Speech to a group of clerics regarding “chain murders”

14 December 1998

A segment of this wide-ranging speech addresses the murder and disappearance of prominent figures, an event that, in the history of the Islamic Republic, has come to be known as the ‘chain murders’.

[The first half of the speech is on various topics including the responsibility of clerics, the issue of Palestine, enmity from the US, and the situation in Iran that strengthens the resistance.]

Some time ago, Zionist and non-Zionist experts in the US sat around in a meeting and conference and said we can’t allow a model to exist in the Muslim world that will be an example to other nations. This model, which is Iran… is an important danger to them. So they try to cause disruption in the functions of this country, part of which is propaganda pressures; part of which is economic sanctions; part of which are these insecurities that they’ve created recently in the country.

These murders* that are taking place in the country – which, of course, it’s not the first time, this time they’ve enhanced them – these are works that create a feeling opposite to security in the nation. A nation must feel safe inside its own home. The Islamic System is a strong system. To break this power, the enemy wants to pretend this System, this government, these intelligence and judiciary officials are incompetent. So what does it do? From one direction, with or without intermediates – it commits the crime. From another, it points the finger of accusation to the System itself! Meaning, in it’s own imagination, it does two things with one action. Look at the propaganda of foreign radio stations these days. They’ve filled the world with a storm of controversy. Of course those days when the Monafeqeen** – who are their obvious toys – were committing crimes and assuming responsibility for these crimes, there was no talk. But today, where these are crimes of the same kind, foreign radio stations have created a storm of controversy. Killing citizens – crimes against individuals, whoever that individual is – in any way other than by official entities based on the law and the powers bestowed on them, that is their official duty, is an act against security. I have asked government agencies, and again I ask them here – both government agencies, such as the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Intelligence, and also the Judiciary – to pursue in a serious manner  these several murders that have taken place during the last month or so. Definitely if they follow up and investigate, they’ll find the leads. Without a doubt, directly or indirectly, the hands of the enemy are at work. It’s the enemy that wants there to be no security in the country. It’s the enemy that wants to use this as an excuse to create an insecure environment. On the one hand, the crimes are organized, and on the other hand, the propaganda sirens show it several times larger than it is, and the pens of their hirelings follow them. The crime of these hack pens are no less than the foreign radio stations. Because they conclude that there is no security in the country. This is a complement to the enemy’s works. The enemy works from the sides; attacks from the sides. And the aim is one thing: the aim is that the Iranian nation gives up on its movement towards its grand Islamic and divine goals and ideals.

[The rest of the speech includes warnings to the enemy on the strength of the Iranian nation in resistance; the duty of clerics to give people the feeling of security while the enemy does the opposite; that all Islamic Republic officials have one duty: managing the country and serving the people; they should cooperate with each other; a rebuke against insulting the president, the parliament, and the judiciary, which is the kind of infighting that the enemy wants; and a strong recommendation to respect all officials.] 

* Serial murders of intellectuals and dissidents that came to be known as “chain murders”.

** Reference to the Mojahedeen-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK)

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