Addressing a gathering of officials in charge of Hajj affairs in the capital city of Tehran on Monday, the Leader said solidarity is the only way to foil enemy plots targeting the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East and North Africa as well as to counter efforts to create division during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged Iranian pilgrims to provide nations that have recently witnessed the victory of their revolution with their 30-year experience in fighting arrogant powers and enemies.

The Leader pointed to the recent banking scam in the country and said such a large-scale embezzlement was the result of officials failing to heed Ayatollah Khamenei’s advice to fight financial corruption over the past 10 years.

“Although authorities welcomed fighting economic corruption, if they had acted based on this advice [to fight corruption] we would never witness such incidents such as this recent financial corruption [case],” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader said judicial officials must resolutely and carefully probe the case, inform the people of their findings and “cut off the hands of the traitors” behind this graft.

Ayatollah Khamenei assured the Iranian nation that all three branches of the establishment –Judicial, Legislative and Executive — are firm in their resolve to settle the matter and prevent similar cases from happening.

“Of course there are those who want to exploit this incident to call into question [the actions of Iranian] officials; this is while government, Majlis (Parliament) and judicial authorities are performing their duties.”

Ayatollah Khamenei urged the media to avoid creating a bigger hype over the case, stressing that they should allow Iranian officials to carefully and resolutely investigate the matter.

The Leader advised the judiciary to show no leniency in dealing with corrupt individuals.

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