Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned state officials against making development of Iran’s economy conditional on the removal of sanctions, saying that the country should be run in a way that it would not be hurt by sanctions.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in his New Year speech to the Iranian nation just one day after he issued his Nowruz message in which he designated the Persian New Year as the year of “Production: Knowledge-Based and Job-Creating.”
“In economy, the most important issue is the issue of [domestic] production,” the Leader said in his Monday speech, adding that this was why he highlighted this issue in his Nowruz message to the nation.
The Leader noted that most of his demands in the area of economy are aimed at state officials, which are mostly addressed to the executive officials, but also to judicial authorities and other concerned officials.
Ayatollah Khamenei said to overcome the economic problems facing the country, the key is to move toward the knowledge-based economy, which means an economic system where knowledge plays an axial role in all fields of production.
“If we pursue this policy and make knowledge the cornerstone of the country’s economy and increase the number of knowledge-based companies, this will have many benefits for the country. It will increase productivity, increase quality of products, and lead to production of competitive products.”
One of the main problems in our economy, the Leader said, is low productivity of this sector, which must be made up for, adding, “This important economic problem will be solved if we move toward the knowledge-based economy.”
"Boosting domestic production is the sole way to achieve equitable progress in economy and overcome the problem of poverty in the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader noted that there are almost 7,000 knowledge-based companies in the country, which can create 300,000 direct jobs.
Ayatollah Khamenei said he expects the officials to take steps to double the number of knowledge-based companies in the country, so that the number of direct jobs created by them would be also doubled, especially in those sectors, which are lagging behind in this regard, especially the agriculture sector.
The Leader then stressed that it is important for the country to become self-sufficient in production of basic food products as well as related products, such as the livestock feed.
“Unfortunately, our agriculture sector is far from being knowledge-based. If we develop knowledge-based companies in this sector ... we will be able to make the most of this sector and, subsequently, the country’s food security will be guaranteed.”
“Therefore, the number of knowledge-based companies in any economic sector can be considered as an index of its development,” the Leader noted.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that job creation is the second most important economic issue to be addressed by the authorities, noting that development of knowledge-based companies will be the best way to create new jobs and overcome this problem.
Dismissing allegations that sanctions imposed by the United States are an obstacle to promoting production, the Leader said new policies adopted by the Islamic establishment have proven otherwise.
“New policies have shown that it is possible to promote foreign trade in spite of US sanctions and it is possible to enter into regional deals while developing the country’s oil sector.”
He added that despite the existence of US sanctions, Iran has been able to develop its economy and expand regional relations at the same time, advising concerned officials against tying the country’s economy to the US sanctions.
“Of course, I am not saying that we should not seek removal of US sanctions. However, the fundamental point is that we must run the country in a way that it would not be harmed by sanctions,” the Leader said.
In another part of his speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said a glance at what is going on in the world proves that Iranians were right in their approach to global affairs by trying to remain independent of world powers and maintaining their country’s independence in the face of all odds.
“The recent developments in Afghanistan and Ukraine proved how right the Iranian nation was in choosing to fight against the [global] arrogance,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“In the case of Ukraine, all the world was witness to the West’s racism,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, criticizing discriminatory treatment of people of color who want to flee the war in the Eastern European country.
The Leader said great injustice is done to people in countries that are subservient to the United States, but they show no reaction, but “they try to extort independent countries under the guise of human rights allegations.”
“They are even clearly concerned that the [Ukraine] war is going on in Europe and not the Middle East.” This means that if the war was in the Middle East, they would not care as much.