EconomyImam Ali KhameneiIranLeaders of UmmahMiddle East

Ayatollah Khamenei Describes Economic Sanctions as Crime against Countries

Leader of the Islamic Ummah and Oppressed Imam Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined Iran's victory against the policy of "maximum pressure" exerted against Tehran by the US administrations, describing sanctions and economic blockade as criminal acts.

In his televised remarks in the first day of the Persian New Year on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei said sanctions that prevent imports of drugs, foods, and medical supplies are really a crime, which can only be committed by some powers, especially the United States, which has killed thousands of people in a single day.

“Although the US economic sanctions were a crime against the Iranian nation, they caused Iran to reduce dependence on other countries,” the Leader said, emphasizing that the Iranian youth have already managed to turn sanctions into an opportunity, by taking steps and producing needed goods inside the country.

“Sanctions turned into a lesson for us as they prompted us to find a way to thwart the impact of economic bans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader also advised the current and future state officials not to link the country’s economic problems to removal of sanctions, adding that they “should not leave the country’s economy in limbo awaiting decisions to be made by others.”

“Suppose that sanctions will remain in place, and plan the country’s economy on the basis [of the assumption] that sanctions will remain and it is possible to make such a plan,” the Leader emphasized, Press TV reported.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that one of the problems nagging the Iranian economy in the past couple of years was making economic planning conditional on lifting of sanctions or attracting foreign investment, which has kept the country’s economy in a state of confusion.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader reflected on the current standoff between Iran and the US over the implementation of a nuclear deal clinched by Iran and the world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Leader emphasized that the so-called “maximum pressure” policy adopted by the former US administration of President Donald Trump toward Iran after Washington unilaterally left the JCPOA has totally failed.

“The previous fool had designed the ‘maximum pressure’ [policy] in order to corner Iran and take Iran to the negotiating table and impose his arrogant demands on a [presumably] ‘weak’ Iran. However, he disappeared [from the political scene] in such a way that both himself and his country were disgraced while the Islamic Iran is standing fast and proud,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“They must know that the enemy’s ‘maximum pressure’ [policy] has failed and if the current American government wants to pursue the maximum pressure [policy] again, it will also fail and disappear [from the political scene],” the Leader emphasized.

The Leader stated that Iran’s policy for interaction with other parties to the JCPOA has been announced clearly and Tehran will never give up that policy, because there is consensus on it inside the country.

“Americans must lift all sanctions first and then we will verity and if they are truly lifted, then we will return to our [JCPOA] commitments without any problem. We cannot trust the Americans’ promise,” the Leader said.

Referring to recent claims by some American officials that the JCPOA and its conditions must change for the US to return to it, the Leader said, “Yes, conditions are now different from what they were [during Iranian calendar years 13]95 and 96; however, they have not changed in favor of the United States, but in our favor. Iran has become much stronger since 94 (2015). Therefore, if the JCPOA is going to change, it must be in Iran’s favor.”

“You have been facing increasing problems and the fate of this new [US] president is not clear either. We are in no hurry. Yes, we also believe that opportunities must be taken advantage of, but we will show no hurry, because in some cases its risks outweigh the benefits. We acted hastily on the JCPOA,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

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