Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces, on Wednesday attended the graduation, enlistment, oath-taking and epaulette awarding ceremony of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army cadets at Imam Khomeini Naval Academy in the northern city of Noshahr.
In this ceremony, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the regretful and bloody incident at Mina, describing it as a mourning occasion and real tragedy for the Iranian nation because of the passing away of thousands of Hajj pilgrims, particularly hundreds of Iranian Hajj pilgrims. Underscoring the necessity of establishing a fact-finding committee comprising representatives of Muslim countries, including Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The Saudi government is not fulfilling its duties with regard to the repatriation of the purified bodies of the dead, and for its part, the Islamic Republic of Iran has so far respected brotherhood in the Muslim world by exercising self-restraint and Islamic courtesy, but they [Saudi officials] must know that the slightest disrespect to tens of thousands of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina and not fulfilling [their] duties for the repatriation of the purified bodies [of dead Hajj pilgrims] will trigger tough and harsh reaction of Iran.”
Referring to the unjust death of thirsty Hajj pilgrims in Mina incident and bereaving of families who were eagerly waiting for the return of their loved ones, Ayatollah Khamenei added: “The precise number of Iranians who have lost their lives in this incident is not clear yet and the death toll is likely to rise by hundreds more, and this incident is really a big tragedy for the Iranian nation.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution cited some reports about the possible death of more than 5,000 pilgrims in the Mina incident, saying: “While the Noble Quran considers the House of God as a secure place and the Hajj as a secure position, but one should ask now ‘Is this security?’”
Underlining the need for the establishment of a “fact-finding committee” comprising representatives of Muslim countries including Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “For the time being, we do not make any premature judgment on the cause of this incident, but we believe that the Saudi government has not fulfilled its duties vis-à-vis those injured in the Mina incident and has left them in a state of desperation and thirst.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution touched on the problems caused for the repatriation of the purified bodies of victims of the Mina incident and Iranian officials’ follow-up on this issue, and stressed the need for the continuation of such follow-up efforts, saying: “In this issue, the Saudi government is not fulfilling its duties and it is even doing mischief in some cases.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far shown self-restraint and respected [the principle of] Islamic courtesy and brotherhood in the Muslim world, but they [Saudi officials] must know that Iran’s hands are above [the hands of] many others and it has more potentialities, and if it wanted to show reaction to troublesome and mischievous elements, their conditions would not be good and they would be no match for Iran in any arena.”
Reiterating that Iran’s reaction will be harsh and tough, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “During eight years of the Sacred Defense (1980-1988 Iraqi invasion of Iran), powers in the East and in the West and neighboring countries [of Iran] supported a wicked and corrupt element, but they were finally slapped in the face, and they know Iran on this basis and [even] if they don’t, they must do now.”
Pointing to the presence of tens of thousands of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, Ayatollah Khamenei warned: “The slightest disrespect to Iranian Hajj pilgrims as well as the Saudi government’s refusal to fulfill its duties with regard to the purified bodies [of dead Iranian pilgrims] will elicit reaction from Iran.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is not oppressive, but it does not bow to oppression and tyranny from anybody either. Therefore, it does not encroach upon the rights of any human beings and nations, both Muslim and non-Muslim; however, if anyone tries to encroach upon the right of the Iranian nation and country, they will be confronted strongly and with God’s Grace, there is capacity for such a confrontation and the Iranian nation is powerful and stable,” the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said.
In another part of his address, Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned “deep-seated faith,” “bravery” and “knowledge” as three major elements in [shaping] the identity of an armed force, adding: “If there is not faith in an armed force, bullying spirit will take hold; if there is not bravery, that armed force will fail its duty in the face of danger; and if there is not knowledge, an armed force’s tools will be blunt compared with the opposite parties’ tools.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the targeting of houses, streets, markets and even a wedding ceremony in Yemen were instances of bullying spirit and the absence of spirit of bravery in an armed force. Recommending the young members of Iranian Armed Forces to boost their faith, bravery as well as research and knowledge-seeking initiative, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Today, the Islamic Establishment needs both tools for hard war and tools for soft war, because today’s world, dominated by satanic powers, is a precarious world for the God-seeking people and [we] must be always ready and equipped.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the main reason behind global usurping powers’ enmity toward the Islamic Republic and the brave and revolutionary nation of Iran is the nation’s resistance against them, as well as preservation of its true identity and essence, and its refusal to be integrated into the arrogant systems [of the world]. Ayatollah Khamenei then added: “The preparedness of the Armed Forces [of Iran] including the [regular] Army, the Basij [volunteer forces] and other forces does not merely mean readiness for victory over enemy, but this readiness should be deterrent as well.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to threats posed by global powers against Iran’s Islamic Establishment, saying: “Over the four decades of their [1979 Islamic] Revolution and specifically during eight years of the Sacred Defense, the Iranian nation has shown that it is powerful and strong, has identity and essence, and stands against ill-wishers.”
Noting that the Iranian nation has proven that it is resistant, aware and insightful against the arrogant powers and that it respects both its own identity and the entire humanity, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Resistance against arrogant powers is tantamount to respecting humanity and all nations.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the enemies’ saber-rattling, saying: “It has always been such that the crushing fist of faithful people can force them to retreat.”
In conclusion, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution recommended the young members of the Iranian Armed Forces to meticulously review the events of the Sacred Defense and operational plans, while visiting war zones and benefiting from the experiences of veterans, adding: “You should be the fortified fortress of the country and the Islamic Establishment in the true sense of the word.”
At the beginning of the ceremony, Ayatollah Khamenei attended the martyrs’ memorial and paid tribute to honorable martyrs.
The Commander in Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces then reviewed the military units present in the ceremony.
During the ceremony, the family of an Iranian Navy martyr, an exemplary cleric, three commanders, three professors and researchers, and five exemplary graduates of the Army academies were awarded by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Moreover, a graduate and the representative of students of Imam Khomeini Naval Academy were awarded with insignias and epaulettes.
Taking the oath of enlistment by new cadets, singing the mass anthem, and staging the Ghadir field maneuver were among other programs of the day.
Then, the military units attending the ceremony at Imam Khomeini Naval Academy of Noshahr paraded in lockstep.
Elsewhere in the ceremony, Iran’s Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi, said: “Inspired by the martyrdom-seeking spirit and sacrifices of the Iranian nation, the Army is ready with full strength and combat preparedness to counter emerging threats and [make any necessary] sacrifice.”
Rear Admiral Hakimi, Commander of Imam Khomeini Naval Academy in Noshahr, also presented a report on the education and specialized-scientific training of cadets and graduates of the Army academies.
Then, the cadets of Imam Khomeini Naval Academy performed naval games in the presence of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.