Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
In this speech to regime loyalists, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei claims implausibly that the totalitarian state’s progress and development are due to its democratic nature, bragging about Iran’s achievements in various fields and comparing these favourably with neighboring regional Arab nations, which he says are reliant on foreigners to construct their buildings whilst exploiting or “milking” the nations and humiliating the people. Khamenei is particularly scathing about the Emirati leadership and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, calling Dubai the “most incompetent state in the region.”
The leader of the so-called Islamic Republic tells the assembled audience, “Progress and development is the result of democracy in the country. Progress does not mean the entrance of foreigners into a country to take its money and to build towers in return. Some people may just look at oil-dependent countries neighboring us and see their airports and towers there. No, this is not the criterion of development at all. Foreigners come to milk a nation, to humiliate them and make skyscrapers for them. This doesn’t mean progress; it’s regression, it’s loss. Today the tallest tower in the world is built in the most incompetent state in our region [a reference to the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai]. Progress means that a country and the people join the front lines with their own power, determination, decisions, knowledge, and capacity. And this has, thankfully, happened in our country.
Today we are a pole of power in the area of medicine and medical treatment, and among the top countries in the world in this regard. We can decide regional issues. We have developed great skill at nuclear science. We have developed great skill at nanotechnology and biotechnology. We have a high ranking in the world in the area of sciences related to cyberspace. These things constitute progress. Many of our youth are waiting for a signal to really soar high as they are very talented. We, the managers, have shirked our duties in this area to some extent. If we cooperate with youth, they will really soar high in scientific and technical areas and in all areas related to public services and various other areas, as they are soaring high in spiritual areas in the present time. Our enemies [other regimes] know these areas of progress and developments very well. Of course, because we are weak in the area of promotion and media, the people of these countries may not know about our achievements, but the enemies know about many of these achievements. Let me tell you that we are strong in many areas, but we are weak in the area of promotions and media. We have acted in an inactive, weak and unimaginative way in the area of promotions and what has been achieved. We should progress in this area too. However, our enemies, who observe all of our affairs, can see the achievements of our country. They know how far this country has moved forward.”