Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting on Monday with the officials and directors of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and members of the IRIB supervisory board, elucidated the objectives of the “planned, extensive and all-out soft war of the hegemonic system against the Islamic Republic, saying that changing people’s beliefs is the most important objective of this sophisticated war. Stressing the unique role of IRIB in this serious battle, Ayatollah Khamenei underscored the necessity of meticulous and wise planning for fulfillment of the responsibilities of IRIB.
At the start of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the significance of IRIB within the Establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and while touching on the huge media movement that has been created with the help of emerging media, added: “[Iran’s] national medium [IRIB] is engaged in such a strange and large-scale battlefield, as well as inadvertent and inevitable conflict, which is the very sophisticated and highly significant arena of the soft war.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution called on pundits, as well as conscientious and motivated individuals to study and precisely examine various aspects of the soft war, saying: “In the soft war, the same objectives of the hard war are pursued, but in a broader and more profound manner.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to some complications and numerous threats posed by the soft war in comparison with the hard war, saying: “Unlike the hard war, the soft war is not evident, comprehensible and tangible, and even in certain cases, the opposite party strikes its blow, but the target society is lethargic and does not feel the attack.”
“Hard wars usually provoke people’s feelings and lead to national unity and solidarity, while the soft war kills motivations for confrontation and prepares the ground for differences [in a given society] as well,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
After elucidating the more numerous and more concerning threats posed by the soft war compared with the hard war, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The soft war is not special to Iran, but in the case of Iran, the main objective of this aforethought and premeditated war is to transmute the Islamic Republic of Iran and change [its] nature and disposition while preserving its countenance and outward appearance.”
Noting that changing the nature and disposition means changing motivations, slogans, revolutionary ideas and big objectives, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Within the framework of the objectives of the enemy’s soft war, keeping the title of the ‘Islamic Republic’ and even presence of a cleric at its head is not important, but the important thing is that Iran would meet the goals of the United States, Zionism and the global network of power.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described Iranian officials and people as the main targets of such a soft war, noting: “I have talked and will talk with officials about the plan that is made for them in soft war, but people, particularly the elite, academics, students, youths and active [social and political] elements are at the main targets of the soft war.”
“They [enemies] are seeking to influence [Iranian] people and change a wide spectrum of their beliefs, particularly among youths and elites, which religious, political and cultural beliefs are among these beliefs,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“Our people have [special] ideological beliefs about religion, family, the issue of ‘man and woman’, independence, countering foreigners, Islamic democracy and various cultural issues, and the opposite party is making efforts to tamper with or change these beliefs,” the Leader of the Islamic Revolution added.
Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned reversing what people believe about the past as another goal of the enemies in their soft war against Iran, adding: “Our people have certain beliefs about the past corrupt and dictatorial regime [of Iran’s former Shah], and in the soft war, efforts are focused on changing this ugly and filthy and dark past with a [falsely] brilliant and beautiful past.”
“By changing [people’s] belief about the past, they want to conclude that there was no need for an Islamic Revolution to take place to erase the past,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that changing people’s belief about the future and the present was another objective of the soft war, adding: “They intend to make today’s youths believe that the current situation of the country is a cause of shame and that making progress in the future is impossible, in a bid to deprive the young generation of joyfulness and dynamism and [the motivation for] learning knowledge and hope in the future.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said inducing unreal beliefs in the minds of young people about the world, particularly the US and Europe, and depicting them as advanced, comfortable, secure and problem-free countries is another objective of the soft war.
Concluding this part of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The main and final goal of the designed soft war is internal dissolution and transmutation of the Islamic Republic by changing beliefs and weakening the faith of people, especially the youth.”
Referring to the enemy’s software and hardware capacities in the soft war, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “All increasing advances in the cyber space are serving the realization of the soft war’s goals, but more important than these hardware capacities and advances is the huge army of intellectual, political, literary and social elites as well as prominent activists in the field of communications and different art disciplines that have created a strong and influential software backdrop for the realization of the goals of the soft war.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution enumerated planning and cohesive work and effort as the outstanding features of soft war planners and agents, pointing out: “In all audio, visual and written products developed by the opposite front to the Iranian nation, intentions and objectives of the soft war are being pursued and induced, of course, mostly in an indirect manner.”
To that effect, Ayatollah Khamenei said promoting the idea of believing in a minimum-degree religion and a secular religion, which can be adapted to any form of personal and social behavior, is among the hidden objectives of the mainly social programs of foreign media, adding, “In pursuing their complicated goals, they are completely serious and have plans, but we are lagging behind in this regard.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described efforts made by the IRIB as significant, saying: “These efforts must become more profound and the desired goals must be promoted without pretence and exaggeration, and in compliance with the potential of all IRIB programs in an artistic manner in order for the audience to be convinced and accept [those goals].”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that the most important step to be taken by IRIB to realize its goals vis-à-vis the enemies’ soft war is to achieve a basic, correct and realistic analysis of domestic, regional and global conditions facing the Islamic Republic, adding: “This analysis would consolidate mentalities and orientations in different managerial levels and the [main] body of the organization, and would turn into a basis for all activities.”
Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned avoiding exaggeration about capabilities, paying attention to problems, not being influenced by misleading propaganda of foreign governments, avoiding superficiality, and attention to potential and active capacities as important factors in achieving a basic analysis in IRIB, adding: “A correct comparison between the country’s status quo and corresponding periods in important revolutions in the world can help realistic understanding of the country’s conditions.”
Referring to massive problems, bloody civil wars and even regression of some contemporary revolutions in the world to former regimes, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “One should draw a parallel between Iran’s present circumstances and the US’ conditions some 40 years after proclamation of the important declaration of that country’s independence, and the situation of France four decades following the Great Revolution of France, so that, current conditions of Iran and the country’s significant advances could be understood better.”
Elucidating the necessity of achieving a basic and overarching analysis in IRIB, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “The foreigners’ mudslinging [efforts against Iran] should be taken into consideration within this framework, and one must note that in realizing their soft war objectives, they introduce an upside-down Iran to the world and even to Iranians themselves. Furthermore, their media image of the world is also absolutely biased.”
Ayatollah Khamenei recommended IRIB officials and directors to compare the status quo in Iran with some regional countries that have lived in the US shadow over the past four decades in order to achieve a basic and realistic analysis, saying: “Such a comparison would demonstrate the consequences of submission [to the world powers] and also the benefits and advances that result from resistance [against them].
After outlining the necessity of IRIB having a basic analysis as a foundation for all its products and programs, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution explained the second task assigned to the IRIB for more tangible and skillful pursuit of its duties, stressing the necessity of defining and formulating a basic and principled way of thinking in this regard.
Referring to strategies notified to IRIB after Dr. Mohammad Sarafraz was appointed as its head, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “All these strategies must be pursued and there must be precise and wise planning for their implementation, which of course, some good steps have been taken in certain cases.”
Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned wise and meticulous planning for the realization of strategies notified to the IRIB as well as the strategic policies of the Islamic Republic as another requisite for IRIB.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described IRIB as the medium of the Islamic Establishment and the country and the Islamic Revolution, emphasizing: “IRIB is the leading and active headquarters in countering the soft war, and the national medium’s directors and staff are the generals and soldiers of this soft war.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also thanked the efforts of IRIB’s directors and staff, particularly Mr. Sarafraz, the head of IRIB, describing him as a hardworking, industrious, perseverant, disciplined, modest with no regard for formalities, clean, sensitive about spending from the country’s Treasury, courageous and brave in decision-making as well as creative and innovative, saying, “These characteristics are very valuable and appreciable and they should continue and are necessary for IRIB as an organization outside the [purview of the three] branches of government.”
Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei’s address, Sarafraz submitted a report on the IRIB’s plans and measures.
Referring to challenges and problems facing IRIB, Sarafraz said: “Reforming the administrative structure and amending bylaws and regulations, making preparations for launching an interactive medium, planning for stronger presence in the Internet and in social networks available on cell phone, and boosting the quality of IRIB’s products are among the most important activities and approaches of IRIB.”
“Following up on such strategic issues as the Islamic Revolution’s discourse, the Resistance Economy, Iranian-Islamic lifestyle and scientific growth, establishment of a screenwriting promotion center, redesigning and launching children’s network, establishment of aesthetics and cognitive science groups, recruiting young and faithful youths for different management jobs, increasing the audiences of the national medium and boosting the influence of al-Alam and Press TV networks, launching IRIB news agency and making the [IRIB’s] news channel professional and up-to-date, emphasizing [importance of] analysis and interpretation of events, launching Azeri, Kurdish and Urdu language services for the IRIB World Service, rebuilding archives resources, attention to religious and folkloric and revolutionary music, and attention to people’s confidence and sense of security have been among other plans and measures taken by the national medium,” Sarafraz said.