Production, Employment Year’s Top Priorities

Ayatollah Khamenei outlined the requisites for resolving Iran’s economic problems and the need to abide by the law in elections
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei delivers a message on the occasion of the new Iranian year in Tehran on March 20.  Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei delivers a message on the occasion of the new Iranian year in Tehran on March 20.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei named the new Iranian year (started on March 21) the year of "Resistance Economy: Production and Employment", focusing the attention of government officials and people on two key tasks of improving domestic production and increasing employment to achieve the goals of Resistance Economy.

The latter embodies a set of principles aimed at curbing dependence on oil export revenues, improving productivity and reducing the government's role in the economy to make the country immune to economic wars waged by foreign powers.

It was first proposed by the Leader in 2011, amid the tightening of economic sanctions against Tehran by the US and its allies, including measures to curb Iran's oil exports, over unproven allegations that Tehran intends to build nuclear weapons.

The Leader had named the previous Iranian year as "Resistance Economy: Action and Implementation."

Marking the onset of the new Iranian year on March 20, Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message that although the government has employed measures to promote Resistance Economy, "there is a large gap between what has been carried out and what the people and what we expect", pointing to livelihood problems of Iranian middle and lower classes.

"Because I am aware of the people's conditions, I feel the bitterness with all my heart. I feel the bitterness that the people, particularly lower and underprivileged classes, experience," he said, according to a transcript of his words published on his official website. The Leader described the economic concept as a "system" that should be divided into sectors, and key sectors should be prioritized over others.    

"In my opinion, the cure [for economic problems] lies in identifying the key sector correctly this year. I believe that this key sector is production—domestic production—and employment, mainly of our youth ... If we manage to focus on these two sectors and plan and categorize our affairs on this basis, I believe that the task will move forward to a great extent and impressive and tangible achievements will be made."

  Huge Economic Capacities

Speaking in his regular new year's speech in northeastern city of Mashhad on March 21, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that the economy is the foremost priority of the country. He said the goal of Iran's adversaries is to mount economic pressure on Iranian people to make them disillusioned about the Islamic system.

"Through its vast propaganda, the enemy is trying to attribute livelihood problems and economic shortages to the Islamic Republic to show that the Islamic system is not able to solve problems and facilitate people's livelihood," he said.

"[But] the Islamic establishment has been able, despite all-out economic pressure and sanctions by the enemies, to provide great and valuable services to people." The Leader noted that the country's human and natural capacities and capabilities are huge.

"From the viewpoint of manpower, the country has five million [university] students, 10 million university graduates and a 33-million-strong young workforce, and this is a huge wealth," he said. Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran is rich in terms of natural resources, pointing to Iran's first rank in terms of oil and gas resources in the world as well as its first rank in terms of gas reserves.

"The reason why hegemonic powers, especially the US, have always had a covetous eye on Iran is these natural and human riches, but they will certainly take their wish to once again dominate Iran to the grave," he said.

The Leader said the Islamic system seeks all-out progress, ridding the country of social maladies and [realizing] national dignity and security and might, among other objectives.

"In addition to national unity and solidarity, revolutionary culture, [as well as] brave and active and hard-working officials, achieving these goals needs a strong economy and [domestic] production based on efficient management and domestic capabilities," he said. "Such an economy will increase the value of national currency, [enable the country to] influence global oil price and boost people's purchasing power, the [final] result of which will be sustainable security and might [of the country]."

Ayatollah Khamenei said official statistics on the country's economy are mixed and do not give the impression that the country is resolving the economic problems, saying the most important priority for such a resolution is reliance on domestic production.

Pointing to requisites for prosperity of domestic production, the Leader said it needs "manpower, investment and advanced work tools".

"Part of these items potentially exists in the country and others are actively present," he said, adding that a 33-million-strong young workforce seeking jobs includes engineering experts and people with academic education who could supply the manpower for production.

  Call for Maximum Election Turnout

The Leader also pointed to the upcoming presidential, city council and mid-term parliamentary polls, all scheduled for May 19, saying elections are "a source of national dignity, of strengthening the people of Iran and of their reputation".

Ayatollah Khamenei underlined the need for abiding by the exact stipulations of the law in elections, noting that the result of the nation's vote will be creditable and legal no matter what.

"I never interfere in elections and do not say for whom people should or should not vote, but if anybody wants to stand against people's vote or rig people's vote through any act of disruption, I will interfere and stand against them," he said. The Leader invited eligible people to take part in the forthcoming elections in high numbers and contribute to efforts to hold glorious elections.   Concluding his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, "By holding good elections, the Iranian nation will once again hold its head high and will continue to move ahead and the enemies of the nation cannot do a damn thing as has been the case during past years."

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