Imam Khamenei Tells Iranian Scientific Elites: Colonial Powers Want Nations to Overlook Their Assets

Imam Khamenei pointed the great civilizations in Africa that were destroyed by the colonizers through soft war. “There were great civilizations in Africa that were completely destroyed due to their neglect of their capabilities and due to the soft war, the colonizers waged against them. In his memoirs, Nehru points to this fact and how the British destroyed the industry of self-reliant India,” Imam Khamenei noted.

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The Leader added, “An important part of the colonizers’ soft warfare is causing nations to ignore their talents. They keep repeating to a nation that it cannot do anything until that nation itself denies its talents.”

By the Cultural Consulate of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Kampala

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Seyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday morning laid out the contours of scientific progress for Iran in a meeting with distinguished scientific scholars and academic elites.

Imam Khamenei pointed the great civilizations in Africa that were destroyed by the colonizers through soft war. “There were great civilizations in Africa that were completely destroyed due to their neglect of their capabilities and due to the soft war, the colonizers waged against them. In his memoirs, Nehru points to this fact and how the British destroyed the industry of self-reliant India,” Imam Khamenei noted.

“One important part of the soft war waged by the colonizers at present and at all times has been causing the Iranian nation to forget its talents, to become indifferent about them or to cause the nation to deny its talents.”
Imam Khamenei described Africa as being a continent of great historical civilizations, but the arrival of colonialism completely destroyed that continent.

“Nehru said that before the British entered India, India was a self-sufficient country in terms of its own domestic industry – the industries in the early 19th century. However, when the British entered – first the East India Company and then the British government – they caused the people of India to feel that it was impossible to live except with British and foreign products. This means the denial of a nation’s capabilities,” the Leader said of India’s prominent anti-colonial figure Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Leader underlined that Iran enjoyed God-given talents and minds that are capable of bringing about a brighter future for the country. 

During the meeting, Imam Khamenei addressed a variety of issues mostly related to the status of science in Iranian society. Underlining the importance of scientific progress, the Leader called for a kind of scientific leap that would elevate Persian as a language of paramount importance in terms of making scientific references. 

“The momentum of our scientific growth should be such that in 50 years’ time, Iran will become a global source of science and other nations will feel the need to learn Persian to access new sciences. This was once the case; our scientists topped in science and this can happen again,” Imam Khamenei noted. 

He pointed out that such progress should also contribute to solving the country’s problems. “The country’s scientific community should aim at solving the nation’s issues. The ruling body should get help from the universities to solve the nation’s issues,” The Leader stated. 

The remarks come at a time when science and technology increasingly take on huge importance and have become the linchpin of any sustainable economic development. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are reshaping the history of the world. This is not lost on the Leader. “Artificial Intelligence will play a role in managing the future of the world. This should be seriously taken into consideration. We should at least be among the top 10 countries of the world in this field,” he suggested. 

Knowledge-based companies’ share in Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) has also been in the spotlight during the Wednesday meeting. The Leader pointed to a report by Sourena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, that contribution of knowledge-based companies to the country’s GDP is less than 1%. Imam Khamenei stressed that the contribution of these companies should certainly be increased to at least 5% in 3-4 years.

Such a remarkable increase requires more or less great scientific progress. But how can Iran achieve such progress?

The Leader drew a plan for progress. According to Imam Khamenei, Iran needs to make three strides to achieve a science-based, bright future: First, extensive efforts should be made to bridge the gap between Iran and the front lines of global science. Second, Iranians should cross the borders of world knowledge and present their new scientific discoveries to human society. Third, a new Islamic civilization should be built based on beneficial science. 

“If the young elites of the homeland look to this bright horizon, their scientific movement will be in the right direction and the problems will be solved,” Imam Khamenei noted.

Also, the Leader touched on the responsibilities of elites in putting the country on a path of progress and development. In this regard, he pointed to three main responsibilities on scientific elites’ shoulders. First, elites should feel responsibility toward the country. “Young elites should feel responsibility toward the country,” the Leader said, underlining officials should also feel their share of responsibility toward the highly-talented persons. 

Second, young elites and talented scholars should pay attention to the planned and targeted future for the country.

Third, the highly-talented individuals should not be negligent of their own assets, something that enemies want it to happen. 

“When a nation becomes negligent of its capabilities, it becomes easy to plunder that nation,” Imam Khamenei said. 

He also underlined the destructive role colonialism has always played in keeping other nations back by trying to persuade them “to ignore their talents.” 

The Leader added, “An important part of the colonizers’ soft warfare is causing nations to ignore their talents. They keep repeating to a nation that it cannot do anything until that nation itself denies its talents.”

Imam Khamenei pointed the great civilizations in Africa that were destroyed by the colonizers through soft war. “There were great civilizations in Africa that were completely destroyed due to their neglect of their capabilities and due to the soft war, the colonizers waged against them. In his memoirs, Nehru points to this fact and how the British destroyed the industry of self-reliant India,” Imam Khamenei noted.

The Leader said the enemy wants Iranians to be negligent of their arms and assets so that they can be defeated easily. “God warns in the holy book [Quran] that the enemy wants you to neglect your weapons and assets in order to attack easily, which is significant today given the pressures and controversies in the world over the issue of drones and missiles,” Imam Khamenei emphasized.

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