Leader Outlines Gov't Direction, Priorities

The Leader of Islamic Revolution has directed the government to step up efforts to tackle economic challenges, promote extensive engagement with the world and stand up to hegemonic powers
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei endorsed President Hassan Rouhani for his second term in a ceremony in Tehran on August 3.	Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei endorsed President Hassan Rouhani for his second term in a ceremony in Tehran on August 3.

The Leader of Islamic Revolution outlined priorities for President Hassan Rouhani in his second term in office, urging the president who was reelected in a landslide in May to tackle economic challenges as his foremost priority to ease the livelihood problems of people.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei also called for "extensive engagement with the world and broad relations with governments and nations" as the second priority, and asked the executive branch to "stand strongly against any domination" by hegemonic powers as the third issue, IRNA reported.

The Leader was speaking in a ceremony to endorse people's vote in the presidential election and gives his official seal of approval to the victor.

The endorsement ceremony held in Tehran on Thursday was televised live, with top officials, military commanders and foreign ambassadors in attendance.

Rouhani earned a 24-million-vote mandate in the presidential poll, winning by an emphatic 57% over his main rival, principlist Ebrahim Raeisi.

Ayatollah Khamenei advised the 68-year-old chief executive to show greater tolerance for opposing voices.  

"You should allow opponents to criticize, if they have critical views. Tasks are heavy and our shortcomings are not few in number," he said.

The Leader said the need for greater international engagement should not lead officials to forget hostility of Iran's adversaries that are bent on destroying the country.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that Iran should continue to stand powerful in the face of its enemies, particularly the US, which he described as "the most aggressive and shameless" enemy that "uses any excuse to make a fuss" against Iran.

"Four decades of international relations show us that the cost of surrendering to bullying powers surpasses that of standing up against them," he said.

The endorsement ceremony came less than 24 hours after US President Donald Trump signed a Congress bill slapping a full-fledged package of sanctions on Iran, the first after the July 2015 nuclear deal.  

In his endorsement decree, the Leader said, "The valorous and courageous nation will not leave the servants of the country alone in hard times and in the face of aggression and greed of arrogant powers."

***Economy Tops Agenda

Elaborating on his future plans in the ceremony, Rouhani described his main agenda as "increasing production and employment", saying his government's economic plan follows Resistance Economy principles to bring about an "economic revolution".

Resistance Economy is a concept aimed at weaning the country of heavy dependence on oil revenues by boosting production and productivity.

In his first term, Rouhani said, his team managed to take big steps toward energizing the economy and reducing poverty by "restoring economic stability" and "curbing inflation", but a lot more needs to be done before the economic situation improves to a level that befits the Iranian nation.

"Eliminating poverty lies in creating jobs and this needs massive investment and access to [foreign] markets and high tech," he said.

Rouhani said his second government will insist on broadening "constructive engagement" with the international community more than before, adding that the 2015 nuclear deal was a sign of Iran's "goodwill" on the international stage.

The moderate cleric appealed for unity, saying people have renewed their allegiance with the system by their strong participation in the presidential vote and "the burden of responsibility is now on our shoulders". 

"I declare once again that with the conclusion of the election, the time for unity and cooperation has begun," he said.

"I extend my hand to all those who seek the greatness of the country."


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