I have witnessed in many countries - in which the government was a republican
system and not a monarchy - that the relationship between their high-ranking
officials and those who ranked lower was similar to the relationship between a
master and his servant. I have witnessed this on numerous occasions, and it is
no exaggeration. One such famous country official from another country - whom
you know pretty well and whose name I am not going to mention - addressed the
vice-president, who ranked second in the country's hierarchy, without using the
word "mister". And the vice-president always said "yes sir" in response.
Some people were trying to imitate that behavior in our country under the
influence of those cultures. During the time when Abol-Hassan Banisadr was the
president, he would never stand up [as a sign of respect] when the Martyr
Mohammad Ali Rajai entered the room. We complained to him and asked him why he
would not stand up, and this was the response he made: "A president should never
stand up when the prime minister comes in."
* Related by the Supreme Leader in a meeting with country
officials on January 12, 1999