Khamenei Speaks on Nanotechnology
The country will, by God’s favor, witness your achievements.
OE Watch Commentary: Heads of state make multiple public appearances every day. Various organizations and groups compete for the honor of hosting presidents, prime ministers and the like, but only a small fraction are able to host a leader’s speech. Such appearances are never random; they are replete with handlers and strategists who calculate the image and message which the leader should promote. The same, of course, holds true for Iran, but the symbolic importance of the Supreme Leader addressing a topic or group is far greater than with many other world leaders for the simple reason that the Supreme Leader gives far fewer public addresses. Hence, it is especially significant that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei at the end of January gave a lengthy address to engineers and scientists at a nanotechnology exhibition because it suggests that nanotechnology might become a new field which the Islamic Republic is going to invest in.
That said, against the backdrop of falling oil prices the Supreme Leader’s remarks also seem to suggest a reality in which Iranian science and engineering research are going to enter a period of austerity where they will receive fewer subsidies than perhaps before and will instead be expected to raise funds through commercial applications. This also suggests that, as with military technology, Iran seeks to proliferate any technological breakthroughs to its allies, many of whom the United States classifies as terrorist groups or rogue regimes. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
Source: “Bazdid Rahbar-e Enghelab az Nameshgah Dastavardha-ye Fenavari Nano” (Visit of the Supreme Leader to the Exhibition of Nanotechnology Achievements),, 31 January 2015.
Supreme Leader’s Speech at Nanotechnology Exhibition
Well, the issue of nanotechnology is very important. We do not want to say that it is more important than all other affairs of the country and all other technological matters. This is not what we want to say, but it is one of the most important issues in the scientific and technological progress of the country. We should make this a model for our different tasks and we should preserve these factors in the progress of the country, some of which I referred to. We should complete our plans on a daily basis.
Achievements should not make us arrogant. This is very important. Fortunately, your progress has been very good over the past decade. You have risen to a high rank in the world. You have come seventh in the world and this is very important. However, this should not make us satisfied with what we have achieved so far and it should not make us desire to preserve the current condition. You should move forward and you should not abandon the thought of making progress - in this area - on a daily basis. Moreover, different talents will be attracted to this area. The young boys and girls that I see in this meeting are very talented. If this issue had not been introduced to them, then the ground would not have been prepared for their research and their talent would not have been displayed. We do not know the many talented individuals who exist in our country. We should open the arena so that talents can be recognized and cultivated.
Today, we very much need work. We suffer from a historical backwardness and poverty in scientific and research areas. Although it is true that today we enjoy the fastest rate of scientific progress in the world and that it is much higher than the global average, the best thing that this fast rate can do is to make up - to some extent - for this historical backwardness and poverty. We should continue this until we reach the front lines…
Second, we need to progress. We need this. Today, we can see that the independent political, social and intellectual attitude of the people of Iran and the Islamic Republic has made global bullying powers to show enmity towards us. This enmity is showing itself in many areas. Well, when all this enmity is shown towards us, we should strengthen ourselves and we should achieve the power that we need.
Fortunately, tasks in all areas have moved forward in a satisfactory way and I require that you do not allow the factors behind our progress in the area of nanotechnology - that is to say, showing stability in management, completing plans and avoiding political environments - to be eliminated. One of the most important tasks is that you should not allow the political motives that exist outside to penetrate into your organization because it will ruin things….
…The budget for this area is very small compared to other countries in the world. This issue should receive more attention. I hope that God the Exalted will help you. We too will pray for you. We pray that God will help you. If we live long enough, by God’s favor, we will meet you with more achievements later on. If we are not alive, the country will - by God’s favor - witness your achievements. The issue of channeling the work into the market and sources of wealth - I saw this in a number of reports - is very important.