Iranian leader, president call for boosting production, resistance against US sanctions

Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani both addressed the Iranian nation to mark the begining of the new Iranian year. Both top leaders have called on the citizens to stand together to raise production in a bid to circcumvent US sanctions.

21 March 2019
ID : 11899
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Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani both addressed the Iranian nation to mark the begining of the new Iranian year. Both top leaders have called on the citizens to stand together to raise production in a bid to circcumvent US sanctions.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei seen addressing the Iranian nation to mark the begining of Nowruz (the Iranian New Year). (Photo: khamenei.ir)

Leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, in a video message broadcasted early on Thursday after the start of the new Persian year 1398 (21 March), called economic issues "the country’s concerns", and called on the government and the nation to boost production in the country.

Ayatollah Khamenei, in his televised message to the nation on the occasion of the New Persian Year early this morning, offered congratulations to the Iranians on the occasion of Nowruz, and named the New Year of 1398 as the year of “Pick-up in Production”. 

"Specially in recent months the difficulties for people's livelihoods has increased," Khamenei said in a prerecorded message. 

"The economy is the country's urgent problem, it's the country's (most) serious and primary problem," he added, mentioning the devaluation of the national currency, the drop in purchasing power and the fall in production as symptoms of the issue.

Khamenei said increasing production was the key to saving the economy and declared "national production" the motto of the new year. 

The IMF reported that the Iranian economy slumped into recession in 2018 and has forecast a 3.6 percent decline in GDP for 2019, the AFP reports. 

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani also focused on the US sanctions in his new year message broadcast on state TV immediately after Khamenei's.

"Some might ask till when will these sanctions and problems go on... these problems began with the oath-breakers and those who have recently reached power in Washington, but the (key to the) end is in our hands," he said sitting in front of a row of Iranian flags.

"The more we are united, and the more the enemy realizes that with these sanctions our nation becomes more cohesive, the sooner they will despair and regret (sanctioning Iran)," Rouhani said calling on all branches of government, as well as the armed forces and Iranians from all walks of life, to put aside differences and share the burden of economic "problems and disorder".

Rouhani had heavily counted on the 2015 nuclear deal to help save the floundering economy. But ever since the US withdrawal he has been under increasing criticism from his political opponents both for mismanagement of the economy as well as his perceived gullibility in trusting the US in the nuclear deal.
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