(Editor’s Note: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan visited the Islamic Republic of Iran days before the Trump administration implemented brutal economic and other sanctions. Min. Farrakhan spoke to the media on Nov. 8 in Tehran at the offices of Press TV, which is Iran’s English language news and programming channel aimed at reaching a wider international audience. Following an introduction from a Press TV official, the Minister made a brief opening statement and took questions from the media. Of particular interest was a question posed by a man who identified himself as a Press TV journalist and who attempted to bait Min. Farrakhan in repeating a “Death to America!” chant. Min. Farrakhan adamantly refused and spoke bluntly to the tone, spirit and purpose of the questions. That exchange, and others, are found in the edited transcript below.)

PressTV Host: Bismillah, Ir-rahman, Ir-rahim. (In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.) It’s really a true honor to have the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in Iran at this very sensitive time. I think the timing is what is the most important factor in this event right now. We’re very happy to hold it in PressTV. PressTV is the voice of Iran internationally and that’s why it’s always been condemned and stifled.  

It’s great to have Mr. Farrakhan at the time which is the last day of his trip to Iran in which we have seen the avalanche of very critical press reviews and press attacks by the Zionists. Therefore, it’s a good time to be able to think and analyze and respond. So without any further ado, the Nation of Islam stands as a very unique organized body, very well respected among Christians and Muslims alike in the United States and in these past few days Mr. Farrakhan has had many different sittings talking at the universities and also with the Grand Ayatollah, Mohsen Rezaee of the Expediency Council, and student bodies. So, we’re very happy that the culmination of the trip is this Press Conference in PressTV.  So, thank you very much Mr. Farrakhan and the floor is yours now.

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF):  As-Salaam Alaikum.

Bismillah, Ir-rahman, Ir-rahim. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; I bear witness that there is no God but He, and we thank Him in America for Allah’s intervention in our affairs, in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi, who came among us to start us in the process of being resurrected from a mental, moral, spiritual, economic, political, cultural and social death, that we can stand before you today as Muslims, as our fathers when they were brought out of Africa, many of them were already Muslims. But the enemies of Islam knew that if we kept our faith, they could never make us permanent slaves.  

So the aim of the enemy was to strip us of our names, our language, our culture, our history, our religion, our God. And grow us up in America with no knowledge of self, no knowledge of our origin in this world. But thanks for the coming of Master Fard Muhammad and raising up among us, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I can come before you today and say As-Salaam Alaikum.

My name is no longer the slave name that I once had. I didn’t realize when my teacher named me “Farrakhan” that he was subtly connecting me to you because when I came to Iran the last time I was here, I noticed a village or a town in southern Iran named Farrakhan. I saw my name again and again in this country and I said, well, maybe this country is the place that I should be, particularly at a time like this. 

I’m exceedingly honored to be here at this time and I want to thank the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for the privilege of an audience with him.  I want to thank my host, the Expediency Discernment Council, Dr. Mohsen Rezaee, and Dr. Fuod Izadi, who extended the invitation to me to come to Iran at this time to deliver a speech at Tehran University.

I also was invited to the Holy City of Qom to speak to the students there and to meet with the Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi. My stay, and our stay, has been very, very rewarding and I thank the people of Iran, all those with whom we had contact for their wonderful, brotherly reception of us.

I must say I have not enjoyed reading the press commentary on my visit here.  But I guess I should not expect any different from a Zionist-controlled press, especially my being in the Islamic Republic of  Iran.  I want to thank Brother Talib Zadah and his lovely wife, Zainab, for their help of us since we have been in the Republic. 

Allah (God) says in the Qur’an that the people who have been writing about me.  It says, “They altered the word of Allah after they knew it out of its place.  So if they would alter the word of God Himself, what chance do I have that my word, my character, my reputation would not be altered by these same Satans.  What is it that you fear about Louis Farrakhan? It is that God has blessed us to know the truth of Shaitan. This is the day that Shaitan must be unmasked and revealed to the world. That mission has been given to me. It’s a very dangerous assignment, but Satan or Shaitan, has deceived the whole world.  

In the Qur’an, Allah (God) is having a discussion with Satan. Satan is saying to God, because you have judged me as one who is erring and caused me to remain disappointed, I am going to lie in wait for them in your straight path and I will make all of them deviate. And Allah said, “Whoever follows you, I will certainly fill hell with you all.” What is the straight path of God? Is it not the truth of his revelation that has inspired Judaism, Christianity and Islam? So Satan has poisoned Judaism, Christianity and Islam and that is why Imam Mahdi has to come to expose Satan, and cleanse, and purify religion that we, as human beings, may once again be as we should be brothers and sisters in love with one another.

Allah (God) has guided us and 23 years ago, I was blessed to be the one through whom the Million Man March was organized in America, where through my voice I called for a million and nearly two million Black men showed up in Washington, D.C. for the Million Man March. I pray that the translation will be as I say it; and if you are interested in all that I have said since I have been in this country, it will be made available to you.  

My private meetings and my public meetings, if it is granted, you may have it. Because whatever I say in private, I am not afraid to say it in the public. The theme of the Million Man March was based on three principles: Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility. And I have used those three principals all over the world to try to bring together disparite groups who belong as one.  But “Atonement” means that we must acknowledge our wrong to one another, seek atonement for the wrong, ask forgiveness for the wrong and reconcile our differences so that we may stand as a united front in the face of Shaitan.

The Muslim world is in deep trouble. The Muslim world needs a process that will cause us to reconcile our differences and come together as one Ummah (Community) in that way Satan will never destroy our nations and our Community as long as we resolve our differences and come together as one Ummah, one Community. I am here at this moment in time because my brothers and sisters here are facing the wrath of the President of the United States and the Government of America in these harsh sanctions that are being imposed on the government and people of Iran.

The world said they did not want Iran to possess nuclear weapons. So an agreement was made between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Government of the United States of America, England, France, Germany, China and Russia.  Every investigative body during the years of this treaty arrangement said that Iran had never violated one aspect of that agreement. In America, they said that they gave Iran billions of dollars but they never said that they were holding over $150 billion of Iranian money and they were supposed to give it back during the treaty arrangement but has Iran gotten that money back yet? Can anybody answer that question for me?

Iran fulfilled what she signed to do on that paper but America has not. And with the advent of our new president, President Donald Trump, he did not like the arrangement so unilaterally, he ripped it up. And (he) now has imposed, according to what I have read, the harshest sanctions ever imposed on any nation.  

Allah (God) says in the Qur’an, the devil promises only to deceive. So here we are.  “Why did you come, Farrakhan?” Because this is my family, along with my family in America, my family in Africa, my family in the Caribbean, my family in Asia, though I am born in America, I am a citizen of the world because of my Islam.

As the hurricanes destroyed parts of Texas and Florida, and Puerto Rico, wherever we could offer our help to our brothers and sisters, and those who were White, or Asian, or Hispanic, we did what we could to help. So, why should we not come to Iran to encourage the Believers to strengthen them, to encourage them that Allah (God) is trying us; but if we are steadfast under trial, we will surely get the favor of God and we will be victorious.

So, my enemies are saying that maybe I should stay in Iran, not come back to America. I want to warn you: You speak as the foolish. America is mine. America is ours. Our sweat and our blood built America. How dare you say that we have no place there? How dare you say that we cannot criticize your evil and point it out to you? I am more of a patriot than most of you who bow down to evil and it is only truth that will make America better. And I speak that truth and I will be back in America to speak it again.

AUDIENCE:   Allah-u-Akbar! (God is Great!)

HMLF: I warn you, in the Name of the two that back me, Imam Mahdi and Al-Massi, the Messiah.  I’m coming home to face whatever you have for me; but I hope you will be ready to face whatever my backers have for you. Now, you may ask me your questions.

IRIB NEWS: Thank you for extending your precious time. It’s my pleasure to ask you: What do you think about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East? Thank you.



 When you are a drug addict, you say whatever you need to say, do whatever you need to do to satisfy your addiction. The Middle East is rich, rich, rich with oil and any great industrial nation is in need of the fuel that fuels the industry of that nation. America, England and others have always wanted access to the oil of this region and their foreign policy is aimed at that objective.


In Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in a democratically-fostered election, became the head of Iran; and he wanted the oil that comes from the earth in Iran to be of benefit to every citizen of Iran to give those citizens a decent quality of life. So the policy of my country became the idea to get Mosaddegh out of the way, which a CIA plot did overthrow Mosaddegh and give you in his place the Shah of Iran.

Through the Shah of Iran, the oil became a possession of America and the West.  And the Shah was rich and powerful and those that went along were rich but the Iranian people suffered. People who did not like what was going on were persecuted, put to death and among them was a man named “Khomeini.” He was exiled from his home into Turkey, and France, and Syria, and Iraq. But 39 years ago, the students erupted because while he was away he was making cassette tapes and spreading his word and the word was taking root in the Iranian people and the Iranian Revolution began.

Now, if we fast forward to 2018, the policy of our government as brought to Saudi Arabia by President Trump, who asked the king of Arabia, King Salman, to call all the Sunni nations together in Riyadh, and he would come and address them. And when President Trump went to Riyadh, I saw him with pictures with a new jet fighter plane showing it to the king, and then they announced the $110 billion sale of weapons to Saudi, the United Arab Emirates, billions of dollars for weapons.  But if you listen carefully to his speech, he was making toxic the division between Sunni and Shi’ite and aiming those weapons subtly toward Iran and then openly saying to all of those nations, they should reject their brother Iran.   

My teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught me years ago that the policies of our government would bring about a war in the Middle East that would be a trigger to the greatest war that has ever been, the War of Armageddon, spoken of in the Bible. My teacher wrote an article warning America in a time of great confusion over who is going to be president, either Democratic president or a Republican. And we saw that played out two years ago and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that we were living in that which is called, “the lull before the storm.”

No matter who wins the election that president would have to guide America through the most difficult time in world affairs. Mr. Trump is that leader today and Elijah Muhammad taught me that I should say to him: “You would be wise, Mr. Trump to delay the storm as long as you can.” Because the longer the storm is delayed, it’s to not only America’s advantage, but it is to the advantage of the world. These sanctions are the predicate for a new war. A reporter asked my teacher: Is America going to remain in the Middle East? And my teacher said, America is going to come out of the Middle East. And when they asked about war, he said, yes, there would be war. And he said, bloodshed in this area would be much.

I am begging our president and the government that supports him to be very, very careful because if the trigger of war in the Middle East is pulled by you, using your surrogates at the insistence of Israel, then the war will trigger another kind of war, which will bring China, Russia, all of the nations into a war and it bothers me to say this to you, Mr. President, but the war will end America as you know it.  

So when these Iranians chant “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” no chant can bring about your death. But it is your policies that are eroding trust for you in the world. Favor for you in the world and now you’re pulling apart, confused. And, if you do this, you will bring about not the Iranian chant, you will bring about the death of the greatest nation that has been on this earth in the last 6,000 years. I am a warner to you. I am a friend to America not an enemy, but if you do not heed the warning and correct your path, death will come.

My host tells us that there are many questions. So they’ve asked me to make my answer short; but if you’ve listened to what I’ve said, I’ve answered most all your questions already. But you may ask and I’ll do my best to answer very shortly.  

FARS News Agency: Mr. Farrakhan, I’m from FARS News Agency.  I would like to ask you what has the Nation of Islam done so far to disclose the smear campaign of the United States against Iran; and what has it done so far for the Muslims that have been suffering in Yemen and Syria?

HMLF: You know, my dear sister, truth is the best weapon against a false smear. You just heard me. The Qur’an says, “… Had we wished to take a pastime before ourselves, we would have done it. Nay, we cast truth at falsehood ‘til we knock out its brains.” That is my assignment to speak truth. The smear that’s on you is the smear that’s on me. So all of us who want change, if we are too cowardly to write the truth, too cowardly to speak the truth, too cowardly to live for the truth and too cowardly to die for the establishment of the truth, then you’re too cowardly to have the smear removed from you.

May I respectfully say, what is going on in Yemen is a crime against humanity.  American planes, American bombs are being used. What is going on with the Rohyinga Muslims is a crime. What is going on with the Uigher Muslims in China is a crime. Wherever Muslims are persecuted, wherever human beings are persecuted, there has to be an uprising against persecution. Because persecution is worse, the Qur’an says, than slaughter. We must arise. We must throw a stone that we have in our hand against persecution, against the wickedness of the tyranny of governments. Speak the truth if you know it. Rise against it if you can, but everybody who loves truth and seeks justice and peace must rise up against the forces of evil, injustice and falsehood. Nobody outside can do it for you if you’re not willing to do it for yourself. The power of the press. What good is a press if the press won’t write truth?  If we are afraid to speak the truth, to correct anything that is wrong in government, that’s the beauty of the press.  Nobody can give you that courage. You must have the courage to speak truth to bring about the change that you seek. Next question, please.

PressTV Correspondent: I’m PressTV Correspondent Yusef Jaladi. “Death to the United States” is not a slogan chanted by the Iranian government against the U.S. Government or the U.S. people; but it’s a slogan chanted by the Iranian people against the American leaders.

HMLF:  I know.

PressTV Correspondent:  So it’s not – it’s not just about the 1979 Islamic Revolution but it’s way back before it. If you turn the pages of history back to 1953, and you clearly mentioned it when the United States reinstated monarchy in Iran. So, it’s clear that the Iranian people have had a very dark memory about what the United States did back then.  

So, “Death to the United States” is not a slogan chant by the government. So, the United States if it wants to re-impose sanctions, extreme posing sanctions against the Iranian people, not the Iranian government –

HMLF:  That’s correct.

PressTV Correspondent: So, the Western media outlets, especially the United States media outlets are accusing you these days of leading death to the United States.  I just read a couple news items about you and how the Western media is accusing you of chanting the “Death to the United States.”  I want to ask you this question: Would you, are you willing to chant the slogan of “Death to the United States?” Because you are a person who is living in the United States and you are a person who is exposed to some of the policies that are done and conducted against you, carried out against you in the United States.  The Black community in the United States is humiliated and you are Black person and at the same time you’re a Muslim.  And as you see Muslims these days are exposed to some of the wrong policies committed by the United States.  

So would you chant the slogan on “Death to the United States?”

HMLF:  No, I will not do that. I will not do that. I would ask who sent you to ask that question? You see you seem to be one of those who are paid at PressTV to provoke that.  That’s not my chant.

PressTV Correspondent: No, I’m not actually.

HMLF: Listen to me—No, listen to me. You asked me a question. 

PressTV: My question is wrong. Maybe the way I put forward—

HMLF:  Your question is —

PressTV:  What I’m trying to say —

HMLF: I heard you. I heard you but I also heard something else about you that I don’t like. You want me to chant because they lied on me and said I led a chant. I know that chant came from the people of Iran and this sanction is what’s hurting the people of Iran. They have a right to chant it, but I’m not a chanter, I’m a worker for God and the truth will undo falsehood and the righteous will win against the wicked. Not with a chant, but with actual words and deeds. I just don’t – I don’t like your attitude, man. I don’t like that.  

You know, I have to say this: I’m not just listening to your questions. God is showing me your motives. And I’m addressing with anger, your motive. I know the question. I don’t like it. Now, I’ll take one or two more questions but if you got  — if you have not heard me yet, then I’m wasting my time. Is there another question?

Al Jazeera English: Sir, my name is Zaina Abila from Al Jazeera English. Nice to meet you. Sir, my question has to do with the fact that you as a Civil Rights leader yourself, I was wondering what your impressions were of the anti-government, anti-corruption, economy-related protests that we’ve seen here in Iran; and did you have any discussions about that during your visit with officials here?

HMLF: I thank you, Al Jazeera, for your question. In many of my commentaries, I was telling us to look within ourselves because your focus on the West is not hurting the West. But our focus on ourselves and the corruption that’s eating away at our faith is what is weakening the Ummah. So, I always spoke wherever I went that we must look within ourselves. The greatest jihad is not with somebody else.  The greatest struggle is against the Shaitan of Self that turns you away from truth and faith and makes you an instrument of the enemy.

Yes, I talk about it everywhere I go because the greatest enemy that we have is not the enemy outside, it’s the enemy within. And that’s what the Qur’an warns us against, the enemy within.

ASP: Hello, sir. Thank you very much for your talk. There’s a lively debate here in Iran about the extent to which religious injunction should be a matter for the state and the security forces and how much it should be something personal? I was wondering if you could speak a little on that.

HMLF:  Would you help me to understand your question more?

ASP: For instance, should religious obligations be something that is enforced by the government or is it something that should come from within?

HMLF: The Qur’an has arguments for every occasion. The Qur’an gives us laws that a Muslim observes not out of force from government but out of the force of conviction of faith. Whatever country you live in, there are laws and the laws of the country are of no value unless they are enforced by those who have the law to enforce and a citizen of the country should be respectful of those laws. So, America says, we are not a government of men. We are a government of laws.  And it is law that orders the society. This is a different experiment in Iran. If you lived under the Shah, you didn’t live under the laws of Qur’an.

I was a Christian and I still love my Christian family and roots.

In the Nation of Islam in America, we have laws. We, who believe in Allah (God), and believe in the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and believe in our teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and believe in Qur’an, we try our best to live those laws, not by force of government but by the force of our faith. So, when you break the law, there are those who enforce the law. We try our best to live our law because that is what protects the society that we have.

I have watched in the Muslim world when we try to impose shariah on a people that have lived under Western influence. We sometimes do not realize you have to give a people who have lived a reckless, free lifetime to reform. So, our teacher taught us so beautifully and he punished us when we broke the law, not with physical harm, but he deprived us of the right to be in our society for a time of 90 days, a year, if it’s adultery. But the whole idea was to bring us up so that the law is not a burden. We learn to love being righteous. And I pray that in the exercise of law, we do not misuse our power and authority. Then we become tyrants. So there’s a delicate balance that has to be achieved.

PressTV anchor: I hope you have enjoyed your trip. Marzieh Hashemi, anchor PressTV. As we’re speaking actually there were live feeds from Instagram, from YouTube that are being blocked right now as we’re speaking, live feeds of this press conference.

What is it, Minister Farrakhan, that you think your message here in the Islamic Republic of Iran that has that type of affect that right now even this feed is being blocked? And what can you, as an African American, who’s lived in the United States tell the people of Iran who have been fighting have or trying to deal with their independence almost 40 years against the United States, what could they learn from your experience?

HMLF: My dear sister, truth uncovers a lie. Truth unmasks deceit. And when you have been a deceiver and this media has been used to control what comes to the masses, and a man arises not by his own power but by the power of God, to speak the truth then all of these become the enemy of deceit if it’s used properly; and all of these can be turned against the speaker of truth.

They fear what I’m saying. They fear the passion that I speak the truth with. They fear that allowing the word to enter the ear of the people unobstructed will bring about the transformation of the human mind. So, truth becomes the enemy in a world built on lies. I’m so sorry that the people are deprived because once you know me for yourself, you can judge me properly. Once you hear me for yourself, you can make that determination.  

And to my brother, I hope, I did not mean to offend him, but you know to ask me to chant is to make me say something that pleases the Zionist press that already took my words out of their place to make it difficult for me to go back into my own country. So, for my brother to ask me to do that, and for me to even entertain it, is foolish on my part but it’s wicked on his. May God bless you all.