Following the recent outbreak of anti-regime protests across Iran, Iranian freedom activists have been circulating this rediscovered footage online of an early speech by the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei which he delivered to the parliament in Tehran whilst he was a relatively lowly cleric in the first days after the 1979 Iranian revolution. In it, the ruler of Iran lambasts corrupt leadership, saying that if the people rise up again ineffectual or corrupt leaders who have let them down, it’s those leaders and governments who should be blamed rather than the people and that such leaders should be punished.
In the speech, Khamenei says, “In a society, if the people don’t have good morals, if corruption is widespread amongst the people, if the people didn’t understand education, if the level of literacy among the people is low and ineffective; if political growth and awareness are not very high amongst the people, the people of this society cannot be blamed. The rulers of the community must be blamed. Those rulers who are in possession of material and spiritual wealth must be subjected to reprimands and punishment.”