Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says after 40 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, his regime is prepared to correct its mistakes, but it will not revise its leading principles.
Khamenei's official website on Wednesday February 13 published a document entitled "The Second Phase of the Revolution Statement" that offers a set of guidelines particularly for Iranian youths about the state of affairs in the future as he envisages it. However, the document is mainly about the past and contains little fresh insight.
On February 11, while the Islamic Republic was marking the revolution's 40th anniversary, Iranian media announced that Khamenei will introduce a set of new guidelines for the next ten years of the Islamic Republic.
On foreign policy, Khamenei was as defiant as ever, attacking the U.S. and using a threatening tone against Israel.
The document expressed strong opposition to Western lifestyle which is increasingly more popular among Iranian youths, said Khamenei. Local media called his guidelines “the second step.”
In the second step poster, the flagbearer is a woman and Khamenei is surrounded by a number of young men and women dressed as doctors, engineers and athletes. The general ambience in the picture is indicative of attaching significance to young Iranians.
The document addressed "the generation that currently steps into the magnificent and global phenomenon of the second forty years!" reminding them of the enmity of East and West, adding "Today, after forty annual celebrations of the victory of the revolution…, one of the two centers of animosity has already perished, and the second one is struggling , with predicaments that signal its death in the near future."
"The Islamic revolution is always flexible and ready to correct its mistakes, but it is not revisionary or passive," Khamenei said, adding "The Islamic Republic is not reactionary and it does not lack perception and understanding in face of new phenomena and situations; however, it strongly adheres to its principles and it is highly sensitive to its frontiers in relation to its rivals and enemies."
Khamenei made the comments about correcting the Islamic revolution's mistake while demands for reform have been suppressed throughout the past forty years, and while Iranian reformists inside Iran and the opposition outside the country have been pushing for reforms, the regime has used force and its laws, including those about the role of Supreme Leader to prevent any change.
Elsewhere in the document Khamenei said, "The Islamic Revolution of the Iranian nation has been mighty, but merciful; forgiving and even oppressed. This revolution has never been merciless nor has it ever shed blood." The statement ignores thousands of executions during the past forty years, particularly during the 1980s as witnessed by prominent regime insiders such as once potential successor to Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.
In the document, Khamenei characterized Iranian youth as "the generation who steps up to start another part of the Great Jihad [selfless endeavor] for building a great Islamic Iran."
Meanwhile Khamenei criticized parts of the regime's performance during the past four decades. He said he is not happy with the way justice is being “restored” in Iran although he claimed that "a lot has been done" to correct the system. Khamenei's statement is not mindful of the fact that several regime insiders including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have criticized the Iranian Judiciary in 2018 as a tool for suppression rather than an institution to put an end to discrimination and injustice.
Khamenei also criticized the state of economy, saying, "Weak performance in the area of economy has faced the country with big challenges inside and outside Iran." He explained foreign challenges mainly as "sanctions" and domestic challenges as "structural problems and mismanagement."
"Dependency on oil revenues, the government's intervention in economic affairs that have nothing to do with the government, failing to use domestic potentials and human resources, an imbalanced budget, ignoring priorities and wasting resources are part of the problems of Iran's economy," Khamenei said.
Khamenei's criticism contradicts President Hassan Rouhani's positive comments in his messages about his government's economic performance.
Explaining the foreign "challenges" Iran is facing, Khamenei said "Today the challenges are about Iran's presence at Israeli borders and trying to put an end to the United States' illegitimate presence in Western Asia," adding that "today, the United States needs to forge an alliance with tens of intimidated states in order to confront the Islamic Republic, and still it will be defeated."
He said the United States' problem today is "preventing the shipment of Iranian advanced weaponry to resistance forces." Shipment of Iranian weapons to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen during the past years, has escalated regional tensions.