and complete harmony with the eminent leader and carry out his orders. [Crowd chant God is Great, Khamene'i is the leader. Some whistling can also be heard in the background]

On the other hand, the government and the president are always enjoying the generous support of the leader of the revolution. Let me give you an example. When that sinister and dangerous current was uncovered within the Information Ministry and the president made a firm decision to confront it, he received the greatest degree of support and blessing from the eminent leader who said that the case had to be investigated right to the end. Without that support it would not have been possible to deal with this calamitous problem.

Today, once again I stress that dealing with that event [the recent serial assassination of writers and intellectuals] and continuing investigations into it are one of our most important priorities at present. With God's assistance, the leader's approval, and the support of you people, we will not rest until we have found the last remaining roots of that plot and have destroyed the last traces and remnants of them. Fortunately, the plot was uncovered by the noble, proud, and glorious Ministry of Information, and investigations into the affair are continuing with the cooperation of the judiciary, and with divine assistance they will continue.

I was aware that a hefty price would have to be paid for the task of uncovering and confronting this current and destroying its root causes. I have been, and still am, anticipating attempts to create crises. However, I have made a promise to my God -- and I hereby make a promise to you as well -- that we will, with God's assistance, continue our efforts until the root cause of that corrupt trend has been identified and repelled. I want to assure you that the calamity that at one stage threatened the Islamic republic was big enough to justify the hefty price that has had to be paid. [Crowd whistle and chant indistinct slogans in support] Please allow me. Please allow me. As your guest I made one request to you. I asked you to help me with your silence. You are noble and hospitable hosts. Please allow me to go on and end my remarks in a few minutes' time.

The recent incidents were a link in the plots and problems which have been created for this nation and this country, particularly after the 2nd Khordad. The attack on the university dormitory was a crime, as interpreted by the leader [Khamene'i], which pained everyone -- the leader, the people and the religious scholars. Why did they attack the university? Why did they beat up the students? Why did they vent their hatred against the university this way? Because the students and academics are dynamic and active members of society and the greatest supporters of the progress and development plans in the country. Expressing hatred and suppressing and assaulting the university are the symbol and key to the crushing of Iran's progressive movement.

Of course, as you know, immediately after the incident a committee was set up with the cooperation of various sectors -- the government, the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Information, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the Judiciary, and other sectors -- which is following up the matter seriously. I hope that we will be able to find out the reasons behind it and bring it to the attention of our noble people soon. Without doubt the perpetrators and the guilty parties, in whatever guise or position, will be dealt with.

However, I make one point to you. The fact that this event took place -- and I pray that it will be laid open -- should not be a reason to insult or weaken our great and selfless Law Enforcement Force, which is looking after the security, law, and order of our country -- on the borders, in the cities, in the villages, and on roads. The university incident took place and the [appointed] committee will investigate it.

Then there was the riot and disturbance in Tehran. It was an ugly and offensive incident which marred the image of our dear, patient, and rational people. What happened in Tehran damaged our national security. It was an effort to cause unrest among the honourable people and to destroy public and private property. Furthermore, it was an insult to the system and its values as well as the eminent leader. What happened was not a simple incident. It was an effort to go beyond the boundaries. It was an effort to express vengeance towards the system. It had nothing to do with the honourable nation or the university and its students. It was a blind act, a riot, a disturbance, a revolt, an act against [national] security with deviant slogans. I think it was a scenario to distort fundamental slogans, particularly those which have been discussed in the new term of presidency; to provoke the sentiments of the religious, supportive, and patriotic people who cannot bear attacks on the [religious] values, the leadership, or their sacred beliefs; and to provoke the nation into violence. In reality, not only the riot that took place was a disruptive act against the country's calm and security, it was also the declaration of war against the president and his slogans. This was an attempt to give the impression that security and freedom cannot be guaranteed without force and oppression. With divine assistance, this conspiracy was brought to an end.

At this juncture, I would like to bring a few points to the attention of you the noble people of Hamedan first, and then to the noble of people of all Iran.

First of all, in the course of these events it was made clear - even though it was quite clear to us beforehand as well - that security is a very serious issue for all of us. National security cannot be toyed around with lightly and nonchalantly. We must consider security as the foundation stone for development, progress, construction, freedom, and independence. We must take security very seriously and use all our strength to disappoint and frustrate anyone who seeks to disrupt it.

Of course, as I said in my interview, we do not support violence. Those who resort to violence and create unrest are against this government and nation. I also said that we would do our best not to answer violence with violence. Praise be to God's blessings, these events gave the Islamic government and nation a causes for great pride and glory.

My dear ones, today in order to put down riots and in order to put out the flames of violent disturbances, others use tanks, armoured cars, and heavy weapons. There is no more source of pride for the nation, there is no other source of pride for the Supreme National Security Council [SNSC], no other source of pride for our military and law enforcement forces, and no other source of pride for the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran than the fact that in a city with a sensitive population of 10 million, such as Tehran, an all-encompassing riot dies down without one shot being fired by the Law Enforcement Force and the guardians of law and order. This is the level of strength of the Iranian nation and government. It is right to give vocal support to this strength. [Crowd chants in support]. We, our forces, did not use firearms to tackle this riot. The disturbance was put down calmly and without resorting to firearms.

Of course...[Khatami interrupted by crowd chanting: Khatami, Khatami, we will support you!] Thank you, that's enough. Of course -- please, allow me to go on, thank you, that's enough, it's [shouting slogans] finished now -- we had a shot being fired [during the demonstrations], and that was suspicious. This occurred a night after the incident at the Tehran University dormitory [presumably on night of Friday 9th to Saturday 10th July]. A shot was fired towards the dormitory, and a dear soldier, a serving officer who was in the dormitory that night was killed, martyred. And the same person who fired the shot turned his firearm towards the Law Enforcement Force and fired on them, wounding a number of the dear members of our Law Enforcement Force. In other words, this incident had a very shady and conspiratorial side to it, with the intention of renewing violence and confrontation.

With God's blessings, all our forces are pursuing the matter to uncover that suspicious person. And I believe many other suspicious incidents will become clear once he is caught. We shall try our utmost, and for your part, pray that we achieve our goal and that the investigation being carried out by the forces which are at your service bear fruit.

Second, I praise the valuable efforts of the honourable Information Ministry, which alongside our military and law enforcement forces, carried out worthy efforts to restore order.

My dear ones, the number of all those arrested in this huge incident was fewer than 1,200. Your hard-working children in the Information Ministry, working day and night, succeeded in releasing some 1,000 of them. And only 10 per cent of them were students [as heard; presumably 10 per cent of the remaining 200 in custody]. In the follow up investigation, the majority of these students were also released. And today, those remaining in custody are being interrogated.

I have been insisting that, during the interrogation, utmost care must be taken so that no one goes beyond the law. There must be no injustice or the violation of the rights of even the accused. The principles of the law and lawful methods, as well as Islamic and humanitarian principles, must be adhered to concerning those individuals. And our pious and learned Information Minister [Qorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi] is dutybound to ensure that he is in control so that, God forbid, unnecessary methods are not used during the interrogation.

It was our leader's emphasis -- he told me himself and I passed the message on -- that we are not going to accept the slightest infringement of the rights of anyone. Of course, we are not going to accept the slightest infringement of our system either.

Fortunately, the honourable Judiciary has also announced that the courts, which will be set up, will closely adhere to judicial regulations and will observe Islamic and humanitarian standards and the rights of the accused. We praise the Judiciary and call on it here and now, that by right, one should deal with those who riot and disturb security with decisiveness. The country's security is not a joking matter. However, we also recommend that they do not forget Islamic mercy and compassion, because the great asset of our Islam is the struggle against violence, not resorting to violence, and also practising Islamic mercy and compassion. I am certain that, if it were necessary and expedient, the esteemed leader [Khamene'i] himself would practice the same.

My third point is about the enthusiastic presence of the people on the scene. These people are great people; people who put up with the war for eight years, put up with economic problems. And today, too, their strong shoulders bear the heavy burden of inflation and economic shortages. Of course, this nation knows that its government also faces the same problems. But the problems are real. These people, with all their problems, with all their unfulfilled needs and wishes, when the system itself is threatened, they stand ready to sacrifice themselves for it. They have, time and time again, demonstrated their devotion for the system and the revolution -- in the 22nd Bahman [11th February revolution anniversary] rallies, the [International] Jerusalem [Day] rallies, and the glorious 23rd Tir [14th July 1999] rallies.

It was these noble people, these men and women, who came on the scene when they saw that their system was threatened, that their security was threatened, that values were insulted, that their leader was insulted. They came on the scene with all their being. Hail the people and hail the glorious and eternal presence of the people on the scene. [Crowd chants what sounds like: Hail the leader]

The presence of the people always has a clear message. That is: We are devoted to this system and this revolution, to the glory of this country, the greatness of this nation, and whenever we feel that there is a threat we shall be on the scene. All the people's rallies bear this same message. That rally [on 14th July], in addition to defending values, in addition to defending the system, had another message. It was: We support national unity and oppose chaos and violence. Our nation wants an Islamic state, a great leadership, the progress of the country, national unity, and the preservation and greatness of this revolution and system. It demonstrated that in the glorious 23rd Tir rallies. However, I ask you please, let no one expropriate the glorious presence of the people and the national and international interests of the nation for his own benefit. The nation--[Crowd cheers] Of course, the nation, apart from -- please let me continue -- apart from the fact that the nation wants the system itself and the strength of the system and the revolution, the nation has a number of demands. It has votes and viewpoints on many issues. However, the votes and the viewpoints of the nation for the policies, programmes, and the direction that society should take will become clear in the elections that this nation undertakes, as was the case in the presidential election and the recent local council election.

The nation has outlined the direction of the revolution with its choice; that is, it voted to those slogans and programmes that were presented to it, those programmes that were presented and approved by the nation. And I, based upon the confirmation of the vote of this nation by the leadership [Khamene'i], and the oath I took before the Islamic Consultative Majlis, I will today strongly uphold all those slogans and programmes that I presented -- and which the vast majority of you voted for -- as a divine duty and as an affirmation of the pledge that I made to you, great and noble nation. [Crowd cheers]

Yes, the noble nation of Iran, in their extensive elections, chose the directions of society as well as its policies and programmes. It is for this reason that we must continue to try to strengthen the elective power of the people and to make sure that the election climate of the people is more free. We must try in future elections -- in the [February 2000] Majles elections -- to let this nation once again choose the management way and style of administration of the country, as well as the direction of the system.

I have three pieces of advice to three groups. First, to ourselves: I tell the election organizers and supervisors that we should try our utmost so that in these elections, the first role is played by the people choosing their representatives. There should be a climate in which the people can choose in freedom. Of course, in the Islamic Republican system, elections are held within its specific framework and regulations, but let us not go outside the framework set by the law. The elections will be more glorious and there will be more of a real choice made by the people when there is more competition in these elections, when there is a more open climate, and when the people are trusted.

The other point I address to the noble nation of Iran: Whether in the next [Majlis] elections or in any other elections in future, continue to be vigilant and choose the correct way with wisdom and analysis, and according to your aspirations. Try, with your extensive presence and with your accurate selection, to clear the way of your destiny and your nation.

Third, to the existing groups and factions: I tell all the groups and factions to come and align your strengths and capacities with those of this sacrificing nation. Do not view this nation's issues from a narrow factional and group viewpoint. Come, honestly and bravely, and take part in the arena of competition. Say what you have to say and trust the people's choice and intelligence. Put aside destruction, put aside seizing upon anarchy for group and factional interests. And then everyone -- nation, government, and groups -- accept the people's choice, honour the people's choice.

Oh great people of Hamedan! Women, men, girls, boys, young people, the honourable nation of Iran! I want to remake my covenant with you. I have pledged to you to take our society towards stability within the constitution and to establish the rule of law as the basis of our work. I have pledged to you to work towards the establishment and progress of a comprehensive and enduring form of [social] development. I have pledged to you and pledged to my Lord to defend the civil freedoms and legitimate and acknowledge rights of this honourable nation -- to guard the honour and the freedom of the nation. I have pledged to you to move towards justice. I have pledged to you to follow a policy of detente as the basis of our relations with the world, and to use common sense and dialogue -- but also insist on our principles and codes -- in order to bring credit to the Islamic republic and to expand the resources which the country can use. Today I repeat all these pledges and I remake these covenants -- and of course, everywhere and under all circumstances, [I insist on] the defence of the [religious] values, the defence of principles, the defence of national security, and the path which is approved by our great leader.

I thank all you dear ones; the esteemed clergymen present here; academics and university staff; the dear military and law enforcement personnel; the proud Basij personnel; the honourable families of martyrs; the honourable and great war-disabled; the released PoWs; the honourable representative of the supreme jurisconsult in the province and the esteemed Friday imam of this city, Ayatollah Musavi; your hard-working and sympathetic governor-general, Dr Jaberian; your honourable representative in the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Saberi; your honourable and noble representatives in the Majles, and you honourable men and women of Hamedan, particularly you enthusiastic and sensible youths. Peace and God's mercy be upon you.


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