Before building a dam, we should test its durability or else when the water collects, it will wash away everything. Water makes the ground so loose that it cannot support the weight of the water and the dam. Many samples of earth are drilled from the ground and sent to the laboratory, where experts test them. If it is found that the place enjoys the appropriate conditions, relevant information is sent to the planning group. The planning group should plan the building of the dam. The planning itself is a very long engineering process and I will not elaborate on it now. When the planning is done, a concrete and ground structure is constructed [and several billion cubic metres of water...]
[In progress] Billions of cubic metres of water will stand behind this at a height of 180 to 200 metres. The water level will constantly go up and down. There will be changes in the pressure on this body. The water will enter the reservoir and change the situation by imposing pressure on the walls and the mountains. Designing a dam is a very complicated task. Now the dam has been designed and we want to build it. How should we execute it? There is water in the river. The water is flowing. We cannot work in water. First they dig tunnels, diverting tunnels, i.e. we have to divert the direction of the water in the river so that the river's bed would be ready for starting the work. Sometimes it's a big project to have these diverting tunnels. One tunnel, two tunnels, three tunnels will be dug until it will be possible to transfer the water in the river to the other side. First they make a small earth-fill dam which is called diversion dam. The area where the work on building the dam takes place should be dry and void of any water. The water [from the river] has to be diverted towards those tunnels. And then they make a dam downstream so that the water would not flow back towards the workshop. Each of these is a project on its own. Then it would be the time to build the dam's structure. The water has been diverted and now the structure has to be built. The structure should rest against the mountain. It happens many times when the mountain is not strong enough to hold it. It [dam structure] has to be strong itself. Sometimes the point where the dam's base is supposed to be and the dam has to stand on can be filled with water or it can be the point where there is a strong water flow. There should be a floodgate and it should be strongly resistant. They make layers by injecting concrete and mixed material. They make a membrane, a wall which prevents the water from passing through. After all these, they have to build the body of the dam from concrete, earth or gravel which is again a complicated task. They start it and work on layer and layer until it's finished. Quite often you have to do a lot of excavation at the point where the dam is to be placed so that you would reach a strong and reliable point. Often you have to carry out explosions. Often you have to cut stones. We hear that 82.5 million cubic meters of excavation has to be carried out. Work on each cubic meter involves digging and compacting of the soil. In some parts the soil gradation has to be controlled. It requires transportation, offloading and compaction. When we compact [the soil] then we have to measure its density and see if it has reached the right level or not. When we build an earth-fill dam, the dam's central structure, i.e. inside the dam is built of a certain material and the type of earth used in each layer varies. We have to dig the river bed and the root of the dam and sometimes we have to inject concrete for 60 metres, sometimes 70 or 100 metres and have a water barrier membrane.
If we are to build a power plant next to it then a tunnel will be required and a water reservoir for the power plant. It will require a tunnel and evacuating water and a dam spillway. It involves a load of work. They said more than 10,000 people used to work here together at the same time at certain points of the process. A lot of caring, a lot of hard work, a lot of pursuing, a lot of thoughts and ideas and a lot of efforts is required for a dam to be built.
Until now, more than 1,700bn tumans [about 1,700m dollars] has been spent here. As per their evaluations, another 700 to 800bn tumans is required, i.e. by the end it will cost 2,500bn tumans for this dam and power plant to be built and serve the people.
Fortunately, today [change of thought] the power plant is another story, i.e. where to get the water, from which point it should enter the power plant, the turbines, the generators, the water has to come at high pressure to turn the turbines and in return those will make the generators work and produce electricity. Then posts have to be built and the electricity will enter the network. This is another major work.
Fortunately and thanks to the efforts made by experts, today, Iranians can carry out all these stages from A to Z on their own. There was an era in Iran when for working on projects which were much less complicated than Gotvand dam we required foreigners' presence, interference and management. Today, thank God, our specialists, advisers, engineers, workers and managers can carry out all these stages. Managing such a big project is a major task on its own, i.e. coordinating all the factors, managing time scales, controlling qualities.
I would like to sincerely thank all the dear ones, workers and experts, consultants, contractors, project managers, pious and hardworking women and men who have made efforts up to this day for the dam to reach the current state. We are approximately at the end of it [building the dam]. The main part of the job has been done.
I would hereby like to urge Mr Namju [energy minister] and his colleagues to describe new job opportunities for the entire group, i.e. consultants, contractors and everyone involved in this work.
Don't allow a gap to form. The work will proceed. A large number of forces would not have anything to do here [after the construction of a dam finishes]. Don't allow a gap in the work. There are Bakhtiari and Karun II dams. Studies on Karun V have not apparently finished. Are the studies on Karun II and Khersan dams finished? [Someone answering with indistinctive voice]. They are in the same region? OK. Then leave them [contractors] to work on the dams. [People chant: "God is great"]
Activate all dam-building capacities in the country. However, there is another almost unlimited opportunity available to you [contractors], and that is international markets. We ask them [ministry officials] to mobilize all capacities. Some say that there are not enough resources and they [contractors] need money. Do we truly lack money? Is Iran a poor country? I do not want to explain the details. I have already done so in a meeting with managers. For a long period of time, we had all got used to ask the government to provide us with resources from the treasury. This is the easiest thing to do. Everybody can then work.
However, now in the budget law and other relevant instruments, it has been envisaged that executive bodies can absorb and spend several times the fund allocated in the development budget law. The honourable managing-director of Sepasad asked to be given [the licence for] two power plants in exchange of which they would build Bakhtiari dam. Well give them the two power plants. We have plenty of resources. We are a rich country.
It is not correct for me to say here, but if the extra lands and buildings of the Ministry of Energy are sold, four or five dams similar to Gotvand could be built. All the engineering and consultancy capabilities can be activated. Fortunately, Mr Namju has the will to do so. We have already granted the licences and paved the way. It would be difficult at the beginning.
A baby which has been breastfed for two years would not be happy to give up breastfeeding. The baby would find it difficult. The baby would say that he or she was being fed in his or her mother's comfortable arms and then he or she is to be left to eat with spoon and fork. This would be difficult for the baby. However, after a while, the baby would get used to the new conditions and discovers the potentials of the new world. The child would realize that he or she would then have the option to choose from among hundred types of food. The child would realize that there are things other than mother's breast milk. It is true that nothing can replace mother's milk. But breastfeeding could continue up to two years and not 70 years.
The way is now open. The National Development Fund is also there. I invite all entrepreneurs and investors, as well as all contractors and consultants who work in the field of construction of dams and power plants to receive resources from us to develop [dams and power plants]. They can then own what they create. There is also another method available.
The title deed of all power plants can be transferred. All Ministry of Energy facilities can be transferred. The community of contractors and consultants can join hands and set up unions and consortiums. We will hand over [the power plants] to them. They may manage the power plants and the government would provide them with subsidies. If the government needs to buy anything from them, it would.
Fortunately, the development budget this year has increased by 50 per cent as compared to the last. Therefore, I do not think that we have any problems in terms of resources. Our only problem is bureaucracy. The problem with our system is that all those who sit at a desk create empires for themselves. They should allow the work to be done. They should provide support to those who work in deserts. They are sitting in air-conditioned buildings in Tehran next to Niayesh Motorway, the building of the Ministry of Energy, for example.
Those who sit there do not understand the conditions of those who are working in Gotvand in 45-degree heat. They do not understand how people would suffer if they do not receive their wage for one or two days.
However, the majority of our dear colleagues in the Ministry of Energy are revolutionary people, the offspring of those active in the sacred defence or workshops. Since I knew that Mr Namju would not get offended, I wanted to joke with him.
The second point I wanted to make is about developing Iran. At some point they implied to us that it is not possible to build [Iran] and even if it is, you are not able to do so. Well those days are thankfully gone. We saw that not only one can develop the country but also we are capable of doing it. We need to develop Iran. We have been through certain junctures throughout history and when we look back at it again, we see that we are left with nothing but regret. We have recently launched a few books about the documents of the Second World War. When the allied forces came and occupied Iran, as they say, they named Iran the bridge of success. We became the bridge of success but they obtained the right to veto at the Security Council. They obtained the right to have influence on the world economic and monitory organizations and the culture and policies of the world. But what did we gain? Poverty, oppression, the rule of dictatorship, coup d'etat against the national government, suppression of the national oil revolution and plunder of all our resources by the arrogant powers. They have not been satisfied with that and at the time when they were in Iran, they plundered what they could. One historian said that during World War II, the government at the time, let one of the European governments to print our currency notes and issue coins in whatever amount that it wants to and use the money to buy from the Iranian market and fulfil the military needs of its own forces. Do you know what this means? It means famine and a colossal rise in prices and destruction of a nation by the occupying military army. This is what has happened in our land. Our experience of those days is that if we do not want those things to happen again, and we hope that they won't. If we want to be respected and influential in the world, and if we want to voice our opinion for the nations in the world, we need to be powerful and advanced. Otherwise, they have not changed and - given the opportunity - they are the same. If we want to be powerful, we need to build Iran. We need to speedily reach the top economic in the world. This is possible. I swear to God that it is possible. All of this land is gold, both with respect to natural resources and human resources. The best human resources of the world are living in Iran. Iran is the source of flourishing of great human beings. And in terms of natural resources, I swear to God that Khuzestan [Province] alone can run all of Iran. The same with Khorasan Razavi Province, we feel that it can also run the country by itself. It is the same with all other parts of Iran including desert areas. All of this land is filled with God-given wealth but we need to use this wealth properly and develop Iran. Develop it in terms of construction, investment and production. There was a time when people used to say that it was impossible for non-oil exports to reach 15 billion dollars. Iran wished for 50 years to increase its non-oil exports. This reached to around 7.2 billion dollars by 1383 . It was very significant. Within three to four years, our producers and exporters increased our non-oil exports to more than 30 billion dollars. We had about 33 billion dollars worth of non-oil exports. It was increased four to five times. In the year 1385  in the Economic Council - as you might have noticed in this workshop too - cement was one of our main problems. The price of cement had reached 130-150,000 tumans per ton. Our production capacity was 32,000,000 tons and our consumption was more. Our country's producers rose up to the challenge and within four to five years the figure has passed 74,000,000 million tons per year. Now we have a surplus amount and need to export cement. Our production will reach 80,000,000.
I invite all those who like Iran, all Iranian nation, investors, job creators, experts and legal and real groups to join forces and build Iran. This country should be built by its people. We need to reach a point where not only the wishes of the enemies to dominate Iran are sent to their graves, but also it should reach a point whereby we are influential in the world equations and this is possible. We can see that it is.
Of course, the enemies are frightened of the progress of Iran, because Iran's progress would support the lofty culture of Iran's culture. They know that if Iran develops, the thoughts, traditions and beliefs of the Iranian nation will naturally overtake the world. That is why they are opposed to this, and as you can see they are playing games everyday. They are using the nuclear issue as a pretext to impose sanctions on us and prevent our progress. Otherwise, they know that we are not pursuing [nuclear] bomb. We recently had a meeting with some of the heads of countries, which are known in the world as great countries. We talked about Iran's nuclear issue. I provided some explanations and then told them: You know it well, if we want to make a bomb, we are not afraid of anyone, we will announce it. Who are we afraid of? When we say we do not want to make a bomb, that means we do not. Whenever we decide to make a bomb we will announce it publicly. We are banned now [presumably means banned from making bombs], it has been announced that this [making nuclear bombs] is banned, when it is banned, no one in this country pursues it. They are using this as an excuse to close all doors on us.
When we want to buy excavation equipment, they say the same thing. Everything we want to buy they make the same comment. Why? Because they think if Iran becomes a developed country their dominance will be gone. So Iran should not make progress. Today we all have to join hands to construct Iran. Every individual - no matter where he is, what he does and what views he has - who steers the attention and the resolution of the Iranian nation away from making progress towards something else - is definitely a traitor. We have to construct Iran. Progress knows no stop. Others will not wait for us. They are advancing every second. Competitions are over seconds and millimetres. What a nation would leave behind is constructive efforts. What we will leave behind is the fruit of our efforts; otherwise, if a nation is busy with nonsensical talks for two thousands of years, he gains nothing. Nothing will happen.
I thank everyone who devoted their hearts to the idea of constructing Iran and its future. And I invite them to cooperate with us. The government is at the service of the nation and it uses all its potentials to render services. Let us remove the obstacles and support one another. I swear to God, it is a shame to have [financially] deprived parts in our country. It is a great shame to have villages whose people have no water to drink or to use for agriculture. It is a shame to have poor people who are incapable of providing their basic needs. It is a shame for the people of Iran. We need to address these issues and it can be done. The Iranian nation showed that it has a great potential for change. We have to join hands and use all our potentials to construct and develop this land and our sublime culture.
I cannot help talking about the bridge that has been built upon this lake. This bridge is called the bridge of Lali Martyrs. This is a great project. They have shown its picture. [He addresses someone in the audience] Dear Haj Aqa Jazayeri, we remember your worthy comment and advice and we enjoyed them. God willing, the road from Ahwaz to Esfahan, which will be built next to these dams will become one the most beautiful roads in the world. In other parts of the world, when they build a bridge five times smaller than this one, they publish millions of postcards showing their bridge from different angles. They ask others to go and watch the place. This is the best product of our specialists and experts. Now I take the opportunity to call on the Iranian nation to come and enjoy this area. Khuzestan is the centre of beauties in Iran and now this road makes it much more beautiful. So I ask Iranians to come and watch all these beauties.
Let me finish my speech by making a reference to the world's situation. You witness developments in the world. The enemies of mankind are now extremely weak; however, this does not mean that they have no power to deceive or to deal a blow. In the final period of their lifetime, they want to create discord by the help of their conspiracies. They want to create conflict in our region, hoping that they might save their own economy or the Zionist regime.
We should all be vigilant. The nations of the world are entitled to be free and to enjoy dignity and justice. They are entitled to have a choice and to enjoy freedom. Freedom is the greatest divine blessing given to the man. Good deeds and worthy actions by human beings will be accepted [by God] only when they are done out of people's free will; when human beings can freely choose the right path. Only then such actions will be regarded as worthy actions. People are entitled to be free; however, we must be watchful not to allow the developments to move in a direction which leads to the saving of the Zionist regime.
The developments must not lead to reinforcing the pillars of the US dominance on us. They sell weapons for 30bn, 60bn, 90bn dollars; then they create a conflict to use the weapons. They destroy countries with the same weapons. Then they come back to [regional] nations to get hold of their oil and wealth in order to rebuild what has been destroyed. Do you see what a vicious circle they have created? We must all be vigilant to crush this satanic circle. They are upset by us; because they see that the Iranian nation is standing firm and is crushing this unfair circle.
Everyone in the region should be vigilant, not to make a decision which temporary secures their personal or collective interests but causes them to loose [their name in] history and future; a decision that might for ever associate their names with misery and humiliation. Everyone should be extremely watchful. The enemy always finds its way through influencing mean and selfish directors and rulers who are enchanted by world's mean attractions.
They ruled over our region for one hundred years through these ways; now they want to renew their power. They want to renovate themselves; everyone must be vigilant. Regional developments should be the beginning of the nations' reinforcement and reawakening; they should be the nations' chance to make a decisive choice and God willing, it should be the chance for destroying the satanic rule of hegemonic powers. With the grace of God this will happen. May God grant you success.
Source: Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Tehran, in Persian 0606 gmt 28 Jul 11