Tehran:Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a meeting on Tuesday with the heads of three branches of the Iranian government, officials and executives, senior directors of different organs as well as political, social and cultural activists, said enhancing political capabilities will result in the immunity and strength of the Iranian nation and the country, adding: “Planning and prioritization in resolving the two main problems of stagnation and unemployment will further accelerate the drive for the materialization of the Economy of Resistance.”
At the start of his remarks, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution recommended benefiting further from the spiritual atmosphere of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Referring to some prayers to be recited in this holy month, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution added: “In some Ramadan prayers, there is request for protection from sins that, God forbid, if committed by officials, the entire society and country will be harmed.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said lack of motivation, neglect, unkindness, promiscuity and vanity were among these sins, adding: “If officials are not careful and fall prey to these sins the following steps, which are more dangerous, will be indecisiveness and failure at sensitive junctures, hypocrisy and denial of divine blessings.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the only way for salvation from these vices and deviations was to embrace piety and self-care.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to highlight ongoing affairs and stressing that the country is facing sensitive and special conditions now, he added: “Among the features of the present circumstances is that officials, unlike the early days following the [1979 Islamic] Revolution, are more familiar with the enormous potentialities of the country and they have full and comprehensive knowledge of capabilities and facilities.”
“Another feature that makes the status quo sensitive is the existence of an overt enmity with the Islamic Republic, which is beyond regular differences between governments,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Explaining the reasons behind this specific enmity, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the Islamic Republic of Iran as an unprecedented phenomenon, saying: “Relying on Islamic intellectual and scientific fundamentals, the Islamic establishment is opposed to ‘arrogance, oppression, discrimination and bullying policies’ and in spite of all pressures, its power and influence have been expanding and deepening across the region and the world from day to day and, as a new emerging power, it has challenged the tyrannical interests of arrogant powers.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasized: “We have to know the enemy’s plotting and scheme and have macro-planning and immunity plans for countering them. Executive plans will make sense within the framework of such macro-planning.”
“The enemy’s plotting and scheme are aimed at destroying the capabilities of the Islamic Republic and if it fails [to do so] will be to stymie the growth of these capabilities,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Stressing that the only way to counter the enemy’s plotting was to make correct and proper use of potentialities and enhancing the country’s power and authority on a daily basis, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to express the country’s main and fundamental policies.
“Islamic faith” was the first capability the Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to. “The opposite side is using all its capabilities particularly cyberspace in order to destabilize the Islamic faith in the younger as well as future generations. Therefore, we have to especially make endeavors in order to safeguard and deepen Islamic faith in the society as a [method of preparing the] ground for authority.”
Ayatollah Khamenei cited “scientific progress” as the second fundamental capability of the country.
Stressing that the opposite party is firmly against scientific progress and that it has resorted to assassinating the scientists in the country in order to stop the advance, Ayatollah Khamenei added: “In countering scientific progress, they used even the most evil and forbidden tools like malware and Internet viruses. We could sue them at international tribunals for this crime, but unfortunately that did not happen.”
“One of the major reasons why they are exerting pressure on the nuclear sector [of Iran] stems from opposition to the country’s scientific progress and they know [quite well] that the allegation of [Iran’s] attempt for acquiring a nuclear bomb is a sheer lie,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to “economic capability” and “deterrent defensive capability” as other factors of authority in the country and stressing the need for the enhancement of these capabilities, he said: “National political capability, in the sense of national unity and cohesion, must be preserved and notwithstanding differences and diverse political views, which pose no problem, there must be no discrepancy between people with regard to the fundamentals of the establishment’s drive.”
“Thanks to God, today there is such national cohesion and unity vis-à-vis the fundamentals of the establishment and most people are interested in the Revolution, manifestations of the Revolution, souvenirs of the Revolution as well as the name and memory of the late Imam [Khomeini],” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the “country’s young population” as another major potentiality, saying: “The young population is a great and very important blessing and government officials must make correct planning for the growth of the young population.”
Ayatollah Khamenei laid emphasis on the enhancement of the country’s major six potentialities for countering the enemy’s plotting, saying: “The enemy is defined as the ‘network of arrogance’ spearheaded by the American government and also the ‘Zionist network’ manifested in the fake Zionist regime [of Israel].”
Noting that the opposite side does by no means hide its hostility, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “The remarks several days ago by [Iran’s] Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif] at the open session of Majlis (parliament) on the point that the US’s nature has not changed are absolutely correct. The nature of the current US is the same as the nature of [Ronald] Reagan-era US and there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans either.”
Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted a wrong impression about the US, saying: “Some imagine that we can bury the hatchet with the US and resolve our problems while such a vision is incorrect and delusional.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that logically speaking, the Islamic Republic will never see any gesture of affection on the part of the US government, adding: “The Americans’ behavior has always been devilish and hostile. Therefore, such imagination that Iran-US issues arise from misunderstanding that could be resolved through negotiations and based on the fifty-fifty method is unrealistic and wrong.”
“The main issue with the Americans is the [very] existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran that could not be resolved through negotiations and [resumption of] ties because power and independence borne out of Islam are unacceptable for the Arrogance,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that from the US’s standpoint, compromise means stepping back from positions and principles, adding: “There is no end to [their demand for] such retreat. As [you saw] after the nuclear issue they have brought up the issue of missiles. After missiles, it will be the human rights’ turn. After human rights, they will raise the issue of [top oversight body] Guardian Council, then the issue of Velayat-e-Faqih (guardianship of jurisconsult) and finally the Constitution and the sovereignty of Islam. Therefore, such imagination that the Islamic Republic can compromise with the Americans is a wrong one.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to another wrong imagination, saying: “Some imagine that the US’s hostility with Iran stems from the Islamic Republic’s [what they call] instigations and warmongerings while it was them who since the very beginning of the victory of the Islamic Revolution opted for enmity and belligerency by bad rhetoric, embargo, bullying and harboring the enemy of the Iranian nation.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said boosting the “country’s immunity and might” was the real remedy to all hostilities by arrogant powers, noting: “Based on the [holy] Quran’s clear instruction, we have to strengthen our ‘faith, economy, defense, science, politics and population’ as much as we can.”
Ayatollah Khamenei called on all officials to fulfill their obligations with regard to bolstering “national immunity” and strength, recommending ministries and relevant scientifically-competent organs to steer clear of marginal issues.
Stressing the need for supporting faithful and revolutionary youth as one of the country’s potentialities, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “As I made it clear I always defend pious and revolutionary youth and I feel grateful to them.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution continued his remarks by giving important notices about the issue of economy and Iran’s nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the six world powers.
Ayatollah Khamenei cited stagnation and unemployment as two major problems in the country, adding: “These problems stem more from the policies and planning of the current and previous administrations than [international] sanctions.”
Expressing solutions for these two problems, Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted attention to small and medium-sized industries, adding: “Revival of such industries is one of the fundamentals of the Economy of Resistance and can to a great extent push the economy and help create jobs.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said prioritization of affairs was very important, adding: “Naturally, any of the esteemed ministers considers his own problems more important than others and makes efforts for attracting more resources, but the administration must accelerate the economic drive based on realistic prioritization.”
Expressing hope about the materialization of the results of the administration’s activities about the Economy of Resistance, Ayatollah Khamenei said supporting science-based companies was a priority that would help resolve the two major problems of stagnation and unemployment.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said attracting foreign investments and resources to serve the necessary sectors was important, adding: “There must be prioritization in this regard as well.”
Preventing the import of commodities whose similar domestically-manufactured products are available or which are not needed in the country, replacing the dilapidated equipment of industries, full attention to the agriculture sector and focus on and investment in the manufacture and export of petroleum products instead of selling crude oil were among other recommendations of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution for Iranian officials.
“The country needs to increase oil production and exports, but in a country with the largest oil and gas [combined] reserves in the world there must be no gasoline imports and officials must make plans and take action for resolving this problem,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Criticizing those who say there are not necessary resources to materialize the Economy of Resistance, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “People’s rial and hard currency deposits in the banks represent a very high figure. By increasing ‘legal facilities and incentives’, lead these resources towards the acceleration of the Economy of Resistance.”
The issue of JCPOA and assessment of the opposite sides’ compliance to their obligations was the last part of Ayatollah Khamenei’s address to Iranian officials.
Ayatollah Khamenei said both proponents and opponents of the JCPOA have been exaggerating about the agreement, saying: “Those who are praising the JCPOA as well as its opponents and critics have been often exaggerating in their expression of views. That is the case while the JCPOA has both ‘positive points and advantages’ as well as ‘weak points and disadvantages’.”
“The JCPOA’s advantages were the cases that persuaded the Islamic Republic to opt for negotiations. Of course, many of those advantages were not achieved,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Referring to disadvantages, Ayatollah Khamenei added: “These disadvantages are issues which we have always been worried about and we reiterated that the opposite side is unreliable and evil-natured and will renege on and break its promises.”
“As far as the JCPOA is concerned, there are some loopholes whose elimination would have lessened or removed the disadvantages,” added the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei praised tough and abundant efforts undertaken by the country’s nuclear negotiators, saying: “What we are saying about the JCPOA does by no means target the efforts and endeavors of these dear brethren. Rather it is an assessment of the performance of the opposite side.”
Referring to the ambiguous aspects of the JCPOA that lets the opposite parties exploit the document, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Primarily, the Islamic Republic will not violate the JCPOA because keeping pledges is a Quranic instruction, but if the US presidential candidates’ threat to tear up the JCPOA materializes, the Islamic Republic will torch the JCPOA. It is again a Quranic instruction about mutual disloyalty.”
Ayatollah Khamenei went on to cite instances of the US’s refusal to fulfill its obligations, saying: “The opposite side’s task was to lift the sanctions, but it has not fulfilled this duty. Some sanctions have been lifted in some way, but in practice the sanctions have not been [generally] lifted.”
“The Americans have kept fully in place the primary sanctions and this issue affects the secondary sanctions that were supposed to be removed,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
“The officials involved [in the JCPOA] must take into consideration these realities and stop repeating that the sanctions have been lifted,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the issue of transactions with foreign banks has not been resolved yet, adding: “The US government officials claim in words and directives that there is no obstacle to banking transactions with Iran, but in practice they act in a way that banks will not dare deal with Iran.”
Ayatollah Khamenei cited recent remarks by a US official that Washington will not let Iran live in ease as an example of these double-standards, saying: “The American side has committed this big sin and fault by hindering foreign banks’ interaction with Iran and nobody should justify the Americans’ behavior.”
“Insurance cover for oil tankers” was another issue mentioned by the Leader of the Islamic Republic as an example of the US’s refusal to keep its promises. “Of course they have accepted a limited ceiling for such insurance cover, but the major insurance institutes are kept out of the loop because the Americans are members of those institutes and create obstacles,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Noting that the Islamic Republic has fully respected its commitments, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “We have fulfilled our obligations by stopping the 20% [uranium] enrichment and shutting down Fordo and Arak [nuclear facilities], but the opposite side still remains demanding.”
Addressing the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Do by no means accept the opposite side’s expectations about ‘carbon fiber that is used in making centrifuges’ and ‘measurement of 300 kilograms of nuclear materials’ and do not bow to this demand.”
Referring to Iran’s assets frozen in foreign banks, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Today, access to the country’s oil revenues is difficult and costly and the money we have in the banks of other countries has not yet returned to the Islamic Republic because these sums are in dollars and their transfer has been locked due to the US’s enmity and faithlessness.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran’s nuclear industry is a strategic one that must remain unharmed and be developed.
Referring to the tangible effect of the nuclear industry on the country’s immunity and security, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “The potentialities of this industry, its competent manpower and the possibility of reversibility to the previous status must be safeguarded and preserved.”
“Fortunately, the possibility of reversibility to the previous status has been preserved and if we deem it necessary we can acquire 100,000-SWU new-generation centrifuges in less than one year and a half. Therefore, the opposite side must not think that our hands are tied,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Stressing the need for countermeasures against any obstructionism by the US, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “One’s rights must be grabbed. As far as a wolf like the US is concerned, the right must be taken out of its mouth.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution expressed pleasure with remarks by President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about countering the US’s attempts to hinder the implementation of the JCPOA, saying: “We have to preserve our capabilities in order to counter the disloyalty and measures by the opposite party.”
Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned Iran’s access to 20%-enriched uranium and manufacturing of advanced centrifuges as the main reasons for the US to accept some commitments, noting: “Without Iran’s scientific and technological capability, the Americans would have definitely not accepted even the status quo. Therefore, this authority must be enhanced further.”
In the last point of his remarks about the nuclear issue, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “We expect the board monitoring the implementation of the JCPOA to exercise increased care and vigilance and take action and defend the nation’s interests anytime the opposite side reneges on its promises or thinks of treason.”
Prior to Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech, President Hassan Rouhani referred to the month of Ramadan as the month of divine compassion. Regarding the country’s conditions, the president said: “The administration prioritized controlling and curbing the inflation and we managed to bring the inflation from 40.1% in [the calendar] year 1392 (which ended in March 2014) down to 11.9 percent by the end of the year 1394, and next month, we will have a single-digit inflation rate.”
Mr. Rouhani said controlling hard currency market, economic growth and leaving stagnation behind were among other achievements of the 11th administration.
In another part of his speech, the president referred to the administration’s measures in the agriculture sector, saying: “From 1392 to 1394, agricultural production reached from 97 million tons to 112 million tons.”
“Regarding stocks of strategic foodstuff like wheat and rice, the amounts in the year 1394 have trebled since 1392 and we forecast wheat production to reach 10 million tons in the current year, which can almost meet the country’s demand,” added the president.
Mr. Rouhani referred to progress in the petroleum industry, saying: “Phases 12, 15, 16 and 17 of South Pars [gas field] were inaugurated and three to four more phases will be inaugurated up to the end of the current [calendar] year.”
“Gas production in the country has increased by 150 mcm a year during this period,” he added.
Referring to the extension of railroads in the country, Mr. Rouhani said: “With 475 kilometers of newly-constructed railroads and planning for an extra 700 kilometers, we will witness a major development in railway and transit.”
Noting that the country has witnessed positive change in external trade, the president said: “For the first time in 60 years, the country’s non-oil exports exceeded non-oil imports last year.”
He added: “Over the past eight years, the country’s trade balance has been averaging at minus 25 billion dollars, but now for the first time this balance trade has turned positive.”
Referring to the nuclear talks, Mr. Rouhani said: “Through these negotiations, we stabilized the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation and unjust resolutions were rescinded.”
President Rouhani said the first step following the removal of sanctions was access to oil market, adding: “In this regard, we have approached the pre-sanctions status.”
Noting that the country’s gas condensate exports have increased from 370,000 b/d to 390,000 b/d in recent months, Mr. Rouhani added: “Crude oil exports have increased to 2 mb/d and oil production has gone from 2.7 mb/d to 3.8 mb/d.”
“Today we need unity and steadfastness for realizing [our] objectives,” noted the president.
Mr. Rouhani said the most important issue in the country was employment. Noting that his administration takes pride in having created a net 1.34 million new jobs over the past three years, he added: “According to the National Statistics Center, we have more than 22 million employed people in the country.”
The president said a major obstacle to economic growth was shortage of demand, adding: “Without new markets we cannot reach our favorable economic growth and therefore we have to seek new domestic and foreign markets as well as foreign investment.”
The president referred to recent remarks by Ayatollah Khamenei about the youth’s unemployment, noting: “It is also shameful for the administration to see young educated Iranians having no job.”
Mr. Rouhani said upon an order by Ayatollah Khamenei, a command center for the Economy of Resistance was set up last year, adding: “This center has so far held 19 meetings and prioritized 110 projects.”
Noting that mutual trust between the people and the society must not be destabilized, Mr. Rouhani said: “If somewhere a few individuals pocket higher salaries, we should not make it a national issue. The administration is open to critics.”