Ayatollah Khamenei meeting with a group of university chancellors and presidents

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting on Wednesday with university chancellors and presidents of higher education centers and institutes, sci-tech parks and research centers, outlined the scientific history and legacy and experience of the country in both pre-Islamic and post-Islamic eras as well as the status and role of universities in the contemporary history, particularly in the Islamic movement and following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Underscoring the need for planning at universities and scientific centers in order to benefit from cumulative scientific legacy and experiences for contribution to the development of “modern Islamic civilization,” Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Scientific needs analysis for the present and future, preventing a slowdown in scientific progress, accurate implementation of a comprehensive scientific roadmap, paying attention to quality in higher education, serious follow-up on university-industry relationship, universities’ contribution to the Economy of Resistance, broadening the sphere of faith and Islamic culture, deepening religious and political insight, and preparing the ground for revolutionary and pious university students and professors committed to values are among the requirements of universities’ contribution to the formation of modern Islamic civilization.”
         

In this meeting, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution described gatherings with academics as one of the best and the most pleasant ones. Referring to the position of science as a tool of progress and authority, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The university is the most important center for training future managers of the country such that appropriate and/or inappropriate performance of universities in this regard will influence the future of the country.”

Ayatollah Khamenei touched on the long record of training and educating scientific elite and the learned, like Avicenna, Farabi, Zakaria Razi, Khawrazmi and plenty of other prominent scientific figures in different sectors, saying: “Throughout history, Iran has been the summit of development of thought and science and this trend continued up to Qajar and Pahlavi eras.”

“Unfortunately, during Qajar and Pahlavi eras, the country’s scientific move was halted for specific reasons and at a time Europe was witnessing its era of scientific blossoming, we failed to tap into our scientific talents and potential and our scientific ethics, and therefore, we lagged behind the world’s scientific drive,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution pointed to Western governments’ planning for the so-called Third World countries for training managers in compliance with the Western thought and lifestyle through universities, saying: “In implementing their plans in Iran, they were faced with deep-rooted and expanded Islamic and religious thoughts among universities and academics due to the Iranian identity and after the Islamic movement in 1341 (1963) as well as a large-scale and growing religious drive at universities.”

“The victory of the Islamic Revolution, which was like an earthquake for both theEast and West at that time, largely affected universities and many of the most devoted and the most honest companions of the Revolution were university trainees,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Referring to the conditions of universities over the past 37 years, ups and downs and the presence of various talents inside the Islamic establishment and different intellectual streams at universities, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Currently, the most important question is to know how universities would be able to contribute to the formation of 'modern Islamic civilization’ which is the ‘ideal Islamic society’ by benefiting from this historic and scientific legacy and the valuable experience of the Islamic Revolution.” 

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution called on higher education officials, university chancellors and presidents of scientific centers to deeply think about this issue, saying: “All plans and the course of universities’ drive must be in the direction of contribution to the establishment of modern Islamic civilization.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said the requirement for moving in this direction is for officials at the ministries of Science, Research and Technology and of Health to offer accurate and precise knowledge of the genuine conditions of universities, noting: “They should not content themselves with reports. The conclusions must undergo field examination, so that one would see to what extent the envisaged objectives have been met.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the existence of talented forces was instrumental for scientific drive, adding: “More important than talented forces is scientific orientation because if there is no scientific and correct orientation within the framework of ethics and spirituality, many consequences will follow.”

Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted “colonialism” and “atomic bomb” as two historical examples of misorientation of science, saying: “We must always take care that ethics and spirituality align themselves with science.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said a “scientific needs analysis” was very necessary for the present and future of the country, adding: “In a scientific drive, the present and future needs of the country should be taken into consideration and investment must be made in the disciplines needed in the country.”

Ayatollah Khamenei assessed as significant the orientating of scientific articles and PhD dissertations within the framework of the present and future needs of the country, saying: “The nuclear science is among the issues needed [to be considered] in the country, and in which investment has been made since years ago, because if it is no longer possible to use oil or if oil reservoirs run dry, we will definitely need an alternative source of energy.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution once again referred to the issue of production of 20% enriched uranium by young Iranian scientists, saying: “In a certain period, the fuel powering the Tehran [research] reactor which produces radiopharmaceuticals was running low and the Western governments raised humiliating conditions for the delivery of this fuel, but your talented and pious youths worked round the clock and produced 20% uranium and supplied this need of the country.”

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the most difficult step in uranium enrichment is to reach 20% purity and that acquiring technology for enrichment of higher purity up to 99% would be easy. “That explains the Western governments’ anxiety in the nuclear issue. Of course, if they had delivered fuel for the Tehran reactor at that time, we would not have turned to 20% enrichment.”

Summing up this part of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “A scientific needs analysis and making investment in knowledge needed in the country is very important and should always be taken into consideration.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the “pace of scientific progress” as very necessary and fundamental for making up for backwardness and guaranteeing the continuation of the scientific drive, saying: “Unfortunately, some academics tell students at universities that these scientific developments are false! If they are false, how come the Zionist regime’s research center expresses concern about Iran’s scientific progress?” 

Referring to Iran’s historical scientific backwardness, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “If scientific progress in the country slows down, our distance from the world’s scientific move will become more. Therefore, we must preserve the pace of our progress.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted the need for universities to become research-oriented as well as the necessity of the precise implementation of the country’s scientific roadmap, paying attention to quality in higher education, determining precise and realistic indexes, and the relationship between universities and the industry, saying: “One way of creating jobs for university graduates is to create relationships between the industry and the university. The requirement for this issue is planning by relevant ministers and preparing the ground for comprehensive cooperation between universities and industry in state and non-state sectors.”

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the necessity for the universities to contribute to the Economy of Resistance through knowledge-based companies and the implementation of policies of the Economy of Resistance, saying: “As far as the implementation of the Economy of Resistance is concerned, the expectations have not yet been met and government officials have just presented me with a report about plans envisaged for the implementation of the Economy of Resistance.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to highlight cultural issues at universities and while criticizing certain measures, he said: “Some have mistaken cultural activity for mixed concerts and camps, and in order to justify their wrong work they claim that students must be happy!”

“Happiness is good for every environment, but at what price? At the price of organizing mixed ceremonies and camps? What else have the Westerners gained from the free mixing of sexes other than the ongoing sexual crimes that we are seeking to follow those methods?” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

Noting that cultural activity is totally different, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Cultural officials at universities should know what they are doing! A correct cultural activity is to train pious, creative and revolutionary people who would be committed to ideals, be devoted to the country and the Islamic establishment and have insight as well as in-depth political and religious understanding.”

Ayatollah Khamenei described religious and political insight as very important for youths to steer clear of deviations, adding: “The cause of deviation of many people in the 1388 (2009) sedition (post-election riots), who were not bad people, was their lack of insight. When the opposite party says ‘The election is a pretext and the [main] target is the very foundation of the [Islamic] establishment’, what should someone devoted to the establishment do? If there is no insight, no obligation would be fulfilled when needed.”
  

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said instilling self-confidence and hope for future into the youth was among other necessary cultural activities at universities, adding: “In the country, there are many beacons for hope, including plenty of potentialities as well as the current standing and might of the country.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said low self-esteem poses the biggest threat, adding: “Low self-esteem and underestimating the capability and strength of the nation and the country give rise to circumstances in which everyone acknowledges the power and the influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region while someone inside the country says ‘We are nobody and isolated.!” 

Ayatollah Khamenei said training youths devoted to intellectual, political, cultural and economic independence as another cultural activity needed on campus, adding: “The news which I receive from some universities and which I hope would not be correct, prove the contrary in such a way that faithful, revolutionary and creative institutions are put under pressure.”

Addressing officials at the ministries of higher education and health as well as chancellors of universities, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “You should give room to revolutionary and pious, good-spirited and spiritually dignified youths, so that they would have the helm of the affairs.”

Concluding his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to his deep-seated and profound interest in universities and the academic community, saying: “Today, universities and students are at the receiving end of the biggest plots, and the enemies of the country are scared by the presence of academics with a revolutionary and combative spirit on the ground who have overstepped the enemies’ redlines and raised the flag of science and highlighted revolutionary slogans, and to counter this move, they (enemies) are making plans and investing heavily.” 

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to changes in the colonialist methods under the present circumstances, saying: “Currently, colonialists are seeking to change the attitude of top active, intelligent and elite elements, so that these elements would meet their objectives.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also reiterated the necessity of promoting values at universities, saying: “The concerns of revolutionary students devoted to values as well as those of thousands of pious and revolutionary professors who are currently teaching at universities must be addressed, and these professors must be appreciated and valued.”

Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks, Mohammad Farhadi, the minister of science, research and technology, said paying attention to knowledge-based economy and generating wealth from science and technology top the agenda of this ministry within the framework of the Economy of Resistance, adding: “Drawing up and approving the Economy of Resistance document, revising and reconsidering textbooks, cooperation with industrial and service sectors in the country, endeavoring to enforce the Islamic University document, holding free thinking forums and deepening and promoting a religious and revolutionary atmosphere at universities have been among the most significant actions and approaches of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.”

Meantime, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, the minister of health, treatment and medical training, said Iran ranks first in the region and 24th in the world in terms of the number of articles published on medicine. He added: “Acquiring the position of scientific reference in the region and effective presence in international spheres, paying attention to traditional and national medicine and medical ethics, the establishment of the faculty of medicine and religion, respecting patients’ rights and establishing women-only hospitals are on the agenda of the Ministry of Health.”

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