The following is the abridged text of statements made by Grand Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, in a meeting with Fidel Castro on May 9, 2001.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Leader said: “I am very happy to meet you again. In Tehran, you are among some people who know you well and like you as well. I have known you for years, and our people hold your name and your positive stances in high esteem.
“I hope you have had a good time in our country for the past two days. I wish you would have spent more time here and visited other cities as well.
“Surely the common points and affinities that we share have played an important role in creating the cordial and spiritual bonds that exist between us. When for the first time I met you in Zimbabwe, I felt that we are very close to each other. This is due to the affinities and common beliefs and stances that we share. I hope your visit to Iran will open a new chapter in relations between our countries. Although we are far from each other geographically, still we can have close ties and relations.”
Further in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei touched on some international issues.
“Today, the world is mainly suffering from injustice. Some European countries that had waged devastative wars in the past are today chanting the slogan of peace, but they never raise the issue of justice, which mankind needs today. Peace should be based on justice, and it is the responsibility of the Christian Church to play a more active role in this regard.
“We believe that religion should fulfill the basic needs of mankind. These could include personal, emotional or social needs. We believe that Islam is a religion capable of fulfilling all human needs. But some have not grasped the Islamic ideology correctly. As a result, although they are called Muslims, they are submissive to arrogant powers like the United States. We believe this is not in line with Islamic teachings, since Islam has placed great emphasis on justice as well as spirituality.
“However, some powers like the United States are opposed to our beliefs and call us fundamentalists! Their opposition is mostly due to the fact that such beliefs have some practical effects. In our religious concepts, there is a notion called arrogance. In reality, the U.S. government is the embodiment of arrogance. If we are rejecting arrogance and a unipolar world, it is due to our religious beliefs. We consider any struggle in the world against arrogance to be a just struggle, and we feel that whoever is engaged in this struggle is in the same camp with us.”
The Leader went on to say, “As you have witnessed, the Islamic Revolution has always sided with Cuba in its conflict with the United States, since we believe that your struggle is a just one. The secret of the resistance of our revolution against the pressure exerted on us by the global arrogance is the strong belief of our people, who adhere to Islam and its principles and values.
“From an Islamic point of view, your resistance against U.S. bullying and domination is a merit. This is why you received that warm welcome when you visited Tehran University today. If leaders of many countries visit our universities, they will not receive such a warm welcome. This shows that our people are quite aware of the value of your just resistance against the United States.
“We have learned both spirituality and proper way of living from our religion. Religious thinking is based on a profound philosophy and enjoys strong logic. It is not merely an emotional heritage handed down from one generation to another. In fact, religious belief has deep roots in our society.”
In conclusion, the Leader of the Islamic Republic stated, “We are happy that you hold a positive attitude toward our country and nation, and we believe that this attitude will help to bring the two nations and governments even closer to each other.”
Source: Khamenei News