1-Numerous experiences, feats and achievements against sanctions
The Islamic Republic has moved forward. Today, the Islamic Republic is not like it was 35 years ago. Are our numerous experiences, feats and achievements, our great regional influence and the deep belief of the youth of this country in the Revolution’s principles minor achievements? These events are all facts.
They are miscalculating on different levels. By Allah’s favor and with the determination of the people and you youth, the same things that the honorable commander in this meeting referred to about the activities of the Air Force are being pursued in different sectors and in all the of the country’s organizations. Moreover, such things are accomplished while we are under sanctions. They are accomplished while enemies are imposing sanctions on us. We have made progress in different sciences and technologies. We have made progress in different social matters. We have made progress in different international matters. Different experiences will constantly provide an invaluable provision for the Islamic Republic. We are moving forward and making progress despite the enemy.
2-Thirty years of enmity with no result
For more than thirty years, the enemies of the Iranian nation have done everything in their power to harm the Iranian nation. There is not a thing which they have not used against the Iranian nation. They provoked conflicts, waged wars, supported the enemy of the Islamic Republic with all their power and they waged hard and soft wars. They fought the people of Iran as hard as they could, but our people stood up against them and they resisted. Not only could they not bring our people to their knees and destroy them, but they also failed to prevent them from making progress. Our nation has made progress. They made use of everything they could. They hatched plots, launched coup d’états, provoked military conflicts, shot down passenger airliners, imposed heavy sanctions and increased them on a daily basis. They did these things in the hope that our people would lose their hope, disappear from the scene and lose their trust in Islam and the Islamic Republic. But they failed. This is the record of the Islamic Republic.
3-Iran’s people did not surrender even when they were in more difficult conditions
Today, you see that the enemies of Iran do not know our people and our country. Of course, they have always failed to know the people of Iran or they have always failed to know them in the proper way. They have always made this mistake and today, they are making the same mistake. They think that our people have held their hands up to surrender under pressure from their sanctions and economic siege. But this is not the case. You enemies are making a mistake. The people of Iran are not a people who hold their hands up as a sign of surrender. Our people did not surrender even when they were in more difficult conditions.
One clear, definite and undeniable example of this is the eight-year imposed war. Is eight years of resistance a minor achievement? Is it a minor achievement to defeat all the global powers that helped a criminal to work against our country and our people? Is this a minor feat? In this case too, there was “…and helping the believers is ever incumbent on Us”. In this case too, showing firm determination and willpower and bringing God-given capabilities to the arena of action solved the problems one by one.
4-Youth found their opportunity to reveal their talents due to sanctions
If it had not been for the economic and scientific sanctions, our youth would not have found the opportunity to reveal their talents. That is to say, everything was in place, but they would not have taken action and achieved anything [if it had not been for the sanctions]. After they imposed sanctions, talents were utilized, the nation started to grow and this flag was raised higher. “They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah will perfect His light though the unbelievers may be averse.” [The Holy Quran, 61: 8] They want to put out the light, but God has pre-ordained that this light should become perfect, and it will become perfect.
5-The possibility to distance Iran’s economy from oil and disabling sanctions
The Americans expressed joy and said that I have confessed to the effect of the sanctions. Yes, the sanctions have not been inconsequential. If they are happy about this, let them be happy. After all, the sanctions have had an effect, which is because of an essential flaw that we are suffering from. The flaw that our economy is suffering from is that it is dependent on oil. We need to distance our economy from oil. Our governments should include this among their basic plans. Seventeen, eighteen years ago, I told the government of that time and its officials that they should act in a way that we could shut down our oil wells whenever we wanted to. The so-called “technocrats” smiled in disbelief, as if to say, “Is that even possible?” Yes, it is possible. It is necessary to follow up the issue, take action and make plans. When economic plans of a country are built on a particular base, the enemies of that country will target that base. Yes, the sanctions have had an effect, but not the effect that the enemies wanted.
6-Iran’s problems are smaller than its goals and values
We are faced with political pressures, sanctions, negative propaganda and other kinds of pressures, but in spite of these problems, there is firm determination to eliminate these problems and reach the point that we are supposed to reach. These are the conditions of the country.
We have not at all reached a dead end. We are not at all faced with problems which can break our resolve to continue our path. Such problems do not exist. Yes, there are problems, but these problems are not big enough to break our resolve. They are smaller than the goals and values of our nation and our country. Yet we do not want to take a break and rest. We are in the middle of the arena, which is challenging and motivating at the same time, just like competing in sports events. Taking part in sports events involves exertion and anxiety, but there is also enthusiasm. No competitor refuses to participate in sports events because of exertion and anxiety. On the contrary, they are filled with enthusiasm. There is mental and physical exertion involved, but this does not stop competitors from taking part in sports events. Our conditions are like this.
7-If sanctions can serve the purpose, then why do they issue military threats?
The Americans should know and I think they know that sanctions do not work. The reason why we say they themselves know that sanctions do not work is the military threats they issue. Well, if sanctions can serve the purpose, then why do they issue military threats? This shows that sanctions have not served the purpose and that they do not work.
8-Sanctions and pressures cannot continue
Another reality is that if the country judiciously resists these pressures by the enemy – particularly, the sanctions and other such things – not only will their technique prove ineffective, but also it will be impossible for them to repeat such things in the future. This is because we are going through a phase, a stage. The country will go through this stage. The threats they make and the sanctions they impose will benefit nobody other than America and the Zionist regime. The others stepped into the arena because of their coercion, pressure and other such things, or they did so as a ceremonial gesture. It is obvious that such things as coercion and pressure cannot continue. These things will only continue for a while. 
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech in Meeting with Air Force Commanders and Personnel 8/2/2015
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech to Air Force Commanders and Personnel 7/2/2013
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech in Meeting with People from the Holy City of Qom 10/1/2014
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech to People of East Azerbaijan Province 16/2/2011
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech at Imam Ridha’s (a.s.) Shrine 21/3/2013
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech to Researchers and Managers of Knowledge-Based Companies 29/7/2012
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei‘s Speech in Meeting with Basij Commanders 20/11/2013
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech to Government Officials 24/7/2012