On the occasion of New Iranian Year 1396, Leader of the Islamic Revolution delivers a speech in Mashhad as an annual tradition to touch upon the most important issues the Islamic Republic has experienced during the last year and setting the agenda for the upcoming year, which he has named 'Year of Resistance Economy: Production and Employment' in his Nowruz message on Monday.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses the huge crowd by paying homage to Imam Reza (as) and Prophet, his grand-father by link from Fatima al-Zahra (as).
“Current conditions of the nation, economic issues, and some of the other pressing issues will be addressed soon in this opportunity I thank God for making available to us,” said the Leader, “Revolution’s ideals is by far the most popular discussions I will touch if the time allows, and hope that it will be heard by the nation and officials.”
Ayatollah Khamenei highlights the New Year as important as it would host important elections, including presidential, parliamentary (mid-term) and city and village councils; “despite the problems in terms of economic issues, the nation appeared in a dazzling show of commitment to the Revolutionary ideals which culminated in Feb. 10 rallies; this is indicative that the nation lays value to these issues; the second is their show of piety and observing the religious duties, evidenced by the statistics, especially in the holy month of Ramadan," he emphasizes.
“Neither February 10 rallies nor religious rituals belong solely to specific parties; rather, all the nation participate in both; they are symbolic of their Revolutionary as well as religious identity; through the past year, all indications highlighted the general solidarity and unity, despite the differences and rifts; all had been walking in the same direction as the Revolution, and enemies had been witnessing the realities; bitter events however were not absent totally from the year; this is important that people remain united and that they are resilient,” emphasizes the Leader, recommending that in the new year, such solidarity and commitment be displayed in an even more strong showoff.
“Thus,” says the Leader, “I will touch both of these issues; currently, economic issues constitute priorities for the nation and the country, not for the time being, but it had been so for years; the need to strict planning had been the most felt need; it is a priority for us, but it is also so for the enemies; they resort to economic pressures in order to subdue the country in line with their own interests,” he tell the congregation. “A general attempt is to make people falter in their support for the Revolution and the Establishment; their efforts however have not yielded outcomes and will not either in the future.”
“A major purpose is to make aware the officials and the government; economic problems are important in that they hit the general public most; this should be debated; however, two other related issues should be reminded; the first is enemies’ propaganda that generally displayed an image of the Establishment as inefficient in addressing pressing issues of the country in economy; this is an abuse of our conditions to hit the Revolution; this is inaccurate which has roots in their historic enmity toward the system; the services had not been so little to intentionally leave out of the claims by the enemy; we should however admit the shortcomings and pitfalls,” Ayatollah Khamenei emphasizes; “In the past 4 decades, the nation has been systematically hit by sanctions and restrictions by the international imperialism; the population has almost doubled; the sweep of the services since the Revolution has been unparalleled by almost other countries, almost in all sectors, the figures are staggering; for example, our exports had increased almost 57 times compared to those before the Revolution.”
“Revolution contributed to these figures; in terms of university, now we have 5 million students doing research; in social development, in terms of services provided to underprivileged regions, and other sectors, the figures are brilliant; enemies see all these; this is not exhaustive however, and we believe the Revolution could not abandon its movement forward; with pitfalls and shortcomings, I would begin with myself as an official; since the past, in specific sections of the country, in circles indifferent to Revolutionary ideals, lethargy had been ruling the system, rendering it almost unproductive and functioning; an efficient, Revolutionary management will definitely solve problems of any sort,” he emphasizes.
“As such, the potentials are huge, and our claims and predictions on future advancement hinges upon such huge capacities; we are among the wealthy countries in terms of natural resources; in human terms, we enjoy young university graduates, potentially productive and innovative; 33 million people are in age of production and labor; this is documented by the figures from authorities,” says Ayatollah Khamenei, “which could accept responsibilities, heavy and ambitious.”
“With almost a single percent of the world population, Iran has modest percentages of natural resources, oil and gas, and mines; such a wealthy country had been subject to the greed and envy of the great powers, and this has been an unfulfilled dream of theirs and will not be fulfilled in the future,” he culminates in his speech. “With a time pressure, I will turn to solutions; the nation needs security, public welfare and health; these we should address to attain; independence is a priority also; we want the nation’s comfort; national glory and strength, I believe, should be achieved through a robust economy which relies on its own resources and talents; in such an economy, nation could decide on its own, to save its national currency and purchase power; a second factor to contribute to strong economy is responsible officials and national unity,” he turns to Resistance Economy.
“In Resistance Economy, the obvious pitfalls are unemployment of the young university graduates, poverty rampant among the lower social strata; the general public grapple with such problems as to make the ends meet; and other issues as well, on which the enemies are working to maneuver; economic observers and the academia are true in their verdict that recession and unemployment are causes to blame; the greater machinery of Resistance Economy, divided into different parts, would contribute to economy more effectively; in the past year, the results have been modest, but not as it should have been,” Ayatollah Khamenei says.
“On small productive firms, the system had done a tenable job; however, the results had been suboptimal; the progress had come short of satisfying the predictions and targets; the executive side should be reworked to address the pitfalls; the economic indicators have turned either for good or bad; the growth rate is positive; in oil sector, we see progress, but in mining, for example, the growth is not hope-inspiring; the past should not be emphasized however; the future should come to the fore; a major recommendation is to rely on domestic economic. It is a key concept for the officials, on which they should be accountable to the public demand and question; the current pressing issue, as immediate as it is felt, is domestic production, which has great ramifications as well; production contributes positively to tackling high figures of unemployment by creating jobs,” he summarily says.
“In an active and growing economy, innovative young talents would find channels to be flourished; in a working economy, stagnant money would contribute to the wealth of the country,” he emphasizes, touching a frequent issue in his addresses, the infatuation with the foreign brand names, where the Leader says, there had been a race for showing off brand names; “unemployment contributes negatively to social evils; a working economy could attract channel energies of the youth to healthy activities; these are only summary of what production may contribute to national economy; we are potentials to achieve production; some are to be obtained; a successful production could easily achieved by active population in age of labor; university graduates are wealth of the nation. Iran produced engineers more than any country; assets are also available; the government had succeeded in establishing of a National Development Fund, which would reserve oil money, however a percentage of that, to contribute to the public reserve; by now, it should have reserve a lump sum, which would free the country from the yolk of oil, on which the country is so heavily dependent, the price of which is set by the super powers."
“On the advanced means of production, I believe, we are in a place to rely on our own talents, which have been successful in uranium enrichment as a strategic part; our young scientists have gone a long way from 3.5 per cent to 20 per cent; this is laudable; with sanctions, they had surprised the Zionist regime to admit, while humiliated, our achievements in military sector; so, talents are not infrequent in other sectors as well; they should be given opportunity and recognition to contribute to national glory; universities welcome cooperation with the industry; the progress is modest; they should participate still further to have a share of the national progress,” he tells the congregation.
Ayatollah Khamenei then turns to limitations; “there is no end to progress and excellence; however, there is also requirements as well, to which the officials should attend; receiving public participation through Article 144 of the Constitution through privatization of industries is a must; in defense, we have this experience, while classical armies in other parts of the world solely defended the borders; but our people contributed to the war of 1980s; economy is no exception and people should be given scope and we will see that they will flourish; exports should also be on the center; only few countries are partners with Iran, which violates the Resistance Economy policies; we should work with more than 5 or 6 countries; the security of the investments and national economy should also be protected; the unnecessary paper work should be removed; the public however should accept their share of responsibility and contribution as well; they are not only producers, but also they are consumers; the domestic consumer should set a priority to buy national brands, shunning foreign brand names; this is a genuine demand; young cohort should also take their role seriously; the exports should gain in quality, not solely the quantity should be the first; foreigners should receive our best exports and no mediocre products should be exported,” says the Leader.
“The domestic production should not be offset by imports as it is unnecessary and source of humiliation; since it hits the domestic production and deprive them of competition; the most essential goods should be imported, not every good which is produced domestically should be imported in great quantities,” he objects.
Turning to smuggling goods, the Leader provided some staggering figures which hit the economy; “the officials and bodies responsible should address the major sources and culprit; major bottlenecks should be strictly investigated; the story goes on that only a small part of the goods are investigated in the ports; this is to serve foreign goods, and should be prevented; only the great smuggler or smuggling agency should feel unsecure in their corrupting the economy,” he emphasizes.
No less important was the issue of elections; “election is a pivot of the religious democracy; election process is a source of glory and honor to the nation against foreign claims to the contrary; it is source of national unity and makes the nation standing in line with a single lofty objective: to defeat the many political and government systems; the Revolution provided the religious democracy which is based on elections; to participate and a high turnout is important to which all should contribute,” the Leader demands.
“Any result coming from the ballot boxes should be respected; I would not intervene in elections, however would do so when specific people and circles wanted to undermine the results of elections, as it had been in past elections; some of my interventions had been behind the curtains, but some have been publicly announced; public should make their choices and I invest hope much on the high turnout; in a successful election, the nation will be triumphant and the enemies will definitely despair on the prospects of their virtual failure,” the Leader concluded his address.