Tehran:Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a meeting on Wednesday with President Hassan Rouhani and members of his administration, offered gratitude to the 11th administration for its efforts and endeavors, saying Government Week represented a good opportunity for reporting to people. Ayatollah Khamenei also highlighted important points categorized under seven topics – Economy of Resistance, foreign policy, science and technology, security, culture, 6th Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2015-2020) and cyberspace – as the main priorities of the country and the roadmap for the 11th administration during its last remaining year in office.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution offered felicitations on the arrival of Government Week and commemorated former president Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and former prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, who were both martyred in terrorist attacks in Tehran in 1981, as “examples of purity, industriousness and popularity”. Referring to certain attempts for clearing disgraced hypocrites of the Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) who perpetrated this crime (killing of Bahonar and Rajaei), Ayatollah Khamenei added: “Unfortunately, certain [individuals] are making efforts to create a space of innocence for these criminals who slew thousands of people, ranging from ordinary people to officials and prominent figures, and harm the brilliant reputation of the late Imam [Khomeini], but these mischievous and spiteful hands will not achieve their [desired] goals and they will fail like they did in the past.”
Ayatollah Khamenei alluded to reports submitted by President Rouhani and some cabinet members about measures taken so far, noting: “These reports were very good and they should be communicated to people because the main asset is people and their trust and hope.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the administration of the country by the executive branch was very tough given the extent and diversity of subjects and plentiful expectations as well as issues and problems. Noting that three years have passed so fast since the 11th administration took office, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “By planning and with seriousness, the administration must do its best for working and endeavors during the remaining one year.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution recommended the administration to steer clear of marginal issues particularly forthcoming general elections, adding: “The administration must by no means preoccupy itself with election issues. Rather it must make efforts and plans for the resolution of problems until its last day in office and the best campaigning for the administration in office is its practical steps and action.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said Government Week was a good opportunity for a fair assessment of the performance of the administration by people and elite, adding: “Criticism is not harmful, but this criticism must be fair and endowed with correct solutions.”
After expressing preliminary points, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to explain seven topics as the main priorities of the country and the roadmap for the 11th administration.
“Economic issues and implementation of policies of the Economy of Resistance” were the first topic expressed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution who said: “Today, economic problems and [Gordian] knots are the primary issue of the country that must be resolved and their resolution hinges upon the accurate and precise implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance.”
Ayatollah Khamenei heaped praise on the report submitted by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri about the activities and actions of the Economy of Resistance Command Committee. Underscoring the necessity of serious and step-by-step follow-up on all projects for their materialization, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “The Economy of Resistance Command Committee must monitor and watch all massive and widespread economic activities in the state-run and private sectors and all these activities must be in harmony with the policies of the Economy of Resistance.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted: “We have to firmly block the continuation of projects or economic schemes which are not convergent with the policies of the Economy of Resistance.”
Noting that the implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance requires using all potentialities in the sectors of agriculture and industry, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “An important requirement for the materialization of the policies of the Economy of Resistance is ‘development of discourse’ which would be possible by correct elucidation of these policies and their effects by officials.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the country’s scientific drive in recent years and progress in aerospace, nano, nuclear and biotechnology sectors were due to the development of discourse for the scientific drive and software movement of the past 12 years, noting: “For the issue of the Economy of Resistance, such a discourse must take shape in the society too.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance require measures beyond conventional steps taken by the administration in the economic sector, adding: “For the policies of the Economy of Resistance to become practical, an urgent measure that would be outside ordinary and conventional everyday affairs must be taken.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said “delegation of authority for decision-making to provinces”, “funneling banking facilities and huge money supply to production”, “export incentives”, “on-time payment for agricultural produce” and “serious attention to villages and conversion industries” were among fundamental and possible measures for the implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the issue of “bureaucracy” and “administrative red tape for producers and entrepreneurs” was one of obstacles to the implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance, adding: “Another requirement for the materialization of the Economy of Resistance is to support knowledge-based companies.”
“The projects that could be implemented inside the country by knowledge-based companies must not be assigned to foreign companies,” emphasized Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the second topic, i.e. “foreign policy”, and pointed to the fact that foreign policy has been one of the priorities of the Rouhani administration, saying: “I agree with this issue and I have always believed in diplomacy, but we have to distribute our diplomatic potential in an appropriate and balanced form in the world.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted: “Asia, Africa and Latin America must enjoy their proper share in the country’s foreign policy.”
Underlining the necessity of adoption of an active position in foreign policy, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “In such issues as regional problems which are very complicated and intertwined, we have to jump to the fray carefully and vigilantly and [with reliance on] the power of thought, actively and effectively.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also underscored the necessity of benefiting from diplomacy to make economic progress.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to note that behaviors shown [merely] in appearance in diplomatic exchanges were unreliable, adding: “The only thing that can be trusted upon in diplomacy is fixed, finalized, signed and arguable work.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Americans’ breach of trust in the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) must serve as a lesson, adding: “This experience teaches us that we can trust none of the administrations in the US and we should not take any practical action in exchange for their [mere] promise.”
“My criticism of the issue of the JCPOA pertains to the breach of promise by and the wickedness of the other party not our own elements because our negotiators exhausted their capabilities round the clock and we are grateful to them for these endeavors,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution went on to highlight the issue of “science and technology” as the third topic in the roadmap for the administration, saying: “The country needs science and technology to make progress and over recent years good progress has been achieved in the sector.”
Ayatollah Khamenei chastised the slowed growth of scientific drive in the country in recent years, adding: “The pace of scientific drive in the world is high and we are far distant from the world in scientific progress. Therefore, to make up for our losses, we have no option but to accelerate the growth of the scientific drive in the country and the discourse of national scientific progress must continue and should not stop.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also underlined the necessity of higher budget allocation for research activities at universities and the full payment of the already earmarked meager budget as well as communications between universities and industries.
The fourth issue referred to by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution was that of “security”.
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Thanks to God and under the aegis of appreciable efforts and endeavors of military and security forces, at a time when countries in the region are fraught with mishaps and insecurity, Iran is equipped with a fortified security shield.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the “revolutionary and religious spirit of people” was one of the main elements of the country’s fortified security shield, noting: “This national defense shield must by no means be breached.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that military and security organs in the country constitute another element of the country’s fortified security shield, adding: “These organs must be always assisted and applauded.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said defense equipment and facilities were the third composing element of the security shield, adding: “The enemy is worried with the country’s enhanced defense and missile power. Therefore, we have to help enhance the defense capability [of the country] and support it.”
The issue of “culture” was the fifth topic emphasized by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution as a priority in the country. To that effect, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Culture includes literature, art, lifestyle, conduct and social mores and cultural organs are responsible in all these sectors.”
“I personally do not approve of dogmatism, pressure and suppression in the domain of culture. Rather I firmly believe in free thinking, but free thinking does not mean libertinism and letting enemy inflict harms,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Referring to acceptable and useful activities by the pious and revolutionary youth in the country, Ayatollah Khamenei asked why certain films and shows which strike the roots of youth’s faith are produced.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution gave assessed as weak the performance of cultural organs at both “offensive” and “defensive” levels. Stressing the significance of dealing with diverse cultural issues and taking into consideration the motives and background of cultural figures, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Shouldn’t cultural officials prefer he who has devoted his life to serving religion and the Islamic Revolution to he who has taken no step throughout his life for the religion and the Revolution and has even struck blows on certain occasions?”
Concluding this part of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “In culture, there must be the spirit of free thinking along with fair planning and cultural blows be headed off by steering and helping create good innovations.”
The sixth topic of priorities for the country and the roadmap for the administration was the significance of the 6th Five-Year Economic Development Plan and the necessity of its quick finalization.
Referring to the delay in the submission of the 6th Development Plan, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Development plans give rise to coordination and synergy and they drive the country, like the links of a chain, to the objectives of the Vision Plan. Therefore, by speeding up the 6th plan, do not let it be delayed any further.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the seventh topic of his recommendations for the administration was the issue of cyberspace, adding: “Cyberspace is a burgeoning, extensive and non-stoppable world that has big opportunities and threats both.”
Stressing the need for maximum benefit from the opportunities of cyberspace and heading off its threats, Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the objective behind the establishment of the Cyberspace Supreme Council and said: “The creation and launch of a national network of data must be accelerated.”
In the concluding part of his speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the issue of exorbitant salaries.
Noting that this issue must not be ignored easily, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Public confidence has been largely harmed in this issue because people and educated youth compare their own salaries with these unjust pays and wonder for what criteria and privilege and for which specific job these salaries have been paid.”
Stressing the need for firm action in dealing with the issue of inflated salaries in all branches of government and organizations, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “If needs be, the judiciary must also intervene and deal with the offenders.”
At the start of this meeting, President Rouhani read out a report in which he highlighted the importance of the Economy of Resistance and said “economic stability and calm” was the biggest achievement of his administration over the past three years.
He expressed hope for the materialization of a 5% economic growth rate in the current calendar year to March 2017 and said another achievement of his administration was growth in national production.
“In oil and gas [production], we have reached 2.579 mb/d of oil and gas condensate from 1.23 mb/d,” said Mr Rouhani, adding that Iran’s oil production has increased from 2.7 mb/d to 3.85 mb/d.
Mr. Rouhani also referred to a 15.5% growth in agriculture sector, adding: “This year, we have become self-sufficient in wheat production and the country’s wheat stocks have increased to 14 million tons, which is unprecedented.”
The president said: “In this administration, 457 kilometers of railroad has been laid out and 700 kilometers more is under way.”
Referring to the activity of 2,500 knowledge-based companies and provision of facilities to them, Mr. Rouhani said: “Through knowledge-based companies, 40,000 job opportunities have been created.”
Mr. Rouhani also referred to economic woes as the most important challenge to the issue of employment, adding: “In order to fully resolve the issue of joblessness we need to create one million new jobs a year.”
The government’s debts to banks, shortage of water resources, serious challenges in the environment sector, pension funds’ problems, unsuitable productivity, lack of balance in budget resources and allocations and lower oil revenues were among other problems highlighted by the president. “All branches of government and organs in the country must help so that we can leave behind these problems together.”
In this meeting, Mr. Jahangiri, the first VP, referred to 120 plans and projects adopted by the Economy of Resistance Command Committee, saying: “The policies and plans of the Economy of Resistance are being pursued at the highest levels of all ministries, organs and provincial governors’ offices seriously and regularly and today we can say for certain that the country’s economy has started moving ahead.”
Messers Sourena Sattari, the Vice President for Science and Technology, Bijan Zangeneh, the Minister of Petroleum, Ali Rabieie, the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Abbas Akhoundi, the Minister of Road and Urban Development, and Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, the Vice President and Head of Planning and Budgeting Organization, submitted reports about their fields of activity.
At the end of this meeting, midday and afternoon prayers were led by Ayatollah Khamenei.