Leader of Islamic Umah and Oppressed Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei: US deception hindering Iran trade
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the US has resorted to “deception” to obstruct international trade with Iran despite a nuclear agreement.
“On paper, the Americans say banks can trade with Iran but in practice they act in such an Iranophobic way that no trade can take place with Iran,” the Leader told a group of Iranian workers in Tehran Wednesday.
US and European businesses are reluctant to do business with Iran over the fear of being penalized by Washington despite the nuclear agreement which requires countries to lift sanctions on Tehran.
Iranian officials have hit out at the US and the EU for failing to honor the nuclear agreement by keeping Iran locked out of the international financial system.
“An American official has said the bulk of sanctions has been maintained so that the investors are scared away and do not come here,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“The Americans are engaged in disruption and deception. Then, they claim that we are pessimistic,” the Leader added.
Officials in the US State Department and Treasury have frequently said that Iran would not be given any access to the American financial system.
US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged earlier this month that Iran deserved access to the system because it had met its obligations under the nuclear agreement.
Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated the need for attention to domestic production and reducing imports of foreign-made goods.
“Domestic production must be recognized as a sacred matter. A commodity which has a domestic version must not be imported at all,” the Leader sad.
“The sale and consumption of foreign products must be regarded as a disvalue except where they have no domestic versions,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The Leader criticized a culture of consumerism and a craze for showing off foreign-made brands in the country, saying all should regard supporting domestic production as a “duty.”
Ayatollah Khamenei further chided “imports of unnecessary goods in billions,” describing smuggling as a “serious problem,” a “big blight” and a “poison for domestic production.”
“I have repeatedly reminded officials of various governments of this problem. They are saying that if heavy tariffs are imposed, smuggling of goods will increase but this is not an acceptable justification.”
“The most powerful individuals must be assigned to this task and the government must reinforce related bodies in order to confront organized trafficking with force,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Sometimes, an article can be produced domestically but importers who make massive profits use various methods including heavy bribing, coercion and even crime to prevent it.”
“Such issues are very significant and a matter of security which must not be taken lightly,” he said.
The Leader further expressed surprise at the interest shown by certain individuals to import US-made cars.
“The Americans themselves have no interest in these cars due to their high (fuel) consumption and heaviness,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“Now, should we come and import cars from such and such American factory which is going bankrupt? This is a matter of great surprise.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The esteemed managers and state officials must resist covert pressures being exerted in these fields and seriously confront them.”