Iran has managed to “paralyze” its enemies, and has developed its own “sophisticated” means of defense in response to the enemy’s use of increasingly advanced measures against Iran, the Leader told a group of Iranian Air Force commanders and personnel in Tehran Saturday.
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that “in order to impede war and put an end to the threats, one has to become strong.”
“We are not seeking to threaten any nation, but to defend the country from threats,” the Leader stressed.
Every year on February 8, Iranian Air force commanders and personnel meet the Leader to mark the historic allegiance of Iranian Air Force officers with the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini back on February 8, 1979.
The meeting is viewed as a turning point which led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution three days later, sealing the fate of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in Iran.
Addressing the air force personnel, Ayatollah Khamenei said that “during the past regime, the Air Force was one of the closest forces to the central authority and the United States.”
“However, the tyrannical regime was struck from this very force, which it never expected,” the Leader noted.
Ayatollah Khamenei said “based on Quranic teachings, God strikes the enemies and assists the believers in places they never expect”.
The Leader added that “if a firm belief in this holy promise is formed in the society and officials act cleverly, threats will turn to opportunities and sanctions can turn into a factor that can save the country from its oil-dependency and many other problems”.
“Just as the Air Force has managed to design and create fighter jets on top of overhauling and repairing its aircraft and fighter jets despite US sanctions. This model can be applied to the whole country and, despite sanctions being a criminal act, such an approach can create a lot of opportunities for the country,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that “certain clever individuals in the US establishment have understood this and have said that we should not allow Iran to experience an economy without oil”.
“Therefore, they say that we should leave a path open so that the Iranian economy doesn’t become detached from oil,” the leader said urging Iranian officials to be vigilant against such a plot.
In May 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against Tehran after it withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in a bid to wage a “campaign of maximum pressure” and deny Iran of foreign revenue, most of which comes from oil exports.
Speaking about the Trump administration, Ayatollah Khamenei said that “unlike Washington’s former rulers which pursued evil goals with certain disguise, today, deviation, war mongering, sedition and the greed of Americans take place without cover”.
Prior to the Leader’s remarks, Air Force Commander Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh presented a report detailing the country’s advancements in various fields such as producing drones, smart munitions, aircraft and repairing plane engines.