Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the issue of economy is a priority for Iran, adding that the enemies seek to undermine the trust of the Iranian nation in the Islamic establishment through mounting economic pressure.
"To succeed in realizing their objectives against Iran, the Iranians and the Islamic Republic, the enemies of the Islamic Republic are looking for economic strategies and in better words, seek to deal economic blows to the Iranian nation," the Leader said in an address to a huge gathering of pilgrims in the holy Iranian city of Mashhad on Tuesday on the first day of the Iranian New Year, Press TV reported.
Ayatollah Khamenei described the new Iranian calendar year as “important” for the country, both in terms of the need for more economic mobility and the upcoming presidential and city councils elections.
He said the Iranians must also show their national unity in the New Year and prove their commitment to the Islamic establishment and the revolution, and flaunt their allegiance to the enemies.
'Economic woes unrelated to Islamic foundations'
The Leader said the enemy seeks to attribute the existing economic issues to Islam and blame the Islamic foundations of the country for the economic woes.
“The enemy’s goal is to dismay and disillusion the Iranian nation with the Islamic establishment through economic pressure and drive a wedge between the people and the Islamic establishment,” the Leader stated, emphasizing, however, that the enemy has not been and would never be able to achieve its objectives.
“The enemy in its widespread propaganda is making efforts to attribute the country’s livelihood and economic shortcomings to the Islamic establishment and the Islamic Republic of Iran and this is the enemy’s plot,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“The enemies want to pretend that the Islamic establishment has not been and will never be able to solve the economic and major woes of the Iranian nation…This claim stems from their grudge and hatred against the Islamic establishment and this claim is contrary to the truth,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei acknowledged the existence of weaknesses in the country, adding, however, that these shortcomings stem from management flaws.
The Islamic establishment and the Islamic Republic have offered "prominent and remarkable" services to Iran and the Iranians, the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the services are incomparable to those provided in the era before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Leader said the population of the country has grown two-fold since the Revolution, but the services provided, including in infrastructure, have increased by "a very eye-catching" and much greater rate.
Figures indicating Iran’s progress in the military and economy are very remarkable, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that the number of university students, as one example, has increased 25 times the pre-revolution figures.
There has been a six-fold increase in the length of roads built in the country, while electricity generation has grown 14 times and non-oil exports have risen 57-fold, the Leader said.
'Elections very important for Iran'
Elsewhere, Ayatollah Khamenei described as "very important" the issue of elections in the Islamic Republic, whether it be the presidential, parliamentary or city council polls.
"Elections are one of the two pillars of religious democracy," the Leader said, adding, "We boast to the world courtesy of our elections and the enemies ignore our elections in order to deal a blow to the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic."
Ayatollah Khamenei said a massive turnout in the elections is a top priority, adding, "The Iranian nation must shine in the elections."
He also said the law must be observed to the letter in the elections. "Whatever the result of the elections by the nation, it is credible and lawful."
The Leader said he would not interfere in the elections and has never recommended any candidate in any polls but would take action if anyone seeks to stand against the vote of the people and disrupt the elections.
"If anyone seeks to defy the result of the nation's vote, I will stand against them," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
In his televised message to the nation on Monday on the occasion of the New Year, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the importance of domestic production and employment, especially for Iranian youths.
“These are the main and key sectors. 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,” the Leader said.
The Leader designated the new Iranian calendar year of 1396 as the “Year of Resistance Economy: Production and Employment."